February 6, 2015 / 4:21 PM / 3 years ago

Chocolate snorting offers new way to a cocoa high

BRUGES, Belgium (Reuters) - When Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone created a chocolate-sniffing device for a Rolling Stones party in 2007, he never imagined demand would stretch much beyond the rock ‘n’ roll scene. But, seven years later, he has sold 25,000 of them.

Inspired by a device his grandfather used to propel tobacco snuff up his nose, Persoone created a ‘Chocolate Shooter’ to deliver a hit of Dominican Republic or Peruvian cocoa powder, mixed with mint and either ginger or raspberry.

“The mint and the ginger really tinkle your nose,” the 46-year-old said in his chocolate factory in the medieval city of Bruges. “Then the mint flavor goes down and the chocolate stays in your brain.”

Tattoo-clad Persoone, who has collaborated with celebrated chefs such as The Fat Duck’s Heston Blumenthal and elBulli‘s Ferran and Albert Adria, has a history of culinary innovation.

Alongside the classics, he has created chocolates flavored with bacon and onion, oysters and even grass.

A Chocolate Shooter is displayed near cocoa powder in the factory of Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone in Bruges, February 3, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

It took some perfecting to create the snorting powder as chocolate itself was too dry. Before the successful formula was discovered, Persoone used a mix that included chili pepper.

“It’s a very bad idea,” he said.

Slideshow (6 Images)

The chocolate shooters, which sell for 45 euros ($50) each, have been exported to Russia, India, Canada, Australia and the United States.

The packaging bears a warning against excessive sniffing, but Persoone insists it is safe. He was inspired by the role of the nose when tasting food and, he says, a certain idea of fun.

“The mentality when you think about sniffing is: ‘Oh it’s kinky, guys who do that stuff...'” Persoone said.

“I‘m not the bad boy promoting drugs, not at all ... Life is boring. Let’s have fun.”

Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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