You just polished off an entire box of Chocolate Riot and your friend asks you, “How was it?” You automatically respond, “Good. It was really good,” while realizing that you actually missed the whole experience. Here’s how to make sure that never happens again.
WHAT’S THE RUSH?
Chances are, you’re a member of the vast majority of people who don’t eat their chocolate, but scarf it down. Maybe you are in a hurry, or you think gratification will come faster if you eat faster, or you are just in the habit of eating unconsciously. Whatever the reason, stop it! The only thing that is better when done faster is competitive running (or skiing, or swimming, etc, but you get the picture). Think rocking in a hammock in the sun. Think bathing your infant. Think sex.
USE YOUR NOSE
What’s the first thing you do when you open the box or peel back the wrapper of your new chocolate? Do you take a bite? Don’t! That’s a mistake that will prevent you from getting the most out of your chocolate. Why? Our sense of taste is intrinsically linked to our sense of smell. It works best when our noses are involved, mixing taste with air in our sinuses. You have experienced the truth of this when you have a cold and your nose is “stopped up”. Everything you eat tastes like cardboard, right?
So before the chocolate makes contact with your mouth, close your eyes, bring the chocolate to your nose, and inhale a few times. What do you smell? Something floral, something fruity, maybe nutty? Notice how your body responds. Is your mouth watering? Simply by breathing, you will exponentially improve your tasting ability. And be sure to take a few breaths when the chocolate is in your mouth as well.
THIS IS A JOB FOR YOUR WHOLE MOUTH
You’ve slowed down, you’ve enjoyed your chocolate’s aroma. You lift it to your lips and...what next? If you’re like most people, you pop the chocolate in and start to chew it. With your molars. Far back and on the sides of your mouth. Then you swallow, and repeat. You are short-changing yourself, and here’s why.
Remember learning in tenth grade biology that your taste buds are located all over your tongue? That’s where the chocolate needs to be too in order to maximize your experience of it. Don’t chew it at the back of your mouth! Hold the chocolate with your tongue on the roof of your mouth so that as it melts it coats your entire tongue and all of the zillions of little taste buds that are eagerly awaiting its arrival. That’s why Chocolate Riot THINS are shaped as they are! A pro tip is to paddle your tongue on the roof of your mouth while the chocolate is there, encouraging the chocolate’s interaction with air and your sense of smell.
Buy some chocolate right now, try eating it this way, and see for yourself what a difference it makes. Eating habits can be hard to change, but chances are, being mindful when you eat chocolate will give you so much pleasure that you will likely find yourself being more mindful in other moments. And you just might find yourself leading a richer, more peaceful and satisfying life...filled with more chocolate!