Chili infused chocolate should technically be the best food on the planet for me. I’m addicted to chocolate, and I’m pretty addicted to spicy foods, specifically stuff made with chilies. As far as I can tell, there hasn’t been much research done on chocolate addiction, or at least no concrete findings. Yet there are many self-proclaimed addicts like me. Some articles say cocoa has addictive properties, and other chemicals found in chocolate may increase levels of dopamine or serotonin, but others say that people are addicted to the sugar and fat contained in chocolate. If it was addictive qualities in cocoa that made us crave it, more people would consume darker chocolate which contains higher levels of it.
Other research says the addiction/dependence is more psychological, suggesting women especially crave it because it is forbidden: considered an unhealthy, calorie-filled food that causes weight gain. Therefore, the appeal lies in the taboo. I’m going to have to go ahead and say with absolute certainty that this is not the case for me. Firstly, I have never considered chocolate to be taboo or forbidden, and have not once felt guilty for eating it. That’s just not how I roll. I like it. I eat it. I rarely overdo it. I just accept that a part of me is always going to love chocolate and I openly embrace any chocolaty goodness that comes my way. Yes, there are times (during the holidays where my mother and I have consumed entire large Tobelorone bars and several full boxes of Seas Assorted in a couple of days) when I’ve said…wow.. that was a lot. But, I don’t beat myself up for it. Secondly, and this is why I think that this stuff is definitely setting things off in my brain, I do crave dark dark chocolate. I will rarely touch a candy bar, and the cheap sugary stuff just doesn’t do it for me. Milk chocolate, no thanks. I will buy the darkest, purest chocolate I can find and eat squares of it pretty much daily.
Chili addiction is a bit easier to understand. When you get pain in your mouth from eating spicy foods, the body starts to release pain-relieving endorphins. As we all know, endorphins are fun! I cannot tell you how much I adore the feeling of my mouth on fire, my cheeks being hot and rosy, and that little dabbling of sweat on my brow. The best.
Ever since seeing the movie Chocolat, I have not only wanted to run away to a little town in rural France and open a chocolate shop, but I’ve also really wanted to try chili-infused chocolate. Lindt has a dark chili bar that I’ve tried, but it just didn’t wow me. I still by default go with the regular dark chocolate bar, or usually the Orange Intense (my favourite).
Do you know a good recipe or place to get chili infused chocolate?
Chocolat image source: photo by David Appleby – © 2000 – Miramax Films
Excellence Chili courtesy of Lindt.com