Nobody Knows the Truffles I’ve Seen
Seriously now, chocoholics. How many of us reach for a piece of chocolate after an exhausting day, a bad date, a fight with the spouse? And how many of us savor the luxury of a chocolate truffle with our Sunday morning coffee, or as the perfect cap to a hearty meal?
What is it about chocolate that comforts us both when we are sad and when we are happy?
Why is it that truffles never fails to speak love in a way that is pure and unconditional?
The answer depends on whether one considers oneself a sensualist or scientist.
Sensualists speak to the unbridled pleasure of the act itself. The way chocolate tastes, bitter married to sweet. The texture: soft smooth, catalyzed through the heat of our mouths to melt in a most languid way, slowly releasing pellets of pure pleasure. Sweetness melting thickly in our mouths, all effortless, no chewing needed. No chewing allowed!
Scientists speak to the complex chemical components of chocolate. These include:
- Caffeine, which stimulates intellectual activity and keeps one feeling aroused.
- Theobromine, another nervous system stimulant, which likewise produces a sense of arousal in the nervous system.
- Phenylethylamine, the chemical released in our bodies when we fall in love. Similar in chemical composition to amphetamines, phenylethylamine acts as a powerful psychostimulant. Endorphins, our bodies’ natural opiates, are released when we eat chocolate. Endorphins elevate our mood and reduce our sense of discomfort or pain.
- Tryptophan, an amino acid that increases the production of serotonin. Serotonin is our body’s natural stress reducer and anti-depressant. When serotonin levels in the brain fall, people often crave chocolate and other sweet foods.
- Anandamide, which acts on the same brain receptors as marijuana does, producing a similar sense of “high” or intoxication. Chocolate contains two ingredients that actually block the natural inhibition of anandamide, thus prolonging the state of pleasure.
Whether one is a sensualist or scientist, in the end, it amounts to the same thing:
We love Chocolate Truffles. Chocolate loves us. Pure effortless pleasure. No chewing allowed!