Choco-holics listen up: How far would you go to get your next fix?
A Belgian chocolatier now claims snorting is one of the best ways to experience cocoa.
In 2007, chocolate-maker Dominique Persoone invented a chocolate sniffing device modeled after old-fashioned Victorian snuff shooters that allows users to inhale cocoa powder. Persoone created the device after the wives of musicians Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts asked him to help prepare a surprise birthday party for their Rolling Stone husbands.
Eight years later, Persoone, who has sold some 25,000 of his chocolate shooters, never imaged his device would extend beyond the world of rock 'n roll, reports Reuters.
"The mentality when you think about sniffing is: 'Oh it's kinky, guys who do that stuff...," the chef told Reuters. "I'm not the bad boy promoting drugs, not at all ... Life is boring. Let's have fun."
He mixes “a hit” of Dominican Republic or Peruvian cocoa powder with unique flavorings like mint, ginger or raspberry and claims certain additives really “tickle your nose.”
"Then the mint flavor goes down and the chocolate stays in your brain,” Persoone said.
The device has become so popular that Michelen-starred chef Heston Blumenthal has reportedly promoted the device.
Persoone claims the device is 100 percent safe, though the packaging warns against “excessive sniffing.” But is putting chocolate powder up your nose really a good idea?
Dr. Robert Glatter, emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, says inhaling any type of residual food product can damage nasal passages, lead to a bacterial infection or worse.
“Inhalation of cocoa or herbal components such as mint or ginger could lead to increase mucous production, nasal congestion, as well as coughing and wheezing, especially in those persons with a history of asthma or pre-existing lung disease,” Dr. Glatter told FoxNews.com.
He strongly advises using such a device at it may lead to “a risk of pneumonitis or pneumonia due to the irritating effects of the cocoa and added herbal ingredients.”
But when consumed orally, eating a bit of chocolate is ok. Dr. Glatter told us that he thinks its "better to actually enjoy the taste and texture of the cocoa powder by consuming it in the normal way--commonly known as eating!"
Despite these warnings Persoone insists his device is safe and continues to experiment with savory flavors like bacon, oyster and even grass. But there is one ingredient that he does not recommend shooting up your nose: chili powder.
"It's a very bad idea," the chocolatier admits.
The chocolate sniffing devices retail for 45 euros—about $50 and can be shipped to many countries including Russia, Canada, India and the U.S.