Are you a melter or a chewer?

The topic is chocolate. Plain old milk or dark chocolate, even white chocolate.

Imagine yourself with a plain candy bar in the chocolate of your choice. Over the years, just through whimsical study, I’ve made a discovery about eating chocolate that largely differentiates men and women. As late as today, I’ve had yet another confirmation

My chiropractor is a self-admitted chocoholic. I’ve even tested his tolerance for chocolate and he managed to eat 4 servings of my infamous “Death by Chocolate” dessert recipe before he pushed the 2 remaining servings away, patted his bloated midsection and declared, “No more!”. Every once in a while I’ll take him a little treat that is something chocolatey. Today it was a plain, store brand, dark chocolate bar.

I almost always have 2 (or more) of these bars stashed in the door of my fridge. I like dark chocolate more, though I’ll never turn down milk chocolate! When I want something that tastes indulgent, I’ll break a block off from the bar, which has 8 blocks. A single bar usually lasts me 3 or more weeks. (The bar I purchase is very similar to the one in the feature photo.)

I bought an extra one during my (horrifyingly worst ever) grocery shopping trip last week. It was kept in my fridge until this morning, when I headed to his office. I gave it to him as he called me back for treatment and saw him put it in his scrubs top pocket. I know he opened it because I heard him offer the departing client a piece as she was leaving. I relaxed on the roller massage table and forgot about it!

After Dr. Craig was done torturing me (I have the bruises to prove it!) and we headed back up to the desk, he reached down for the chocolate bar and I watched him put the last piece in his mouth, crumple up the wrapper and toss it in the trash, and begin chewing. Seeing that reminded me of the just-for-fun study I’d done about how people eat chocolate, so I thought I’d write about it.

In general, when it comes to chocolate, men are chewers and women are melters. A man will just eat from the bar, chew it up and swallow it, and move in for another bite. A woman will break off a piece, gently lay it on her tongue and let it melt, allowing the melting chocolate to touch all of her taste buds, savoring it slowly.

In earlier days, it was thought that chocolate might be an aphrodisiac to rev the sexual appetite. However, nowadays, scientists ascribe the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate, if any, to two chemicals it contains. One, tryptophan, is a building block of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal. The other, phenylethylamine, a stimulant related to amphetamine, is released in the brain when people fall in love.

Still, women tend to want to savor the creamy texture and sweet flavor as though having a piece is an indulgence meant to be savored and lingered over.

So, which are you? Do you fit into these generalizations?

Definitely a chewer!

I wasn’t kidding about the bruises!