Ask any woman - whenever you're feeling blue, one of the first reactions is to reach for the biggest bar of chocolate available in the house ! It's even got some scientific grounding. According to an article on the All Chocolate website, "Chocolate contains more than 500 natural chemical compounds, some of which have been categorized as mood-elevating and pleasure-inducing."
Well, FYI has taken that one step further and no longer just relies on the endorphins by the chocolate itself. These organic therapeutic chocolates, developed by Masterchef of Great Britain Paul Da Costa Greaves who is also a Spiritual Healer & Alternative therapist, contain specific ingredients designed to alter your mood in a number of ways. The packaging explains : "FYI is a spiritual & healthy balance of Yin & Yang, using nature's elements of thought, passion, enthusiasm and emotions."
The range of moods catered for is impressive and some of the ingredients sound very unusual and exotic. Currently available are : Dreamy – Milk Chocolate with Lemon & Geranium Rose ; Lovely – Milk Chocolate with Peppermint & Cardamom ; Fantastic – Milk Chocolate with Ginger, Black Pepper & Grapefruit ; Beautiful – White Chocolate with Bergamot & Cinnamon (which is a Gold Award winner at the Great Taste Awards), Sensual – Milk Chocolate with Sweet Orange, Nutmeg & Chilli (Gold Award winner) ; Sexy – Milk Chocolate with Chilli ; Mistress - 73% Dark chocolate with chilli, cocoa nibs & acai ; Gorgeous - 73% Dark chocolate with sweet orange, mixed spice & rose petal ; Seductive - 73% Dark chocolate with Jasmin green tea & goji berries.
I received three bars to try out - Dreamy, Sensual and Beautiful. The chocolate itself is delicious, which is unsurprising when you look a little closer and discover that each bar is handmade using the finest organic Belgian chocolate. Some of the essential oils and spices take a bit of getting used to - they're not unpleasant, just unusual and not what you are used to eating with chocolate so it takes a few moments for your tastebuds to get acclimatised ! You first get a delicious mouthful of creamy, smooth chocolate then the delicate undertones of the added ingredients come through.
Starting with "Beautiful", I broke off a square and popped it in my mouth. The white chocolate is lovely and creamy and the spicy undertones taste vaguely Christmassy, like a very subtle flavour of mince pies and cinnamon scented candles. Exquisite !
Next up was "Sensual". The blurb on the back of the pack says : "A sweet smell, as the delicate taste of orange oil is delivered to the tongue, followed by the gentle spicy nutmeg to tingle the spine. The endorphins are just getting started as you feel the warming glow of chilli." I couldn't really taste much orange at all, but the chocolate is delicious and creamy and you feel a definite warmth that starts strangely in your throat, not on your tongue. This warmth gradually builds in intensity to fill your whole mouth, never reaching unpleasant heat but giving you a sense of glowing from within ! Chocolate is commonly cited as being an aphrodisiac so this would definitely be a good one to share with your partner when the kids are tucked up in bed !
And finally "Dreamy". The citrussy and floral undertones combine with the chocolate to create a multi-layered sensorial experience that will have your tastebuds zinging. I don't dislike it but it's a bit strange at first !
The good thing is, all of these chocolates are bursting with so much flavour that just one or two squares is enough and you won't be tempted to wolf down the whole bar - no need to worry about your New Year's resolutions then and you can give in to your chocolate cravings without feeling guilty !
So did they enhance my moods ? Well ... I'm not really sure ! Eating chocolates always makes me feel slightly naughty and the endorphins generally kick in with their stress-busting and happiness effect. On top of that, I don't really know, but I know that scented candles can certainly help to set the mood and create a relaxing atmosphere so I'm convinced that it certainly could work, especially if you use the chocolates as one of many mood-enhancers (as opposed to in front of the Eastenders omnibus with the kids climbing all over my lap, as I tested them !!).
One thing's for sure - they would make a fabulous Valentine's Day gift for a loved one. Each handmade bar is in a black cardboard wallet tied with ribbon and you can buy a gift box to offer a selection. Instead of offering flowers, with their hard-to-decipher hidden meanings, make sure you get your message across loud and clear with a few carefully selected bars. Will you go for Sexy, Sensual and Mistress or Beautiful, Gorgeous and Lovely ?! Either way, it will make for a much more memorable gift than the usual box of chocs off the supermarket shelves !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £3.99 for 100g, £13.99 for a gift box of 3 bars
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