The Chocolate Dictionary

definitions for chocolate lovers


A chocomist is a teacher, philosopher or priest who promotes the redemptive power of chocolates. In May 2012, vicar Phil Ritchie of All Saints Church in Hove, told his flock the best way to spend Easter Sunday was to give church a miss and “stay in bed, have sex and eat chocolate”. There are many facets to Easter, Father Ritchie insisted, and eating chocolate in bed after having sex was just a brilliant way to celebrate the resurrection.






D’Arcy’s Law of Chocolate Consumption is a variation of Parkinson’s Law and states that, “Appetite always increases to meet the quantity of chocolates available. Thus, no matter how many chocolates left in the box, they will inevitably be consumed within a shorter time than expected”.


 A chocotectic is someone who likes to be, or fantasises about, being covered in chocolate. Some chocotectics like to wallow in the sensation of chocolate against the skin which, together with the heady aroma of chocolate filling their nostrils, leads to feeling of being at one with the food they love.


Others head for spas offering two-hour cocoa wrap treatments, as well as chocolate manicures and pedicures. Designed to stimulate endorphins in the body, to detoxify the skin (cocoa is high in anti-oxidants), and to exploit the moisturising effects of cocoa butter, these treatments are becoming increasingly popular with people who want to be immersed in chocolate but without the mess.

almost there

Not all chocotectics want to be covered in chocolates head to toe. There are many who like the sensation of  just being drizzled with it  – either as a prelude to more sensual activity (there’s always someone willing to lick it off!), or to make artistic and cultural statements about the complex beauty of melted chocolate.



In a study published during the 1980’s, sociologist Marjorie Ferguson identified four types of facial expression in the cover photos of women’s magazines. Number one, on a scale of increasing emotion and animation, is the “Chocolate Box” expression, described as a half or full smile, with the lips together or slightly parted, and the face full or three-quarters to camera. The projected mood is one of softness and sweetness, being not too hot – a warm bath kind of warm – and where the uniformity of features is more important than any quirks or individuality. In other words, aiming for the smooth perfection of milk chocolate.

The soft "Chocolate Box" expression.

The soft “Chocolate Box” expression.


A chocotainer is a chocolate retainer, someone who keeps their chocolates for an inordinately long period – i.e. more than a few days, a week even! – before eating them. Whether such a person is blessed with superhuman powers of self-control, or simply forgets how satisfying their chocolates are, has yet to be fully determined.


Two ‘chocotainers’ eking out their chocolates and demonstrating their wholly uncommon powers of self-control. (Photo by: George Marks)


chocolate dream

Choconeiria is the interpretation of chocolate in dreams. That chocolate is full of symbolism is already acknowledged, so it comes as no surprise that in the psychology of dream interpretation chocolate can mean many different things.

Some have it that dreaming of chocolate indicates a subliminal desire for more pleasure in life: either for more enjoyment and carefree frivolity, or for more romance and sex. Others have the viewpoint that chocolate indicates a need for more sweetness in life, or even the desire to escape life’s constant pressures. And then again, there’s the opposite view: that chocolate signals the dreamer is indulging to excess and therefore has a need for self-restraint. Chocolate also symbolises an attitude of mind or the memory of happy events – things or people that bring joy, or friends who make us feel welcome. Given the complexity of chocolate it’s no surprise that it draws us to such ambiguous conclusions.

Dreaming of opening a box of chocolates symbolises the thrill, the delight, in approaching or engaging in new experiences, and can also mean the dreamer is about to experience a great love, a celebration of some kind, or a richly deserved reward.

At a very deep level, dreaming of chocolates is said to symbolise the desire for wholeness – the desire to be at ease with ourselves and others. In this interpretation, the couverture represents the surface level of thoughts – our conscious thought processes; the filling inside represents our emotions and unarticulated feelings; and the sweetness of the chocolates themselves represents the vitality, the lifeforce, that permeates everything.

dreaming-of-chocolate-babatude boutique


A mansion built or bought with money earned from making, selling or marketing chocolate, of which there are many in the chocolate, as oppose to cocoa, producing countries of the world.

Northfield Manor, a Tudor-style stone and brick mansion with timber framing in Birmingham, was bought by George Cadbury in 1890 and lived in by the family until 1951. Felicity Loudon, a Cadbury heiress and great-grand-daughter of George Cadbury, sold Pusey House, her magnificent home in Gloucestershire, for £30 million in 2012, so that she could use the money to start another chocolate company.

Northfield Manor 1935

Rowntree-owned Northfield Manor

Pusey House, bought with chocolate money and later sold for chocolate money.

Pusey House, bought with chocolate money and later sold for chocolate money.

Middlethorpe Manor in York, was the home of Francis Terry, whose great-grandfather Joseph Terry founded Terry’s of York, once one of the most prestigious chocolate manufacturers in Britain.

Penn House, also in York, was built in 1851 by Joseph Rowntree, one of the founders of the company that bore his name.

Henri Menier, grandson of the founder of the famous Menier chocolate company, bought Anticosti Island (an island a quarter of the size of Belgium) at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in Canada in 1885, where he built himself a 30-room Scandinavian-style mansion.


An elaborate or extravagant creation in chocolate; a theatrical display of chocolate fantasy.

At one end of the definition there are the choccywoccydoodah tins of Cadbury Roses, Cadbury Heroes and Nestlé Quality Streets vertiginously piled up in supermarkets at Christmas time (and often well before!). At the other end of the scale there are the superfragilistic and manifestly more expensive chocolates such as Rococo’s medal-winning Red Berry Madagascar ganache, an amazing, surprising, meltingly delicious bonbon with an fruity interior to die for.

rococo ganaches

A box of Rococo ganaches (image from : Dukeshill website)

Choccywoccydoodah is also the name of the highly original chocolatier from England’s south coast town of Brighton, with a branch also in London’s quirky and creative Soho. Apparently the name choccywoccydoodah came to the founders after a night of boozy inspiration, unaware that the word already existed. It was a name perfectly intuited for the kind of flamboyant design company they are. More boudoir than chocolate shop, the Brighton and London boutiques may have a distinct campness about them, but the way they push the boundaries of chocolate creativity is nothing short of divinely inspired. Chocolates on offer include cute little birds and animals, men’s and women’s shoes, chocolate lip lollies, and naughty chocolate willies. Most extravagant of all are their cakes and one-off chocolate sculptures – so fantastical that if Marie Antoinette were alive today even she would think they were over-the-top.

choccywoccy london

Choccywoccydoodah’s boutique in London, just off Carnaby Street. (image from: Choccywoccydoodah’s website)


The adoration of chocolates. Not in the sense of prostrating oneself and praying before them, but in the sense of treating chocolates as if they are the first things one has tasted following a long fast; of being acutely sensitive to their flavours, textures and mouthfeel; of marvelling at the creativity and artistry that goes into creating exquisite moments of gastronomy. Sometimes just the idea or concept of what a chocolate means is enough to trigger chocolatry – as in the intimation of caramels and ganaches sensed, for example, in the shade of a chapeau, shaded by an umbrella, shaded by a willow tree susurrating in France.

An intimation of caramels and ganaches sensed in the shade of a chapeau, shaded by an umbrella, shaded by a willow tree susurrating in France.

An intimation of caramels and ganaches sensed in the shade of a chapeau, shaded by an umbrella, shaded by a willow tree susurrating in France.


Similar to the Ensellure and Suprasternal Notch Tests, this is the test in which a lover is judged by whether or not one would enjoy eating or licking chocolates out of their navel. It involves judgements not just on how appealing his or her navel is, but also on the excitement that it generates. The Navel Dip Test is related to the ancient science of omphalomancy, or divination through the examination of the navel.  In 2002 Mars alluded to this test in their Maltesers campaign. A smiling woman, midriff exposed and a Malteser in her navel, was shown sprawled invitingly on a thick white rug, with the tagline “The lighter way to get him to do absolutely anything” making it clear what his course of action should be.

Maltesers advert from 2002.