CHOCOLATE TRAIT THEORY
by The Chocolate Dictionary
The theory that chocolates can be used to understand an individual’s tastes and behaviour. Chocolate Trait Theory states that character traits can be revealed from a person’s preference for certain shapes of chocolates, from their preferences for certain fillings, and from what they do with the wrapper and packaging. People who like oval shapes, for instance, are said to be sensual and sociable, and therefore tend to make good lovers; people who prefer coffee centres tend to be open-minded and therefore make better listeners; people who like liquid caramel centres are said to be very sexual and tend to have numerous liaisons; and people who prefer hazelnut or praliné centres are said to be responsible, peace-loving and adaptable, which means they are easier to work with. People can also be a mixture of their two main preferences, so one can’t always go by one type of chocolate alone.
Joanne Harris used Chocolate Trait Theory as a plot device in her 1999 Chocolat. Here, the novel’s heroine Vianne instinctively matches people’s favourite chocolate to their personality. From the reading of people’s eyes or mouths she gains insight into “who would relish the zesty orange twists”, “the soft-centred apricot hearts”, or the “chocolate-covered brazils”. A villager’s appetite for double-chocolate truffles, for instance, reveals a gentle heart beneath a gruff exterior.