The Chocolate Dictionary

definitions for chocolate lovers

CHOCOLATE MANSION

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.

Advertisements

CHOCCYWOCCYDOODAH

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)

CHOCOLATRY

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.

THE NAVEL DIP TEST

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.

CHOCOPOLIS

A chocopolis, literally ‘a city of chocolates’, is an enormous box of chocolates. Although record-breaking boxes are put together to grab headlines (like the Frango mints assembled by Marshall Field’s in 2002, which weighed stomach-bursting 1,463kg), chocopolis usually refers to boxes sold for corporate entertaining and dinner parties.

L’Artisan du Chocolat have a chocopolis called the Pyramide du Chocolat, containing six tiers and costing £325. La Maison du Chocolat have their Boîte Maison containing 200 pieces. Godiva do a ballotin containing 140 pieces; Hotel Chocolat have their Signature Cabinet with three drawers containing a total of 138 pieces, as well as their Chocolatier’s Table Luxe containing 125 pieces; and Guylian do an 880g box containing 76 truffles and praline-filled seashells.

Chocopolis – a “city of chocolates” – from the renowned French chocolatier Michel Cluizel.

.

The Signature Cabinet from Hotel Chocolat.

Although popular consensus accepts that any box containing over 75 pieces is worthy of the definition, Bendicks used to sell a ‘yard of Bittermints’ – a dramatic 36-inch (90cm) long box containing 66 pieces. Perhaps it was a bit small compared to other chocopoleis, but for length alone it was still deserving of the name.

CHOCOLIPSIS

The wistful feeling experienced during a dirth of chocolates. Chocolipsis is expressed as a question or unresolved doubt. Examples include:

  • How many thoughts of pleasure are contained in an empty box of chocolates?
  • Does touching the void mean palpating an empty ballotin of pralines?
  • When we do not think of truffles and pralines do think of anything at all?
  • She served the chocolates in one of her lacy bras. If only she had had a fuller figure.
  • When Keats wrote of “The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine” in his heart-tugging Ode to a Nightingale, was he anticipating the phenomenon of rose crèmes and the way in which they’d one day tug on our feelings like murmurous summer days?

CHOCOLATESQUE

When someone who is already chocolatey becomes even more chocolatey. George Clooney who, with his deep creamy voice, rich brown eyes and soft velvety smile, becomes even more chocolatey when in the company of women with dark hair tumbling down like truffles, figures as pleasing as a chocolatier’s window display, and tanned skin as smooth and shiny as pralines.

Chocolatesque: Elisabetta Canalis becoming more chocolatey in the presence of George Clooney, and vice versa.

CHOCONOME

A choconome is a person whose liking for chocolate is such that any chocolate will do. When eating in a restaurant, for example, the choconome is the one who chooses the chocolate dessert over any other, no matter what. For choconomes like these, the only thing better than chocolate is more chocolate.

CHOCKLISS

Chockliss is when the buying, unwrapping or eating of chocolate is experienced as an illicit thrill. It could be experienced in the eating of caramels and ganaches when one should be dieting. It could be in the eating of chocolates while lounging in bed, where the risk of staining the sheets is likely to lead to censure. And it could also be in the excitement that comes from marrying flavours that are not usually found together. WordPress blogger Sourabh, who writes about “food, fashion and frameworks”, describes the trend for “adulterous” flavour combinations such as salt and caramel. Unusual at the time it was introduced in the 1990s, though not in Britanny where it is something of a tradition,  it is now found everywhere. More recently we’ve seen the “prowl” of pepper, chilli, mango, and even garlic, vinegar, and Marmite.  And how long will those daring cheese couplings last for?. For Sourabh though, it’s the “naughty” Swedish brand Fika Choklad, with their “favourites to flirt”, like red gingerbread and ruby licorice, that get her going, evoking just the right ooohs and aaahs at “perfectly climaxed intervals” to make her taste buds lust for more.

The guilty pleasure of chocolate in bed.

Chockliss as an illicit thrill is perfectly illustrated in the way passages like this, taken from an advert for Mars’s Fling in Cosmopolitan, depict the pleasure of eating chocolate as a secret, intimate thrill:

“Elizabeth lowered the lights, put on some soft music, and lay down on her bed. She wasn’t worried about being interrupted: her husband was out if town. He was always out of town. She was used to this by now. She thought back to times before – the guilt quickly followed. But not anymore.”

“Elizabeth had learned to have a little fun. How to be a little naughty. Excitement raced through her body. She had waited all day for this moment. She grinned, picturing her husband’s face, his reaction, were he to wander in and see her. It would certainly not be a smile. He couldn’t stand the idea of crumbs on the sheets.”

Chocolate-as-adultery or just another fling?

CHOCOLOCHARM

A magic spell cast with chocolates. This following spell dates from Victorian times and was popularly believed to charm a lover into becoming more faithful and committed. Made up of the words. “XX loves me with all his/her heart, our love binds us to never part”, where ‘XX’ is the name of the lover, the spell was cast with rose and violet creams. In magic rituals, roses and violets are associated with love, dedication, and loyalty, and are connected to Venus.

Victorian style rose and violet creams – perfect for the casting of love spells. (Image from: Lakeland.co.uk)

.

To maximize the power of the spell it was advised that the best quality creams one could afford should be used – the more resources a person put into casting the spell, the more they were said to get out of it. Using a hot knife, the bottom of each cream is incised with the initial letters of the words stated above – i.e. XX, L, M, W, A, H, H, O, L, B, U, T, N, P. (Only the initials were needed, as in magic each letter contains the whole word). Next, the incised letters are concealed by brushing the base of each cream with melted chocolate. When the chocolate has hardened, the creams are returned to the box to await an occasion when the creams can be shared together, and the magic spell can take effect.