When we started on our drinking chocolate adventures we just knew we had to do a chocolate orange version. There is something so comforting about the classic combination of chocolate and orange, especially in the form of a warming, silky drink. We realised that both our malted chocolate and our latest orangey offering were inspired by tastes and smells that reminded us of childhood – my grandma’s bedtime malted milky drink and the delight of opening the thick foil of a chocolate orange to release the scent of creamy chocolate with a hint of citrus at Christmas time.
It got me thinking about how powerful foodie flavours, textures and smells can be in evoking distant soothing memories and feelings. I’ve worked in psychology for 15yrs and am a bit of a nerd, so when I get interested in something my default is to check out the research, so I began exploring the literature on comfort food.
Researchers suggest that our childhood favourite foods tend to be soft in texture and linked to events and encounters from the past involving people we care about and times we have felt soothed, nurtured and cared for. Scents in particular are strongly linked to memory and can quickly evoke memories that represent a soothing sense of connectedness, security and familiarity.
So it’s no surprise that our new twist on our old chocolatey orangey favourite, made with some of the worlds finest sustainably sourced Colombian cocoa and no refined sugar, really does deliver, for me at least, a hug in a mug.