Watch Kids Try Fancy Chocolate & React Like The Apocalypse Is Nigh — VIDEO
Giving kids any kind of new food is already a risk, but give artisanal chocolates to kids and you have no idea what you're in for. What seems like a treat to most adults only goes to show that taste is entirely subjective. For the record, I really love fancy chocolate. An ex-boyfriend of mine and I used to go to a chocolate shop on romantic occasions and pick out four chocolates, then get two of each type for a total of eight. We'd eat the pieces of chocolate at the same time so we could talk about the taste together (on second thought, this is a little cheesy, but I always enjoyed it!). The flavors were wonderful — deep liquored ganaches, chocolate infused with pieces of real crystalized ginger, raspberry truffles a million times better than what you'd find your standard drugstore boxed chocolates. But it turns out my dream life was a little kid's nightmare.
Bon Appetit did this experiment with little kids in honor of Halloween, and the result is pretty adorable. "It has no flavor!" two girls complain (I assume by "flavor," they mean sugar). "It's too bitter," another boy says, wisely. When the people in the video give the kids regular Halloween chocolate near the end, they are far more pleased. "It's like there are messages, like the chocolate gives messages from your mouth all the way to your brain," a boy says, probably after eating something crappy like a Crunch bar. To each their own, I guess:
This reminds me of another piece that Bon Appetit did last year, about how our tastes change as we age. When you're a kid, sugar is king— an all-consuming, obsessive drive. When you get older, though, your tastes tend more toward the savory, which is why "adult" chocolate is made to taste more bitter and complex and less sweet and one-note. Kids, on the other hand, hate anything bitter — and apparently, this serves a real purpose. Writes Bon Appetit:
You can say we nearly all start off with superhero powers. In fact, children are ultra-sensitive when it comes to their senses, especially to colors and texture. But some researchers say kids are super-powered when it comes to taste — particularly bitterness, which is nature’s skull-and-crossbones warning label for potential toxins. Thank evolution, which gifted humans with the enhanced ability to avoid danger while they’re most vulnerable. Pregnant women also become more sensitive to bitterness (and less sensitive to salt, addressing their increased needs for sodium).
Apparently, said Bon Appetit, it's a similar drive that makes kids want to eat sugar all the time — we are evolved, as young people, to find the quickest source of calories for the massive amount of energy we need. So give them a Kit Kat — for their health. (I kid. It's not healthy. Don't do that.)