The search for guilt-free indulgence has brought shoppers everything from 100-calorie packs to spray-on salad dressing. Now comes the next step — and this one may be hard to top: Breathable chocolate.
Invented by a professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard, Le Whif, as it's called, is a lipstick-sized tube filled with chocolate powder that the user inhales in small puffs. The particles are too big to be aspirated into the lungs, but small enough to coat the taste buds with the sensory equivalent of an actual bite of chocolate.
“You're breathing 300 milligrams of pure chocolate, and so you get the full taste but none of the calories,” said Tom Hadfield, chief operating officer of Paris-based Le Whif.
The product has caught on in Europe, and this year it's expanding in the United States. Le Whif is currently available for $2.50 at Dylan's Candy Bar in New York, though the goal is to expand soon to specialty food and department stores, and then into supermarkets by the end of this year.
Le Whif recently added a coffee flavor to its lineup, and there are plans to expand into other food flavors — a prospect that raises a tantalizing possibility.
“We can absolutely imagine the day when you're inhaling a three-course meal,” said Hadfield.