12 Jun 2007
A short while after our arrival Maria joins us at our sofa. She is intrigued by an extremely tall, good looking and apparently fascinating couple who conversed about tango and life in a combination of Spanish, German and English. Speaking good English honed at Oxford, England and spilling a few words in German learned in Vienna, Maria invites us to taste a special chocolate. This, I should hasten to add, is offered as a gift in a moment of excited conversation that tells her she had two chocolate aficionados at her table. Two identical chocolates are produced on a china plate. They are red in colour and appeared fine in design and texture. My hand is pulled sharply back as I seek to reach one of them. No; instruction as to taking the chocolate have to be given and followed implicitly.
First sit comfortably. Take the chocolate between the forefinger and thumb. Place it on the tongue. Close the eyes. And wait. Elena, being Austrian, counts silently to ten in Spanish. I, being a man, reach out and hold her free hand. The seconds ceased to count, but blur into a timeless journey through flavour and experience. The outside world disappears from view and from mind, to be replaced by a gentle flow of dreams through which small fireworks of flavour explode as the chocolate melts and suffuses.
After ten seconds you breathe, but not before. The inhalation picks a sharpness that hovers somewhere between the tongue, the brain and infinity. Only later, in a near post orgasmic moment of relief does Elena venture the words in German "what was that....what happened?". In the Amazon, native people capture large red ants. Their lives are lost for their venom which is the special ingredient filed in tiny amounts into the chocolate. Life now will not be the same. Chocolate is re-defined into 'pre' and 'post Kakao Moaroa'.
Leaving the dream - seeing Maria's expectant, expressive face - is another milestone in the experience of Buenos Aires and a point from which there is no return. Certainly not to normal chocolate!