I have a sister, a rather annoying version if truth be told, whose entire raison d’être appears to be to serve as a warning signal should there ever be a chance of anyone related to her putting on weight. ‘People who eat crisps have a fat chance of staying thin,’ she’ll mutter, nibbling on a goji berry while sipping kombucha tea. She’s the type of person who is programmed to block access to the ice cream freezer with a yoga posture, and use her Reiki training to cause me to knock over an overly-sugary tea.
So I was most surprised, when rummaging in her New York cupboards, to find chocolate. ‘Hypocrite!’ I screamed, ‘You’re a fatty in training too!’ So incensed was I with the hoard that it took the rest of the day for her to convince me that chocolate was not arch enemy of the thin. An argument that can be summarised thus: ‘What you are looking at here are cocoa nibs, not chocolate. Cocoa has more antioxidants that green tea, is packed with minerals, and has been shown by researches from Cornell to enhance and prolong life. Eat a few of these each day and you’ll stay healthy. Eat a bar of Dairy Milk and the next time you get on a plane, they’ll classify your belly as excess baggage’. I’d been told.
On closer inspection, chocolate has a rather interesting history. First used by the people native to Central and South America, the food was revered as holy for millennia. When first transported to Europe, it was so expensive only royalty could afford to consume it, and then only on a medicinal basis. The first chocolate house (selling drinking chocolate) opened in London in 1657, and the world has not looked back since. Today, the industry is worth $75 billion annually.
Bahrain is certainly not bereft of chocolate outlets, but I’d been hearing noises about one in particular for some time. Maya, located opposite the City Centre Mall’s food court, already has a loyal following. It’s not all that hard to see why. With a neat menu that serves up a whole variety of chocolate drinks, chocolate desserts, chocolate fondues and plain straight chocolates, it took all of three seconds before I realised that I may never be able to leave.
I ordered the Maya spice (a hot chocolate drink with traditional spices – incidentally, this is how it was traditionally taken in Central America) and a raspberry chocolate mousse. The Maya spice is possibly the most incredible thing I have ever tasted, and I drained it in one gulp. In fact, come to think of it, it could have been bigger. Like, a bucket of it would have been good. The raspberry mousse that followed released so much serotonin in my brain that I thought I might float away (this was merely a thought, since a dessert that good must be calorific: I’ve been on the treadmill ever since, just in case). The downside? I’m now an addict. Expect me at WeightWatchers some time soon.
The bill (for one) Maya spice BD1.900 Raspberry choc mousse BD3.100 Total (incl tax/service) BD5.750
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com