A tray with chocolate. Photograph: Sia Kambou/AFP
MADRID: One of the side-effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients is dysgeusia, an impaired sense of taste that can leave a patient's favourite foods, such as chocolate, with no flavour at all.
The Michelin-starred Spanish pastry chef Jordi Roca suffers from a rare neurological disease that affects his voice and throat. It made him wonder: what if he totally lost his sense of taste?
His friend, the chef Orio Blanes, has been living with dysgeusia for two years, and that also inspired Roca to create the "The Sense of Cocoa" experience, now a documentary.
"It was as if the dessert had a heartbeat ... the heartbeat of the life I'm fighting for.
Roca's project worked with patients with cancer and other ailments and with a group of neuroscientists and neuro-Gastronomy experts to create a cocoa flavour that the patients experience through their own memories.
"It was as if the dessert had a heartbeat ... the heartbeat of the life I'm fighting for," said Susana Quevedo who was deeply moved after eating Roca's white chocolate dessert.
Quevedo, 50, has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was one of the seven patients who got to taste the chocolate desserts Roca created.
The challenge faced by the chef was to help the patients reconnect with chocolate flavours they had lost, via "other aural, visual and tactile sensations," he said.
When the youngest participant, Marian Torres, thinks about chocolate, she remembers her first years at school. Roca concocted a dessert using distilled water and pencil tips and put them alongside sounds of playtime, to help her flash back to those moments.
"It reminded me of the joy of eating chocolate and sharing it with my friends, which was such a simple and comforting time," she said.
Read on to find out what's veganism, and how shifting to a vegan diet and discipline can do a world of good.
Bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, may result from poor hygiene or eating food with strong odours. Read on to find out how you can easily reduce or prevent it.
Over-exposure of sun to the eyelid area has been linked to basal cell carcinoma (BCC), which is a non-melanoma skin cancer that is most common on areas such as the face, head, ears and neck.
Eyestrain doesn’t have serious or long-term consequences, but it can be aggravating and unpleasant. It can make you tired and reduce your ability to concentrate.
The restored rooms feature items like Menelik's sword and a life-size wax replica of former Emperor Haile Selassie, who lived at the palace.
To mark its self-proclaimed title the town hosts an annual festival, now in its second year, that draws hundreds of sets of twins from around the country.