Gourmet Chocolate Tasting

Wine tastings have gained popularity in the last couple of years as a great excuse to have some friends over and have a good time. Chocolate tastings are just the same, except everybody loves chocolate. Chocolate tastings are a fun, unique, easy, and delicious way to sweeten any party, no pun intended. And, when your not having company over, no worries, theres more chocolate for you.

The first step is to pick your chocolates. Chose a theme and select chocolates to represent this theme, or try one of our many prearranged tasting flights. If all else fails, pick random bars. Youre more likely than not to have a very pleasant surprise. Its also fun to include a few grocery store bars in your tasting to see how they stack up against the others, but I warn you, you may never buy grocery store chocolate again!

Let the tasting begin. Start by admiring your bars. How do they look, are they smooth? Is there a high gloss? Note the color. Chocolate can range from an ivory white to deep auburn to pitch black. Inhale the aroma, the sweet lilt of milk chocolate and the slight pungency of the darker varieties.

Now its time for the good part, the taste test. It is very important that you try the chocolates in the correct order. Start with the highest cacao content to lowest, except when tasting flavored chocolates, in which case you should go from weakest to strongest flavored.

Snap off a small piece of chocolate, pause to enjoy the aroma, place it in your mouth, and let it melt. Make note of the texture. Jot down the flavors as you recognize them. Notice how the taste evolves over time. Roll the chocolate around your mouth, let it touch the taste zones on your tongue; the tip senses sweet, the sides salty and sour, and the back distinguishes bitter flavors. Reflect on your overall experience and rate the bar. Make notes on the aroma, taste, melt, length the flavor lasts, and your overall impression. Take a sip of water, eat a carrot, or nibble on a saltine cracker to clear the palate and then start over again with the next bar.

Chocolate tastings, a great way to learn about chocolate, an excellent way to choose your favorite bars, but more than that, theyre just plain fun.