The notion that there can be so much more to chocolate tasting than… well, hurriedly scoffing it while on your way to catch a train or in the middle of your office lunch break, might be something that you have overlooked down the years.
Yes, much like with wine tasting, there really can be an art to chocolate tasting, emphasising all the nuances and complexity of this sweet food that has long brought such pleasure to many.
So, for today’s blog article, we thought we would throw a spotlight on just some of the things you can do to maximise the enjoyment you get from your own chocolate tasting.
Before you even get started… minimise the sensory distractions
Yes, the eating of chocolate really is an experience that should be about engaging all your senses in the deepest ways. So, before you commence with your chocolate tasting, be sure to free up a pleasant space for this experience that won’t present too much noise, light, or scent from elsewhere.
This will put you in the best possible position to fill your senses with the enchanting and varied tastes, aromas, and textures that really should define the best chocolate tasting experiences.
Determine the ‘rules of engagement’ for your chocolate tasting session
There is, of course, no specific universal set of “rules” for chocolate tasting (as if you wouldn’t just break those rules anyway). So, presuming you are reading this as someone who simply wishes to enjoy their chocolate tasting to a greater extent, rather than a professional writer or something similar, you shouldn’t be afraid to set your own rules.
We would, though, advise that you at least set some rules. That might involve dedicating your latest sitting to a certain number of samples from just one manufacturer, or from just one type of chocolate (for example, dark chocolate or white chocolate).
Another suggestion we would make would be to cleanse your palate prior to each tasting, by drinking water. Avoiding the consumption of anything strong before your chocolate tasting session – such as mint, garlic, onion, or citrus fruits and juice – will further help prevent any lingering residual flavours from influencing how you perceive the next chocolate you taste.
Be sure to engage all your senses
To continue a theme from above, you might have imagined that chocolate tasting would centre on just one of the five human senses: taste. And in many ways, that is the case.
However, contrary to what the term might suggest, chocolate tasting is really about immersing yourself in all the finer elements and aspects that have long helped to make chocolate so enchanting and rewarding for generations of people, across all cultures.
So, yes, give yourself permission to notice and observe the colour and all-round look of your chosen chocolate, including whether it is glossy, matte, light or dark. Don’t be afraid, either, to bring it close to your nose, and to take a whiff – perhaps breaking off a piece first, so that you especially notice the aromas emerging from the edge that has just been cut.
All of this is before you even go as far as popping a piece into your mouth, and revelling in how it spends a few seconds melting on your tongue. Appreciating all the sensory facets that the consumption of chocolate can offer, is central to getting the best all-round experience out of your chocolate tasting.
As you might have imagined, chocolate tasting is a great passion of our own here at Coeur de Xocolat; we even offer at-home experiences and masterclasses focused on it. To learn more about what is involved in these experiences, and to request a quote, please don’t hesitate to enquire to our chocolate experts today.