Tasting chocolate for pleasure results in wonderful discoveries. It truly is an excellent way to explore and expand your preferences. For certain, no two people taste flavors or grasp textures in the same way.
An excellent way to experience chocolate is to taste one type of chocolate at a time, for example, bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate or milk chocolate. And it is preferable not to taste more than six samples at one sitting. A couple ideas for taste testings could be to select several dark chocolate from a particular brand such as Valrhona. Or you could also select several milk chocolates from between manufacturers such as Lindt, Guittard, Michel Cluizel and Callebaut.
Another step you could take is to prepare the environment which you test the chocolate. The room could have very soft music playing, be odor free, and you might consider dimming the lights. This can set an interesting mood and allows you to focus on the chocolate.
Another consideration is to decide if you would like to make this a social gathering. If you do, you need to decide if you want to chat and discuss what you are experiencing while you are tasting. And if you have guests over to share in the time, at the very least, sharing your opinions afterwards is definitely a highlight. Chocolate is an experience that so often is best shared with friends.
To Get Started
Needed will be:
- Small, broken chocolate samples so that each of the tasters can have the opportunity each chocolate a few times. Plan for 1/3 to ½ oz. of each chocolate sample per taster.
- Create a form that your guests can use for their notes. The form should leave room to note appearance, aroma, texture and flavor for each chocolate.
- Slightly warm water and unsalted, unflavored crackers for the tasters to cleanse the palate between tastes
Tasting Chocolate? What To Notice
In the past when you’ve eaten a piece of chocolate you’ve probably thought to yourself either “that’s pretty good,” or “I don’t especially like it.” Chocolate tasting is all about the details. You will be so surprised by paying attention to special nuances of the appearance, aroma, texture and flavor of different chocolates.
There’s absolutely is no right, or wrong answer when tasting. Each individual is unique and your personal favorite will most likely be different than many others. In fact, no two people perceive aroma or taste flavors or even experience texture exactly the same way. Further, your individual chocolate palate also evolves and sharpens over time with greater exposure to different tastes. The experience of tasting chocolate counts though. Appreciate it all — what you like and dislike — because the subtleties are worth enjoying along the way.