Monday, October 15, 2007

How to Taste Chocolate

Introduction: I had the unusual experience of a chocolate tasting, not a chocolate eating, evening last week.
There was an array of 15 varieties of chocolate from around the world. The coffee beans were from Mexico, Columbia, Venzuala, Ecuador, among others and the chocolate makers, including the 5 star rated Hevin, from Europe, South America and USA. All the chocolates were dark ranging from the mass produced American Ghirandella (the factory can be visited in San Francisco) with the very low cocoa rating of 15% to the 85% SJ Galler.
After smelling the block for it's aroma each chocolate was broken into modest sized pieces and chewed a little before being melted in the mouth.
A sip of soda water cleared the palate for the next taste test
Each chocolate was then rated on 5 parameters + opinion so the marks could be added for an overall mark.
The parameters were
Length and

The tasting was not blind which might have made a difference to the scoring however I found the Ghirandello very much to my taste with the Valrhona Gran Couve the blue ribbon winner. The most expensive chocolate at about $25 for a small block, about 150 gm was the Pierre Marcolini Limited Edition made from Creole beans from Mexico which I scored only a little above average in this exalted company
Palates generally lose there discrimination quite quickly and there was nothing to suggest that in a different order on another day the scores might have been a lot different but it was a lot of fun. Worth trying at home some time.
If you get the chance try a block of the Jean Paul Hevin This very dark brown block with a light chocolate aroma has a rich taste with a slow melt and good length. There are small fragments of coffee bean incorporated into the chocolate giving it a very interesting character

1 comment:

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