Tasting ChocolateA Guide By Lindt & Sprüngli | 0 Comments
THE COMPLETE SENSORY EXPERIENCE OF TASTING CHOCOLATE
We don’t just taste chocolate – seeing, touching, listening and smelling are also part of the sensory experience. In sampling this melt-in-the-mouth delicacy, the true gourmet approaches chocolate as if it were a fine wine. Up to 400 different flavours can be differentiated.
You too can become a connoisseur – we’ll show you how.
What‘s Chocolate Tasting All About?
To ensure maximum enjoyment, you need to sample a fine chocolate step by step and at your leisure.
The professionals have their own special terminology to describe the flavours and aromas that can be discerned when tasting chocolate: flowery, toasty or fruity, for example. Laymen may not be able to identify these aromas at first – but it’s just a matter of training!
Preparing For The Tasting
If you would like to try several types of chocolate, it’s advisable to have some white bread and some weak rosehip tea or mineral water ready to neutralize your palate. The ideal room temperature is 20°C (68°F). It’s best not to smoke or to eat anything very spicy beforehand. It’s important to start off by tasting the chocolate with the lowest cocoa content and gradually progress to the types with a higher cocoa content.
Using All Five Senses:
What does the chocolate look like: study its colour (which can range from almost black through various tones of brown to butter yellow or milk white), its appearance (e.g. texture) and its sheen. High-quality chocolate has an even texture and a matt, silky sheen.
Now consider the feel of the chocolate: its surface can range from smooth and silky to rough, sandy and granular; it may be soft or brittle.
We then hold a piece of chocolate to our ear and break it with our fingers. This can produce anything from a sharp snap to a dull sound. Fine chocolates break with a clearly audible snap. The broken edge should be smooth and should not crumble.
You‘ll find that you can distinguish a wide range of aromas in chocolate. You can either hold a piece of chocolate directly in front of your nose and breathe in deeply. Or you can let a piece melt in your mouth, breathe out and then inhale the aromas. These aromas are often very intense and long lasting.
They may be either mild and discreet or pungent and penetrating. They may be reminiscent of milk, caramel, mocca, vanilla, apricot, honey, nuts, flowers or cocoa.
Tasting the chocolate is of course the climax of the sensory experience. Let a piece melt slowly in your mouth and allow it to spread out over your tongue so that it comes into contact with as many taste buds as possible. You‘ll taste not only sweetness but sour and bitter flavours. And you‘ll also notice variations in other properties, such as duration of melting, astringency, harmony and balance. A number of characteristic cocoa notes may emerge – reminiscent of caramel, milk or vanilla, for instance, or of flowers, fresh fruits, liquorice, spices or tobacco.