Last night, we sat down to a chocolate tasting. The selection:
We had 14 bars to get through, so we started early and finished late. Following proper chocolate-tasting etiquette, we:
1. Made sure the chocolates were at room temperature. The Zero Bars were kept refrigerated for a future tasting.
2. We studied the chocolate. Shiny and smooth. No blooming. Aside from the obvious thumbprint on the Ghana bar, they looked great.
3. We broke each bar and listened for the nice, crisp snap which, I imagine, is the equivalent of a wine-taster sniffing the cork or a car buyer kicking the tires. Not sure what it accomplishes outside of making you seem knowledgeable but it seems to be an unwritten rule.
4. We smelled the chocolate, picking up the subtle aromas – fruity, floral, nutty, roasted, sleepy, dopey, and Doc.
5. We popped a square into our mouths, allowing it to melt a little, then breaking up the pieces and discovering its nuanced flavors. The Trinidad had a mild tobacco flavor; the Cuba possessed of a somewhat peppery undertone; the Caracas redolent of the laborer who picked the cacao, a fellow named Pedro of about 43 years of age who walked with a limp.
6) We made sure to cleanse our palates between bites. Most chocolate-tasting guides suggest water or unsalted crackers. We went with ice wine instead.
These were her leftovers which, once I was done, weren’t so left over.
The results? I was partial to the nutty Papouasie and fruity Equateur, while she preferred the woody Tanzanie. Overall though, there isn’t a single bar in the line I’d kick out of bed for being eaten with crackers.
Next up, we’ll be taste-testing the Amano chocolate line. For the record, it’s all part of necessary research for my planned Top 10 Favorite Chocolate Bars post.