Allow me to invite you to the wonderful world of chocolate tasting. After all, who could turn down the opportunity to sample a range of different flavours and decide for themselves which one they like best?
There’s a whole lot more to describing chocolate than simply labelling it as white, milk or dark; bitter or sweet. Each variety has both delicate and decadent details to discover. Read on to learn the kinds of questions you should be asking before, during and after tasting delicious Divine Chocolate bars. Before you know it, you’ll be chocolate connoisseurs...
How smooth and shiny is the surface of the chocolate? What colour is it? Are there hues of reds, pinks, oranges or purples within the brown? What do you think of the shape and patterns of the chocolate?
What sound does the chocolate make when you break it? Dark chocolate in particular should create a crisp clean ‘snap’.
Does the broken edge of the chocolate have an even colour and fine grain? These are signs of a good quality bar.
Once you’ve ‘snapped’ the chocolate, what aromas can be detected? Taking in the smell of the chocolate will help prepare you for tasting.
Of course all our chocolate is ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ tasty! But different types of chocolate melt at different rates. Does it melt slowly or quickly? What does the texture feel like on your tongue?
Most chocolate consists of sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor (not in white), milk (not in dark) and vanilla, but Divine chocolate includes a variety of additional ingredients to give each bar their unique taste. A good chocolate will provide a well balanced sensation of flavours.
Use the flavour wheel to help pick out flavours. Which flavours are more prominent and which are more subtle? Is there a succession of flavours and tastes?
What flavour are you left with? Does it linger in your mouth or disappear quickly?
HANDY HINTS FOR HOSTING
I would recommend inviting between 5 and 10 guests to your party. You want enough for there to be varied opinions and conversation sparked by the chocolate; but not so many that the focus becomes lost, or worse, you run out of chocolate
Make sure your guests aren’t too hungry; between meals is a good time to have the party
Offer a variety of chocolate. You could let guests guess what types they are eating to add to the fun. Download and print out our handy chocolate Tasting PDF
Put out plates of the bars broken into pieces big enough for guests to ‘snap’ them in half but make sure they’re not too big either. This is a tasting experience and not a meal!
Create a spreadsheet based on the factors above so that guests can describe each chocolate in as much detail as possible
Provide a palate cleanser such as apple slices of bread, along with water, in order that one type of chocolate doesn’t influence another
Save the sweetest type of chocolate until last
The great thing about a Divine Chocolate Tasting Party is that you are investing in a company owned by the Cocoa Farmers themselves. You are offering your guests a totally guilt free experience. You’ll be learning to fully appreciate the flavours in Divine chocolate and you’ll be benefiting others in the process.
Enjoy - and let us know how your Chocolate Tasting Party goes.