You might not think twice before popping a few truffles in your mouth, but just as with many other foods, there is a proper way to taste chocolate prior to chowing down.
If you have yet to attend a chocolate-tasting party or you aren't completely sure as to the ingredients that comprise this delectable concoction, it can be difficult to grasp the different tastes and characteristics of chocolate. Brushing up on your tasting skills and educating yourself can make indulging in this treat a little more enjoyable.
The Appearance of Chocolate
As the old saying goes, you "eat with your eyes" first, and this can be a particularly helpful tip when it comes to properly tasting chocolate. To start, TheNibble.com reports that the treat should be glossy and smooth, whether it's chocolate bark or a standard candy bar. Glossiness is a sign that the chocolate has been tempered properly.
Additionally, the texture of the chocolate should contain no discoloration, and you should be mindful of bloom - this is a white, dust-like powder that forms on the top of chocolate that has been stored improperly in warm temperatures. Though not harmful, bloom can indicate that the chocolate has exceeded its shelf life.
Another key component to tasting chocolate properly is making sure it has a definitive snap. EqualExchange.com reports that when you break a bar in two, it should be accompanied by a loud sound and break cleanly - this is a sign of properly processed cacao.
TheNibble.com reports that it's important to note that chocolate with low cocoa solid content, such as white and milk chocolate, may not have as loud of a snap as dark chocolate. While this is acceptable, the chocolate should still break cleanly and not crumble.
Aroma and Flavor
Once you break the bar, you can move on to smelling the chocolate before placing it in your mouth. EqualExchange.com reports that each variety of chocolate has a different flavor, depending on the ingredients used to create it.
After you've gotten a good whiff, you can begin eating. Place bits of the chocolate on your tongue and allow them to sit - take the opportunity to recognize the flavors embedded within the sweet concoction as it hits your taste buds before chewing. A good chocolate will contain more than one flavor, regardless of whether it has additives such as fruit and nuts. Most importantly, there will be a definitive balance between all of the various tastes.