Most people will enjoy their chocolate without thinking much of the experience. But there are several tips and tricks to tasting chocolate like a pro. Use them to pick up on different flavors and textures your chocolate may contain. There’s also several ways you can determine the quality of the chocolate.
- Listen for a snap. There’s a scientific way to determine the quality of chocolate. A snap test allows you to determine if the chocolate is in temper. A tempered chocolate takes much skill and it’s one mark of quality. Break a piece and listen for a sound very much like when you snap your fingers. Dark chocolate will have a stronger snap than milk and white chocolate. The amount of cocoa butter will determine the sound of the snap. If the chocolate bends, it’s too warm or wasn’t stored properly.
- Smell a cut side. Just like any herb, chocolate has a residual smell that lingers even after cutting it. Much of what we associate to taste is actually smell. Smell an edge of the chocolate you just snapped off the main piece of the bar. You may notice aromas you didn’t notice before that are earthier or fruitier.
- Hold your nose. As the chocolate melts in your mouth, pinch your nose shut for a second or two, then release. This trick will allow you to smell much more intensely than before. It’s especially helpful if you’re trying chocolate and feel like you’re not getting much out of it.
- Let the chocolate melt in your mouth. Chew one or two times to break the solid piece up in your mouth, then let it melt inside your mouth. Breathe in and out as it melts. You’ll notice other aromas and flavors that were hiding at first. What may seem like just a dark chocolate, can actually reveal other nuttier flavors like cashew and even caramel.
- Palate Cleansers. A palate cleanser is a food or beverage that you can take while you’re tasting. This is similar to coffee beans at a perfume aisle. Chocolate tasters also take advantage of cleansers. Choose natural beverages and foods such as room-temperature lemon water or water crackers and wait until the flavor has completely left your mouth before tasting your next chocolate.
Source: the Kitchn