Enjoy Your Chocolate Experience With These Tips

You can be more mindful if you go for for high-quality chocolate and see the label before buying. You can quickly get an idea with regard to the sweetness or bitterness of chocolate by understanding the chocolate to sugar ratio.

“If you buy chocolate with a higher cocoa content, it will be less sweet,” said Stephen Durfee, a pastry chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, California. “You will get more of the natural flavor of chocolate.”

That being said, how will you know this immediately by checking the label? Nowadays, most quality chocolates have the percent of chocolate or cacao listed on the label. Considering it’s a percent, you can think of it as parts per 100. The sum of all ingredients could not go beyond 100.

That would only imply that if you look at a 72% dark chocolate bar, that sugar cannot go beyond 28%.  While an 80% dark bar can have no more than 20% sugar.  More bitter, less sweet.

Milk chocolate bars have to pave way for milk as an ingredient, but typically the amount of chocolate is sacrificed, not the sugar.

The origins of your chocolate has a big influence on the final flavor. “As with wine, chocolate made from beans grown in select regions of the world reflect the ‘terroir’ or sense of place of that region,” Durfee said.

“Soil conditions, climate, the lay of the land as it meets the sun — all influence subtle differences in flavor.” Soils of acidic nature produce a noticeable citrus flavor. More to these, such type of soil yields as lighter color to the chocolate.

To be able to completely enjoy your high-quality chocolate, you must let it melt in your mouth first before chewing on it. High-quality chocolate has cocoa butter in it, and this melts at body temperature, which will give you a ‘melt in the mouth’ feel.

“Let chocolate melt on your tongue for a few seconds before you start to chew,” Durfee suggests. “As the warmth of your mouth softens the chocolate, you will notice a real explosion of flavor.”

If you go on a chocolate-tasting spree, you should have some crackers and water with you. They will help cleanse your palate between tastings. At all times, use your every sense when eating your high-quality chocolate. Check the color, smell its alluring aroma, observe the taste and texture, and listen to the sound it makes while chewing on it.


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