Posts tagged "chocolate tasting"

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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Posted by Nikita Gould - August 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm

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Awesome Chocolate Is Awesome

An array of things have already been said about chocolate with regard to its beneficial effects to the human mind and body. Little do we know that deeper investigation and research are being done so as to lengthen the existing long list of the good things about it.

The American Heart Association did a study, reported in their journal named Hypertension. The outcome of which indicated that cocoa, which is the main ingredient of chocolate, has antioxidants that aids in improving mild cognitive impairment in the elderly.

The said research involved a group of aged participants, who in a span of two months, were supplied with drinks that have different cocoa flavonol levels. Such process produced results displaying that the ones who received the highest of these doses exhibited progress in a few cognitive tasks, which includes memory function.

Other flavonol rich products, aside from chocolate, include red wine, apples, tea as well as berries.

Moreover, new studies look back at past studies to compare. They have found out that cocoa products high in flavonols may contain a small, but very significant role, in lowering high blood pressure.

More to these, it also aids in alleviating risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and aging problems.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that too much of everything is bad enough. Yes, chocolate can do you good but it can backfire when you go overboard. Take slow steps, and always eat in moderation.

Furthermore, dark chocolates have more cocoa in them, hence an increased sense of beneficial effects. White chocolate does not contain cocoa at all, sad to say. All chocolates are high in calories and sugar, it’s not a secret anymore. You would not want to overgrow your favorite clothes or be swimming in a bed of ants.

Many people tend to be hard on themselves by depriving themselves of chocolate. That’s not ideal. If you want to enjoy it, throw away the guilty thoughts and savor it the healthy way. Better!

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Posted by Nikita Gould - July 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm

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Chocolate Tasting in 2 Minutes

Chocolate Tasting in 2 Minutes

Bryn, the resident chocolate guru at Chocolate University Online, had an interview for a newspaper article last year. Part of it was a brief chocolate tasting demonstration. If you have been dying to learn how to do proper chocolate tasting, then look no further.

In this 2-minute video , you will see and hear everything you want about chocolate tasting. Watch this video and entertain as well as educate yourself.

For a fun and comprehensive chocolate education, visit

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Posted by Nikita Gould - September 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm

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Chocolate and Beer Festival

Are you going to be anywhere near Richmond, California on February 6?  If so, you might want to try out the Chocolate and Beer Festival at Craneway Pavilion!

I don’t usually think about Chocolate and Beer as the best combination, but why not?  Take some fine chocolates, pair with some great beers, and you might be on to a great taste sensation!

Here’s a summary page:

And a site for more information:


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Posted by Primal Chocolate Therapist - January 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm

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From the Bean to the Bar

There is much more to making fine chocolate than picking a cacao bean and cooking it. Going from tree to chocolate bar takes a special touch to achieve the perfection you’re looking for.

Bean selection is the first step in making chocolate. If the bean chosen isn’t of high quality, the end result will be a less than desirable chocolate.  Therefore, many fine chocolate makers take time to personally select the best beans.

Once a chocolatier selects the beans they are roasted.  The roasting process has a great impact on the finished flavor.  After roasting, the beans are put into a grinding process.  The pulverized mass is called chocolate liquor and is turned into the actual chocolate.

To create the final chocolate bar from chocolate liquor, sugar and other ingredients are added to the liquor.  Then another grinding process called refining is begun.  Refining crushes everything and helps ensure that that the chocolate bar doesn’t have a grainy feeling in your mouth.  Following the refining process, the mix is cooked and stirred in a process called conching.  This step can take place over a few hours or days.  It is at this point that chocolate begins to take on the flavor that most chocoholics love.

After conching, cocoa butter can be added to change the flow.  Then the chocolate can be put into its final form, liquid or solid.  If the final product is in solid form it must be tempered.  Then it is packaged and shipped.  If it took the form of a chocolate bar, now it’s finally ready for you to purchase and eat.  Yum.

For a fun and tasty chocolate education visit Chocolate University Online.

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Posted by Primal Chocolate Therapist - December 19, 2008 at 8:30 am

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