Pro's Talk Tasting
How Professionals Approach Chocolate Tasting
The tasting panel at Felchlin, where our chocolate is made with the 1879 equipment, shared their structured approach to chocolate tasting. This approach uses all the senses to detect the subtleties of flavor.
Obviously, we all do not need or even want to eat chocolate this way all the time, but it’s a fascinating and delicious thing to try and enjoy.
Once you have tried this approach to chocolate tasting you may want to host a tasting event with family and friends.
Clear Your Palate
Take a sip of water and swish it around in your mouth to clear the flavors of food or drink you have recently consumed. If you plan to taste more than one chocolate during your tasting, begin with the highest percentage, then move to the lower percentages.
Look at the Chocolate
Look at the chocolate and notice whether it is lighter or darker. the shade can indicate the percentage of cacao, or the kind of beans utilized. Our Pure Nacional beans average 40% white, which makes our chocolate appear lighter in color.
Smell the Chocolate
To smell chocolate most effectively, rub the surface with your thumb and index finger for a few seconds to release flavors. then hold it up to your nose and sniff and breathe several times. some people recommend holding it in cupped hands like you might sniff brandy from a balloon-shaped glass.
Aroma is an important part of appreciating flavors. These are delivered through aroma compounds that have two routes to your brain: via your nasal passages when you sniff food or via your mouth when you eat food.
Taste the Chocolate
Place a small piece of chocolate in your mouth. Let it melt, do not munch, take your time! Quickly devouring chocolate loses many of the subtle flavors.
Allow the chocolate to melt in your mouth, perhaps chewing it a little to break it up. This enables aroma molecules “trapped” in the cocoa butter to escape and drift into your nasal cavity and through to the olfactory receptors.
Concentrate on the Flavors
Focus on the flavors as they develop and change. Breathe out through your nose with your mouth closed and different aromas will come to you in stages of your flavor journey. Are there tiny bursts of fresh fruits? if so, do they remind you of anything specific, like bananas, raspberries, or lemons or stone fruit like plums?
Our 40% white beans are known for their nutty flavors. Can you detect a nuttiness that reminds you of almonds or hazelnuts? Our cacao grows at a very high altitude next to coffee. Roasting our beans releases flavors of coffee and burnt caramel, can you taste them?
The Chocolate Aftertaste
Immediately after completing your tasting, avoid foods or beverages. This allows you to judge which flavors linger and the length of their lingering. This aftertaste is known as ''mouth feel.'' As you are swallowing the chocolate, think about this aftertaste. our chocolate delivers a series of flavors, some of which can linger for 15 minutes or more.
The professional tasting panel at Felchlin said, of all the chocolates they have tested, the chocolate made with our Pure Nacional beans, placed Fortunato No. 4 in the top 3% of all chocolates they have tasted for its ''long mouth feel.''
Why We Love Chocolate
Whatever you experience during this tasting, always remember, we enjoy chocolate with our hearts and our minds as well as our senses!