Chocolat, on ne s’en lasse pas !
Posted February 11, 2006on:
Wine tasting is so passe ! If you have ever had any doubt, go ahead read chocolate reviews.
They now read like wine reviews.
They talk about aroma, flavor, aftertaste, color, notes, sensations, texture, and contrasts.
They talk of melt. They talk of “crus“, they talk of cocoa beans origins, of vintages, (shouldn’t it be bean-ages?:-), much as a sommelier would when talking about wines. They talk of origins, of “plantation” or “estate” beans from cocoa beans coming from one farm. Hence the Premier Cru de Plantation Mangaro Lait chocolate of Michel Cluizel
They talk about the chocolate as one would talk about one’s lover:
“Madagascar is truly a beautiful young virgin bride in her wedding dress” (on Amedei’s Madagascar).
Yes, for those of you who have been living in a cave and have not realized it yet : Madagascar is fashionable among chocolatiers. All the chocolatiers who have ambitions to greatness have products based on Madagascar cocoa beans. I got curious to know if one could tell a Madagascar chocolate from say one of the other greats, a Venezuelan. Well no, a chocolate sommelier says that he can tell which chocolate comes from which continents, but he’s still working on the countries.
Still according to the reviewers, chocolate made from Madagascar cocoa beans is typically light brown, much like dark milk chocolate. Madagascar chocolate is often difficult, but when done right, the beans yield supremely delicate yet forceful taste. Its flavor is typically woody, highly fruity with hints of coffee. Texture is lighter than other single origin chocolates. Indeed Madagascar chocolates are typically light bodied with fruity notes. As described here :
“It starts out with the most powerful citrussy/orange flavour to be found in any of the single-source Madagascar bars, the one flavour most closely associated with Madagascan origin. Next comes an equally strong clove and nutmeg taste, along with hints of beef bouillon similar to the aroma. In the finish the flavour settles into a decisive coffee, very dark and bold. Texture is interesting. It’s very smooth and nicely creamy, but seems light, almost watery. “
As I read more on chocolates, I learn that organic chocolate is not to be preferred. Cocoa pods are easily spoiled and chocolate made out of organic cocoa are not highly rated by professional tasters.
Want to know how to taste chocolate like a pro?
– make sure to have your chocolate at room temperature
– texture should be smooth and shiny, color can be almost black
– good chocolate snaps clearly and should not smell overwhelmingly of vanilla when rubbed, instead expect aromas of flowers, fruit, mushrooms.
-let the chocolate melt in your mouth for about 15 seconds. The notes should come to you : earthy if the cocoa beans it’s made of are forastero cocoa beans, brighter flavors if the beans are of the criollos or trinitarios variety.
Wines are so passe !