Chocolate Lovers Try 100% Dark Chocolate
How to Taste Dark Chocolate
The flavor compounds found in chocolate are complex, varied, and tasty! Dark chocolate in particular has a wide range of flavors, aromas, and textures. Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate does not contain milk solids and it has a higher percentage of cocoa. These factors can create a deep, rich, and bitter flavor that varies greatly from chocolate bar to chocolate bar.Learning how to taste dark chocolate and how to find quality dark chocolate will help enhance your tasting experience.
Using All of Your Senses
Cleanse your palate.Be sure that your mouth is free from residual flavors from a previous meal. This will help you taste the all of the dark chocolate's complex flavors.
- Drink some water, eat an apple or some bread, or chew on a piece of ginger to help cleanse your palate.
Examine the dark chocolate’s surface and color.Quality chocolate should have a smooth, blemish-free, shiny, and even surface. Old chocolate will appear to have a hazy surface, which is referred to as blooming. Observe the color of the chocolate, and make sure the color is even throughout.
- The color of the chocolate is determined by the roasting process of the cacao beans and where the beans originated. Chocolate can have a tint of pink, purple, red, or orange.
Break the chocolate in half.Break the chocolate in two and listen for a loud snap. High-quality dark chocolate with higher levels of cocoa will break with smooth edges and create a loud snap. Look for smooth, fine gradients along the broken edges.
Smell the chocolate.Hold the chocolate up to your nose and inhale deeply through your nose. Aroma is an important component of flavor. It helps prep your other senses and enhances the various flavors.
Rub the chocolate.Use one finger to lightly touch the surface of the chocolate. Quality chocolate will have a smooth, even surface that is free from dimples, dents, and other imperfections. The chocolate may melt a bit from your body heat. This will help release some of the aromas and enhance its taste.
Don’t chew the chocolate.Place a sizable piece of chocolate in your mouth, but don’t chew it immediately. Chewing may release some of the bitter flavors that are more common in dark chocolate. Chew it only to break it into small enough pieces that it begins to melt on its own. The cocoa butter in the dark chocolate will melt and will mask any bitter notes.
Pay attention to the chocolate’s texture.As the chocolate melts in your mouth, think about its consistency and how it feels on your tongue. High-quality chocolate will have a velvety texture, while poorer quality chocolate may feel oily, waxy, or grainy.
Concentrate on the chocolate’s flavors.Focus on the flavors of the melting chocolate. Does the chocolate taste similar to the way it smells? Does the taste change over time as it melts and continues to coat your mouth? Notice what flavors are the strongest and what flavors linger the longest.
Write down your thoughts.As you continue to taste more and more dark chocolate, consider writing down your thoughts and observations in a notebook. Be sure to jot down your reflections soon after tasting the chocolate. Keeping a handy record of your tastings will make it easier to reflect on the tastes, textures, and types of dark chocolate you like best!
Finding Quality Dark Chocolate
Buy quality dark chocolate.Visit your local grocer, specialty candy shop, or check out an online vendor to stock up on a selection of dark chocolate. Your local grocery shop may have some popular chocolates in the candy isle. A local specialty candy shop or food market will have a wider selection of dark chocolates to choose from, while an online vendor may provide you with access to excellent chocolate from around the globe.
Look at the list of ingredients.Next time you are searching for a new chocolate bar to try, take a look at the dark chocolate selection and read the labels. Try to choose a dark chocolate that has only a few ingredients on the label.
- Quality dark chocolate should have chocolate liquor or cocoa listed as its first ingredient.Chocolate liquor is the paste that is created while grinding cocoa nibs and it does not contain alcohol.
- You may also see cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, and cocoa butter listed on the label.
- Sugar is usually added to dark chocolate to balance its bitter taste. When choosing dark chocolate, be sure that sugar is not the first ingredient.
Check out the cocoa percentage.You may find that many dark chocolate bars list percentages on the front of the wrappers. These percentages describe the amount of cocoa in the chocolate bar. Quality dark chocolate typically has around 70% cocoa or higher.
- Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or higher is full of antioxidants and may help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Buy fair-trade dark chocolate.When buying chocolate, look for fair-trade chocolate brands to ensure that you are receiving a quality chocolate bar from an ethical company. A fair-trade certified company provides fair wages and a safe working environment for its employees.Plus, a company that puts a lot of effort into supporting its employees will most likely produce a delicious, quality product.
Keep the dark chocolate at room temperature.If you keep your chocolate in the refrigerator, you may be missing out on some of its flavors. When chocolate is cold, it does not release its flavors and aromas as rapidly as it does when it is at room temperature. Plus, room temperature chocolate will melt in your mouth immediately, enhancing the overall experience.
QuestionIs dark chocolate racist?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, it actually has many health benefits to it and is a great treat for anyone to enjoy.Thanks!
- If you don't like dark chocolate, start with a bar that has a very mild cocoa percentage. A bar with 45% or 55% cocoa is a great place to start.
- Don’t eat chocolate in the evening if you have trouble sleeping at night.
- Chocolate is toxic to dogs, birds, cats, and many other animals. Never feed chocolate to an animal, and make sure all chocolate products are safely stowed out of the animal’s reach.
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Video: How to Taste Dark Chocolate
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