The Basics of Tasting Chocolate
1. Look and examine the colors, shine, shape, texture. Is it shiny? A dull grey or beige surface could indicate sugar or fat bloom, either of which will impair the chocolate’s full potential.
2. Touch the surface and discover how it feels. Does your finger glide smoothly over the surface or does it feel rough or bubbly? After you bite into the chocolate truffle, notice the texture and how it feels on your tongue.
3. Listen to the sound as you bite into the chocolate. Can you hear the chocolate shell snap or is it soft?
4. Smell… by warming the chocolate slightly with your breath or gently rubbing the outside shell; warmth releases chocolates nuances or flavor notes. These are not the added ingredients such as sugar, fruit, etc, but are chocolates own qualities brought out during the transformation from bean to bar. These tasting notes are typically described by words such as roasted, floral, fruity, spicy, nutty, and earthy. What flavor notes can you smell?
5. Taste the two layers nestled in the chocolate shell. We recommend starting with a top-to-bottom bite to sample both layers simultaneously, then allowing them to melt in our mouth to experience the full bouquet.
Does the flavor or feeling change over time?
Try to smell the aromas now. Do they fill your mouth with flavor notes?
Can you distinguish the five tastes; sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami?
Try to taste each layer individually and then together again to get the full effect. Does the combination of tastes create the umami effect?
What words would you use to describe your sense-venture?
We hope you’ll agree that our zealous adherence to quality has captured the essence and purity of our wholesome ingredients.
Each chocolate truffle is carefully designed and artfully paired to stimulate a rich and rewarding sensory journey of flavors like a musical passage of flavor notes. From the very first bite, the initial flavor experience is like a harmony of notes – that incite a dance upon the palate like notes to a symphony transporting you on an eclectic culinary sense-venture culminating in a lingering finale.
Sweet –rounds out flavors, whereas, acidity sharpens them. When balanced, chocolates multitude of flavor notes are evident. However, a large amount of either taste can overwhelm the other. If you notice sugar immediately, and the sweet notes are annoying, then there is probably too much. Sugar is often used to mask poor quality chocolate.
Sour – typically the taste of acids that tend to sharpen other flavors. In small amounts, sour notes enhance bitterness, but have the opposite effect in large doses. Acidity is detected primarily on the sides of the tongue causing them to curl up. Try smelling something really acidic, like vinegar, and see what happens
Salty – stimulates salivation and enhances other flavors. It diminishes the effects of sour, sweet, and bitter notes. Although, it is one of the first tastes recognized it lingers longer than sweetness.
Bitter –moderates other flavor notes, can have a cooling effect, and promotes a perception of lightness. Often, when people are first asked to describe chocolate they refer to it as bitter. Actually, what they are usually describing, if not sour, is acidity, or astringency if it is poor quality chocolate (astringency has a drying or puckering effect like chewing grape skin).
Umami – is a mild, but lingering after-taste often described as a pleasant mouth-filling “waft”. Specifically, it is the flavor detection of amino acids that is not pleasant by itself, but when combined with flavors that start with one of the other five basic tastes; sweet, salty, sour, or bitter, create the ultimate journey of flavor through the senses.
When Basic Tastes are combined with aromas, our senses create recognizable flavor notes. Like fine wines, Marco Paolo Chocolates are creatively prepared from the best ingredients, and then artfully mixed to stimulate a rich and rewarding sensory experience on every journey. Each truffle provides an initial flavor experience – a harmony of notes – that then excites a string of flavor notes, culminating in a lingering finish that provides a truly rewarding sensory adventure.