If you grew up enjoying only main-brand industrial chocolate between bites of popcorn in a movie theater, you may have no inkling of how much flavor can be drawn from thoughtfully-crafted confectionery. Artisan chocolate provides sensory experiences such that the taste nuances from even a single bite can linger long after you have swallowed. Use these tasting tips to derive the most epicurean pleasure when sampling refined chocolates.
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge chocolate by its looks. If you are looking for a hand-crafted piece, examine the selection under glass. Most chocolate display case manufacturers provide brightly-lit encasements that offer perfect climate control; the chocolate should have a rich, smooth appearance with no cracking or flaking. Chocolate should look uniform with no white or gray clouds dotting the surface. No candy should look waxy or scarred.
Breathe in the scents of the candy with your mouth slightly open so that the aroma slides across your palate. You should smell chocolate primarily, with no other ingredients, such as vanilla, dominating. If it came from a bakery or cafe, be certain that the smells of those shops are not embedded within. Breaking off a piece from a bar will release more aromas; an additional quality note that comes from this action is that your chocolate should snap cleanly.
Taste and Feel
Your final task is that for which you have been waiting. Taste the confection by letting it sit on your tongue; resist the urge to chew immediately. The piece should become creamy and velvety as it slowly melts. Its texture should not be grainy, sandy or waxy. When you bite into it, you should not find it harsh-tasting; flavors should be complex and subtle. The flavors should sit on your tongue long after you swallowed.
As you try varieties of luxury chocolates, you will discover the range of complex flavors available. Superior chocolate can be pricey, but the more you grow as a taster, the more you will appreciate that the cost is worth it.