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GOURMANDISE

It's never too late for chocolate

Don't know how it happened but somehow we missed National Chocolate Week, which was celebrated March 19-25. But this is so important, we'll forge ahead anyway. After all, Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day are coming and you really need the information that follows.

You may think that tasting chocolate comes naturally, but Godiva's Master Chocolatier, Thierry Muret says that just isn't true.

So, here's the proper way you go about tasting chocolate:

Smell the chocolate -- you want a fresh deep aroma, one that is not overly perfumed or sugary.

Look at the chocolate pieces -- seek out consistent color and natural looking sheen. Good chocolates should also display a high degree of craftsmanship in shape or design.

Taste the chocolate for intense, refined flavor. With the exception of truffles, the chocolate coating should "snap" when you bite into it.

Next, let the chocolate melt against the roof of your mouth. It should be velvety smooth without any graininess.

Now, roll the chocolate over your tongue, the initial taste should be one of nutty roasted chocolate, followed by sweetness and other components.

And finally! Swallow the chocolate. It should have a long "finish" just like fine wine, leaving a pleasant aftertaste on the palate.

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