How to Eat Chocolate - A Sensory Degustation
How to Eat a Truffle
BE PRESENT. Close your eyes, take three deep, cleansing ujjayi breaths and quiet
SEE the shine and color on the truffle's
TOUCH. Run your thumb and forefinger across the chocolate surface. Is it smooth, rough, bumpy, dry, moist or…?
SMELL. Bring your thumb and chocolate to your nose and inhale deeply. Close your eyes.
Cup your other hand around the truffle and smell.
SNAP. Bite the truffle into two pieces. If the proper temperature conditions are present, you should hear a crisp, clean pop that indicates a well-tempered chocolate.
TASTE. Take a small bite. Break up the chocolate in your mouth, let it sit over your tongue, press to your palate (the roof of your mouth), and melt. What does your tongue detect: sweet, salty, bitter, acidic, umami…or a combination?
Now, taste with the help of your nose…as the chocolate is melting on your tongue, take a deep breath, aerating your palate as you stimulate your sense of smell through the back of your throat. What flavors do you taste now?
EVALUATE. After you have eaten the chocolate, take a breath into your mouth and chew on the breath, this gives you the lingering sense of the experience. Did you enjoy?
How to Eat an Exotic Candy Bar
SEE. There should be a glossy shine to the chocolate bar, this shows a good temper; rather, a tight bond between the cocoa butter and the cocoa mass.
SMELL. Rub your thumb on the chocolate to help release the aromas. Inhale the chocolate and ingredient notes deeply through your nose. Can you feel it?
SNAP. Quality chocolate should always be dry to the touch. Break the bar into two pieces. Hear a crisp, ringing snap, which indicates a well-tempered bar of chocolate.
TASTE. Place the chocolate on your tongue and press it to the roof of your mouth. Within thirty seconds, the chocolate should slowly begin to melt around your tongue. The taste should not be evanescent; it should have a long, lingering finish.
FEEL. Recognize the life in your body as you… benefit from the anti-oxidants in chocolate, ride the natural high of chillies, boost your immune system with some of the natural ingredients. Each bar brings its own sensations and benefits. Notice how spicy bars don’t hit you until after you have swallowed.
How to Sip Liquid Chocolate
SEE. Look at the cocoa mixture and see the shavings of chocolate, the cocoa powder, pieces of vanilla bean, the spices and flowers. Notice the rich depth in color of the dark, mahogany chocolate in the Parisienne cocoa, the bright, ruby spices in the Aztec Elixir, and the lavender in the white chocolate Bianca cocoa.
SMELL. Inhale the aromas from the cocoa. As you follow the directions and add the cocoa to the steaming milk and/or cream, the sweet dairy smells will incorporate with the chocolate.
FROTH. For the true experience, it is important to add air to the mixture by using a traditional Mexican molinillo or a hand blender. The Aztecs considered the floating foam the most desired part of the drink, the essence of the theobroma cacao, food of the gods.
SIP. Take some of the foam and the cocoa into your mouth to cover your palette. Swallow and then take air into your mouth and sip your breath. The bouquet unfolds.
CHEW. The cornmeal in the Aztec Elixir and bits of vanilla bean in all three of the cocoa flavors add unexpected texture and bring the true flavor of the vanilla bean to your mouth.
ADJUST. Add more cocoa for a deeper chocolate experience. Sweeten up with a touch more sugar if desired. Jazz up the Parisienne with fresh blood orange peel or sink an exotic truffle deep in your drink.
Download the sensory wheel to help guide you through a variety of tasting experiences.
› Sensory Wheel (pdf)
› Sensory Wheel (pdf)