Chocolate tasting Tuesday

The other day, while sauntering along the confectionery aisle of my local supermarket, I came upon three products labelled ‘reduced to clear’. They had each been marked down to half price – reason enough to whip some into my trolley before heading to the checkout.

three chocolate bargains

Three dark chocolate bars, all from different chocolate growing areas of the world.

This is the sort of chocolate I like to use in baking, so rather than just buy one of each I splashed out a bit.

7 bars

I bought two of each, with an extra Sao Tome, since I liked the sound of the tasting notes on the wrapping.

DSC03216

“Rich with warm fruity notes”

Mind you, the other two didn’t sound half bad either.

“Rich and roasted with subtle notes of honey”

“Floral and spicy with subtle notes of green tea”

Today was damp and dreich where I live: ideal weather for a chocolate tasting event.

I opened up one of each of the bars and inspected the contents. They all looked pretty much identical, which was handy from a blind tasting point of view. I broke up some bits and put them onto plates, marked A, B and C.

Tea is, of course, an excellent beverage for washing chocolate down with, but I had a fancy for coffee on this occasion. I made a pot, poured it out into three mugs and gathered up the assistants for a tasting.

coffees and chocs

As ever, they approached the event with admirable gravitas. We tasted each chocolate bar in order, making notes and sipping coffee between bites.
DSC03249

I hadn’t told them which chocolate was which, and I didn’t remember myself which order I had put them out in (although I had made a note so that I would have something to refer to after the tasting).

After we had tasted all three, delightful assistant no.2 had the bright idea of a ‘mystery tasting’. We would each be given the same chocolates again but without knowing if we’d had A, B or C. We would then try to match up the mystery tastings with the original ones to see if we could identify which was which.

I felt quite confident about this as I had noted distinct differences between the three during the original tasting.

three chocolates

Both of the assistants managed to guess one of the three correctly. Much to my chagrin, I got every single one of them wrong.

To complete the tasting we each declared our favourite bar. Both of the delightful assistants chose the Ecuadorian (74%) bar,DSC03209

while I opted for the Madagascan (71%).

DSC03210

So much for buying three of the Sao Tome, which I had thought might be the overall winner.

After all that dark chocolate delightful assistant no.1 admitted that although she’d chosen a favourite she hadn’t particularly liked any of the three, being more of a milk chocolate hand. These were our final thoughts:

Delightful assistant no.1: “Up with Cadbury’s!”

Delightful assistant no.2: “All three bars were in the upper echelons of chocolate satisfaction.”

Yours truly: “I can’t believe I got them all wrong.”

DSC03212

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Chocolate tasting Tuesday

  1. They all look and sound wonderful. Now I have to go and have a piece of my chocolate from my visit to the factory a few weeks ago. I love dark chocolate!

    • I’d love to know what you think if you do. I had such strong ideas about them on the first tasting, and then completely failed to identify their individual traits on the mystery one.

  2. I totally agree with Delightful Assistant No 2, all dark chocolates are amazing 🙂 I must admit, I was intrigued by the Sao Tome chocolate, with it’s rich warm fruity notes. I’m not surprised you couldn’t identify it on a blind tasting Lorna, it reminded me of some house descriptions that estate agents sometimes use! 🙂

  3. Haha, this made me laugh! 🙂 Great post, Lorna. Up with Cadbury’s – I’m with your Mum on this one, although your Dad’s summary is exquisitely phrased. I admire anyone who can really tell the difference between one dark chocolate and another. Usually they are so rich and heavy that you can really only eat a tiny fragment of them. This is possibly the most off-putting feature for me, as I like to make serious inroads into a bar of chocolate! But everyone should have a chocolate tasting Tuesday – a global event!

    • Thanks, Jo, I think a lot of people would be with you and my mum on the milk chocolate front (that’ll be my next tasting challenge). I was so sure I could taste distinct flavours in the tasting, but it was obviously all in my imagination. I know what you mean about quantities. It can be very satisfying to wolf your way right through a chocolate bar, such as Dairy Milk, but consuming the same quantity of dark chocolate would be difficult. My mum felt she’d had too much chocolate during this tasting, but I don’t think she’d have felt the same with milk chocolate. ‘Chocolate tasting Tuesday’ does have a bit of a ring to it, right enough.

    • I’m so glad you enjoy them, Hilary, and aren’t too upset about not getting to taste the chocolate. I do so wish there was some way of giving samples to readers when they visit the blog.

  4. I get such a kick out of your delightful assistants — they’re game for anything. (Of course, I’m sure it didn’t take much convincing to taste test chocolate!) What wonderful memories you’re creating. :0)

  5. You guys are hilarious! I have to say that I have become a fan of dark chocolate in the past few years, having been a Cadbury’s girl for most of my life in Britain (Hershey bars in the US are – well, not really chocolate I think?). I find dark chocolate really satisfying, so I can manage to eat just a few pieces, whereas milk chocolate kicks off some addictive side of my personality and I want to eat more, more and more! And then I just feel like a pig and not very happy…

    • Thank you, Christine, I’m glad you’ve found a love of dark chocolate. I also used to be a devoted Cadbury’s girl and I had the same experience you had, of it being too easy to eat too much. Overdoing it doesn’t seem to happen with dark chocolate. I think you’re right about the addictive qualities of milk chocolate.

  6. How fun… I am a dark chocolate fan … 72% dark usually. There are so many wonderful niche brands out there today…this level of dark works well for me with my diabetes issue…doesn’t seem to bother it at all as long as I consume with moderation…dark chocolate and cup of tea mmm

    • It’s great that you can eat dark chocolate, Linda, and it’s quite easy to eat it in moderation because it’s so rich. I agree with you, a nice bit of chocolate and a cup of tea go together perfectly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s