Yes yes, I can hear you all rolling your eyes and tutting and demanding ‘what can she tell us about eating chocolate? I’ve got 20 plus years hard experience under my belt – I KNOW how to eat chocolate’.
Well let me tell you my friends, that’s what I thought until last week.
It is my good fortune to be working with Green & Black’s chocolate at the moment on their online outreach, and as part of my ‘induction’ I travelled to London to meet Mr Chocolate. The man who invented the love of my life, the Almond Green & Black’s bar.
Anyway, I learned all about the chocolate’s journey from bean to bar, the brand’s ethics, their dedication to quality, their passion for good chocolate etc etc.
And while it was really interesting and valuable and inspirational, all I was thinking was ‘but WHERE is the chocolate? Bring it on’.
So it came to the tasting.
And Mr Chocolate made is so fascinating I brought everything I heard home and shared it with the children.
We had so much fun learning to appreciate chocolate that now I am sharing it with you…
Things you need to know before we start the experiment: The difference between taste and flavour.
Taste: Is experienced on your tongue – sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami (a savoury taste – and no, I’d never heard of it either).
Flavour: Is detected by your olfactory gland in your nasal canal.
So, now you know this, onto the important bit: How to eat chocolate. Or how to enjoy chocolate I suppose would be a better (if slightly less contentious) title.
1. Obtain a slab of quality chocolate. We used Green & Black’s white chocolate but you go for whatever your poison is.
2. Pinch your nose.
3. Pop a square of choc in your mouth and chew or suck as preferred.
4. Ask yourself, what can you taste? It will probably be the sweetness.
5. Let go of your nose and keep chewing/sucking. Breath in. Now what can you sense? For us it was a massive hit of vanilla and creaminess and it was utterly gorgeous. Even the children said ‘wow’ and, I think, fully appreciated chocolate for the very first time.
(NB. Letting go of your nose just allows your olfactory gland to work properly again and let’s it sense the flavours in your chocolate).
So there you go. An excuse, if ever you need it, for eating more chocolate. x
And I should also say to Mr Chocolate (real title Head of Taste and a lovely man called Micah Carr-Hill who is just about to turn 40 AND welcome a second child into the world), I thank you.