Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Changing Tastes of Chocolate

It's funny how one chocolate bar can taste so different each time you taste it.  It all depends on what you have - or haven't - been eating or drinking.

For instance, I was craving chocolate (nothing new there) and I needed to use up some of the opened chocolate from the past week, so I went back to the Cachet Costa Rica 71% bar that I tasted last week.  I hadn't eaten in over an hour, but had just started sipping a glass of warm milk. So when I tasted the bar, it tasted like a sweet, dark chocolate bar with a nice flavour kick.

Still being hungry (I ate a small lunch), I decided to warm up some ricotta-gnocchi leftovers (admittedly a strange thing to eat in the middle of a chocolate craving). After I finished eating, I went back to eating the Costa Rica bar. Wham!  I was hit with bitter chocolate flavour full of coffee and smoke! But my milk was still warm so I snuggled up, sipped at the milk and went back to my chocolate. Suddenly, the chocolate changed again and became sweeter.  That's what I love about chocolate, it changes with our foods and suits our moods.

I have read the book "The Chocolate Coinnoisseur" by Chloe Doutre-Roussel, who tastes up to one pound of chocolate a day and who has one of the most refined palates for chocolate tasting in the world. The author says that, in order to properly taste chocolate, you need to wait a few hours after eating anything so your palate is clear. In fact, she prefers to taste chocolate in the morning before breakfast because that is when her palate is clear and at its best.  However, I am always pondering this.  Does she brush her teeth first?  If so, her mouth is full of toothpaste and her palate isn't clear.  If she doesn't brush her teeth first, wouldn't morning breath be a factor in her tastings?  I can't eat anything until I've brushed my teeth - I am grossed out by the idea of swallowing all that morning breath.  Maybe I'm weird. Maybe she's weird.  She eats one pound of chocolate before breakfast!  And I eat almost that much post-breakfast to bedtime. Maybe we are both weird. Or maybe, we are just addicted to chocolate.

I will try some new and fun chocolate tomorrow.  Have a great tasting day everyone! 

For details on the Costa Rica 71% chocolate bar, see blog posted Nov. 3/10 at http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/costa-rican-versus-peruvian-chocolate.html.


  1. For the record Chloe says in her book that she brushes her teeth first, before tasting. But I think that would disrupt the palate.
    As for me, most days I taste chocolate before eating anything and before brushing my teeth. I make sure to drink water first to clear out my mouth and that seems to work. These early tastings almost always give the best results. My palate is the clearest of the whole day and the edge of hunger allows me to taste more nuances of the flavor profile than at other times.

    (You can read my reviews at ChocoFiles.)

  2. Thanks ChocoFiles! I will have to try your method and do a first a.m. tasting sometime soon. I love your website!

  3. Lisabeth,

    Glad you got to check out my ChocoFiles website. I'd like to ask you a question about your database. Would you mind dropping me an email to ChocoFiles at gmail.com ?