Event: My first tasting session – an introduction to the world of bean to bar chocolate

Question: How does one win over the heart of unknowing people for the cause of fine chocolate. Ideally you lure them into a room, close the door and surprise them with the pure class of the chocolates you make them taste.

Now, as the luring and forcing may seem a bit drastic, I decided to ask people politely if they would care for a real-life experience in the world of fine chocolate. About 15 people couldn’t resist my sweet voice and seductive words…

So how did things work out? After all, these people knew nothing about origin chocolate.

This was the line up for the evening. Seven first class bars, covering a wide range of tastes and regions. A perfect way to let people experience the amazing difference in taste from bar to bar, from region to region, from Trinitatrio over Forastero to Criollo and back.

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 Original Beans – Piura Porcelana – 75%: This light, yet extremely tasteful bar opened quiet a bit of eyes around the table. As a first touch of fine chocolate, it immediately won the heart of most around the table. The roasted start and sweet yellow fruits were clearly discovered and for the first time my guests noticed the formidable length of the aftertaste of a quality bar.

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Pacari – Raw – 70%: Totally different from the first bar, yet its floral/green aroma’s didn’t convince everyone. Still I was happy people were able to appreciate the entire different nature of this chocolate compared to the Original Beans’ bar.

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Rózsavölgyi Csokoladé – Madagascar – 72%: Turning to Africa, my guests noticed the sweet sour touches in this balanced, yet powerful bar. It did get noticed by several people for its fruity and fresh taste. Suddenly some couldn’t decide which was the best so far.

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 Akesson’s – Bali – 75%: As I expected – no one was left untouched by this bar. it just oozes tropical aromas, like banana and papaya. Several people detected an enjoyable spiciness added towards the end of the melt. The texture and melt were considered the very best so far.

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Marou – Ben Tré – 78%: People noticed the bars started to become a bit more powerful. Almost everyone detected the wonderful spices in this great chocolate, and even though the melt if slower than the Akesson bar, it was still enjoyed fully. One of my personal favorites.

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The Grenada Chocolate Company – 82%: At this point you could notice that some sweet-tooths started to get a bit outside their comfort zone. Yet the great woody aromas and subtle fruits were noticed and some detected coffee tones in the back.

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Rózsavölgyi Csokoladé  – Trincheras – 95%: as the final bar I choose a bit of a gentle shocker. 95% cacao makes sure you’ll have a taste explosion in your mouth. The dry start and abundance of tannins surprised some, yet still about half of the audience could appreciate the luscious spiciness and smoked aromas. In fact, many returned to it after the tasting, to sample it one more time.

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By the end of the night it was clear we had two distinct winners.  The Original Beans Piura Porcelana and Akesson’s Bali bar. Expressive and tropical as they are, the bars offer plenty of overwhelming aromas. Closely followed by the Rózsavölgyi Madagascar and Marou Ben Tre bar.

It is great to see how people react when they first come into touch with a total different kind of chocolate than the one they are used to eat. Even better is to see how some held little tasting sessions with their family the next day, with a few bars they bought the night before.

And that my friends, is why I love to do this. To help people getting aware that taste is a wonderful thing. Especially when it comes in the rectangular shape of a gorgeous chocolate bar!

Thanks to everyone for attending and a special thank you to my lovely misses, who – despite feeling sick – stood aside me with logistical help, added her personal insights to the evening and took care of the photography this special evening. She is one of a kind!

 

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