How to REALLY Taste Chocolate

Tasting chocolate is a lot like tasting wine. With fine wine you simply don't grab the glass and gulp it down; with premium chocolate you never chew-banish the thought-and swallow.

A proper chocolate tasting engages all five senses.

1.The first is sight: Note that the chocolate is bright and shiny with no visible bumps or imperfections.

2. The second is touch: Feel its smoothness and inspect it for flaws (there should be none).

3. Next, listen: When you break the chocolate, it should have an audible snap.

4. Then smell: Breathe deeply to detect an array of notes from berries and spice to earth and espresso.

5. Finally, taste it: Let the chocolate melt in your mouth. Move it around your palate, give it a few moments and notice how it changes and releases flavors and complexity as it slowly dissolves.

Now that you know how to taste, throw a party!
Ann Czaja, a master chocolatier for Lindt-who trained in Switzerland and is also the company's national spokesperson-described this sensual process to me. She also told me about a new program called Lindt Chocolate RSVP, which pairs the company's premium chocolates with home entertaining. When you host a party, a Lindt Chocolate RSVP consultant will come to your home, help facilitate a tasting (and chocolate sales, from which you'll benefit with free and discounted products). The RSVP program offers three options: a wine and chocolate tasting, brownie baking, and a chocolate and fruit fondue dipping party.

by Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave

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