food

How To Taste Chocolate, Properly

By Rebecca O'Malley July 8, 2019

In partnership with Lindt, we share advice from the Lindt Master Chocolatier, Thomas Schnetzler, on the proper way to taste chocolate. 

Tasting chocolate takes time. It's an experience that cannot be rushed. If you rush, you’ll miss the delicate nuances in flavour, tone and essence.

Treat your tastebuds – don’t leave them hanging. Tasting chocolate is an indulgent sensory experience that should be savoured and enjoyed. Let's not forget, tasting chocolate isn’t all about tasting.

For ease, we’ve broken the tasting down into five steps. A word of warning – you’re in for a real sensory experience.

First, have a look. The tone of your chocolate should reflect the amount of cocoa within. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the darker the tone. Your chocolate should show a consistent sheen. As well as tasting good, your chocolate should look good.

Then, pick it up. High-quality chocolate should melt with your body temperature. Rub a piece of chocolate between your fingers and carefully feel the texture – is it smooth? If you can feel particles with your fingers, you’re handling poor quality chocolate.

Now, listen. Break a piece off – high-quality chocolate should break easily. Dark chocolate will present a clean, sharp snap. Milk and white chocolate will offer a gentle snap.

Hold the chocolate up to your nose. What aromas can you detect? Vanilla? Spices? Fruit flavours?

Now for the best part. Pop a small piece in your mouth and let it linger. Inhale through your mouth and allow the flavour notes to hit the walls of your mouth and throat. Bite into the chocolate a couple of times – savour the chocolate on your palate and try to identify different flavours. What can you taste? Earthy notes, fruity tones or nutty flavours? How long do these notes stay on your palate?

If you’re tasting multiple types of chocolate, be sure to have a palate cleanser on hand. Perhaps a glass of room temperature water or some unsalted crackers.

It’s important to give it the time and attention it deserves. 

Presented in patnership with Lindt. Click here for more information on Lindt Excellence.