Chocolate contains more than 600 flavour compounds, making it surprisingly complex and intriguingly addictive. A self-guided chocolate tasting with the DV Chocolate Taster Pack introduces you to an amazing world of authentic dark chocolate – a world away from the sweet sickly chocolate on the supermarket shelf. It’s a brilliant thing to do around a table with friends and family and would make a great Father’s Day gift. Read on to Win a Taster Pack.
Each elegant box contains DV Chocolate’s full range of five Origin bars in small taster tablets, along with a flavour wheel, tasting notes and chocolate appreciation guide. This could be the first time you really taste chocolate and notice the explosion of flavours as it does a slow dance on your tongue.
DV ARTISAN CHOCOLATE’s Step-by-step Guide to Tasting Chocolate:
Make sure that your palate is clean (eat a wedge of apple, piece of bread, or drink sparkling water to help cleanse the mouth) and also wash your hands. Now employ all of your senses as each has a role to play in this chocolate tasting:
1. SIGHT: Look at the chocolate. The surface should have a radiant sheen and even surface. Also observe the colour as chocolate comes in a rainbow of brown tints from pinks and purples to reds and oranges.
2. HEARING: Break a piece of chocolate and listen for the sound it makes. It should break with a resounding “SNAP”.
3. TOUCH: Hold the piece of chocolate between your fingers and allow it to melt. Rub your fingers together to test its smoothness.
4. SMELL: Smell the chocolate on your fingers, taking in the full aroma. Flavour is the combined sensation of aroma and taste, so inhaling the fragrance and noting its profile will prepare your taste buds. Mass produced chocolate is easily identified by its overpowering smell of vanilla and sugar, whilst good quality chocolate is all about wondrous aromas; woody, spicy, fruity and floral.
5. TASTE: Place the chocolate on your tongue and let it begin to melt before chewing a few times. Which flavours did you detect first, which ones later, and what was the aftertaste?
Bitterness and acidity are an integral part of chocolate flavour, but did you find them well balanced? How did you experience the ‘mouth feel’ – was it smooth, velvety, dry, waxy or grainy?
6. THE FINISH: After you swallow, you should be left with a long, lingering flavour – an intense and strong reminder of your taste experience. This is the mark of good quality chocolate. What you taste initially is likely to differ from what you experience in the middle and at the finish.
Aroma and Flavour: As in wine tasting, don’t be afraid to put words to the tastes and smells you experience, even if it seems a little bizarre. Practice makes perfect, but to start with let the Flavour Wheel help you find your voice and reveal flavours like a hint of cherry or woodsmoke, honey or vanilla.
DV Chocolate has a new Tasting Room and Visual Factory in the old Cape Dutch Manor House on the farm formerly known as Seidelberg in Paarl, now the home of Spice Route Wines. Go there for a face to face tasting or email them to find out where to buy their Taster Pack or find them on Facebook.
To win this brilliant Taster Pack, answer the question below by looking at the DV Chocolates website and email your answer with DV Chocolate Taster Competition in the subject line. Correct answers will be drawn to find a winner and you can collect your prize from Cape Grace.
Q. Name the four countries from where DV Chocolates source their Origin cacao beans?