Welcome everybody to the chocolate train experience.
It is an experience of the global Sunday in Scotland experience.
It’s Sunday in Scotland and we are about to take you on an unforgettable immersive experience. Today you will unlock the secrets of chocolate tasting at each step of the journey. Come as you are, switch on your senses and imagination. It’s going to be a smooth ride.
Chocolate tasting is the most sophisticated but no different than wine or coffee tasting, your senses will unravel the aromatic flavours with every bite and will appreciate the texture and sensational taste. But just before you leap in to take a bite, there are several steps we will take you through to guarantee you that you will become the self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur you always thought you were because you are a chocolate lover.
Step 1: Look before you taste
What colour do you see? The colour of a chocolate bar says a lot about its contents and ingredients. The darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa percentage and when the brown colour of the chocolate appears lighter, the higher the milk content and the creamier it is. Now notice the surface of the chocolate bar; a glossy smooth surface gives you an indication that the chocolate is stored in an adequate well-tempered condition.
Step 2: Smell the chocolate
This is one of the most exciting and essential steps. It gives a chocolate connoisseur the stage to shine and put their passion to the test!
Lightly rub the chocolate bar with your finger just enough to scrape off the surface to release the aromas within, then proceed to hold the chocolate bar to your nose. As you take a deep whiff of the bar you will discover the various chocolate aromas ranging from fruity, floral, nutty, spicy, earthy, etc. Afterward, recite the ingredients of the chocolate bar before even tasting it. The aromas will indicate whether the chocolate bar is of a single origin or blended beans bar.
Step 3: Taste the chocolate
The flavour tells the quality of chocolate. Take a bite, close your eyes, and activate your taste buds as the chocolate piece melts in your mouth. The delicious taste and sensational texture will transcend your imagination to a heavenly place. However, remember to be mindful and maintain your focus on the aromas to the very last drop! Ask yourself questions such as how was the taste? Was it intense? Do the flavours linger on after? And what about the after taste?
Step 4: Observe the chocolate
Now grab the chocolate bar and break off another piece; notice the sound and consciousness as you break it. If you hear a crisp snapping sound, be sure that your chocolate bar is fresh and ready to be devoured!
Garnished bar ? then we’re on a different layer and level enhancing the palate. As you have another bite, notice the texture of the chocolate. Is it dry and brittle? Or is it lithe and fresh? Or even smooth and creamy that glazes your tongue and the roof of your mouth? At this stage, it's all about the mouthfeel.
Step 5: Concentrate on the flavours
The flavour is what counts the most for chocolate lovers and what influences the most the chocolate experience. So, before you have a bite from a different bar of chocolate make sure you neutralize your palate by rinsing it with water or eating a slice of red apple, zero sugar bread could serve you as well.
When the chocolate melts in your mouth then the final release of flavours and aromas will happen. Inhale the aromas gently to understand the complexity and diversity of all the notes; fruity, floral, nutty, spicy, etc...
The aftertaste is the last quality to observe while chocolate tasting. Good chocolate never disappears. It leaves a pleasant and persisting sensation that will linger in your mouth for around 20 minutes.
The variety of aftertaste is endless, fruity, earthy, caramel, floral, dairy, toasted, spicy, cocoa, smoky and nutty will persist and stimulate moments of pure satisfaction.
Once you’ve indulged your senses and enjoyed a portion of the chocolate, store what’s remaining of the chocolate in a cool room temperature below 18°C dry and odourless place and preferably below 60% humidity.
The chocolate train experience has come to end but remember that you can always turn chocolate tasting into a delightful experience if you ignite your senses.
Last but not least, I would like to remind you that The Chocolate Train Experience starts the moment the cacao bean is harvested. It is all about the journey of the cocoa which is a thorough process bean following the below steps:
1- Storage & Sorting the beans
6- Tempering & Wrapping
7- Indulging & Tasting
Today we have indulged ourselves by tasting and appreciating the sensation chocolate can bring us.
Thank you for joining us on this captivating journey and remember that you can ride the train at any time and enjoy the Chocolate Train Experience.
To be continued …
AMER WAHOUD | FOUNDER
SUNDAY IN SCOTLAND JOURNAL