If this has been discussed before I wasnt paying attention.
Over the past couple of months Ive been checking out the upscale chocolate bars at some San Francisco chocolate shops and noting Chowhound reports.
I tried some Dolfin chocolates and dont hold too high opinion of them. (Yeah, I havent tried the pink peppercorn, but after trying 12 types, Im discouraged. That orange is particularly nasty).
So, I thought Id see if anyone else out there shared my opinion and stumbled upon a few chocolate review sites. I also found this link on how to evaluate chocolate:
To evaluate well, dont wolf it down.
Chocolate should be room temperature.
Take small pieces, chew a bit and then let it melt on your tongue.
If tasting more than one at the same time, like wine, have palate cleansers like crackers or water (room temperature, cold dulls the taste buds).
Like wine there might be variation of the chocolate depending on the growing conditions each year.
Chocolate is evaluated on
AROMA besides, well, chocolate, there might be fruit, tobacco, earth, wine, licorice, flowers, grass, wood, spice, coffee, citrus well, you get the idea think wine. This site does a nice job of describing aroma (and taste).
LOOK There should be a fine, smooth grain with no flaws or color variations. The finish should be satiny, not waxy or dull
TASTE See Aroma above for ideas. A site called Seventy Percent says Look for evolving flavors, initial bursts, slow developers, hidden notes.
MELT - What is the mouth fee and texture? Is it grainy, silky, smooth, buttery, creamy, sticky, waxy, dry, crumbly, chalky? Does it have snap?
LENGTH How long does the flavor last in your mouth? Is the aftertaste pleasant? Do other flavors evolve in the aftertaste?
The link below is one persons evaluation of chocolate bars. At the bottom of the page there are:
- links to other chocolate review sites with Seventy Percent one of the better ones.
- links to online stores that sell chocolate
- general chocolate information links.
The Chocolate Time Line is interesting. The Olmecs (1500 BC to 400 BC) started it all. Forget about 1492 and Columbus as a significant date. In 1544 chocolate is first noted in Europe. The bon bon is invented in 1913 by Jules Sechaud and 1938 marks the birth of the chocolate covered cherry. And so it goes.
The Joy of Baking website has lots of info and how to store chocolate so it will last for years (white and milk chocolate will only last 10 months though).
Does anyone else have some good chocolate sites? although this will keep me busy for a while.