Chocolate stands on par with wine, coffee, tea, etc., because it has the same complex flavor combinations. And all these products have a certain number of rules for tasting, which allow you to get to know the product's taste palette as widely as possible. Just as there is a profession of wine tasting, there are tasters who evaluate chocolate. We know, for example, that wine must be served
Chocolate stands on par with wine, coffee, tea, etc., because it has the same complex flavor combinations. And all these products have a certain number of rules for tasting , which allow you to get to know the product's taste palette as widely as possible. Just as there is a profession of a wine taster , there are tasters who evaluate chocolate . We know, for example, that wine must be served at a certain temperature, and the time the tea is brewed affects its taste. There are many nuances for chocolate as well, the observance of which allows you to reveal the full potential of cocoa.
Quality chocolate is inimitable, unique, its taste depends on many factors: origin and quality of cocoa beans, processing of ingredients, skill of the master. In order to better understand all the properties of this or that chocolate and to fully appreciate it, it is necessary to know the geographical origin and peculiarities of growing cocoa beans from which it is made. And, of course, the chocolate production process itself is no less important.
The ideal temperature for storing chocolate is 16-18 degrees, but it is unsuitable for tasting . In order for chocolate to reveal all its subtleties and secrets, it is necessary to bring it to 20-22 degrees, and only then you can start tasting . Depending on the temperature of the chocolate at the time of evaluation, its taste, texture and aroma will differ. In any case, the chocolate will warm up in the mouth to body temperature, the only question is how quickly this will happen. Why, in order to get into the apple and feel all the intricacies of the product, you should first make sure that the chocolate has a temperature of 22 degrees.
Chocolate affects the senses, to one degree or another, and they transmit information to our brain to create a feeling of pleasure. Through memory, identification and analysis, consciousness comes to certain conclusions. You can determine whether you liked the chocolate , what it looks like, which components are the most expressive, how pleasant and complete the taste is, etc.
Let's consider each of the senses involved in tasting chocolate separately.Vision
The first organ involved in tasting chocolate , like any other product, is the eyes (sight). The taster evaluates the appearance, shape, surface, and also detects the existing (or not) flaws.
The appearance of chocolate can be matte, semi-matte, shiny, with spots or streaks. Surface and shape — smooth, grainy, silky, cocoa-dusted, molded (when chocolate is cast in the shape of something specific). Chocolate defects include streaks, scratches and dents, stains, splits, deformations and dents.
After the visual evaluation, the taster takes a piece of chocolate in his hands, and the next sensation comes into play - touch. It helps during the entire tasting . It can be used to determine the texture of chocolate .
The main textures of chocolate include the following
At the beginning of the tasting — melting, soft, flexible, brittle, brittle, dry, hard.
During the tasting - soft, tender, smooth, slippery, silky, grainy, sticky, sticky, thick, dense.
At the end of the tasting - liquid, liquid, fatty, dry, sticky, sticky.
When the taster breaks chocolate , chews or dissolves it, the next organ is involved - the ears (hearing). Whole chocolate has a more pronounced sound . The sound also depends on the temperature of the chocolate at the time of tasting , as well as on its type.
It is believed that real chocolate should break loudly, but in fact this is not true. If you take excellent milk chocolate (which is more plastic than dark) and keep it in a room with a temperature of 24 degrees, then you will not be able to break it with a loud sound in any case. For some reason, this factor cannot act as an indicator of quality, but is only a characteristic that allows a more complete description of chocolate .
Outside the oral cavity , chocolate can be splashy, crackling, and crunchy. And in the mouth - crunchy, squeaky, muffled.
An equally important sense organ is the nose (smell). This is due to the fact that the more pleasant this or that aroma is for us, the more favorably we treat its bearer. All the aromas of chocolate can be felt most acutely only when it is already in the mouth, but at the first stage of olfactory tasting , the smell of chocolate is evaluated when the taster simply sniffs it.
At this stage, you can identify the following aromas
Flowers are very difficult to distinguish.
Fruits, fresh or canned - red fruits, jam, banana, pineapple.
Other fresh plants are mushrooms, wood, truffles.
Dried plants, etc. — tobacco, hazelnut, cocoa, ale, vanilla, smoked smell, burnt smell.
Others are butter, milk, leather, cheese.
In the next event, the aroma of chocolate is evaluated when it is already in the taster 's mouth .
Among the secondary aromas, the following aromas are distinguished
Floral notes - jasmine, orange flowers, rose.
Fruit notes — apricot jam, currant jam, red berry, orange, dried fruits, prunes, dried banana, wild strawberry.
Spices — vanilla, oriental spices, cinnamon, cloves, licorice.
Nutty notes - macadamia, hazelnut, almond, cashew.
Vegetal notes — mushrooms, green coffee, green tomatoes, truffle, wood.
Roasted notes - black tea, espresso/coffee, marzipan, caramel, burnt sugar, cocoa, roasted almonds.
Others are tobacco, butter, cream/milk, bread, honey, beeswax.
In order to feel the secondary notes and recognize the aftertaste, the tasters actively blow air through the oral cavity with chocolate with their nose , this allows them to recognize even barely perceptible notes.
The aroma from one chocolate can last up to 30 seconds, while another may leave no aroma at all. According to saturation, the aroma is strong, voluminous, intense, medium or light; and by subtlety - very thin, coarse, complex, simple, basic (basic).
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Despite the fact that we appreciate the taste in chocolate , it is not such an informative way of perception by itself. As we know, there are 4 main zones on the tongue that distinguish between sweet, salty, bitter and sour tastes. However, no matter how strange it may seem, a rich description of taste is formed only in combination with the smells that we catch with our nose.
There is a so-called balance of flavors in relation to each other, it differs depending on the product being tasted . Schematically, the balance of tastes is depicted in the form of a quadrangle, the corners of which are distant from the center as much as one or another taste prevails. An equilateral square is ideal, it represents complete balance, none of the flavors dominates the other, it is the most harmonious combination. With the appearance of additional flavors (clearly expressed aromas) characteristic of any product, another plane is added to the quadrangle, turning it into a polygon.
During the tasting , the evaluator experiences emotions, experiences taste pleasure. An experienced taster has already experienced similar sensations in his life, and therefore the description of chocolate rolls on his tongue. He compares, analyzes, remembers, a "sensual picture" arises in his mind, which he can apply to the product, the tasting of which is taking place right now.
If the tasting is conducted by several experts, then at the end there must be a stage where the tasters share their impressions and observations, compare them and discuss them, which helps to make a more complete picture about the product.