Welcome to ‘The Tasting Room’
a blog dedicated to helping you design the perfect chocolate tasting event to share with your guests.Tasting is a daily part of our jobs at the Gourmet Boutique. We spend countless hours tasting and exploring the world of chocolate so we can bring you exquisite and unique offerings. It is with a well trained palate, we have developed the ‘Tasting Room’. Our posts will not only feature wonderful selections of chocolate, but we will provide you with detailed notes on how to showcase them at your next chocolate tasting event. The features will showcase the chocolate flavor profiles, delicious complements, and how to set each event. So when you are thinking of hosting your next gathering, look at our ‘Tasting Room Notes' to set your menu and your table. As we always say at GB:
‘It’s only a celebration if there is chocolate’At the Gourmet Boutique, we frequently host chocolate tasting. Through our tastings, we have discovered that at times it may be more interesting to frame the tasting around a theme. Below is a list of steps to guide you through your chocolate explorations. Please remember that this is to be a fun activity to enjoy with friends and fellow chocolate lovers. The list we are enclosing below is simply a guide to begin your chocolate journeys.
Planning your Chocolate Tasting
Step 1: Choose a theme that will serve as a frame work for your tasting
Some themes that we have used in the past:
- Hot and Spicy: including chocolates with ingredients such as chili, ginger, peppercorns, and chipotle
- Fruit Smoothie: including chocolates with ingredients that would typically be used in preparing a smoothie, such as berries, apricots, pineapple, or coconut just to name a few
Step 2: Purchase the bars according to your theme
Step 3: Break the individual bars into approximately 1 inch squares/pieces and ensure that there is enough for each taster to have at least 1 piece of each bar sampled
Step 4: Since you will be guiding the tasting, it may be fun for you to run through the tasting once by yourself without the distraction of your friends and fill out the "Gourmet Boutique Tasting Guide" enclosed, to serve as a reference in the group tastingAfter you have followed these steps, its time for you and your friends to actually start tasting the wonderful chocolates you have selected. Below we have included steps to get the most out of your chocolate tasting experience by engaging all SIX of your chocolate senses.
The Six Steps to TASTING the chocolate:
Step 1: Sight
Begin by studying the piece you are about to try with your eyes. Is the bar shiny and smooth, reflecting the proper tempering (heating, mixing, and cooling of chocolate) techniques? If using a chocolate bar rather than a denser block, try to break the piece you are sampling in two. Does it break easily with a snap? (another sign of proper tempering)
Step 2: Smell
Note the aroma of the chocolate by bringing the piece you are about to enjoy close to your nose and enhaling. Try to identify the possible flavor notes that you notice.
Step 3: Touch
Place the chocolate in your mouth and allow it to melty for a short while but do not chew it at once. Spread the chocolate mixture all over your mouth and consider its texture. Pay attention not only to the texture but the flavors that begin to reveal themselves.
Is it silky smooth? Does it have granulations as can be found in raw or stone-ground chocolates?
Step 4: Taste
Begin to chew the remaining solid piece in your mouth. Note the flavors that continue to reveal themselves. Do they vary from the original flavors your detected? Does it vary in strength or maybe you are noticing additional flavor notes.
Step 5: Afternotes
Swallow the chocolate and think about the lingering flavors in your mouth. Does the flavor disappear once you have swallowed it? Or does it have a lasting afternote?
Step 6: The Six Sense
Think about how the chocolate you have tasted makes you feel. Maybe it brings back flavorful memories of something you enjoyed once before (not necessarily memories in the form of chocolate)? Finally, decided for yourself if this is a chocolate you enjoyed and whether it is something you would purchase again or recommend to a friend.We hope that these thoughts will help you and your company enjoy your chocolatey treats to the utmost capacity! Below we have enclosed a "Tasting Guide" that you may use to reflect upon your chocolate experience! Also by filling out and submitting your completed Gourmet Boutique Tasting Guide to us, you are eligible for the Gourmet Boutique Challenge. Click on the Gourmet Boutique Challenge page to get more information. From all of us at Gourmet Boutique: