Eating chocolate is both an art and a passion. It is important truly to appreciate the "food of the gods" and eat chocolate in moderation. And to truly appreciate chocolate in all its splendor you must try its many different forms.
- Begin by reading books on chocolate. You can never learn too much about it; make sure to get books with colorful photographs of chocolate. Look especially for books that discuss tasting chocolate, discussions on the various brands of chocolate and the history behind chocolate. All of this is essential background knowledge to truly appreciate eating chocolate.
- Try milk chocolate varieties. See if these please your palate. Always seek the best quality milk chocolate varieties rather than the common supermarket and corner store bars and confectionery. Look for European chocolates, especially Swiss brands, because, while they normally are more pricey, the product is held to a higher standard than most American chocolates. Even better, of course, would be to find a chocolatier who makes chocolate from scratch near to you. That is hard to find nowadays, though, so don't be hopeful.
- Try dark chocolate next. This ranges in intensity from around 45% through to 100%. Be careful not to try the dark chocolate at too high a level to begin with or you may not like it. Start at around 45 - 50% dark and work your way up. Most people do not like the 85 - 100% range at first, or maybe never, as it tends to be very bitter. 100% has no sugar content at all and is very harsh to the untrained palate. When tasting dark chocolate, allow it to melt in your mouth rather than chewing. This will make it less bitter and more tasty!
- Try White chocolate. This has a delicious and different flavour, because there is no cocoa; instead it is made with cocoa butter.It is very creamy and sweet.
- Try truffles. These should be hand-made, preferably by a chocolatier, a patissier or a baker who specializes in chocolate treats. The cream must be fresh. If it is not, the experience will be ruined. Return them and demand new ones- the chocolatier deserves to be made aware of any quality issues.
- Try drinking a chocolate New York Egg Cream. This is a delight not to be overlooked in the pursuit of enjoying chocolate. Purists may pooh-pooh drinking it, but did you know that this is how chocolate was first appreciated by the Aztecs and the Europeans many centuries ago? There are many ways to enjoy drinking chocolates. What is important, however, is to find the finest quality of said drink. Beware drinking chocolates marketed at children or for mass cafeteria consumption; they are likely to be over sweet and sickly. Look for low fat and sugar content (As in no added fats to pad out the powder and not too high a sugar ratio). True connoisseurs will look for powdered drinking chocolate that has no added milk fats, slight sugar and high cacao content or for the pure grated or broken high quality chocolate itself (added directly to warm milk).
- Savour chocolate. Whether you chew, allow to melt in the mouth or drink your chocolate, enjoy it slowly and with enjoyment. Take out time to discern the notes in chocolate for yourself and to try and develop a tasting repertoire that suits you. Chocolate differs in taste and quality in the same way as wine, whiskey, cognac, seafood and game meats do. Learn to appreciate the subtleties over time. And share with a friend- become experts together!
- Focus on nothing but the chocolate. This works with most tasty foods but is especially appealing with chocolate. Close your eyes and cut off all sensory information except the chocolate. Pay attention to the taste and details of the entire piece, moving around in your mouth and savoring the flavor. Allow the chocolate to overwhelm your senses and don't let anything else bother you. Practicing meditation can certainly help, as this is similar to reaching a state of meditation. If it is an exceptional piece of chocolate and you reach the correct state of mind, this technique can make you feel quite like you are having an orgasm.
- The best kinds of chocolate are those from reputable chocolate companies. Keep in mind, though, reputable doesn't always mean the biggest. Some very large chocolate companies make the absolute worst chocolate, while small, privately owned companies make absolutely spectacular chocolates. The Chocopaedia (Not related to Wikipedia or any of its associated websites) has ratings for many small chocolate producers worldwide, to help you chose one whose product is right for your tastes.
- Make sure to choose full fat milk for drinking chocolate. Reduced fat milk is not as creamy or heavenly and does less justice to the drink.
- Try a "submarine" if you want to watch the chocolate unfold in the glass. Heat the milk, add to the glass and then pop in a good quality chocolate bar. Use a teaspoon to help swirl it around. After it is fairly evenly distributed, start drinking. You will need to keep on stirring it during the time you drink it, as the chocolate that has sunk to the base of the glass needs to be encouraged to swirl around the milk. This is half the fun of the drink.
- Be careful not to begin with very dark chocolate or it is unlikely you will ever grow to appreciate eating chocolate.
- As with anything, enjoy in moderation. Although recent claims point to the health effects of darker chocolates, they still contain fat and should not be taking the place of fruit and vegetables in your well-balanced diet! Use your common sense and watch the waistline.
- Keep chocolate away from all animals, especially birds, dogs and hamsters, as they have been proven to be poisonous to them.
- Chocolate is found to give migraines to some people. If you get this, it is recommended you stop eating it.
- If you are not ready to eat chocolate, don't eat it, because you get addicted.
Things You'll Need
- Chocolate judiciously chosen
- A note book for keeping notes on favorite chocolates and stores you purchased the chocolates from (it is easy to forget if you have roamed far and wide finding different types).
- How to Taste Dark Chocolate
- How to Make Really Easy and Delicious Chocolate Mousse
- How to Mold Chocolate Candy
- How to Make Chocolate Milk
- How to Calculate Your Age by Chocolate
Sources and Citations
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