*Borrow the “flight” technique from wine tasting so that you compare flavors of similarly sweetened chocolates.Compare small pieces of dark to dark, milk to milk, white to white.Also consider comparing chocolates with similar percentages of cacao (70% cacao and above with others in that range; 50% and above with others in that range.)
*Start with dark chocolate comparisons, take a break, then move up to milk chocolate.Take another break, then finish with white chocolate.Always move from dark to light to keep the palate free of dairy and sugar.
*Let the dark chocolate melt on the tongue, then move it to the back teeth, give it three bites, move it all around the mouth, then allow it to rest and melt more.Notice how the flavors change and develop.
*Enjoy the “long finish” of great chocolate – the lingering flavors left in the mouth are among the strongest and most telling.
*Use water to cleanse the palate between tastes.
*Write descriptors on notepads as the chocolate melts in your mouth, since it is hard to savor and speak at the same time.Think about what flavors or scents the chocolate reminds you of, such as caramel, raspberries, earth, or mushrooms.Then take a moment to compare your descriptors with those of others in your group.You’ll probably find some common ground.
NEED MORE INFO? TRY THESE BOOKS: THE NEW TASTE OF CHOCOLATE by Maricel E. Presilla DISCOVER CHOCOLATE by Clay Gordon A CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE TO CHOCOLATE by Chloe Doutre-Rousell COCOLAT: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts by Alice Medrich