I can barely believe it, folks, but it turns out that I have been eating chocolate wrong my whole life!
I learnt years ago that there is a chasm between good and bad chocolate. You know that horrible, cheap compound crap that Easter eggs are made from, or the cheap and nasty sugary rubbish that line so much of your supermarket’s shelves? They’re not worth your time, money or health, not unless you are happy to short change your palate and fancy making a hot date with diabetes.
I’ve been eating the good stuff for a long while now, but still, my tendency was always to pop it in my mouth and munch munch munch – chew it like most of my other food.
As your most special friend should be able to tell you, your mouth is hot, baby – really hot.
Take a piece of chocolate – not boring old supermarket shelf milk chocolate, go for the 60% cocoa or higher. In the generic stuff, the flavour is all from added sugar – and look around your workplace or the supermarket next time you’re there. No way do any of us need MORE added sugar.
Since I’ve realised there’s a better way to consume chocolate I have leant towards the 90% cocoa varieties. There’s more flavour, less sugar, it has a warm mouth feel to it. That’s where it’s at.
“Mouth feel”? If you’re thinking that’s a wine tasting term, then you’re spot on. It is. Tasting any good quality food or drink has certain things in common. More on that in a moment.
But the higher the cocoa, the more bitter the chocolate, right? Correct! And this is where eating it smarter comes into play.
Pop a piece of chocolate into your mouth, but don’t bite it. Use your tongue to press it on the roof of your mouth, move it around a little, crack it into smaller pieces, feel it melt. Let the melted chocolate coat the inside of your mouth and feel the flavours soften in your mouth – a little sweet, a little warm, a little salty sometimes, perhaps with some nuttiness or fruit flavours in there. Divine.
By allowing the chocolate to melt down on your palate you avoid any unpleasant bitterness in the product – which is especially relevant when you’re eating darker chocolate.
As hinted above, you can even take a leaf from the wine tasting booklet – breath a little and allow the aromas of the chocolate to waft into your olfactory senses while still in your mouth. Taste the smells of the melted chocolate. You won’t be disappointed.
Do a comparison – take a piece of your choc-of-choice and chew and swallow it. Then do it my way.
It’s incomparable – a revelation of chocolatey goodness.
I’ll never eat chocolate the same way again.