When it comes to developing your palate for chocolate, Lindt Excellence is the perfect ingredient – especially dark chocolate, which has subtle, complex notes much like a fine wine does. Here, Lindt Maître Chocolatier Stefan Bruderer shows us how you can use all five senses to discover what makes Lindt Chocolate so exceptional.
The first impression is important when it comes to chocolate tasting. Premium chocolate should have a silky sheen and even texture. If you’re opening different bars for a tasting, take note of the wide range of brown shades.
Can you hear a crisp “snap” when you break off a piece of the bar? Quality chocolate will separate easily and neatly. Dark chocolate makes a clear, sharp noise, while milk or white chocolate has a more gentle snap because of its milk content.
Bring the chocolate to your nose and inhale its aromas before you taste it. The scent can vary depending on the region where the cacao beans were sourced and the flavour of the bar. Do you detect any other notes, such as vanilla, spices or fruit?
High-quality chocolate should melt at your body temperature. Hold a piece of Lindt Excellence chocolate between your thumb and index finger and gently rub. Once it begins to melt, feel the texture. Notice the smooth composition; the particles in Lindt chocolate are so small that the texture is never grainy or rough.
Put a small piece in your mouth and let it begin to melt slowly on your tongue. Inhale through your mouth and out through your nose – this allows the flavours and aromas to fully penetrate your senses. Now chew the piece three to five times and concentrate on the taste and texture. Is it spicy or neutral, sweet or salty, nutty or fruity? Challenge yourself to identify all the flavours.