The Five Senses of Chocolate: SIGHT
WHAT SHOULD PREMIUM CHOCOLATE LOOK LIKE?
You don’t need to be a professional chocolate connoisseur to appreciate the subtleties of the premium chocolate experience. Like wine tasting, chocolate tasting also considers appearance, fragrance and taste, but also sound and touch, through a process we call The Five Senses of Chocolate.
We have broken down these important steps into a five-part series, the first sense being SIGHT. Color, texture and sheen are all things to take notice of in premium chocolate. Start by breaking a piece of chocolate and examine it as the light hits the surface.
The color of the chocolate can range from deep brown to auburn, or in the case of white chocolate, from pale ivory to yellow. The color variation is a result of the types of cocoa beans used, however white chocolate will become increasingly yellow when more cocoa butter is added.
The sheen is a result of proper tempering. Chocolate tempering is a process that perfectly aligns the cocoa butter crystals, allowing for a smooth, glossy finish. Proper handling and storage are also key elements in maintaining the chocolate’s appearance. The rule of thumb is to always store chocolate in a cool, dry place with a temperature between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Premium chocolate, like Lindt, should have a silky matte sheen and even texture.
If you see a streaky white surface on your chocolate, it is the result of cocoa butter crystals rising to the surface. This is referred to a “fat bloom” and indicates that the chocolate was improperly tempered, inappropriately stored, or is old.
Now that you know what to LOOK for in premium chocolate, our next post in the series will focus on the sense of TOUCH.