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Chocolate tasting
February 28, 2005
2:04 am
vmixr2000
Portland, USA
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I am working on tasting over 70 different origin chocolates over a period of 2 months. I wanted to create an extensive list of profiles ranging from all the usually tasting notes. I would appreciate any help on setting up a format. Besides the 5 basic guidelines to tasting chocolate is there anything else i should be paying attention too. Also if someone could please send me a list of flavor profiles to look for i would greatly appreciate it. I wanted to do this so i could further refine my palate.

February 28, 2005
5:40 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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It takes more than two months to refine your palate. I think what you'll wind up doing is overwhelming yourself with too much chocolate in such a short time span. Space it out, take your time, and ENJOY it. Don't overindulge. Flavor profiles? Well, it would help to do a search on this site and on the web for the chocolates you are going to try; then match your descriptions to the ones you find.

February 28, 2005
8:23 pm
vmixr2000
Portland, USA
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What i plan to do is only taste one chocolate per day. As long as i give my palate time between tastings i dont belive that it will be overwhelmed. I will be assembling a booklet to keep track of my notes, manufacturers notes along with other peoples notes.

February 28, 2005
11:03 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Well, that's nice. To me, tasting chocolate is more like a relationship. It's a process where you get to know the chocolate, understand it, realize and appreciate what makes it different than others. It's not a "wam bam, thank you mam" process, where you try one out, then move on to the next. No matter how bad the chocolate is, I like to understand WHY I don't like it so that I can properly assess it AND other chocolates. I like to eat a certain chocolate for at least a couple days and evaluate it thoroughly. This allows for a fresh palate and one that isn't numbed by a massive amount of chocolate. I think you might be doing yourself a disservice by cramming in so much. But then again, this is just MY opinion and how I personally feel about it, so don't take it the wrong way [:)]

March 1, 2005
12:39 pm
alex_h
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what are the 70 different chocolates your trying?
i can't imagine going through with what you're planing. i'd probably get tired of chocolate after a week and that would influence taste right there.

March 1, 2005
4:52 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Don't forget that chocolate is still a food with a relatively shared flavor across the entire range, so therefore it can seem to taste muted if overindulged on. Same principle applies to cheese: after eating so much of it, they all start to taste the same, and by that time you might as well be eating some cheap commercial brand because you won't be to recognize the complexities of a certain type. Developing an extensive and exhaustive list and guide, as it were, takes time and cannot be achieved in a short period of only two months. Also, have you had any experience in chocolate tasting or have you been eating chocolate for a while? If not, then this project might seem a bit too overwhelming, especially considering lack of experience. The best manner of approaching this, or anything for that matter, is slow and steady so your judgments will be more accurate. Haste almost always dampers the effects of what you're trying to accomplish, and the results won't truly convey the accuracy that time and patience will produce.

March 1, 2005
10:33 pm
vmixr2000
Portland, USA
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Thank you both for your impute. I have been eating chocolate for a while. I think i wil take your advice and take it slow in the beginning. I have many chocolates ranging from Domori, Amedei, Michel Cluizel, El Rey, plus a few more.

March 2, 2005
9:43 am
alex_h
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i'm not saying it can't be done or even that it shouldn't be done. give it a try is the best advice i can give. but the 'danger' that you'll be put off is there.

March 2, 2005
12:53 pm
Sebastian
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bah. i eat somewhere between 55-60 lbs of chocolate a year, and i'm still going strong 8-)

(I tell my wife - I'm in shape - round is a perfectly valid shape!)

March 2, 2005
1:38 pm
alex_h
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sure thing, sebastian. i eat lots myself. but i agree with monte, that a slow approach is probably better if you want to get to the taste profiles of different chocolates. subtler pleasures require more time than big thrills.

March 2, 2005
3:36 pm
Sebastian
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Was only interjecting levity, never take me seriously 8-) although i do literally eat between 55 and 60 lbs/year, i figgured it out. The NYT even did a story on me last year.

March 2, 2005
3:42 pm
alex_h
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levity's fine. needs to be injected on a regular basis. let's see that story!

March 2, 2005
4:26 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yeah, but it was vmxr2000's approach and intent that I was concerned about. If he was merely eating chocolate to see how much he could handle, then I would have suggested to buy Callebaut couverture due to cost.

March 2, 2005
4:42 pm
Sebastian
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egads he could do better than callebaut if it's a cost concern. BC essentially has a monopoly in europe, and they directly compete with their customers (i find how they were able to do that very interesting, however). They may make a fine product, but there are equally fine products available that will be more...fairly priced, shall we say?

March 3, 2005
3:20 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Well, if his concern was quantity rather than quality, then why waste a better chocolate if it would be subjected to a fate of gluttonous consumption with no regard to its quality?

March 28, 2005
8:54 am
Hayley
Auckland, New Zealand
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June 4, 2004
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I agree that you shold take a little time. But I must say that I am insanely jealous that you can even have that many types of chocolate to taste!

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