I always find people with self control the most fascinating. Like you put a bar of Lindt chocolate in front of them and they will have one piece and stop. You put of bar of Lindt in front of me, well, first of all you never put a whole bar of Lindt in front of me unless you never want to see it again. But you put it in front of me (you generous soul, you) and I eat one piece initially trying to be decent. Then I abandon any attempt at being civil and attack it like the cookie monster.
So when the people at Adfactors invited me for a Chocolate Appreciation session at Godrej Nature’s Basket, I was like, what? Who can’t appreciate chocolate? But obviously the lure of good chocolate got the better of me and I decided to go. And in the session conducted by L Nitin Chordia who is a professional chocolate taster, I learned many, many interesting things about chocolate. Which was followed by a chocolate tasting session. As usual, I forgot anything he said after the chocolates came into view but I did make diligent notes, so here are a few things you can learn about this exotic thing called chocolate.
Weight for the chocolate
Technically, chocolate is a fruit. It’s made from the cacao bean which grows on trees. And Nitin said, because I asked if chocolates make you put on weight, that if you had 100% chocolate with no sugar or milk added, you wouldn’t. That it would be so bitter it would render it inedible is just an inconvenient truth, I guess. It’s the sugar in the chocolate or the dairy that goes straight to your hips. I knew chocolate loved me.
If you ever decide not to become a doctor or an engineer, you could become a professional taster. I am serious. This is the real deal. However, Nitin did mention that it’s not a viable option right now, with the chocolate production industry just taking off in India but it’s a certificate course. Of course, your prospects are so much brighter with that engineering course. By the way, professional tasters don’t only eat chocolate for fun, they also have to ensure that each batch of chocolate tastes exactly like the last one.
You know chocolate has notes? Yup, so a chocolatier defines in what order you should taste the flavours. So if you are having one with a touch of sea salt, the chocolatier actually means for you to taste it (the sea salt) towards the end; it’s not by accident. Also, like wine, chocolate also has notes. 1500 identified notes at that. And a professional taster has to know all these. Oh and by the way, chocolate also has pairings. Little daunting this is starting to sound.
Come home to chocolate
So, more than 50% of the world’s chocolate is produced by Ghana and Ivory Coast. However, the Belgium and Swiss chocolates are more popular, why? The thing is, if you really want the finest quality chocolate with all its trimmings, you should know what chocolate to buy where. For example, you should buy your milk chocolates from Switzerland. This is because their dairy (which is considered the best around the world) adds a wonderful taste to the chocolate which is what makes the chocolate so addictive. You should buy your dark chocolate from Belgium because they know how to do that right. Not all chocolates are the same.
Chocolate is not sexy
You may think chocolate in bed is sexy. That’s if you haven’t tried it or if you particularly enjoy being sticky throughout the session. However, Nitin tells us that chocolate is not an aphrodisiac like it’s made out to be. Chocolate also has a lot of caffine and you may feel more energetic and raring to go, which might in turn make you think that it was the chocolate amping up the sexiness. He said he’s been having chocolate for two years and he doesn’t have anything to show for this, so now we have empirical evidence as well.
Have you been a good chocolate?
So how do you know if you are having good chocolate? First, read the back of the label, if there are too many ingredients, you are probably better off putting it back in its place. Also, good chocolate has a nice shine to it. This is from the cocoa butter in the chocolate. Third, when you put good chocolate into your mouth, it will melt on your tongue (provided you let it be there for a bit). What you have with brands like Morde is just very little chocolate and a lot of vegetable oil. But they have to do that to make it affordable. You don’t have to buy it though.
Godrej Nature’s Basket is having La Fete Chocolat where you can get your paws on awesome chocolates from around the world. Go fast, fast.