Now that the Accidental Locavore has her tasting partner, Julie Flanders, we've moved on from croissants to everyone's favorite -- chocolate. Spurred on by a wonderful selection sent to me from Kallari and a lesson in chocolate tasting at the recent Taste Trekkers conference (more about that soon), we decided to put some chocolate to the test.
For the sake of diversity (hey, that's our story and we're sticking to it) we sat down one morning with the three Kallari samples, 70 percent cacao, 75 percent and 85 percent, along with an organic Green & Black's and the remains of the samples we had at the conference. The Kallari is also organic, and the company a farmer-owned cooperative in Ecuador.
What Tim Brown taught us at the conference was similar to tasting wine. First, you smell the chocolate. Then, you break it in half, paying attention to the "snap" and smelling it again. After that, you let it melt against the top of your mouth. That's actually the hardest part, since dark chocolate takes a while to melt and all you really want to do is eat that sucker.
Much like wine, there are different flavor profiles: buttery, floral, earthy, roasted, fruity, and subcategories within each of those. There are a bunch of tasting wheels online, I found a good one from Chocolapolis.
Our results? The favorite was the Kallari 70 percent. It was smooth and silky, with a toasty, fruity flavor. Compare that with the Green & Black's 70 percent, which we found to have a paraffin-like texture and a harsh, citrus taste. The other 70 percent was the unknown type, left over from the conference. Possibly it spent too much time in transit as it tasted moldy and we spit it out.
The other two Kallari types were probably better used for cooking. The 75 percent was a much more masculine chocolate, with an earthy taste. The 85 percent Julie described it as being "adult" and "strict" and I had to agree with her. It would probably be a great chocolate for cooking in something like my molten chocolate cakes.
My thanks to Kallari for sending the chocolate! Their website has links for ordering the chocolate. Try some and let me know what you think.
What should Julie and I taste next?