Who doesn't love chocolate. But do we really know and appreciate chocolate for all the wonderful effects it has on our senses? The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone offered "Living Today" a very unique experience during our visit in Napa. The CIA is launching a Flavor Bar soon, where you can experience the joys of chocolate!
We learned how to truly appreciate this wonderful food with their Chocolate Tasting Sensory experience! This concise and unique tasting experience includes a presentation by Stephen Durfee, baking/pastry chef instructor. Here's what we learned at CIA/Greystone:
When tasting any chocolate, resist the urge to chew immediately and instead let the chocolate slowly melt on your tongue. Much like savoring a fine wine, this allows you to sense the other flavor notes in the chocolate such as berries, citrus and its level of sweetness/bitterness.
The Flavor Bar will present a tray that features chocolate in all its forms; from the seed to cocoa powder to various types of chocolate from different parts of the world. Chocolate from certain parts of Venezuela can have flavor notes of red berries while Madagascar chocolate is earthier with more citrus flavors woven into its flavor spectrum. Chocolates from Ecuador can give you the flavor experience of wildflowers and jasmine!
Finally, when sampling chocolates it's best to have a bland cracker and some water nearby to clear your palate before the next Chocolate Experience!