How to enjoy dark chocolate?

Dark chocolates are complex, varied and packed with a range of aromas and flavours. It is a treat, an indulgence and an experience. If you truly wish to appreciate dark chocolate, then it is crucial that you understand how to make it an experience for yourself.

Before we get started, let’s understand a little more about dark chocolate. These chocolates have no milk compounds, which means that dark chocolate generally has a higher percentage of cocoa. The chocolates are hence comparatively bitter. However, dark chocolates are often paired with fruity flavours that create a balance between bitter and fruity. Some chocolates are even paired with nuts and salt to create a flavour profile that is bitter, nutty and balanced between sweet and salty. 

Have your dark chocolate at room temperature

The ideal temperature to enjoy dark chocolate is 24 - 26 degrees celsius. If your chocolate is in the fridge, then let it rest outside for some time before you plan to consume it. Additionally, cleanse your palate with a few sips of water before you consume the chocolate. This will allow you to experience all its flavour compounds, unadulterated.

Observe your chocolate

For a few seconds, hold the chocolate bar in your hand and observe its colour, its shine, its texture. A well tempered chocolate is smooth and shiny. Furthermore, observe the sound your chocolate makes when you break it. A good quality dark chocolate with higher amounts of cocoa will make a snap sound and generally break smoothly. 

Use all your senses

Smell the chocolate piece that you just snapped. Take a deep breath and sense the aroma of the dark chocolate. Chances are that by this time, the piece of chocolate will start to melt in your hands because of the body heat. That is just another sign of good dark chocolate. The little melt will only release more aromas and enhance the flavour of chocolate for you. 

The final act

Place a sizable bite of chocolate on your tongue. Do not chew it. Instead, push it against your palate and let it melt. Chewing may release bitter flavours, but allowing it to melt will release the cocoa butter that will allow the flavours to unfold in a more balanced way and mask the bitter notes. 

Pay attention to the symphony

A good dark chocolate in your mouth should melt smoothly and evenly. Pay attention to how the flavours unfold, what notes linger on, what notes pass by, how it coats your mouth. (We recommend closing your eyes and paying attention to this part like nobody’s watching )

Dark chocolates are generally subject to personal preference. Most of us taste the bitter notes first and that leaves an impression. If that has happened to you in the past, we absolutely understand. However, now that you have new knowledge about how you can make dark chocolate an experience for yourself, why don’t you give it another chance?

Click here to find Ziaho’s range of Dark Chocolates.