3 Tips for Enjoying Chocolate

July 7th gives us an excuse to indulge in one of most beloved sweets – chocolate! To celebrate National Chocolate Day, we wanted to offer some tips & tricks to get an even more enjoyable experience when satiating your craving for your favorite cacao-infused food!

  1. Observe the Chocolate
    Before you satisfy your sweet tooth, take the opportunity to go over some of the unique qualities of your chocolate with your other senses. Look it over; well-crafted examples will have a glossy sheen with no paleness, smudges, or bubbles and many chocolate makers create unique designs for visual interest. Next, break off a piece and listen. A good chocolate bar should have a healthy snap, showing that the maker has properly tempered it. And finally, take the chance to smell it. If you’re enjoying a truffle and don’t want to break it open, rub your finger on it a few times. For a bar, smell the broken-off piece you just used for the snap test. The scent will help to engage your taste buds and get them ready for that first bite!
  1. Take Your Time
    Give yourself the time required to experience the rich flavor profiles and unique textures of each piece. One expertsays the key to eating chocolate is to be mindful – recommending eating slowly and really trying to savor each bite (1). Here’s one method: take a bite of the chocolate and chew one or two times to start to break up the piece in your mouth. Then, let it melt across your tongue and your cheeks. Take short breaths in and out as it melts and focus (2). You may experience some things you have never noticed before, like the variety of textures and flavors found within a single piece of chocolate.
  2. Clean Your Palate:
    Especially if you have eaten recently, you will want to remove any residual flavors from other foods before fully enjoying your chocolate treat. Choose neutral beverages or foods like room-temperature sparkling water, apples, or unsalted crackers, and be sure to wait to until all the flavor of the palate cleanser is out of your mouth before taking your next nibble. If you are trying different types of chocolate, it is helpful to wait between each one so the flavors don’t get mixed on your palate. While you wait, it’s a good idea to sip some water and jot down a few tasting notes to compare the flavors and help you choose your favorite later on.

Hope these tips help you to further enjoy your chocolate experience even more fully. Happy tasting!

Sources: 1. Dr. Susan Albers, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic 2. Megan Giller, thekitchn.com