Over the past few years, I’ve developed a fondness for dark chocolate. I’m not a lover of candy, and overly sugary stuff just doesn’t appeal to me. But give me something rich or decadent, and I’ll probably bite. I also happen to take delight in almost anything truly gourmet, so it makes perfect sense that gourmet dark chocolates have a special place in my heart. All of that to say, recently I began to think that this love of dark chocolate should be further explored. I’m in the process of penning my bucket list, so I added the following item:
taste my way through 200 varieties of dark chocolate
Ambitious? Perhaps a bit. Doable? Oh, YES. I figure I’ll try one new variety per week, and it will take me a couple years. By the time it’s all said and done, I’ll be something like a dark chocolate aficionado. I hope to try some of the more obscure varieties, and get to know the difference in quality, taste, texture, and how the chocolates are made.
I started my journey with this Taza Salted Almond Chocolate Mexicano, purchased at a specialty foods and chef store in Stockholm, Wisconsin. This chocolate is organic, and only has four ingredients (organic cane sugar, organic Dominican cacao beans, organic roasted California almonds, and a touch of salt). It is stone ground, using Mexican stone mills and a recipe straight from Oaxaca, Mexico. Taza chocolates are made in Somerville, MA using only the best ingredients.
After unwrapping the wax paper packaging, I found two disks of chocolate. Breaking off a piece, I tasted it and started jotting down my first impressions. The texture is what hit me first. Not smooth, but instead rough and almost grainy. It had an edge to it–a very grown-up chocolate. It was sweet and decadent, but with a hint of something else. The salt! The flavors of almond and salt were mingled with the taste of the chocolate, making for an edgy, delightful treat. Below is my quick report, one of which I will do for each chocolate I taste.
NO. 1 // CHOCOLATE: Taza Salted Almond Chocolate Mexicano // FROM: The Palate, Stockholm, WI // COST: $6 // DARKNESS: 40% // TEXTURE: rough // TASTE: salty, sweet, edgy // RATING: 7
If you have any suggestions for my future chocolate tastings, leave them in the comments, or feel free to actually send ‘em my way.