LISA: Hi I’m Lisa Birnbach for howdini.com. You or I might bite into a piece of chocolate and say something like, wow yummy. But chocolate connoisseurs have their own way of tasting and describing chocolate. If you want to upgrade from chocoholic to connoisseur listen up to chocolate expert Clay Gordon, whose new book is called discover chocolate. Is there another language we should be using instead of yummy?
CLAY: No, yummy works really, really well as a matter of fact, but the language of talking about chocolate is very similar to the language of wine. It turns out that a plain bar of chocolate can have fruit flavors in it or have nut flavors in it. It could have tobacco flavors, wood and smoke and all these kinds of flavors in it. So the difference between drinking wine and tasting wine, when you taste it you slow down and you catalogue all the sense impressions. The same thing is true for the chocolate, what does it look like? You pick it up and there is a really nice sheen-
LISA: It’s really pretty.
CLAY: It’s a beautiful, beautiful bar of chocolate. That’s actually a good indication of quality, the chocolateer actually done a good job of manufacturing that bar. And then what you want to do is snap it; you know does it smell, does it snap well? And then you want to break it up again, what does it smell like? What you want to do is a basic catalogue, so what does it smell like? Right, does it smell sweet; do you smell a lot of vanilla? Is there a big chocolate smell to it?
LISA: It’s very chocolate. This chocolate smells like chocolate.
CLAY: Very, very earthy, very earthy chocolate. A strong chocolate flavor. And then, what you want to do is find the answer to the question, do you chew?
LISA: I’m going to let it-
CLAY: Or do you let it melt?
CLAY: And the answer is you usually do both because you want to get the textural sensation of chewing. So you chew it a couple of times-
LISA: Can I?
CLAY: Of course, put it in your mouth; chew a couple of times, right to start the melting process. And then you get the chocolate of the top of your tongue and let it melt. It’s a very rich, very, very strong earthy chocolate flavor. You may notice there is a little drying sensation
CLAY: That’s in wine what we would call constringency, but one of the things you’ll notice here is that there is not pasty texture in your mouth. The cocoa cocoa butter is melted and it clears out of the mouth very, very cleanly. And it turns out the higher the quality of the chocolate; the less you need to eat to feel satisfied.
LISA: Thank you so much.
CLAY: It’s been my pleasure.
LISA: For howdini.com I’m Lisa Birnbach.