Palate Training with chocolate. Slow down, relax, and focus.

Salt and nibs add to the texture of this bar by Pacari Chocolate.

Slow down.  Relax.  Focus.

Sounds like my plan for the beginning of every year.  In reality it is how I start my chocolate tasting each day.  At least I can stay on track for a few minutes a day ;).

Palate training and learning to taste chocolate is about you as much as it is about the chocolate.  You are training your palate to recognize aromas, flavors, textures.  Your palate is wired directly into your brain therefore impacted by emotions, stress, hormonal fluctuation as well as the obvious residual flavor notes of whatever you ate last. 

Before you begin tasting, as you cleanse your palate, breathe deeply and relax. Clear your mind and prepare to focus so that it is easier to recall and articulate aromas, flavors, and textures you've previously experienced.  Memories are an important part of those associations and easier to access when distractions are at a minimum.  I'll talk more about memory later. 

Once you are relatively calm, yet focused, then it is time to unwrap the chocolate and begin.

Today for a little more texture I unwrapped Pacari Ecuadorian organic chocolate with salt and nibs.



The salt and nibs are mixed in throughout the bar so the back has a relatively smooth surface with a few hints of what is inside.

Salt is immediately tasted but it is balanced by the deep brownie like chocolate notes. The occasional nib crunch provides a good reason to bite down which releases more of the floral tea like notes of the chocolate but if you instead let the chocolate melt slowly you'll be rewarded with a smooth texture.  When all added together, the salt, the chocolate aromas, and the silky melt remind me of eating a salted caramel coated in deep dark chocolate.

Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Raw Chocolate with Salt and Nibs

Another beautiful chocolate experience.

B.