Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chocolate | Flavor notes

I love chocolate.

There are few who would not agree with this phrase.

However, I am a little weird (okay, some call this particular) about my love of chocolate. I'm not a huge fan of things that taste like chocolate and currently prefer eating chocolate in bar form over confections because I feel that adding too many ingredients can mask the different chocolate notes that make chocolate tasting so fun. That's not to say that I don't like confections, it's just like mostly drinking black coffee, but getting a milk-sugar-and-flavor infused espresso drink one in a while.

So what are these flavor notes?

  • Nutty 
  • Roasted 
  • Red Fruity 
  • Citrus 
  • Floral 
  • Earthy 
  • Chocolaty 
  • Acidic 

Okay, so these will differ a little depending on who you talk to, and many of them can be broken down into more specific flavor notes. These are just the ones that I personally look for. I'm also going to emphasize that these are flavors that you can pick up from chocolates that have been made without additional ingredients that will skew the flavor. For example, chocolate with raspberry filling will obviously taste like red, ripe fruits and chocolate with nuts mixed in will obviously nutty. The thing that absolutely fascinates me, and the reason I love chocolate so much, is that you can achieve similar flavors without these extra ingredients. Crazy, right??

PS- high quality beans are necessary to pick up these notes, as well as a high cacao percentage, so please don't go out and purchase some Hershey's or Dove chocolate bars and tell me that I'm crazy. I'll be introducing some of my favorite chocolates here soon!

Until then, what are some of your favorite chocolates? I'm always on the look out for some tasty treats!!


  1. Main-stream American chocolate is the worst. Seriously the worst. I wish I had more disposable income to learn the different flavor notes of chocolate! That being said, I LOVE the Theo Chocolate brand- they are made locally in Seattle with fair trade cocoa. My favorite bar in Nib Brittle- 70 or 80% cocoa with bits of beans in it. Sooo dark and rich... but they don't sell it anymore! Also dark chocolate with orange peel. I could go on and on here...

    1. Theo's is great for tasting chocolate notes. They tend to keep their single origin chocolate quite strongly skewed toward one or two flavor notes so they're really easy to identify. These bars tend to be a little too unbalanced for my taste, but I do love using it to make hot chocolate :)

      That's so sad! I wonder if they make something else instead? Have you been on their tour?

      Also, does Chicago have any awesome local chocolate stores?