the goals of Chocolatour: to educate and entertain
My goal in writing the Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate series is three-pronged: to educate chocolate lovers about the exciting and extensive world of chocolate, to entertain my readers with insightful and informative profiles and chocolate events, and to inspire them to engage in chocolate travel.
Understandably, the most well-liked events involve chocolate tastings. I was thrilled to be able to share an assortment of single origin Guittard Chocolate yesterday at a gathering of chocolate lovers.
We tried single origin 65% dark chocolate from Ecuador, Venezuela, Columbia, and Madagascar. Single origin chocolate means the beans are from one specific country. This enables you to taste the difference between sources of origin and find your preference.
And we sampled 38% milk chocolate, a 72% bittersweet dark, and a 91% extra dark chocolate made from cocoa mass blended from a variety of sources. Blending cocoa beans is popular among commercial brands. Less so, in handcrafted artisanal chocolate. Read the labels carefully to know what you’re getting/eating.
I always prefer the single origin chocolates as they really give you the chance to close your eyes, inhale the aroma from the chocolate, and then taste the difference between the varietals. In almost every taste test I do with different chocolate companies, I invariably prefer the Madagascan chocolate. The Guittard Madagascar chocolate uses exclusively Criollo beans, thought by many around the world to be the finest tasting cocoa beans you can buy. The result is cocoa with a higher level of acidity, producing chocolate with a fruity flavour that immediately transports you to the tropics.
Guittard also produces fantastic chocolate made from Hawaiian cocoa grown on the Waialua Estate on the North Shore of the island of Oahu. I’ve definitely got to get there and further explore the Hawaiian chocolate scene. I especially enjoyed the 53% cacao semisweet chocolate bar featuring small chunks of Hawaiian cocoa nibs. You can bet I didn’t share that one!