Building a chocolate vocabulary

Eating – the action of lifting food to your mouth, chewing and swallowing – is pretty straightforward. Tasting is something else entirely.

Even then, there’s a difference between tasting and being able to articulate what you’re tasting. Often, people lack the vocabulary to describe what they’re tasting. The lack of vocabulary can be frustrating, because then you can’t communicate what you’re experiencing to someone else – and as a result, you can’t compare results or have a conversation about it.

I know that my palate has gotten better as I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve become more conscious about tasting. Even then, my ability to describe flavours in chocolate is much more advanced than, say, wine or coffee, two products that are equally complex and flavourful. Typical chocolate profiles include the words fruity, nutty, floral, toasty…and the list is endless.

What words do you use to describe the flavours in chocolate?

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2010, The Chocolate Tasting KitTags, , , 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Building a chocolate vocabulary”

  1. E your question is driving me crazy! the more I think about it, the more “texture or smell” related words I come up with: flat, mellow or silky. What about tangy, zesty, buttery, piquant or plain wishy-washy

  2. Luisa and Buffalofoodie, thanks! It’s always interesting to hear what words come to other people.

    Seneca, likewise – and thanks for passing on this link. I notice that “toast” is missing from the wheel, which is one flavour that I particularly like. There are a number of other wheels out there…maybe it’ll be a mini-project of mine to consolidate them (lest anyone, ahem, reinvent the tasting wheel).

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