As a self-confessed chocolate addict, I regularly get get asked …

“What’s your favourite chocolate?”

Which led me to record my Chocolate Experiences here, using a linear 5 point rating scale as shown below.

Score 1 5
TEXTURE Gritty/grainy or overly fatty/waxy. Beautifully smooth, no waxy or fatty after-taste.
FLAVOUR Doesn’t taste like real chocolate; think Cadbury Dairy Milk or artificial flavours. Highly desirable flavour, or combination of flavours if there are other ingredients. You’ll keep coming back for more.
 COMPLEXITY Not necessarily bad flavour, but lacks depth. Many layers of flavour which change over time as you savour it. More than food, this is a spiritual experience!
STRENGTH Mild flavour for the cacao percentage declared. Not challenging. Very strong flavour. Often this is a high quality, high percentage dark chocolate. Not for those who prefer mild milk chocolate.
PRESENTATION Either the chocolate itself, or the packaging, or both, look pretty ordinary. Attention to detail from start to finish. The chocolate itself has a refined appearance and the packaging is a work of art.
OVERALL Just an average of all of the above ratings. Don’t judge a chocolate on this score alone, or you might miss something with fantastic flavour and complexity!

Some Points to Consider

  • TEXTURE: Chocolate should be smooth, not gritty/grainy, or leave a fatty/waxy after-taste. The exception is raw chocolate which by nature is grainy.
  • FLAVOUR: Is so variable it is difficult to rate, so this is very much my personal preference. Try it for yourself to form your own opinion.
  • COMPLEXITY: Good chocolate will have different layers of flavour which develop and change over time as you savour it.
  • STRENGTH: Is often declared in percentage of cacao solids, but how that affects the experience can vary. For instance, some 70% cacao products will have a proportionally higher ratio of cacao butter to cacao liquor, and thus have a milder flavour.
  • PRESENTATION: Some chocolate can be a work of art. But make sure you look deeper, because not all exquisite-looking chocolate actually tastes good. Likewise the chocolate and packaging might appear very plain, but it might be a gem of flavour, complexity and strength.

I hope you find these reviews interesting and useful. If you have also tasted one of the chocolates I have reviewed, please post your opinion in the comments.

Join me on a quest for the ultimate chocolate experience!

Copyright Ian Breakspear, 2014