Using salted water to help tasting, Yes or No?

Jeffry Lukito
10/23/10 13:22:09
I experimented with palates a while back while trying to introduce Fine Chocolate Tasting to my country*.(Wines are starting to boom, but no tastings nor appreciation for fine chocolates and cheeses in my country)

After experimenting with several things, I was intrigued how Saltine crackers can neutralize the tongue and using salted chocolates in dessert can clear the "fed-up" feeling in the tongue while eating a dessert. I came to realization that saltiness are the "enemies" of bitterness.
I tried and found that using salted water can help the tongue to neutralize the bitter flavour in chocolate(which most people taste when tasting high percentage chocolates).

The salted water I used isn't so salty, salt's just a pinch so that the water tasted bland and little bit astringent rather than cool and refreshing.

I introduced it in my tasting session, and noticed that most people that couldn't notice the floral, fruity, and sweet notes started to notice them after washing their palates with the salted water.

I wonder if anyone has tried this?

And if you have any other method to "train" the tongue to notice the hidden notes, please do tell.

*PS : In my country, the food usually has very strong flavour, and often very very very spicy/hot. This makes most people's palates are used to very sweet flavor of chocolates rather than bitter and exotic. I "invented" this method to "train" the palates to start differing the notes in chocolates.