By Kristina, 2010-03-21
It was my first tasting "for official purposes".
To address the invited representatives of several European countries I've decided
to present 7 European chocolate manufacturers and, in order to reveal the
appeal, uniqueness and variety of chocolate, to choose 7 single origins from around
the world. The most difficult task was to mach them in an appropriate way.
The next difficult task was to get all these fine chocolates. Not really easy
to a traveling friend, unfamiliar with these things to get some bars for me in
Brussels, Berlin or Hamburg, even if I did all the research and gave proper
instructions. The chocolate variety might be really overwhelming! Ordering in
an online shop seemed to become quite an expensive matter, for it wasn't
possible to find everything you need at one place... And who wants to spend
more on shipping than on the chocolate itself?
A lucky accident let me come across an owner of a great shop in Hamburg
which even hasnt got an online shop. But she was ready to help me, anyway, and
just couldn't suggest one sort of 7 (the only one I could get here, in Lithuania,
isnt this lucky?!)
The result then looked like this:
The "chocolate stops":
- Panama with Zotter, Austria, 40%, milk
- Papua New Guinea with Zaabr (which works with Callebaut) Belrgium 64%
- Java/Highland Jember with Betty Daring, which works with Felchlin, Switzerland 64%
- Vila Gracinda/Sao Tome with Michael Cluizel, France 67%
- Venezuela/Sur del Lago with Domori, Italy 70%
- Jamaica with Coppeneur, Germany 72%
- Congo/Monts de la lune with Blanxart, Spain 82%
Our tasting plates looked like that:
Since I didn't know about chocolate bias of our guests, I did my best to design the tasting to be entertaining..
It was the right way to let them riddling about where could the chocolate could be from
etc. I showed the packaging and commented on particular orgin or manufacturer only after everyone had made his or her mind.
I was really glad to have very curious tasters - everyone seemed to have fun
discovering, this included aso taste nuances and differences. And one should have seen these glad smiles when a chocolate from the home country was appreciated by the fellow tasters. Well, I really did my best presenting every country from its chocolate side.
The favorites were (alphabetically):
The guests were happy, so was I. After the preparation stress ("my
goodness, I haven't been speaking advanced English for ages...will I manage to
speak fluently enough and finding right expressions not loosing my plot")
I enjoyed the event quite a lot. The communication was great, there was
vivid interest, and there were lots of questions (all of them - and it is also quite
important - I could answer), there were smiles and new ideas...