Last week I challenged you guys to virtually decipher the chocolates I featured in a blind chocolate tasting at the last Underground Chocolate Salon, and the results were awesome.
Here were the hints I gave you:
- Smelled sheetrock or something industrial. Gritty texture but smooths out. Flat. Strange aftertaste.
- Earthy. “Wet, dead fall.” Leaves, wood, but not in a bad way. Burny. Crumbly. More interesting. Enjoyed it and would pick this over #1 and #3.
- Peanuts. Boring, fine, flat. Nice texture.
And here are the responses:
“#1 - Sol Cacao: I’ve never been to Harlem, but the chocolate flavor description matches my mental picture of that borough (industrial & gritty).
#2 - Your creation: I’ve tried some Raaka chocolates before & they were always a bit “earthy” to me.
#3 - Mast Brothers: Unfortunately, we bought a set of 13 chocolates from them when they had a “pop up” in L.A. before the bad press came out (I probably wouldn’t willingly buy them again at this point) & my impression of their chocolates has always been “boring.””
— Patricia Baker, My Year in Chocolate
Patricia Baker hit it head on: Sol Cacao, mine, Mast Bros. I'm not sure why people liked mine better than the "real" chocolates, but I think it's because people who are interested in food are always looking for new tastes. In this context, "different" doesn't mean "bad." And mine was certainly different, though I thought it was especially terrible. Nate Hodge from Raaka agreed that I'd made truly horrendous chocolate. At first he thought it was because I'd had the beans so long they'd gone rancid. But then he decided that I'd overrefined the sugar, leading to a gummy texture. And of course storing the chocolate in ice cube molds gave it a lovely plastic, freezer-burned taste. Delicious.
PSA: I tried my hand at making chocolate for an upcoming story and for my book. I will in no way be trying to make my own chocolate again: I’ll leave that to the experts. After all, I’m primarily a chocolate EATER…