Happy Monday! What better way to start off the week than with chocolate?
“You’ve been invited to a chocolate tasting” is one of the best things a girl could hear. I had only been to wine and champagne tastings, so I was beyond excited to attend.
The event was hosted by Paris power couple Monique Wells & Tom Reeves of Discover Paris! in Habitat Parisien’s gorgeous Vivienne apartment. It was the perfect setting for the occasion. Chocolate expert and Mococha Chocolat owner Marie-Hélène Gantois led our mouthwatering dégustation.
After lovely introductions where we got to know our co-tasters, we launched into a presentation on the art of chocolate making and its history. It was fascinating! A few fun facts: chocolate is cocoa that has sugar added to it. It originated as a drink in the Americas and later gained its popularity in Europe initially as a medication. In Europe, chocolat evolved into the art it is today and the guilty pleasure of many gourmands.
After a quiz to find out our “chocolate personalities,” we dove into the first part of the tasting. Here’s how you do it: you take a square of chocolate, snap it in half so you can hear the clear crack (which it will have if it’s high quality chocolate), then smell the chocolate where it has been cracked, where it will have its purest scent. Then put it in your mouth and allow it to sit and melt for a bit. A good chocolate will release its flavors, so you should taste chocolate, its flavors and/or other ingredients, and finish with the taste of chocolate.
After enjoying some luscious dark chocolates from Ecuador, Cuba, and Peru, we began the blind tasting. Sandy Allen, one of our co-tasters, had the most incredible palate! I was surprised by some of the ingredients, but mostly by how well they married with the chocolate. My favorite was the basil chocolate. I will be definitely be heading to Mococha for more!
Thank you to Monique & Tom for hosting such a wonderful event and for inviting the Englishman and me to join in on the fun, to Marie-Hélène Gantois for the brilliant presentation and for letting us enjoy her divine chocolates, to my fellow chocolate tasters, Danielle, Adrian Leeds, Richard & Sandy Allen, and Diane & Eric from Girl Cook in Paris for such great company, and to Habitat Parisien for the perfectly Parisian apartment.
Read a few more accounts of our delicious afternoon!