The secret behind the chefs’ art of chocolate tasting and sensory language
This was how the chocolate tasting ritual looked like:
It was here at the famous Le Cordon Bleu, in the heart of Shanghai. Smarten in their chef wears, the chefs started by studying the appearance of the chocolate against a white background. Some wore a blindfold to isolate their sense of touch.
The chocolate was assessed for the melting rate and pliability. The chefs also snapped the chocolate close to their ears with their eyes still closed.
Engaging all five senses - to discover new dimensions of chocolate
The chefs have just participated in a full immersion into all four categories of chocolates – milk, dark, white, and - newly launched last year - ruby chocolate. The unique tasting experiences of these chocolates were truly linked to cocoa origin, cocoa varieties, product processing parameters, recipes and Barry Callebaut’s global Gourmet brands: Callebaut®, Cacao Barry® and Carma®.
Barry Callebaut’s unique chocolate tasting ritual fully engages all five senses: Sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. It enables chocolate professionals – and consumers alike – to discover new dimensions of the chocolate experience and elevates the chocolate enjoyment to the next level.
Taste and sensory language goes hand-in-hand - for the first time ever!
Together with the leading global flavor house Givaudan, our cocoa and chocolate sensory scientists devoted years of extensive research to develop a cocoa and chocolate sensory language.
Resulting in the so-called Consumer Chocolate Sensory Wheel, people are now provided with 87 descriptors, which extensively cover the different flavors, textures and aromas of chocolate. The comprehensive sensory language is deeply rooted in science – and it is the first time that chocolate flavors are described in such a precise manner. Chefs all over the world can now speak a common language, and their stories will create a higher awareness of the intricate tastes and flavors of chocolate.
The Chocolate Tasting Ritual is just one of the resources, learnings and tools that we have today, that provides numerous opportunities for knowledge transfer to the chef community in China.
A taste for tradition, modernity and quality
It comes as no surprise then that the chocolate tasting ritual is a fresh new experience inspired by the age-old practice of tea tasting ceremonies in China.
The chocolate tasting ritual for 50 chefs gathering in Shanghai was held during the 7th edition of Barry Callebaut’s Global Chef Seminar in Shanghai. This city has one of the most exciting food trends in the world, while traditional flavors still reigned in the palates of locals.
For three days, these chefs had the opportunity to network and attend comprehensive thought leadership sharings with experts and peers in the industry. They equipped each other with industry insights on the latest trends, topical challenges best practices, for them to navigate and excel in the competitive and evolving pastry landscape.
Global chef seminar in Shanghaihttps://www.barry-callebaut.com/sites/default/files/styles/paragraph_image_gallery_full/public/2019-01/50_chefs_from_around_world_including_world-renowned_and_award-winning_artisans_undergoing_the_chocolate_tasting_ritual_in_shanghai_china_1.jpg?itok=Ald19jTd
Global chef seminar in Shanghaihttps://www.barry-callebaut.com/sites/default/files/styles/paragraph_image_gallery_full/public/2019-01/sight_touch_hearing_smell_and_taste_enables_us_to_discover_new_dimensions_of_the_chocolate_experience_1.jpg?itok=39V-uiSC
Global chef seminar in Shanghaihttps://www.barry-callebaut.com/sites/default/files/styles/paragraph_image_gallery_full/public/2019-01/using_the_consumer_chocolate_sensory_wheel_chefs_and_chocolate_enthusiasts_can_improve_the_overall_sensory_enjoyment_of_chocolate_1.jpg?itok=9WRkbE9r
Chocolate sensory wheelhttps://www.barry-callebaut.com/sites/default/files/styles/paragraph_image_gallery_full/public/2019-01/barry_callebaut_chocolate_sensory_wheel_1.png?itok=fSqMBAMY