Double Whammee Historic Chocolate Event!
For months we have talked of doing two blind tastings two weeks apart, but with the same chocolates. At last!
The two tastings took place March 9 & 24. Getting a group to two of anything is not easy and we had several who came to the first but could not come to the second. So we had to scratch their scores. In the end we had eight people at both tastings.
The big question, of course, was how would everyone’s ratings come out. Would reactions to the bars vary from one tasting to the next. Only Carrie, our personal Price Waterhouse knew what was what and she was very good at keeping the wraps on everything.
Well, here are the results.
The six bars we tasted at the first meeting, in the order of tasting, were:
Valrhona. 71%. No origin for cacao
Devine. Ghana. 70%
Askinosie. Ecuador. San Jose Del Tambo. 70%
Bittersweet. El Carmen. Tabasco, Mexico, 66%
Michel Cluizel. Mangaro. Madagascar. 65%
Lindt. Madagascar. 65%
The order of tasting at the second meeting was as follows:
Results of First Tasting:
4. Michel Cluizel. Madagascar.
Results of Second Tasting:
1. Michel Cluizel. Madagascar.
A number of questions arose. How much does the order in which the bar is tasted count. And how about the weather? It was markedly warmer at the second tasting and best we try to keep bars at a given temperature, warmer is warmer.
And how different were some of the ratings?
Keeping in mind that we score from one to ten, at the first meeting Mark rated Cluizel only a 2, but at the second meeting he gave it a 6 with a Wow!
Michael scored the Valrhona an 8 at the first meeting saying it was good in a Jane Austen way, sweet yet restrained. At the second he gave it a very consistent 8.7. Go Michael!
At the first tasting Lenny found the Valrhona middle of the road and gave it a 5.5. At the second tasting he thought it was really good and scored it an 8.
The Askinosie went on a roller coaster ride with Susan. She scored an 8.5 first, then only a 4 at the second tasting.
Same with Mark. He scored Askinosie an 8 at first, but only a 2.8 at the second tasting.
Gloria gave Bittersweet an 8 both times. Yo Gloria! And Carrie, a 9 both times!
Carrie gave Devine an 8 the first time around but only a 3 at the second tasting.
As everyone knows we are the only chocolate tasting club in America,
Strange but true. In fact, sad but true. We would love to see other clubs and we have encouraged people to venture out, but while everyone loves to taste chocolate, organizing takes a particular bent of mind and to date no one of that ilk has stepped forward. With the phenomenal rise of dark chocolate one would think this is a slam dunk. Far from it. If people only knew what they were missing.
So we go on having all this fun by ourselves. Imagine that there were chocolate clubs around the country and we did a tasting such as this. The excitement would be electric from coast to coast and would certainly grab the ear of the chocolate industry. Maybe one day.