Monday, December 27, 2010

Describing Chocolate

As I rack up the chocolate reviews, I frequently encounter bars whose scent and taste I can't accurately describe. Some flavors are obvious to me, like dark red berries and raisins, tropical fruit, or red wine, but those don't always fit the bill. Other times I might use the same term, like tart, to characterize two bars that are indeed tart but in different ways, so my description is lacking.

With these weaknesses in mind I'd like to try a more rigorous vocabulary, and this chart seems like a good place to begin. I can think of two potential downsides. First, it might not help you as a reader to hear that a given bar smells of mushroom, or tastes of cedar. I'll try to minimize the over-description by first noting that the chocolate is mild, or bitter, or whatever else you might experience as someone who just wants to eat chocolate that tastes good. The second problem is that I don't entirely know what I'm doing. Chocolate doesn't usually come at you with a strong punch of vodka, ashes, or grass, so I'll be reaching for what are often very subtle flavor distinctions. I apologize for any confusion this may generate, and I hope you enjoy the process nonetheless. I think it'll be fun!

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