The New Taste Of Chocolate

Reading about chocolate is ALMOST as satisfying as tasting chocolate itself

This morning I am re-reading one of my favorite books ever: “The New Taste Of Chocolate” by Maricel Presilla.

From history to biology, this book is a must-have to kickstart your knowledge on everything cacao. But even when you finish it, I suggest you keep it in sight to go back and review some chapters here and there. You will always find new details that you missed the previous time

For example, I am currently reading about off-flavors in the Tasting Chocolate chapter:

“What does the chocolate smell like?

I first check for undesirable odors. These are mostly the result of poor postharvest treatment of the cacao bean or the inherent aroma of certain poor-quality beans. Some unfermented or artificially dried Amelonados and Upper Amazon cacaos smell like burnt rubber or plastic

Cacao has a knack for absorbing odors.

When cacao is stored in humid conditions, it can absorb the grassy odor of the burlap bag. Cacao beans dried over wood fires have a smoky scent that the trade characterizes as hammy. While overfermented beans give chocolate the smell of rotting fruit, moldy beans impart a disagreeable stale odor.”

Much needed read since I can always taste when something in the chocolate is wrong, but I can never figure out why.

Now I know

How do you recognize off-flavors in chocolate?