Chef Chocolatier Philippe Daue’s Chocolate Tasting Tips
What is the one thing people should do to taste chocolate better?
Buy only the best quality chocolate (Godiva of course).
What is your step by step routine to enjoy chocolate?
To taste chocolate better you must do the 5-step rule; use all the senses:
- Visual- the chocolate should be visually appealing and attractive, always shiny and smooth and never dull, grey. Even the packaging is important, good quality chocolate comes in expensive packaging to protect the chocolate, this locks in the flavour.
- Touch- again the chocolate needs to be smooth to touch, no grains, sensual and pleasant to feel
- Listen- list the chocolate and break it next to your ear, wait for the snap. The best quality chocolate should have a good strong snap this means there is a lot of great cocoa butter.
- Smell- smell the chocolate but not too close to the nose, the smell should have a good aroma. Rub the chocolate with your fingers 3-4 times, this will release more of the aromas and increase the appeal to taste it
- Taste- take a small piece and let it melt in the mouth for 5-6 seconds, wait for it to spread around the mouth and then chew. Keep the mouth closed and breath in through your nose – this empowers all the senses.
Finally, there should always be an enjoyable after taste, if the chocolate taste stays in the mouth (if you don’t eat or drink anything else) its great quality chocolate, if not its bad.
How do you develop a palate?
Practice. Establish the elements of the chocolate for example is it a caramel, is it fruity? Repeat the 5-step tasting process.
You don’t need to be a professional to enjoy good quality chocolate, not like with wine for example. Anyone can appreciate amazing quality chocolate if they follow these steps and practice tasting more! However, once you have tried good quality chocolate you will not be able to go back to ordinary, or cheap chocolate.
Does chocolate taste better at certain times of day?
This can depend on your mood, and your culture, Belgians enjoy chocolate at breakfast, children eat Nutella in the morning.
How can we enjoy the taste of chocolate more?
The setting you are in makes such a difference when tasting chocolate. A study was carried out in a luxurious restaurant setting with rich chocolate ganache dessert, it was presented on fine tableware with amazing service. The comments were ‘outstanding.’ The same dessert was then served in a takeaway paper box, from a low-end café and the feedback was ‘ordinary’.
Presentation is important, you wouldn’t appreciate a glass of wine from a mug.
Is it important to read the descriptions of the chocolates first in order to enjoy them more?
It’s better to read descriptions after you have tasted the chocolate. This makes it more of a surprise and more exciting when eating the chocolate. You may discover a flavour you had never tried before, it’s more adventurous.
About Chef Philippe:
Belgium-born Philippe comes from a family with a long tradition of producing highly-skilled chefs. He is the son of a famous Michelin two-star chef and is the fourth generation to make fine food his life’s work.
Before joining Godiva as a Chef Chocolatier, Philippe travelled the world as an Executive Pastry Chef, working in leading hotels across the globe. He has lent his fine dessert expertise to the Shangri-La Hotel, the Mandarin Oriental and the Hilton, in countries including India, Thailand, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia and, naturally, his home country of Belgium. As a result, Philippe is fluent in many languages, including Dutch, English, French, Bahasa Indonesia and Thai.
Between 2010 and 2012 Philippe served as the Area Executive Pastry Chef for the Shangri-La Hotel Group, creating exquisite desserts for a number of leading hotel restaurants.
Philippe’s extensive travels and experience in the luxury market mean that he is perfectly placed to innovate fusion between the classic indulgence of the Godiva chocolate experience and exciting cultural influences from across the globe.