Wednesday, September 4

Introduction to Fine Chocolate, a Caputo's tasting class

 I've always loved shopping the chocolate section at Caputo's. There's walls and walls of interesting things to try. Hardly any contain dairy; it's a vegan mecca of happiness for me. I jumped at the chance to attend a fine chocolate sampling class to learn the intricacies of one of my very favorite foods by local expert, Matt Caputo.

First we covered the history and making of chocolate, the crowd eagerly listened as Matt attempted to cram a thousand years of stuff into a few minutes. Chocolate is totally complicated. There is a lot to consider like where the beans originated, processing them and finally making the bars.

 Using a grocery store brand as a control, we tasted six different bars along with a pairing of beer and wine. It was eye-opening. The grocery store chocolate brands smells and taste like a strong, sugary vanilla. It's just downright unpleasant compared with finer chocolate. (way to ruin Easter, Matt.) The big take-away from the night was that inferior brands mask the bitterness of their product with a lot of fat (dairy) and vanilla. I think vegans have known that forever. Have you ever had bad vegan chocolate?

It wasn't until I took this class that I could distinguish the things that I like about chocolate. My favorites were the fruity, acidic ones like the Ritual Madagascar and the Domori Javablond. I never ever would have thought that I would enjoy those. I feel like I'm on the verge of a chocolate revolution or something. There's so much to learn and it's all so delicious in different ways. Caputo's offers advanced chocolate classes and I'm looking forward to learning and tasting much more.

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