The Chocolate Life

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Genetics, terroir, fermentation and drying along with other post harvesting and processing stages can all play a role in the flavor of the chocolate we eat. Trying to understand why I experience what I am experiencing is a part of the enjoyment for me and also has enabled me to appreciate the skill of the makers of these chocolate bars. I was hoping this forum could improve on my "Notes on Flavor". It is a table that lists a flavor or mouthfeel with a possible explanation. There are definitely genetic and regional differences in cacao. That is really a bit more than I am addressing. I refer to notes by Peter Rot and Karen Hochman on ( for those descriptions of regional characteristics.

Between that type of list and the type of list I started it should be a good way to understand the flavors and experiences we have with the chocolate we eat. Any help correcting or adding to my notes on flavor is the idea behind this discussion. Also, if any one has any other ideas on understanding how flavors and mouthfeels are developed in single origin chocolate or blended chocolate it would be interesting to hear.

(Clay: What is the best way to add my file to the body of the discussion? It would be great if it could be viewed without having to open it as an attachment.)

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Hi Samantha,
Thanks for your reply, I found your posts to be quite clear and very informative. i wasn't challenging your opinion i just found two contradictory posts and was trying to find more info. The cacao is being sundried in a marquesina. So I am going to try conching for longer to try and lessen the acidity. Also, this growers association sent a sample to a Swiss lab and the results were high bitterness, highly sour and moderatly astringent. I am continuing to play with fermentacion lengths and methods. Thanks again for your posts and comments.
Samantha, Thank you for the time you spent sharing this great information. I hope many others read it too. This is what I was looking for with this post. Brady
Thank you, Brady and Samantha for putting together a great set of information regarding the flavors of chocolate. This information was very enlightening.
Also, are you considering flavor in non-100% chocolate? Does sugar contain some flavor of its own?
Thanks. For some reason, I was also thinking that depending on how the sucrose is obtained it might have a different flavor (cane, beets, etc).

Why is there no organic/Fair Trade refined white sugar? Is it just too costly for organic, Fair Trade companies to make refined white sugar?


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