I was invited with a group of bloggers to attend Chocolate 101: Introduction to Fine Chocolate held at Tony Caputo's in Salt Lake City.
We all love chocolate, don't we? I was sure this would be an easy class, right?
Yes, it was easy, but it opened up my eyes and tastebuds to a whole new world of chocolate.
First, we were given a brief history of chocolate and where we get our chocolate.
Next, we were given some small samples of chocolate to taste.
Before we could taste it though, we had to:
Look at the chocolate.
Smell the chocolate.
Pop it into our mouths and let it melt. No chewing allowed.
Then we had to breathe in through our mouth and out our nose to get the full flavor(s) of the chocolate.
Try it sometime.
It will change your world.
What is quality chocolate?
Not all dark chocolate is considered quality chocolate, so be careful...
Fine chocolate should not smell like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. It should smell like cacao.
It should melt in your mouth.
Breathe in the flavors while breathing out through your nose. You should be able to detect earthy tones, lavender, coffee, citrus or any other components of the chocolate.
These classes are taught monthly by Matt Caputo, a self-made chocolate connoisseur. He samples chocolates from all over the world, eating anywhere from 1/4 lb. to 1 lb. of chocolate daily. How does he do it? Matt explains that you don't need a lot of quality chocolate before it becomes filling.
Did you know that one of the top chocolate makers is here in Utah? Amano Artisan Chocolate is located in Orem Utah, producing quality chocolate for Tony Caputo's and many other establishments around the world.
At the end of the class, we sampled this chocolate cake....this is a half slice. It was so moist and I could tell the icing had notes of lavender in it.
Next, we sampled this:
Oh my. My heart stopped. My mouth wanted this moment to last forever...
Flaky layers of pastry sourround a mound of chocolate ganache in the middle, encased in a crunchy, crispy, caramelized top....
What is this incredible pastry, you ask?
This French pastry (pronounced "Queen Ahmaan") is worth the trip to SLC.
While you're there, pick up a couple of bars of chocolate and sign up for a chocolate tasting class!
Fine Chocolate Does Not Come From Beligium, by Janet Thaeler, organizer of this event!
Caputo's Chocolate Class, by Cariann of Sweet Basil
Want to buy some chocolate online? Caputo's Fine Imported & Gourmet Chocolate Bars
You can follow Caputo's on Pinterest , Facebook and read their blog.