How Well Do You Know Chocolate?

The Vosges Sensory Collection lets you smell the difference between chocolates

Just like a fine wine, a fine chocolate engages not just your sense of taste, but also your sense of smell. Some chocolates might have more of an earthy palate, while others might evoke the scent of jasmine or tobacco. How well can you recognize the different aromas in different chocolates?

Hot on the Scent of Chocolate

The Sensory Collection from Vosges was designed to help chocolate connoisseurs learn to differentiate the many smells and tastes of chocolate. We've talked about Vosges haut chocolate before with its unique chocolate combinations and desserts. But with the Collection, Vosges is taking chocolate apart, down to its bare essence, instead of building it up with exotic pairings.
This is extreme chocolate tasting!

The collection includes everything needed to host a chocolate tasting party: 40 single origin chocolate bars, 42 bottles of essence, a complete chocolate guidebook, a flavor wheel, a notebook for recording impressions, and a blindfold. The chocolate bars include 28 of dark chocolate, six of milk chocolate, and six of white chocolate. They hail from 15 countries, including Madagascar, Tanzania, Peru, and Java. The aromas include the essences of jasmine, asparagus, and leather. Who would have believed chocolate could have such a range of taste and smell?

Katrina Markoff, owner and chocolatier at Vosges, intends for buyers of the collection to become more informed tasters. The taste of chocolate, she believes, is impacted by its place of origin, as well as the varietal of bean and its fermentation. This goes hand in hand with Vosges stated mission of "a luxury chocolate experience rooted in a sensory journey."

If the kit, as presented, isn't enough for you, Vosges suggests hosting a "cupping party." Cupping chocolate is melting it down to its liquid form, allowing it to coat your palate in a way that solid chocolate can't. To cup chocolate:

• Bring about 1 cup of whole milk or water to a boil (you will need about 2 oz. of liquid for each chocolate bar you are cupping)
• While the liquid boils, place approximately 2 oz. of each flavor of chocolate bar, chopped, into its own microwave safe cup.
• Microwave each cup for about 1 ½ - 2 ½ minutes at 50% power.
• Stir each with a rubber spatula until smooth. Use a separate spatula for each flavor to avoid cross-contamination. Microwave 10-15 seconds more as needed, at 50% power.
• Add 2 oz. hot milk or hot water to each cup and whisk until smooth.
• Sip and compare!

Chocolate will never be just plain chocolate to you again, after you've experienced the Vosges Sensory Collection.