Saturday, March 07, 2009


As of late, many articles have been written about a new trend of artisan chocolate makers and the fans of high percentage chocolate. "Single bean", Terroir", "Limited Vintages" to just name a few of the buzz words I read about. Sounds vaguely familiar to some wine enthusiasts I have encountered over my years in the hotel industry.

Well, I got an expert in the house, so I decided to put some bars to the test. After all, Isabella's favorite chocolate is a complex,two toned, single cast, hollowed out piece of chocolate with a surprise twist at the end. The Kinder Egg.
So qualified, she must be able to taste the underlying flavors of cherry fruitiness, paired with wafts of earthiness before the cocoa bean smacks you on the head, for which Scharffen Berger is so famous for. Right?

Four different bars to the test, ranging from 41% cocoa content, all the way up to 82%. Pure luxury for chocophiles. Ehm, I can just picture those dinner parties, where for dessert you get just a single bite of a variety of bars to taste. Would I spoil THAT party. A bite? You must be kidding.

Anyway. A glass of milk (?) to rinse her palate after each different bar and Isabella is ready for this highly scientific experiment. Very much like with a cheese board, I start Isabella out with a bite of the mildest bar. 41% Extra Rich Milk Chocolate.
How is it, I asked. "Good." Not exactly what I expected as a response, compared to some knowledgeable chocolate lover's descriptions I have read so much about online and in airline magazines. Oh well. Good is better than spitting.

Onwards to 62% and 70% cocoa contents. Semi Sweet and Bitter Sweet. How are they? "OK."

What do you mean OK? Can you taste anything else than Chocolate? The look Isabella gives me after that question....yep, Papa can be weird sometimes. I kept probing for any flavors, such as Tar, Leather, Grapefruit. Nothing? Are you sure?
Now she is asking to call her Mom, a sure sign Isabella is getting freaked out.

Major milk rinse. Or was it just a giant gulp to wash down that unfamiliar taste of a 70% cocoa bean bar? Isabella did not tell me. I suspect latter. Not such a big grin anymore. Only one more bar, Isabella. I promise. Yes, this one will be the best one.

82% EXTRA DARK by Scharffen Berger. A highly praised, sensuos chocolate treat to some.
Isabella takes a bite, let's the piece melt a little on her unspoiled taste buds just like a pro, contemplates the experience, looks at me.....and ....."More milk please." "Quick, please."
But Isabella, can you tell me first about the flavors please? No? Are you crying? OK, OK. I'll get the milk. Experiment over.
Maybe I should host a dinner party next time.

Here is a review from a great, informative and educational Chocolate Blog I am reading:

My personal favorite? Read about it here:


Nicole said...

LOL this blog made me laugh! Your poor freaked out daughter. How dare you torture her with dark chocolate. Bring on the Kinder eggs. Hey, they at least have a toy inside. I admit I'm addicted to them. I enjoy dark chocolate so the next time you need a tester I'm there! I promise to say more than "good" and "ok" and "give me more milk!". I'll say stuff like "Mmmm" and "yumdillyumptuous!" and "give me more chocolate!!!"

Nicole said...


That is one cool chair she's sitting on! Is it an auction find?

Anonymous said...

HA, very good! I like her review better than most professionals' reviews. Honest, raw and matter-of-fact. Way to go Isabella!

H.Peter said...

Hi Nicole,

yes it was a fun experiment. And Isabella is going back to her Kinder Eggs now.

The chair is one of a pair and was an auction buy in the US. Victoria had them re-upholstered

H.Peter said...

Hello Lorne,

It was really funny and a great way to spend some "quality" time with Isabella.

I have to tell you though, those bars are brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to try one, just to see if I can agree with her judgment of them.

Anonymous said...

So if you ever have to punish her, instead of grounding are you going to force her to eat 82% instead? ;)

H.Peter said...

Ah, good idea. Eat this! But yes, you can play in the yard....

Jean-Pierre said...

You are so weird.(yes, you papa.)

GFE--gluten free easily said...

When you indicated she had more of a refined taste for chocolate than the average youngster (myself being completely ignorant about the Kinder Egg), I thought you might be the coolest dad ever, but then the image changed. I think Isabella did well. I can't even discern the flavors always. And, I did have some Varlhona chocolate recently that even more than a small square was too intense.


H.Peter said...

Hi Shirley,

yes, Kinder eggs....I even buy them for Isabella once ina while, if for nothing else than to share the chocolate...

Valhrona is a great chocolate maker.