Chocolate for Lent

Have you seen the movie Chocolat? 

Blown in by the north wind, an iconoclastic single mother (Oscar nominee Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter move into a peaceful French village and open an uncommon chocolate shop during the height of Lent — directly across the street from a church. At first, the shop’s rich, sensuous desserts scandalize the town. But the villagers (including Judi Dench, Lena Olin and Johnny Depp) soon learn to savor the sweetness. – Netflix

It’s time to watch it again.  Even if you gave up chocolate for Lent – remember that Lent is not observed on Sundays – I invite you to gather some friends to watch the movie and do a chocolate tasting together.  It’s very much like a wine-tasting.

See and taste that the Lord is good.  – Psalm 34:8

I found a website with ideas for hosting a chocolate tasting party, but you can just simple read on here and get the quick-read version.  I planned a chocolate tasting at a dinner party for our preschool teachers recently, and this is how we did it:

Supplies needed:

  • Platters or plates for chocolate (turn the chocolate pieces up-side down to keep the brand a secret)
  • Bowls for berries and salty snacks
  • 4 to 8 bars of chocolate – we had 8 for 30 people (see below for tips on selecting chocolates)
  • a variety of fresh berries
  • some saltines or pretzel sticks
  • warm, not hot, green tea slightly sweetened with honey
  • cups for tea (we used small plastic tumblers)
  • napkins
  • labels indicating the type of chocolate (cocoa %, origin, etc.)
  • pencils and a sensory evaluation form: Organoleptic Exploration of Chocolate

Then review the instructions with everyone at the table:

  1. Begin with a clean palate by taking a sip of warm green tea.
  2. Taste one chocolate variety at a time, exploring all sensory facets in order (see evaluation form) before proceeding to the next chocolate.
  3. Begin with a chocolate that has a low cocoa solids content and progress upward from there.
  4. Between each variety cleanse your palate by eating small amounts of fresh berries, dry salty snacks and drinking a few sips green tea.
  5. Keep notes on each variety tasted.

That’s it!  Have fun and let me know about your chocolate tasting party…and which chocolate is your favorite!

Tips on selecting chocolate:

 We had a variety of chocolates:

  • Different brands: Aldi’s Premium, Trader Joe’s Organic, Scharffenberger, Valhrona Noir, Lindt and Dove.
  • Different countries of origin: Africa, Madgagascar, South America, Ecuador, Venezuela, etc.
  • Different cocoa solids content: 33%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 73%, 75%, 85%
  • Different countries of manufacture: USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria

About chefmomrd

Chef, Mom, Registered Dietitian
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2 Responses to Chocolate for Lent

  1. Nikki says:

    I’d love to know the results and which was the unanimous winner of best chocolate. Uhm…..but you better the me after Easter! 😉

    • chefmomrd says:

      Nikki, there wasn’t a unanimous winner – every one tastes differently for a variety of reasons: age, gender, what one is familliar with, taste and texture preferences etc. Let me know what your personal favorite is, okay? And you don’t need to wait to Easter…next Sunday is good, too. 🙂

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