Beyond Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries: Pairing Food With Gourmet Chocolates

Food & Cooking Articles

If you are looking for a unique idea for the next time you host a party for your family and friends or plan a date night with your significant other, consider a pairing foods with gourmet chocolates for a tasting party. You may have seen or heard of bacon being paired with chocolate but it can be paired with various foods and drinks that you may not have thought possible, including Parmesan cheese, cauliflower and onion.

Of course, there is a method to the madness. Here are a few things you'll need to know before you dive right into the delectable delight of pairing foods and drinks with gourmet chocolate.

Pairing Options

Fruit is commonly paired with chocolate, so you may want to go with that as a safe bet for your first time. But if you want to really indulge yourself or give your guests other options, you'll want to shop for wine, beer and/or cheese. Get different types and textures of whichever food or drink you choose that may go well with the chocolate. How do you determine that? You'll need to consider the sweetness or bitterness and strength of the flavors.

Wine: Choose a sweet wine to accompany sweet chocolate. If you choose a bitter red wine to have with sweet milk chocolate the differences between the tastes are far too extreme. They won't blend together very well at all. You may not taste the chocolate. Conversely, if you have a mild white wine with an intense dark chocolate and you may not taste the wine at all.

Beer: Pairing chocolate and beer may sound unappetizing, but you can find amazing combinations when you compare and contrast. To compare you would drink a bitter beer when tasting bitter chocolate. To contrast, pair a dark chocolate with a sweet beer and you may be able to taste notes and spices that you may not pick up on otherwise.

Cheese: As you saw above in the opening paragraph, cheese can be paired with chocolate. They are both complex and rich, so you'll have to be careful with how much you attempt to taste at once and the combinations you choose. A creamy soft cheese may pair better with a mild chocolate than a strong hard cheese.

The best thing to do is to just take your time and taste different combinations to find which ones your taste buds prefer. That's the entire concept of a tasting party.

The Steps of Tasting

There's more to tasting than just plopping a bite of chocolate into your mouth and taking a swig of beer. That would be just eating, not tasting. To taste and get the most out of the experience, you'll need to cleanse your palate and include your sense of smell.

Cleansing your palate can be done by simply eating crackers or bread and taking a drink of water. You'll want to do this before you taste the chocolate paired with any food or drink. Then, smell the chocolate and food or drink before tasting them. If you are pairing with a food, put both of them in your mouth at the same time. If you are pairing with a drink, you can alternate the chocolate or the drink first.

Do not chew the chocolate, but let it melt in your mouth. Then, let the flavors linger in your mouth before you cleanse your palate and taste a different combination. Of course, if you don't like the taste of the combination you tried at all, go ahead and have a palate cleanser and some water.

Keep track of the combinations you try during your tasting experience by jotting them down on a piece of paper so you can compare them with your guests or significant other later.


3 June 2015

Eating Better Food At Home

After I was diagnosed with a slow metabolism, my doctor told me that I needed to pay closer attention to what I was eating and how I was cooking. I started reading more and more about different cooking methods, and I was even able to take a local cooking class to help me to learn how to cook better. It was amazing to see the difference that proper eating made in my life. I found myself happier, healthier, and more energetic. This blog is dedicated to helping people to eat a little healthier at home, so that you can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.