Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Chocolat sans frontieres
After Italy won Snowmen Sans Frontieres, I knew there was going to be a rematch. The new challenge was however a friendly international and the team colours were green and black. You guessed, it was chocolate testing with Green & Black's bars, a match made in heaven!
The chocolate challenge
The Italian (moi) felt all superior about it - after all I'm the dark chocolate lover and not a fan of sickly sweet, milk chocolate concoctions with low content of cocoa. The English (my partner) was so cocky he decided to test blindly. So while he turned his back to the eight delectable chocolate bars, I read aloud the instructions kindly provided by our sponsor, Green & Black's, for expert chocolate tasting. The English (nicknamed philistine for his low opinion of most contemporary art) predictably snorted hearing the suggestion that you should put the chocolate in your mouth and pinch the nose (temporarily) to appreciate the taste. The Italian complied, glad there was no mention of spitting in a bucket (like you do for wine tasting).
Let's hear it for the flavours! Of the range pictured above, the teams tested Almond, Butterscotch, Cherry, Creamy Milk, Dark 70%, Dark 85%, Milk and White. The testing order was not alphabetical (sorry but I'm an analist) but, as recommended, we started from the lightest variety and worked our way to Dark 85%.
The (cocoa) scores
At 30% we have White; at 32% we have Creamy Milk; Butterscotch and Milk are 34%, Almond is 37%, Cherry is 50% and the name says it all for the Dark varieties (70% and 85%).
We started with White as it has the lowest percentage. This was a controversial move as the English (who decided to play with blinkers) proclaimed it was a nice take on the Milky Bar. Italian called for arbitration. Upon discovery that Milky Bar has a whopping 57.7g of sugar per 100g while Green & Black's White has organic raw cane sugar and higher cocoa content, the Italian was feeling pretty confident.
Next on was Creamy Milk, which the English (and self-styled philistine, not to mention fan of Cadbury chocolate) identified it as a Cadbury Dairy Milk tastealike to the horror of the Italian who although not a fan of dairy chocolate could taste the difference (no Sainsbury's pun intended).
Butterscotch created a truce as both teams agreed it was very tasty, although the English made a sneaky reference to Crunchie bars. Milk chocolate went down a treat, with the Italian muttering about smokey flavours, while the English uttered the C word again! Almond was again an equalizer, despite the suspect reference to peanut cookies from the English, which the Italian deemed a failed Jilly Goolden interpretation as talking about peanuts when almonds are involved is not comme il faut.
Cherry was our third winner, so moreish, the Italian kidnapped it after the match and had a saucy affair behind a closed bedroom door. The English thought it was like Cadbury's Fruit & Nuts without the Nuts. Last but not least the Dark varieties. Dark 70% was again smokey and sexy for the Italian, while the English reckoned it tasted like the nice dark one at LIDL. The last one was the Dark 85%. Well this was for connoisseurs so as the Italian chewed slowly and a tad pretentiously, the English was not impressed.
The hat trick
Three were the winners: Butterscotch, Cherry and Almond.
Thanks to the sponsor!
Both teams wish to thank the sponsor, Green & Black's for supporting our friendly challenge. Below are wonderful images of Belize, where the cocoa comes from. Willy Wonka, eat your heart out!