Thursday, December 07, 2006

The truth is bittersweet.

I have lived a lie my entire 36 year long life. All these years I thought I was doing things correctly, and it seems that I have just been completely ignorant. Oh, the trauma!

This morning, while watching Martha, I found out that I have been eating chocolate the wrong way.

I never knew. This information was never part of any heart-to-heart talk with Mama. She taught me about when to wear white, how to apply lipstick and blot, what to do when I scorched lima beans on the stove, and how to properly suck the juice from a boiled peanut (lady-like, of course!) She never told me how to eat chocolate.

You have no idea of the shame I felt this morning when I saw Martha's guest demonstrate the proper method of tasting chocolate. It was like I was having dinner at The White House, talking to Laura Bush, engaging in intelligent conversation, and then I looked down and saw there was toilet paper stuck to my shoe.

I care about you, so I want to share this valuable life lesson. Courtesy of Martha Stewart and her entourage of etiquette experts, here is the correct way to taste chocolate:


These guidelines will prove helpful when you throw your next chocolate tasting party.

Tasting mats
Tasting cards

Pitcher of water
Great chocolate such as Cacao Reserve by Hershey's

Before The Party
To make the experience entertaining for everyone, do some research before the party so you can educate your guests. Be sure to place your selection of chocolates on tasting mats. Include tasting cards which can be used to evaluate and rate the chocolates. Also, provide water to cleanse your guests' palates between tasting. Be sure to inform your guests of the four most important things to be aware of when tasting the chocolate:

Observe the visual characteristics. A high shine indicates a well-tempered chocolate. Do not refrigerate your chocolate. Always keep it in a dry, cool place away from any sources of sunlight, moisture and odor.

Just like fine wine, use all of your senses to enjoy chocolate. There are more than 600 different aromas in
a piece of chocolate. Always smell the chocolate before tasting.

Hear the snap of the chocolate when you break it. Chocolate high in cacao content will break cleanly with a sharper sound, whereas chocolate with lower levels will tend to break more softly.

Place only a small piece in the middle of your tongue. Close your mouth and wait for the chocolate to begin to melt. Then, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and swirl the melting chocolate all over each area of your mouth.

* Found @

In an effort to prevent others from this horrid embarrassment, I am founding Choc-Anon, a 12 step program for other people like me. Please be patient with me as I take the leap into recovery. I ask you to keep me accountable. Here goes...

My name is Melanie and I am a chocoholic. I lived in darkness for 36 years, but from now on, I vow to change. I will no longer purchase my Hershey bar from gas stations and grocery store check-out lines. I will pay up to 3 times more for horrible tasting quality chocolate.

It pains me to say this, but I have never taken the time to Look, Smell, Listen and Taste. No. I was a Rip and Gobble kind of girl.

I have always served milk with chocolate. I am ashamed to say that I have never cleansed my palate between chocolate desserts.

This is when you may want to send the kids out of the room.

I have eaten Hershey bars while driving, never taking the time to snap the little squares and listen to the little guys. I have scarfed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that have been stored in the refrigerator close to humidity and the little light that comes on when you open the door. I have eaten Hershey's kisses in one bite, never taking the time to swirl.

I promise, from this day forward, to take the time to smell the chocolate.

Please, for the love of Godiva, don't make the same mistakes I've made.


Anonymous said...

I am shocked and appalled. Utterly. I don't even think I can admit to reading your blog anymore because of this infraction of the chocolate code!

Oh, the shame...the shame...

(dabbing eyes with lace hankie)

pssssst!! got any more Hershey kisses???

lrlwreath said...


I personally open mouth, shove in as much as possible. That about does it. ehehehehe....

Susanne said...

I've always been a Rip & Gobble girl and I always will be. Now I'm glad that I've never shared my exact location so that the Martha Stewart Chocolate Police will never find me!. Now I gotta run 'cause the hunk of chocolate I just stuffed in my mouth in is stuck to my teeth.

Mommy Dearest said...

This was a truly inspired post, and just in time. I'm going to a party Saturday night - all female - and there will be plenty of chocolate. I'll just try not to embarrass my hostess in her ignorance if she tries to serve us something tacky like sweet tea, hot chocolate, or wassail. The horrors!

Big Mama said...

And here you've been calling yourself a good Southern girl.

"For the love of Godiva" is one of the funniest things ever.

Linda said...

Oh too funny! I'm going to be involved in a women's retreat in January, and it's called, "Chocolate Boutique." It's a spiritually focused thing, but it also involves chocolate! Also, I have a friend who has a gourmet chocolate company called, "Gourmet Divine;" I'll have to show her this info!

Air Force Family said...

LOL I'm definitely a Rip and Gobble! Although, I've recently started slowing down and actually tasting the chocolate.

Nancy said...

I think the difference between us real-life chocoholics and Martha is in the word "tasting" versus what I do, which it more like "eating." :)