Tasting chocolates

Chocolate lovers can now compete with wine lovers when it comes to talk of nuance and terroir. More and more artisan chocolatiers are making single-origin varietal chocolates that express the unique flavors of different cacao beans.

Leading the field is Western chocolate maker Guittard, whose E. Guittard line (www.eguittard.com) includes three tasting-size bars: brightly acidic Ambanja, from Madagascar; deep, dusky Chucuri, from Colombia; and complex, fruity Sur del Lago, from Venezuela.

Richart’s Ultra-Fines Tasting Collection www.richart.com offers thin wafers imprinted with each type’s origin. Even Trader Joe’s www.traderjoes.com is getting in on the act, offering two “unique origin” varietal bars from Chocovic, with tasting notes that put wine labels to shame. “Floral tones of acacia honey,” anyone?

Try rounding up a few friends for a blind test, and see if you, too, can taste the terroir.

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