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Explore the World of Chocolate

August 24th, 2023


…Discover what you like…

The sheer volume and variety of chocolate available can be quite overwhelming.
Customers come into Melt and whisper under their breath, apologising for their liking for milk chocolate. Yet milk chocolate is wonderful, and especially satisfying in cold weather. If you give yourself time, dark chocolate can also be wonderful, but your tastebuds may just need to be tuned into its intensity, Look out for red fruit notes, caramel undertones and earthy qualities in the chocolate vou try – you’ll be surprised!

Everyone’s tastebuds and taste memories are different, so take a little time to discover your favourite flavours and savour what you choose.

Create a tasting event for yourself by buying several bars of chocolate, ranging from the cheapest milk chocolate with under 30 per cent cocoa content through to the darkest you can find. Invite around a few friends and make an evening of it.
Opposite is a selection of chocolate bars that are readily available from major supermarkets and other shops. This will give you a broad range and a good start towards identifying the different flavours, textures and tastes that the world of chocolate can yield.



…What to drink with chocolate…

For serious chocolate-tasting sessions, warm water is the best choice. It helps to clean the palate and warm the mouth, which will provide the perfect temperature at which to enjoy chocolate.

In contrast, there is no doubt that there is something childlike and comforting about chocolate served with a glass of cold milk.
Pairings with alcohol, coffee or tea need more thought and are generally a more sophisticated affair. At Melt, we have collaborated with many fine wine companies, such as The Wine Society, Merry Widows Wine and the Australian company, Buller Wines, which has a stunning range of sweet, fortified wines. For some, we have created chocolates to match their wines; with others, we have incorporated their wines into our recipes.

The general rule of thumb is the sweeter the wine, the sweeter the chocolate should be, so milk chocolate can be a fairly good place to start. We have also found that our salty fresh chocolates, such as salted caramel and salted praline, go well with sweet wine, creating wonderful excitement for the palate – salty, sweet, sticky and rich all combined in one wonderful hit.
Our all-time favourite tipple with fresh chocolates is Domeca Venerable Pedro Ximenez, a 30-year-Old sherry. The sticky, treacle-like texture is so incredibly indulgent with a single-origin dark chocolate truffle – We can’t think of a better partner.



Coffee, a great bedfellow of chocolate, should also be considered. Many coffees have wonderful, naturally occurring chocolate notes. One that we particularly enjoy is the Monmouth Coffee Company’s organic Guatemalan coffee. At Melt we also like to use coffee from niche, small farms, such as those distributed by the Sea Island Coffee Company, their Hawaiian coffee has the most sublime consistency and taste, or coffee from Square Mile Coffee Roasters with their Arabica beans roasted on a lower heat for a more sophisticated taste.

Being first and foremost a coffee fiend, we approached chocolate and tea as partners quite late in the day. At Melt we have had a great deal of success with delicious fresh chocolates infused with high-quality teas, such as jasmine pearls and Earl Grey, but to drink tea alongside chocolate you need to experiment a step further and see what combinations give you the most enjoyment.
We personally prefer stronger teas, such as Earl Grey, used to infuse chocolate to make ganache, while softer teas such as Oolong, or floral teas such as Miller Harris’s Thé Pétales, work best while eating chocolate. Approaching specialist companies such as Orange Pekoe for tea is always rewarding, as they are very enthusiastic and are happy to suggest thoughtful pairings with chocolate.







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