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For many years, we've studied chocolate through educational classes and visits to manufacturing plants. Like a fine wine, chocolate is very complex and there are specific dimensions of how best to taste and appreciate it.
Here are the steps to how to taste chocolate, which you will be able to learn and practice on our Harvard Square Chocolate Tour:
LOOK: Notice the surface of the chocolate: is it glossy? matte?
SNAP: Break the chocolate in half: do you hear a snap? If so, that means it was a well-tempered chocolate which is the sign of a talented chocolatier!
RUB: Rub the surface of the chocolate and see if its aromas are released.
SMELL: Inhale: what do you smell?
SAVOR: Hold the chocolate at the roof of your mouth and let it melt slowly against your tongue.
TASTE: Can you describe the taste of the chocolate? Sweet? Salty? Bitter? Umami? Chew it slowly and experience it.
FINISH: Does the chocolate taste linger inside of your mouth? Notice and evaluate the taste and aftertaste.
Best of all, tasting chocolate is entirely subjective and unique to every individual. That's why there are so many chocolate varieties out there for you to experience and critique. Also, the percentage of cacao in the chocolate bar itself indicates quantity not necessarily quality. We can't wait to have you on a future Chocolate Tour and explore a variety of options together.
Ode to Chicken Soup: oh how we love thee! With our new instapot, we can make pretty delicious tasting chicken soup using even store-bought broth as the base (oh, the travesty!)
Here's our round-up of our favorite chicken soups around town --- slurrrrrpppp!
BEST CHICKEN SOUP (JEWISH PENICILLIN):
New England Soup Factory (244 Needham Street, Newton): We have Marjorie Druker's cookbooks on how to make this delectable soup - probably the best you'd ever taste - but it's so complicated we'd never make it. That said, we've hoarded quarts of their chicken vegetable soup with hearty carrots and generous tasty matzo balls in our freezer. It's oh so wonderful!
Mamaleh's (1 Kendall Square, Cambridge): Did you know Mamaleh's has a free comedy show every month in their basement? Oh yes! And you can order off their menu while you're watching, so just be sure you don't snort down that hot soup. We love their matzo ball soup, and it's not too salty which is a common problem. Not as hearty as NESF, but equally delish.
BEST CHICKEN RAMEN:
Totto Ramen (Assembly Row, Somerville): Everyone loves ramen, but do you know CHICKEN RAMEN is the bomb!? It's definitely creamier than some chicken soups and very filling. Try their Chicken Paitan ($11) -- and make sure you add a soft-boiled egg.
Little Big Diner (1247 Centre Street, Newton): Their paitan chicken ramen is a hefty price ($15) but commands a huge bowl and is extremely delicious. The woodear mushrooms are a nice touch!
Wen's Yunnan Noodle & Ramen (247 Newbury Street, Boston): Do you like noodles? Well, this place has got noodles! Enjoy a hearty bowl of shu-yo chicken ramen and friendly service.
BEST CHICKEN PHO:
Pho & I (267 Huntington Avenue, Boston): We love seeing a show at the Huntington Theatre, and right across the street is this delicious pho restaurant that serves up a delicious bowl at an extreme value.
Le's (35 Dunster Street): Right in the Garage at Harvard Square, we've been known to trek into Harvard Square for late night pho from Le's. Make sure to try all their side sauces. Mmmm!
Hope 2018 brings you warm bellies and happy smiles.
Lizzie & Sam