Xoxolat Chocolate 101

The unfinished map of cocoa planters and single-origin chocolates.

As we can see, cocoa is planted mainly in Africa, Mexico, and South America.

So many varieties of chocolates with interesting packaging.

There are soooo many kinds of chocolates that I didn’t know about. That was what I learned from this class. Xoxolat (pronounced sho.sho.la) is a specialty chocolate store that carries the a wide variety of imported chocolates as well as chocolates under their own name. As I saw their online group buying coupon, I have learned that they also offer chocolate tasting classes. As much as I love chocolates, I don’t know much about the different origins and their flavour notes. This class was really a 101 class for me. The class was presented by the owner, Hodie. She is of course, super knowledgeable about chocolates! She explained the process of making chocolate, from the cocoa bean to the actual bar that we are familiar with, chocolate from different origins etc. It was very informative and interesting.

The class started with tasting the cocoa nibs – what chocolate is made from. It wasn’t very chocolatey but still had some cocoa flavour in it. It had an interesting texture as well. We then tasted a 100% cocoa bar, without sugar or other ingredients. We also tasted a bar with cocoa nibs and salt, it wasn’t too sweet while the nibs added texture. Xoxolat carries so many kinds of chocolates, such as single-origin (chocolates made from cocoa planted from one place rather than several), raw, fair trade, organic etc.

This was one of the bars we tasted, 100% cocoa. It was a bit bitter with a fair amount of acidity, there was also a strange sensation on the sides of the tongue. I’ve never tasted chocolate without sugar and this was an interesting experience. We gradually went onto less cocoa percentage bars like 75%, 70% etc. It is amazing how different chocolate can taste between two chocolate makers though the chocolate was made with cocoa from the same country and have the same cocoa percentage.

This was the drinking chocolate offered in both dark and milk, which was basically heated chocolate and water. After tasting so many kinds of dark chocolate, I found the milk chocolate drink too sweet.

There were also other flavoured chocolates such as lavender, lime tortilla chips, spicy chili, and bacon milk chocolate. The caramelized bacon milk chocolate was quite good – sweet and savoury. Because of the saltiness of the bacon the milk chocolate wasn’t too sweet.

We got to take home a box of 18-piece chocolates by Xoxolat, so pretty. I can’t wait taste the different flavours!

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