The first book of its kind, Chocolate Unwrapped: Taste & Enjoy the World’s Finest Chocolate (Pavilion, £16.99) delves into the tastes, diversity and sophistication of today’s artisan chocolatiers. From single origin and fair trade to classic and new flavours; Chocolate Unwrapped will dazzle your taste buds and introduce you to the latest designer bars.
As we are now deep into Chocolate Week, Chocolate Unwrapped is the perfect guide to choosing your next bar of chocolate – for yourself, as a gift, or as the basis for a fun tasting at your next book club. Today, fine chocolate is part of the revival of interest in ‘real’ food with small chocolatiers and global producers seeking out top-quality beans from specific origins.
“Seriously chic bars are taking over the High Street,” says Sarah Jane. “Often chosen instead of bringing a bottle of wine to a dinner party these tablets of toasty, earthy or creamy fine chocolate bars are being discovered in all their delicious diversity.”
Chocolate Unwrapped profiles more than 80 of the world’s leading fine chocolate producers and gives tasting notes on selected bars – from Amano and Askinosie to Francois Pralus and William Curley. There is information on how to taste like an expert, the differing national tastes and exquisite flavours from around the world, as well as the story of chocolate, its place in history and its journey from tree to top chocolate shop.
• Look – even a quick glance at the chocolate is revealing
• Listen – for the snap as you break a square off the bar
• Then Sniff – savour the chocolate aromas. Now put it in your mouth, enjoy the character of the bar. Allow time for the melt and let the chocolate release its flavours slowly.
Each selected chocolate bar is profiled for aroma and taste with marks given for the intensity of flavour, whether floral, fruity, winey, honey, creamy, nutty, spicy, toasty or earthy. The chocolate lover will also find listings of Sarah Jane’s favourite shops and online retailers, top chocolate blogs, and museums and festivals to visit.
Sarah Jane Evans is one of the UK’s leading wine and food writers and a founding member of the Academy of Chocolate. As a Master of Wine, she has a particular interest in taste and flavour, and enjoys sharing her expertise in wine tasting to reveal the pleasures of chocolate. She realised early on that there was more to chocolate than the sweetshop could provide when she discovered that her father kept a little pile of silver wrapped tablets of dark chocolate in the top left-hand drawer of his desk for a private indulgence.