Artisan Chocolate Tasting

Taught by Arturo Martinini

Chocolate-crafting is a tradition with deep roots, and in the last few years, an entire new generation of chocolate-making companies have bloomed. Explore the bean to bar phenomena by tasting rare cacao beans from places like Peru, Nicaragua, Sao Tome, the Philippines, and Fiji.  Learn about the traditional and contemporary hand-crafted chocolate scene. In every class, guided tastings will help you distinguish the many nuances that derive from terroir, plant varietals, fermentation processes, and roasting techniques. Yes, you'll eat artisan chocolate every class! Learn how to properly taste a chocolate bar and how to tell the difference between cacao beans from all over the world. We'll end the course by focusing on chocolates with beans from Madagascar.

Week 1: Introduction to Cacao.  We'll go over the history of cacao and introduce the tasting process.  

Week 2: Basic Flavor Profiles of Chocolate.  We'll discuss the movements in contemporary artisan chocolate along with the Chocolate Flavor Tasting Wheel.

Week 3: Understanding the Bean and its Relation to Taste. We'll talk about the art and process of chocolate crafting, along with roasting and tempering. 

Week 4: Terrior and Plant Varietals. Our final week will be a tour of Madagascar chocolate. Featured bean to bar chocolate bars: Dick Taylor, Dandelion Chocolate, Patric, Woodblock, Francois Pralus.

Arturo Martinini is a culinary and branding consultant at The Meadow in Portland, OR. He moved to the United States from Rome five years ago and works to preserve the traditional cuisine of his country while partaking in contemporary food culture.