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It’s the nation’s favourite treat – but very few people know how to store or eat it correctly. So expert Natalie Alibrandi today reveals the secrets of chocolate eating that will make most people’s lives sweeter.
She said: “Chocolate is a deep and complex delicacy with many layers to be explored.”
The top blunder is storing it in the fridge, which is just plain fruit and nuts, she says.
It’s an issue that is off the scale in Britain, where – although 54 per cent of us say chocolate is our favourite treat – 78 per cent store it in the fridge, according to a study of 2,000 adults by Galaxy. The cooling effect will mean crumbly texture that melts too fast in your fingers. You also risk sugar blooms, oxidation, and transfers of taste and odour to the chocolate.
Another sign bars have been in the fridge is they lack a sharp snap when you break a square off. Optimum storage temperature is 18C.
Natalie adds: “Understanding the need for the chocolate to snap, both visually and aurally, brings a sensation that dances on your taste receptors and increases flavour.” The food expert also claims 11am is the best time to eat chocolate, as cacao contains caffeine and sugar, making it a good pick-me-up ahead of lunch.
Experts recommend six chunks, which are allowed to melt in your mouth, is the perfect quantity, to appropriately taste buds.
Wine expert Olly Smith said: “Like a good wine, chocolate deserves your undivided attention and things like a fresh palate, serving at the correct temperature, tasting in small quantities.
“And allow the flavour to evolve for up to 15-minutes. These steps are all equally important to delivering peak enjoyment.”
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