One of my favourite things to do with my family is to create experiences for all three of us to enjoy together. Things that allow us to learn and grow all while enjoying our home and each others company. Over a month a go I succumbed to the Pana Chocolate movement and managed to track some down in New Zealand through their New Zealand stockist Natural Things NZ. The Sour Cherry and Vanilla chocolate and I had a moment and we’ve been inseparable since. After consuming a few bars of these raw, organic, handmade, low GI, no dairy or soy or refined sugar, and gluten free chocolates I knew they’d be the perfect choice for a little chocolate tasting treat for my little family.
How I set up my tasting. Order/pick up your chocolate. I used Pana Chocolate and got each of the 50%-80% bars. The percentages refer to the amount of cacao in the chocolate. The higher the cacao content the darker, more bitter the chocolate tends to be. To make it a little more challenging pick up two products with the same cacao percentage. Read up. I’ve been to a few chocolate tastings and knew a fair bit about the history of chocolate. I also read up on the Pana Chocolate brand and process. Reading up and having this knowledge allowed me to share tid bits of information throughout the tasting. Create your labels. I made little labels with the different percentages that people could place against the plate/chocolate that they thought best represented the chocolate. You could also have a score card that everyone has and label your plates (1,2,3…) instead.
Set up your chocolate. This can be really tricky if you start mixing up all the chocolate! The Pana Chocolate pieces have different shapes or words on each piece so that helped me remember all the different varieties but you could also place the ‘answer’ underneath the plate. Set the table. I prettied the table up a bit, nothing fancy though. I also ensured there was water so people could clear their palate as they went along. Have fun! I absolutely loved doing this with Patrick and Miss 10. Patrick managed to get them all right and Miss 10 got two out of the five correct (not bad for someone who simply gobbles down chocolate!). It was a great math related activity for her, as well as a little history.
Have you ever hosted a chocolate tasting? This is the first time I’ve done it at home and now I’m looking forward to doing it more regularly with friends. It’s a lovely little activity for a girl’s night in too. We’ve become real fans of Pana Chocolate for the smoothness of the cacao and unexpected bursts of flavours (from a range of sources: herbs, fruits, flower). And how could we not support a man who made, packed and then rode around delivering each bar on his scooter while slowly growing the Pana Chocolate brand! You can find out more about and order Pana Chocolate here.
Do you have a favourite chocolate? I’m always keen to try chocolate – all as part of education, obviously x