Monday, 31 October 2011

Chocolate: Unwrapped!!

By Laura Collins.

Fast, slow or any which way you can get it? Unwrap and find out.

Do you prefer it slow and fruity or do you prefer it bitter and fast? Don’t be shy now, everyone enjoys it differently. It’s a personal preference and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It can be a hard decision for some – people may like a mix of fast and slow – but I know exactly how I like it and that is how I will do it every time from now on.

I only found out just how much I like doing it slowly last week. I had my own personal investigation with a professional and extremely knowledgeable gentleman last weekend. He taught me everything he knows so I managed to try it fast and try it slow. The slow way was for me. It was flavoursome and pleasurable, whereas the fast was more bitter and dry. The slow way allowed all the true flavours to come out and was much more memorable and enjoyable. Just thinking about it makes me hot under the collar and gets my mouth salivating. I never knew I could get so involved; with chocolate. I never thought the very process of eating it would be so enjoyable, but now I know I don’t think my experiences will ever be the same again. That’s right, I had an education in chocolate and it was certainly a learning curve that was a treat to the tastebuds.Learning to eat chocolate properly is as interesting as it is tasty. It showed me that eating chocolate isn’t a purely gluttonous indulgence; it’s an art form. To really taste the cocoa bean and allow it time to melt, you have to savour the experience. This lesson came to me from a company called Seventy Percent just one of the exhibitors at Chocolate Unwrapped, a two-day show dedicated to the nation’s favourite treat.

Held in the impressive surroundings of Vinopolis and timed for the end of National Chocolate Week, Chocolate Unwrapped brought together some of the world’s best chocolatiers and chocolate companies. It allowed visitors to experience chocolate from all over the globe. They could taste it, drink it, carve it and even write with it. There was everything from chocolate brownies and chocolate truffles to chocolate fondue and chocolate wine. There was even a chocolate graffiti wall that people could etch their thoughts into and an intricate sculpture made purely from chocolate (brought to Chocolate Unwrapped by Paul Wayne Gregory).My time at Chocolate Unwrapped taught me more about chocolate than I thought possible and allowed me to meet some of the best people in the business, including Marco Colzani, the craftsman behind C-Amaro Chocolate. This friendly Italian gentleman was on his first visit to the UK and had proudly brought with him some of the finest chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Marco alone showed me the passion and fire behind chocolate making and proved that there is a lot more to this industry than meets the eye.

I never realised chocolate was such a big deal. If Chocolate Unwrapped graces London with its presence again I highly recommend visiting. You’ll come away with both a tummy and a head full of chocolate, plus you’ll find out if you prefer it fast or slow! A life lesson that is well worth learning.

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