To fully appreciate a good piece of chocolate, it’s best to use all five senses.

“I know the urge is just to pop it in your mouth and eat it right away, but to thoroughly enjoy it, put your senses to work,” said Rachel Snyder, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Blanchard Valley Health System.

She offered the following tips to truly indulge your taste buds:

  • Sight: First, look at the piece of chocolate. That first impression is important, and good chocolate should have a shiny sheen and even texture.
  • Touch: Pick up the candy. High-quality chocolate should melt at your body temperature, so gently rub the chocolate between your fingers; it should start to melt a bit.”Once it starts to melt, notice the texture. Usually if it’s a good chocolate it will feel very smooth and rub very nicely,” she said.
  • Sound: You should hear a “snap” when breaking off a piece of chocolate. It should separate easily and neatly.
  • Scent: Smell the chocolate and notice the aroma. Where the cocoa beans were grown and processed can impact the scent. Do you detect any other aromas?”It’s kind of like wine,” Snyder said. “People will be able to smell if there’s vanilla or some kind of fruit in it.”
  • Taste: Put a small piece of chocolate in your mouth and let it start to melt slowly. Inhale through your mouth and out through your nose; this allows the flavors and aromas to fully penetrate the senses. Then chew the chocolate and concentrate on the taste and texture. Does it taste spicy, neutral, sweet, salty, nutty?”Good chocolate will typically linger in your mouth,” Snyder said. “It will get better, or you may not think it’s better, but that taste will kind of grow as it lingers there.”

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