Micah Carr-Hill, the "Head of Taste" at Green & Black's Organic, joins Martha for a sampling of five types of Green & Black's Organic chocolate: white, milk, dark 70 percent, dark 85 percent, and cherry.
To truly appreciate the flavors of chocolate, first, put the chocolate in your mouth and pinch your nose. When you do this, your tongue can detect only taste -- salty, sweet, sour, bitter, savory -- as well as textures (including astringency and the cooling effect of the cocoa butter). Allow the chocolate to melt, then release your thumb and forefinger and breathe in deeply. It is only then that you experience the aromas that are usually described as flavors. This is because these volatiles are all detected by your olfactory gland behind and connected to your nose.
White chocolate has no cocoa liquor in it -- the dark part of the cocoa that gives the chocolaty flavor -- resulting in a sweet, milky confection with no balancing bitterness. The secret is to choose a white chocolate with plenty of cocoa butter for texture, plenty of creamy milk, not too much sugar, and a big dose of real vanilla. Green & Black's Organic white chocolate contains real Madagascan vanilla; specks of it are visible in the bar.
Green & Black's uses a higher-than-typical amount of cocoa liquor in its milk chocolate. This gives it a more intense cocoa hit than what most of us expect from milk chocolate.
Dark 70 Percent
Launched in 1991, this was the first -- and best-selling -- Green & Black's chocolate bar. The bar is made using organic Trinitario cocoa beans sourced from the Dominican Republic, a flavor variety of cocoa bean that makes up only about 2 percent of the world's crop -- it's more complex in flavor than ubiquitous, ordinary bulk beans. This chocolate contains enough sugar to balance the inherent bitterness of the cocoa.
Dark 85 Percent
Using 85 percent cocoa content and only 15 percent sugar gives an intense hit of chocolate with just enough sugar to offset the bitterness and acidity for an almost savory result. The organic vanilla is increased compared to other Green & Black's chocolates -- the flavor complements cocoa, and vanilla naturally seasons the chocolate and helps soften the bitterness, increasing the perception of sweetness slightly.
This chocolate is made using an Eastern European dried sour cherry, which has a heightened taste of cherry flavor when compared with usual sweet cherries. This concentrated cherry flavor is needed to punch through the intensely dark 60-percent-cocoa chocolate. Green & Black's uses 60 percent cocoa because of its slightly higher level of sweetness, which nicely balances the acidity of the cherries.
Special thanks to Micah Carr-Hill, the "Head of Taste" at Green & Black's Organic, for giving a selection of Green & Black's Organic chocolate bars to our studio audience. For more information, visit greenandblacks.com.