Chocolate Not For Snobs, But For The Informed.
It's quite simple. I want to help you elevate your satisfaction with chocolate beyond your expectations. Become a confident informed consumer, who knows what they love and why they love it. To have the gusto to share what you know with those around you.
You don't need to be a chocolate professional to appreciate fine chocolate, you just require some knowledge and effective tools. Learn to enjoy chocolate based on what you know, rather than be mislead by clever marketing and recycled myths. Chocolate is full of surprises that to this day challenges my expectations; it's time to challenge yours!
I've been working within the chocolate industry for over 10 years, both as a chocolatier and chocolate sommelier. It's been exciting, challenging, and very satisfying.
However, as the bean to bar craft chocolate sector grew, so did the number of consumers confronted with fine chocolate. It is something different than the drug store bon bons or run of the mill candy bars. And confusion arose. "Why is it so expensive? What makes it worth the cost?" So began the rise of the skeptics. And I don't blame them!
Along with this boom in fine chocolate has come a great deal of information. Some of it well intended, some of it correct, but much of it misleading or downright nonsense. I realized people really don't understand what fine chocolate is about, even with all this information out there. A great deal of knowledge and research exists today, which is being produced by some very talented individuals. The problem? It's not getting to where it needs to be.
Us chocolate sommeliers and professionals can sit around and talk about the glories of chocolate, and expand our network that becomes, well, somewhat of a club. What we really need to be doing is talking to all of you, from the novice, to the curious, to the downright skeptic. We need to start a dialog based on true information, some of which may be debated, but all of which needs to be heard. This information needs to be getting to you.
I created this website (along with my workshops) to help you discover what quality chocolate is. Every chocolate maker boasts quality, but a few too many don't know or can't tell you what that even means. Even if they could, how can you trust them if you don't know the facts for yourself?
I bring together these facts and tools for you to come to your own informed judgements about chocolate. The keyword here is informed. It's easy to judge something based on assumptions or trust placed on someone else's opinion. It's much more helpful for you to judge based on what you know, instead of what you think you know. Read what is contained within this website, but follow up with the books and research articles for yourself. Challenge me on on the information I've passed on! Don't just take my word for it.
Now, it's not to ignore expert opinions or ideas, but to not base your judgements solely on that. Understand the facts for yourself. No one will care more about the food you eat than you do. Not only does this way of behaving benefit you, but it encourages the cacao growers and chocolate makers who you feel are doing the best job to continue on.
Why is this important? Quality and flavour go hand in hand. There's no denying it. You may not agree or enjoy the flavour of a specific high quality chocolate, and that's fine. However, understanding these ideas and knowing what tools to use to determine quality will lead you to a chocolate that does satisfy in regards to flavour, and often satisfies beyond your expectations. Once you have a solid grasp, your judgements and choices become second nature, and you an enjoy and appreciate fine chocolate with ease.
Let's eschew trends, snobbery, and chocolate dogma. Instead, let's look at the facts, studies, research, and the truth behind everything chocolate. Some facts and truths may shift and change over time, but we have a great deal of ideas today that are worth considering. Make your choices based on what you know, not just what you think you know. The truth is, with the right tools, anyone can appreciate fine chocolate.
Allow me to repeat myself, anyone can appreciate quality chocolate, but being informed helps you get there. Join me in exploring what quality means, and allow yourself to enjoy a more satisfying future with chocolate!
- Geoseph Domenichiello