By Analiese Paik
Our first chocolate tasting workshop, generously hosted by Olivette in Darien, was a resounding success! Participants learned about fine “flavor” cacao and explored the complex flavors of five fine Venezuelan dark chocolates made from Criollo, Trinitario and other rare and coveted cacao beans. Read a review on CTBites.
With the help of an aroma bar, we smelled everything from cloves to dried figs to calibrate our noses so we were better able to identify what we were experiencing. We even passed around a stick of excellent black licorice, which helped us identify a flavor we found in one of the chocolates – licorice! Even though we didn’t have malt in our sensory bar (a bit of a challenge) two male guests accurately picked it up on another bar.
Guests said they had a great time and it was a lot of fun. We hope you’ll join us at one of our upcoming workshops or become a regular guest.
Our Mission: To educate consumers through chocolate tasting workshops and help them gain an appreciation of and derive maximum enjoyment from fine chocolate made from rare “flavor” beans grown all over the world. We support the work of the fine chocolate industry which sources the rarest, most coveted and difficult to grow heirloom cacao from small family farms, both of which are in danger of disappearing. We also support the work of Slow Food, and believe everyone should slow down, consciously taste and talk about our food, and savor its unique and complex flavors. We hope that as the Heirloom Cacao Preservation initiative releases the names of cacao varieties they deem to be of heirloom quality, they’ll join the ranks of Ecuadorian Nacional Cacao, Venezuelan Barlovento Cacao, and Mexican Chontalpa Cacao currently the only cacaos listed in the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity’s Ark of Taste, a catalog of rare and endangered foods deserving of preservation due to their “taste quality” and link to a region’s history and culture.
Fairfield Green Food Guide Presents:
Pralus Single Origin Organic Chocolate Tasting Workshop
March 24 from 6:15-7:30 pm
$30 per person, maximum 20 guests
Venue: Olivette, 1084 Post Road, Darien
RSVP: Reserve your seat online or by phone at 203.621.0643
Credit card reservations are non-refundable
Please join us for a unique educational and tasting experience during which we’ll profile the complex flavors of 5 single origin dark chocolates in Pralus’ “organic pyramid”. Learn about the cacao, terroir and artistry of French master chocolatier Francois Pralus as we taste his fine chocolates made from cacao grown in Tanzania, Ghana, Madagascar (plantation owned by Pralus), the Dominican Republic, & Ecuador. Our events include a tasting worksheet, aroma wheel, and an aroma bar featuring at least a dozen of the flavors found in the chocolates, a fantastic way to calibrate our senses.
Pralus is a luxury, French bean to bar chocolate maker who has been creating some of the finest chocolate in the world since 1948. Pralus sources the most flavorful and aromatic cacao beans from the all over the world to produce single origin and single estate fine chocolate bars. In the case of Madagascar, Pralus purchased a cacao estate in 2003 and has been certified organic since 2007 by Bio Ecocert. Owning the plantation affords Pralus the ultimate in quality control both pre- and post-harvest.
Analiese Paik is a food professional with over seventeen years of experience in marketing, event planning and promotion, writing, and public speaking. She is the founder of the multi-award winning website fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com and is a board member of Slow Food Metro North.
After earning an MBA and enjoying a successful career in marketing, Paik attended the Institute of Culinary Education and studied wine at the International Wine Center, where she received a certificate in wine from the UK’s Wine and Spirit Education Trust. Analiese has served as a judge for the Connecticut Specialty Food Association’s Product Awards Competition for the last four years.
She has been featured as a green food advocate and expert in Fairfield Magazine, Fairfield County Life, The Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Connecticut Cottages and Gardens, Westport Magazine, and extensive online media. Analiese was a regular monthly guest on News Channel 8’s Good Morning Connecticut Show for two years where she covered local and sustainable food.