Last week I joined a group of Guardian Word of Mouth readers for an ‘Easter egg taste test-cum-festival of chocolate-celebration’. Like the children who followed the pied piper we followed the call of chocolate and the scent in the air all the way to deep inside the Guardian offices. We came out of the goodness of our hearts and, as Jay Rayner pointed out, completely selflessly, only for those enticing people of the Word and Mouth team to force feed us chocolate all evening. It really isn’t on you know…
…OK, so it wasn’t quite like that.
We were greeted with samples of Courvoisier and Cockburns, chosen to compliment the chocolate we were about to sample. I was particularly taken with the Cockburns Late Bottled Vintage 2003 Port; deeply fruity and chocolaty. When we entered the room where the chocolate tasting was to take place the delicious smell of the chocolate in the room hit us straight away. There was every kind of Easter egg for us to sample; from low through mid to high budget, from white to the darkest chocolate. We made notes as we tasted but unfortunately had to hand in our tasting cards and, believe me, there was a lot of chocolate to taste so it’s difficult to recall all of the findings. Luckily though my friend Nicole took some separate notes as she tasted: Drinking Courvoisier after tasting Green & Blacks dark chocolate gave a tingly sensation on the tongue; Lindt was one of the best, melting almost instantly; Thorntons white chocolate was very sweet and sugary; the Hotel Chocolate strawberry sensation had a really good strawberry taste and even had the texture of strawberry; the Marks & Spencer white egg was a favourite.
The Paul Young chocolates were a big hit, particularly the Guiness and the basil truffles, as was the Mayan Magic chocolate and the chocolate making kits, containing natural sweetener (agave nectar), butters (raw cacao and coconut) and powders (raw cacao, lucuma and carob); all the ingredients you need to make your own chocolate. Also on offer were samples of Choc Star chocolate brownies, which had a fantastically texture and lovely taste.
One of the biggest surprises of the evening was Nicole’s admission that she’d never had a Cadbury Cream Egg. Yes, really. I couldn’t quite believe it and insisted that she try one then and there. And her verdict? I think her face says it all: