I wrote this article for I-Italy about the Italian fine chocolate association, Cioccolati d’Italia.
Tasting cioccolate, I learned during the interview, is an extremely complex process, much like tasting wine.
I was lucky enough to taste many chocolates from four regions of Italy: the Veneto, Tuscany, Sicily and Piedmont. Each one was a work of art and was quite unique.
Over the weekend, I was also able to do a tea tasting at Vital Leaf in San Francesco with Ming, the owner.
Tea seems to be quite complicated. I love all the jars with the tea. It reminds me of an old apothecary.
Ming let me taste a number of different teas and then prepared a special mixture for me. Wouldn’t it be fun to go to a wine bar and say exactly what you would like in a wine and have them blend it for you right there.
I also found out that tea is sometimes buried in the ground in order to help it age, much like Josko Gravner’s wines which are buried in amphorae.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as did my liver after a week long conference on wine in Sacramento hosted by the Society of Wine Educators. More on the conference to follow this week.