It is the evening of Sunday the 8th of March & I make my way to Trof bar in the Northern Quarter to meet my fellow Greedy Mancunian Alex. He awaits there with a pint of Camden Pale Ale ready for me. A swift couple of these and a catch up and we are ready for our latest adventure.... an evening of chocolate tasting at Hotel Chocolat in Manchester's Arndale store.
We are rudely "welcomed" by one of the Arndale's security staff, and after a brief "do you know who we are?" exchange - he lets us pass & Hotel Chocolat open their shutters upon our arrival.
We take our seats and are ready for the chocolate tasting adventure to begin. We are given an overview of the company and how they are one of the few chocolate companies who can see their product from "bean to bar" as they own their own plantation and control the whole process right through to the finished product.
The chocolatier (she even has a degree in chocolate - impressive!) is very knowledgeable and gives us plenty of interesting information about all the chocolate that we taste throughout the evening. We taste all kinds of different chocolate from different kinds of cocoa beans, different strengths (even a 100% bar - which seems to blow everybody's tastebuds to a whole other dimension), and even a selection of filled chocolates. In our info pack there is even a tasting card detailing all the different flavours, textures, aromas etc that we might come across tonight (off the back of these tasting notes quite often words like "raisins", "black pepper", "mothballs" & "petrol" get shouted out as people come across different chocolate tastes.
We listen to the chocolate:
We smell the chocolate:
We even talk about Bruce Forsyth:
But most importantly we have had a splendid evening filled with some of the finest chocolate about and a little more knowledgeable about it!
Hotel Chocolat have also just launched a chocolate cookbook called "a new way of cooking with chocolate" for all you chocolate lovers & foodies out there! Info on this and the chocolate tasting evenings can be found on the Hotel Chocolat website: www.hotelchocolat.com
Until the next culinary adventure, adios from John & Alex (AKA the Two Greedy Mancunians).
Stay Greedy everyone!