A Follow Up to Last Week's Tasting Post...
When I wrote about planning a chocolate tasting, I didn't really say much about what chocolate for a tasting should cost, and I didn't say anything at all about the technical aspects of tasting chocolate (particle size, the process of making chocolate, mouthfeel, etc.). I skipped the first one because, as much as I will admit to probably spending more on chocolate than most people, my philosophy is that people should find chocolate they love, at a price they're comfortable with. I skipped the second because, as far as tasting chocolate goes, I am a dedicated amateur, more than a professional.
I came across an Epicurious video on differences between high and low cost chocolate, with a professional chocolate expert (doesn't that sound like the most amazing job?). If you want a little insight into the technical aspects of chocolate tasting (visual cues, texture questions, etc.), and some idea as to what makes some chocolate more expensive than others (things like processing and ingredients), check it out (If you want to know more about your food in general, they also have similar videos for cheese and deli meats).
If you want to try tasting chocolate more in this way, you may want to dedicate a notebook to tasting notes so you can really remember what you liked about a particular variety or chocolate maker - there are some commercially available, or you can, of course, use any notebook and fill in your own impressions and notes. I tend to use blank notebooks, because my brain thinks about food in strange ways - I once described the difference between apricot and almond jam and brandied apricot jam as "jam for brunch on the balcony" and "jam for late night cheese plates with a lover". It works for me, but if you want structure, the commercial chocolate tasting notebooks can provide some good prompts. Let me know in the comments if you want me to direct you to some.