Thursday, September 15, 2011

Van Houten Chocolate Tasting Affair at Society Lounge - Cocoaphilia Philippines

Last Tuesday, I went to the Society Lounge in Makati to witness a chocolate tasting affair sponsored by Van Houten Chocolates. Van Houten prides itself as the chocolate for chocolate lovers. I went there anticipating to be overloaded by chocolates by the time the Chocolate Tasting event finished. Upon entering, guests were made to profess their love for chocolates by asking them to complete a statement posted on a board "I love chocolates because...". Guess what I said?

Well my answer was pretty safe, "I love chocolates because it makes my day deliciously sweet." I didn't want to shout my undying love for chocolates on the first date.

After our love declarations for chocolates and pictures taken, l noticed that chocolates were everywhere. There were different variants of Van Houten chocolates on the bar, on the tables and on the walls. Yes on the walls!

My Van Houten memories are the round chocolate covered chocolate balls with whole roasted almonds inside and they are placed in this red, sturdy metal box. Apparently, these chocolates are still available but they are re-packaged into small plastic pouches. (I was a little disappointed about this.)

Chicken mole Negro
Taco with chocolate enchilada

While waiting for the Chocolate tasting event to start, the waiters served several hors d'oevres including Chicken Mole Negro which used Van Houten chocolate as its sauce. Another appetizer using Van Houten chocolate in the menu is taco with a chocolate enchilada. 

Before the third Van Houten dish was served, the host Ms. Lori Baltazar together with French Chef Patrice Freuslon joined the guests for a chocolate tasting event paired with espressos. This event is called Cocoaphilia which literally means love for cocoa. As we all know, chocolates are made from cocoa, ergo,  Cocoaphilia is synonymous to love for chocolates.

Host Lori Baltazar walking us through chocolate tasting
The first coffee pairing for the Cocoaphilia event is a Van Houten semi-sweet chocolate with roasted almonds and a ristretto. The second one is a caffe lungo and a Van Houten Fruit and Nut chocolate.
Van Houten Chocolates with a shot of espresso
Eating does not only involve our sense of taste. Do you agree? We actually first eat with our eyes. If the food looks appealing to us then it seems as if the food is inviting you to put it in your mouth.

After appreciating the food with our eyes, we then proceeded to smelling our chocolate and coffee. We took a whiff of our chocolates followed by a waft of the coffee.

Hold your horses, its not yet time to eat. We haven't eaten with our ears. And yes, you can tell the freshness of good chocolate by listening to it. This is actually something I usually practice every time I eat chocolates. However, I don't break chocolates with my fingers. I take a bite and listen to it snap in between my teeth (can you imagine that? I can and I always do that's why I eat a bar a day) and then when I hear that beautiful cracking sound then I know that chocolate is going to melt just finely inside my mouth (salivating, ewww but its true). However, if the chocolate has a dull sound then that means the chocolate is old (euphoric image gone).

Feast your eyes with bars of Van Houten Chocolates!

Finally, what everyone is waiting for. We took a bite of the chocolate and a sip of the coffee. But even the process of consuming that oh so sweet chocolate takes steps. We learned terms such as conching, clucking, and worrying while melting the chocolates in our mouths. I have attended chocolate tasting affairs before and I do remember doing these things but this is the only time I remember appreciating the terms. Somehow I feel like I am respecting the process of creating that fine chocolate in my hands just like a gentleman will give special treatment to a lady.

All these chocolates and more!

And last but not the least, for dessert we were served chocolatinis, which are actually chocolate sponge cakes. The sponge cake came in two variants: dark and light brown cake. The cake was light and fluffy to complement the strong tastes of coffee and chocolate we just had.

Hungry for chocolates after reading this post? I only have one suggestion... Grab a bar. Tell me what is your favorite Van Houten chocolate or do you even have one? Have you tried a Van Houten chocolate before? Come on let's share our chocolate stories....

To check out updates on Cocoaphilia Philippines, you can like them on facebook following the link below: 

P.S. I don't mind sharing my pictures. Chocolates are meant to be shared and enjoyed. The only thing I do hope is we practice also the value of respect (That means cite my post as the source) and we will have a long and prosperous life together with chocolates...


  1. my favorite chocolate is patchi(from lebanon)at favorite ni kris aquino ung patchi..may patchi na dito sa phil eh. i just dnt know yet where to find it.

  2. your blog is so sweet... i am now craving for Chocolate...i wish i was on that event

  3. Hi Des! Thanks for the Patchi comment. I heard about it from a chocolate tasting event I attended a year ago but I have personally not tried it. Just like what I remembered it was a gift from abroad.

  4. Hello Tony,

    It brings me pleasure to know that I have achieved my chocoholic purpose to entice you to crave for chocolates. Go ahead and get a bite of chocolate. Have fun!