Posted on September 30 2014
I love hosting chocolate pairings because I am so good at them. :) The first pairings I ever did were with wine and since I was in Mexico it seemed natural that I attempt a mezcal & chocolate pairing. I can't take credit for this one; it was the grand idea of Chef Pilar Cabrera who was hosting me for my Oaxaca trip.
It took us a week of tasting different mezcales from different regions of Oaxaca and Mexico, made with different agaves, same agave but different mezcaleros, and different infusions. We had the help of our friends at Mezcaloteca, a tasting lab for mezcal; I highly recommend you book an appointment for your next visit to Oaxaca.
After a lot of hard work we decided on three mezcals: Mezcal Kosh Madrecuishe, Mezcal Kosh Espadin, Mezcal Vago Espadin with toasted corn infusion. After a very thorough history of chocolate and chocolate making we did a tasting of: fermented cacao bean, non-fermented cacao bean, cacao liquor, white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. These are the basics then we followed by some of the my favorite chocolates: Valrhona 85% Africa, Dandelion Chocolate 70% Venezuela, Dandelion Chocolate 70% Dominican Republic, Madecasse Madagascar, Akesson Madagascar with pepper. None of these chocolates were part of the Mezcal and chocolate tasting, they were to introduce everyone to the world of chocolate. For the actual pairing I made 12 chocolates with flavors of Oaxaca.
For the tasting we paired:
Mezcal Kosh Madrecuishe: milk chocolate and guava truffle , panela (unrefined sugar) truffle, dark chocolate with pecans and dried cranberries.
Mezcal Kosh Espadin: Dark chocolate with chapulin, dark chocolate with roasted guajillo and pasilla chili flakes, totopo (coconut/corn cookie) with milk chocolate.
Mezcal Vago Espadin with toasted corn infusion: Rosita de cacao truffle, milk chocolate with chipotle sea salt, pinole (ground toasted corn) ganache.
All of the pairings were a hit. With had a few mezcal experts at the tasting and they were very impressed with the work that Pilar, the staff at La Olla Restaurant and I had put into the tasting. We want to make this an annual class in Oaxaca! And I got a few bottles of mezcal all for myself!!