Saturday, September 8, 2012

Second Anniversary!

Today is the second anniversary of One Golden Ticket. Over the past two years, we tasted chocolate from 54 chocolate makers and posted reviews of 196 chocolate bars.

For the most part, this blog was meant to be a personal record of my tasting notes of chocolate bars as I tried them. Few people read it during the first year, probably only some curious friends. We had only 426 page views during that first month two years ago. Word has spread a little since then, with a recent month of 26,836 views. I hope this site has become a useful reference for others passionate about chocolate.

At the same time, I must admit to growing a bit tired of writing this blog. While I anticipate continuing to do so for the time being, I suspect the frequency of my postings will decline.

I recently had an email interview with Brady Brelinsky of Flavors of Cacao about chocolate and reviewing chocolate. One aspect I described was the evaluation process we use at One Golden Ticket to review a chocolate bar. You should be able to read the whole interview on his website in October. Here's an excerpt:

"We photograph the wrapper ahead of time. At our initial evaluation session, we begin by photographing the chocolate bar. After examining the appearance, texture, and snap, we then make two or three passes and take notes on the aroma, taste, melt, length, and finish in that first session. We might taste multiple bars in an initial evaluation session, using bread and water to clear our palates between passes and bars. To help ensure consistent data by hopefully eliminating situational effects (for example, anything we might have eaten recently), I evaluate the chocolate again on at least one other occasion before posting our results. I like to do that session in the morning a few hours after brushing my teeth without toothpaste and not having consumed anything other than water. At some point, we edit the photos, cropping and adjusting the color to make them as close as we can to actual wrapper and bar appearance (Lindy is much better at this than I am, so the good photos are usually hers). While writing the review for the blog, I make a final pass with the chocolate to confirm our earlier results. Finally, I search the web to find the lowest prices for purchasing that chocolate bar online, and include links to those for each shipping area (typically one for North America and one for Europe). Overall, it probably takes about 3 to 4 hours for each review."

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