Meet the Sensory Scientist Dedicated To Making Good Chocolate

Darin Sukha is working to safeguard the cacao plant that gives us the sweet treat.

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Food technologist Darin Sukha studies the nuances of smell and taste in the cacao plant, whose seeds, once processed, become cocoa and chocolate. He wants to understand not only the biological characteristics of the plant but also the sensorial ones, because he believes these references help illuminate a wide variety of flavors inherent in cacao.

And if they are properly nurtured will carry over into the final product.

“A good piece of chocolate is like a good piece of music,” he told Smithsonian Magazine. It contains something memorable that stays on your mind for the entire day.”

Most of us cannot recognize this nuance because we grew up on candy and confections that has one dominant chocolatey note. But cocoa beans hold a symphony of flavors, from roasted hazelnuts and fresh violets to tart cherries and green apples, according to Smithsonian.

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