I was hanging out this afternoon at the Great American Dessert Expo/Coffee Fest here in Atlanta with Clay Gordon, who was at the show leading a couple of educational sessions on chocolate tastings. If Clay is not on your radar, he’s one of the most knowledgeable chocolate experts around, particularly regarding how to taste, pair and understand the nuances of different chocolates. He’s also well known for his chocophile.com website, and happens to be publishing a new book called “Discover Chocolate,” due out October 18.
While walking the show floor, we stopped at the Tea Fuzions booth, which was sampling their Matcha green tea beverages. Come to find out, Matcha tea is Clay’s palate cleanser of choice when sampling different chocolates. According to Clay, Matcha does a great job of neutralizing flavors, leaving the palate refreshed and ready for the next chocolate experience.
If you’re unfamiliar with Matcha, it’s a Japanese green tea that grinds the entire leaf into a fine, jade-colored powder. If you’ve tasted green tea ice cream, it was most likely flavored with Matcha. It’s also very high in green tea antioxidants.
Clay mentioned he sometimes makes chocolate truffles with the ganache rolled in Matcha tea powder instead of cocoa powder. Unfortunately,we didn’t have any of that to sample today, but it sounded like a really interesting combination.