Do you like chocolate? Are you in Edinburgh on 28 November?

by Christine Knight

Come to Real Foods at Tollcross, 7.30-9pm, where my friend Sinéad Collins (real live chocolate-maker) is holding a chocolate tasting! Tickets are £7.50, either in person from Real Foods Tollcross, or by emailing

Here’s the spiel for the evening, Chocolate: From Bean to Bar:

Yummy chocolate bars on shelves start out as pods growing on trees, and go through a fascinating transformation before making it to you. Sinéad Collins will share the chemistry and alchemy of making bean-to-bar chocolate, how your tastebuds let you enjoy it, and the ethics of loving and consuming a crop that only grows in the worlds poorest countries. The event will include tasters of the stages between bean and bar including from IQ chocolate & Raw Chocolate Co.

And the other important bit:

Sinéad Collins is a biologist, chocolate-maker and pop-science nerd with a passion for all things yummy. Her homemade Quicksilver Chocolate bars will be available to try on the night.

You can read more about Sinéad’s Quicksilver Chocolate on her awesome blog, kitchen dancing (which also has great vegan and raw-food recipes).

If you’re making new friends, I recommend chocolate-makers. Over the last few months, I’ve tried several different types of Sinéad’s chocolate, and they’ve all been fab. They have great names like Wild Rumpus and Black & Blue; they come niftily wrapped in parchment with hand-written labels; they’re very, very dark (a very, very good thing in my book); and most importantly, they taste great.

I’m no expert chocolate-taster. (The idea raises visions of a Wine Aroma Wheel for chocolate, in various shades of brown.) Nonetheless, here’s my tasting notes for Black & Blue (black for the chocolate; blue for blueberries):

Sinead blogs that she “do[es]n’t bother with making stuff that looks and tastes like something I could just go buy in a shop”. Black & Blue is a case in point. It’s a speckledy chocolate, for want of a better word, with tiny dark blue-black circles on the surface, and a slightly dry, crumbly texture. There’s a slightly sweet, fruity aroma first; an intense burst of dried-fruit flavour; and then a bitter aftertaste like dark-roasted coffee beans. It’s complex, fascinating and delicious, and the caffeine hit from the dark chocolate is enough to give you a nervous twitch – in a good way.

I ate the chocolate before I thought to take photos (food blogging hazard), but I hope to take some at the event. Come join me!