If you're in the market for a job that aligns with your love of chocolate — get ready for all of your dreams to come true. I'm not kidding, you can now get a job tasting chocolate because Cadbury is hiring chocolate tasters, according to The New York Times. Mondelez International, the company that owns many of your favorite sweet treats (including Cadbury), is hiring part-time chocolate tasters in England. If you're looking for an excuse to move across the pond, I can't think of a better one.
Remember that time Monica on Friends had to taste mockolate and create recipes using the chocolate substitute? This is nothing like that. According to the job description, part-time chocolate tasters will work around 15 hours a week and make $12.45 an hour, which means you'll have plenty of time to pick up some side hustles in between your chocolate-tasting duties. The job also has a fancy-pants title — Sensory Panelist, Confectionary.
"Our panelists are key in helping Mondelez perfect and launch an entirely new product all over the world by tasting and providing feedback just like our consumers," the job description details. "No experience is required as full training will be provided to develop your taste buds and the specific vocabulary required to communicate your opinions."
That's right, they will teach you how to taste chocolate so you basically get a job as a chocolate taster and you get to go to chocolate-tasting school to learn how to do it. Then, they'll put you to work with your fellow tasters. "You will work in our dedicated sensory booths and discussion rooms, alongside approximately 11 panelists and a panel leader; sharing opinions and collaborating with others to reach an agreement on taste," the job description continued.
Sounds like a dream, right? As it turns out, chocolate tasting is actually hard work. Amie Tsang reported for the New York Times that taste testing is completed in sensory booths that include red-tinged lights to disguise the various chocolates. What's more, the booths are pressurized so any distinct chocolate smells are sucked away. It's kind of like tasting chocolate for the first time, which I think sounds pretty exciting.
But, back to that hard work part. Apparently, telling the difference between different kinds of chocolate is pretty difficult. "Many applicants are unable to even differentiate between certain flavors, according to Dr. Afsha Chugtai, who oversees projects at the research center," Tsang reported. Who knew chocolate tasting was so scientific? And, personally, I'm not sure I want to know how the sausage is made.
If you think you have what it takes to be a Sensory Panelists for Mondelez's confectionary department, here are the skills you need to apply for the gig. You must demonstrate a passion for confectionary, have taste buds for detecting different flavors of chocolate, and be honest and objective when it comes to giving your opinion. In other words, don't tell them what you think they want to hear. If it tastes like mockolate, don't be afraid to give that chocolate a thumbs down.
You should also be eager to try new and inventive products and possess a communicative personality to build great relationships with your panel. You know, so you can be chocolate besties for life. You'll be expected to taste up to 10 samples a day, and the job description indicates that if they're interested in harnessing your tasting skills they will get back to you within 14 days, which is not a lot of time to relocate to Reading, England.
For some people, tasting that much chocolate could eventually turn them off of the sweet treat, so here's what you need to know before you consider this career change. Reader's Digest spoke with a chocolate taster, and the gig sort of takes some of the romance out of chocolate. So, if you don't want to sully your love affair with chocolate, this job might not be for you.
"First I smell the chocolate and log its aroma. I also listen: If chocolate doesn’t sound crisp when broken, it may be a sign it’s old or was improperly stored. Then I place a one-inch cube in my mouth and leave it there for a few seconds," chocolate taster Orietta Gianjorio told Kelsey Kloss for Reader's Digest.
"I press it against my palate and let it melt, recording the four basic tastes — sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Then I blow out short puffs of air through my nose." IMO, that sounds like a lot of work for free chocolate. Gianjorio noted that, similar to wine tasting, after you sample the chocolate you spit it into a cup. She also told Kloss that since going pro, while she still eats chocolate for pleasure, she enjoys much less of it. Chalk it up to an occupational hazard.
If you don't get the chocolate tasting job, don't fret. Perhaps Mondelez — which owns other products, like gum — will offer a gum-chewing job or a cookie-eating job in the future. Hey, there's no harm in dreaming, right? Because, clearly, absolutely anything can be a job.