Sep 10, 2007

extreme chocolate

Always game for new tastes, I picked up some 99% Cacao chocolate bars from Lindt today. You can only buy them in their stores. I think some other chocolate companies make their own versions of this type of product.

I spotted some blog posting somewhere about this X-treme tasting experience. I'd never heard of it before. My wife, a chocoholic, knew of each variety (85%, 70%, etc.). No surprise there. So perhaps everyone has done this before. I'd never heard of it.

The chocolate comes with a warning. Between the lines, it says, "this won't taste nearly as enjoyable as normal chocolate". And they'd be right.

99% cacao is to chocolate as Everclear is to beer. That isn't to say it's bad. Everclear has its place and time (mainly on a campus during a Freshman year). And so does 99% cacao (mainly when you are not jonesing for some chocolate). Clearly with 99% of the chocolate bar being cacao there is very little room for sugar. In fact there is no sugar. As far as I can tell the 1% might be salt. But maybe that is just a result of my brain expecting a sweetness that never comes. The eating instructions, between the lines, go like this: "Don't gobble this down like a Snickers bar. Put it on your tongue and let it melt. Notice the differing tastes the bar imparts over time."

The consistency as it melts in your mouth is something akin to the grounds at the bottom of a Turkish coffee. Sludgy, thick, somewhat gritty (but a very fine grit like Turkish coffee grounds). Maybe silt or sediment is the better term. Always be concerned when geologic terms are used to describe food.

But they are correct that the taste changes. The first hit is just like chocolate. This lasts for 1 second. Then the bitterness and acidity start coming through and you start thinking, "My God what have I done". Then it kind of mellows out with a number of unusual flavors and you think, "Okay, this has some snob appeal".

Is it enjoyable? I don't suppose I'd go out and buy this every week. But it is interesting. I always like trying something new and interesting. I could see this going well with coffee. And in some strange way it's almost has a palate cleansing effect which could come in handy. Like if you want to get rid of a chocolate flavor from that Snickers bar you ate. Your mileage may vary.

1 comment:

Ranjani said...

Once, a creepy kid gave me a bar of this stuff as a present. I was really surprised by that strange sour note. I suppose it grows on you though...or maybe you just become better at pretending you like it so that you can make others feel inadequate with your extreme capacity for cacao tolerance. It's probably that one, actually. :D