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Chocolate Zen

June 4th, 2007

The legends preceded it: chocolate so dark it ceased to taste like chocolate. Chocolate so intense it required cautionary statements. Chocolate so fine it cost $32 per pound. One of my coworkers is a fan of dark chocolate, and he was the one who first told me about the 99%-cocoa Lindt chocolate bar.

Such purity is exceptionally rare. A normal Hershey bar is rumored to contain about 11% cocoa (and could get worse). The “Special Dark” Hershey bar is just 45% cocoa. Even the “Extra Dark” variant clocks in at only 60%. Connoisseurs must look to a more exotic manufacturer.

The Lindt Excellence line of fine chocolate bars is widely available in the United States. Dark chocolate versions with 85% cocoa can be found with relative ease at chains as plebeian as Target. Such ubiquity is not shared by the 99% bar. For it, one must travel to a Lindt chocolate store. One exists in the Mall of America.

At the store, I was greeted by two pleasant young women offering free chocolate samples to browsers. My goal clear, I declined their truffles and proceeded straight to the chocolate bar section. There, on the wall, I saw it: a 99%-pure bar of cocoa. One of the saleswomen regarded my choice with concern. She made sure that I knew what I was getting into, that I knew I should enjoy the bar slowly, at home, with proper reverence and plenty of water. Undeterred by the cautionary statements, I asserted my comfort with the chocolate and completed my purchase. On the way home, I picked up a more mundane 85% bar for comparison.

The 85% bar and the 99% bar

The first thing I noticed was that the 99% bar was smaller than the 85% bar. Although the external packages shared identical dimensions, the 99% bar had a net weight of only 50 grams — half that of the 85% bar. That smaller size was not reflected in the price, for the 99% bar cost 10% more than the 85% bar, or 120% more by weight. The ingredient lists were very similar (chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar), but the 85% bar contained vanilla while the 99% bar had none. Both were made in France — odd, seeing as how Lindt is a Swiss company.

The 99% bar's back side

I carefully opened the cardboard shell of the 99% bar and pulled out a foil tray. I was more than a bit surprised to find warnings on the wrapper that instructed me to work my way up to the 99% bar via the 70% and 85% versions.

The 99% bar's cardboard and inner foil container

The notice about how to eat the chocolate

Not wanting to disobey a piece of foil, I pulled out my 85% bar and warmed up my palate with a few nibbles. Suitably prepared, I returned to the main event.

The remainder of the foil warning cautioned the consumer to limit indulgence to small pieces left to melt on one’s tongue. Oddly, that part of the warning existed only in the English and German versions of the instructions. Perhaps the French and Italians are naturally better versed in the art of chocolate appreciation.

I took a deep breath and peeled back the wrapper from the fancy tray. Inside was a thin wafer of the darkest chocolate I have ever seen. I cautiously broke off a square, an act reported with a crisp snap. Ready to experience Chocolate Zen, I closed my eyes and laid the square on my tongue. My mouth closed, and my body heat began to release the essence of the bar.

Opening the inner foil container

I was at first struck by a mild bitterness, but that quickly passed (and was not to return for the rest of the session). The super-dark chocolate melted quickly and imparted a decidedly creamy mouthfeel, not unlike a fine caramel. Perhaps the most surprising trait was the absence of chocolate flavor, at least not in the traditional sense. The confection was not tasteless — no, it was simply unlike any chocolate I had ever experienced. Even the 85% bar was a world apart.

One piece of heaven

The 99% chocolate was an experience of purity. No chemical aftertaste. No waxy mouthfeel. Nothing to distract from the singular cocoa focus.

To compare the 99% bar with a Hershey’s dark bar would be to insult the Lindt creation, for they exist not in the same realm. Whereas the Hershey’s bar is overtly bitter and artificial, the 99% cocoa is soothing and natural. Neither are very sweet, but while the Hershey’s bar longs for sugar, the Lindt imparts an air of balance in its lack.

I sampled the 85% and 99% bars in turn several times, exploring different consumption techniques and speeds. All methods were enjoyable in their own ways.

After consuming just three squares of the 99% bar, I felt it was time to bring the experience to an end. The richness of the chocolate was leaving me satiated, and I didn’t want to waste either bar when I was not in the proper mindset for full enjoyment of the act.

If you get the opportunity to try high-quality, high-purity chocolate, I recommend that you indulge. If nothing else, you will gain a new appreciation for the rift between American commodity chocolate and what is possible from the world’s elite chocolatiers.

  1. September 10th, 2007 at 10:51 | #1

    you people remind me of what would have happened if the nazis had won the war.

  2. kevin
    September 10th, 2007 at 11:39 | #2

    Ghiradelli (spelling) squares are so good. So so so good. Their factory is in San Francisco and let me tell you the chocolate is amazing but i can guarantee nothing in comparison to the 99%

  3. Darrin
    September 10th, 2007 at 12:17 | #3

    Heya – if you’re ever in Toronto and you love chocolate, here’s your number #1 destination:


    I promise, I’m not connected/affiliated with them in any way, except that I try to eat one of their dark chocolate bars a month at least. Really exceptional artisanal product. Oh, and you might want to drop by Mill St. Brewery and pick up a 6-pack of their Coffee Porter – brilliant on it’s own, but paired with chocolate… life-changing stuff.


  4. Grammer King
    September 10th, 2007 at 12:44 | #4

    Grammer Nazi please stop being a douche and go someplace else to practice your douchery. If you are worried about peoples grammar then go be an English teacher. Otherwise stfu and talk about chocolate or chocolate flavored douches, since that is what you seem to enjoy.

  5. Alejandro Mayagoitia
    September 10th, 2007 at 14:05 | #5

    You have misunderstood the recomendation… you work your way to the 99% in MONTHS!!! You try a square of 60% after every meal a couple of months, later you move to 75%…..
    And if you really are into it, you put the square broquen in two or four under your tongue and take a nap while it disolves

  6. David Greiman
    September 10th, 2007 at 15:21 | #6

    Anything you have to acquire a taste for seems strange to me. Maybe the rich enjoy eating things that no one else wants to have the patience or time to build up a taste for.

  7. September 10th, 2007 at 15:43 | #7

    lindt uses crap suppliers. they are ok for candy but for real chocolate you should use a better supplier. for example chocolat bonnat is $8 for a bar but it tastes nothing like lindt or hersheys – it’s so much better.

  8. September 10th, 2007 at 17:00 | #8

    Anything you have to acquire a taste for seems strange to me. Maybe the rich enjoy eating things that no one else wants to have the patience or time to build up a taste for.

    It’s not that, David. Sometimes a food is so different from one’s background & upbringing & usual menu that it has to be an acquired taste; you have to work up to it or get used to the idea & overcome your ingrained leanings to enjoy it.

    I was that way with sushi, for example. My background is mid-Midwest, White-Bread Mac & Cheese Middle-Class Southwestern Ohio. Fish was something that was chopped up/breaded/deep-fried beyond recognition & slathered with tartar sauce to disguise the taste. When my husband’s parents moved to the Maryland coast, they kept taking us to good seafood places whenever we were out there — and after getting used to that (and believe me, a Maryland blue-crab festival is a HELL of an education for someone with my background), I gradually worked up to trying rawer & rawer fish, until now, it seems odd to cook fish…though I admit that I still enjoy the occasional McD’s fish sandwich. ๐Ÿ˜€

    And I don’t think the higher percentages of chocolate are an aquired taste at all. I was never into chocolate much before. I’ve never liked milk chocolate; Hershey’s special dark tastes like wax to me, and that was the extent of my chocolate education for a long while. But someone gave me an 87% chocolate bar last year, and I fell in love immediately. Now I won’t take anything less than 70%.

  9. kieran
    September 11th, 2007 at 03:50 | #9

    after reading this i went to the supermarket and bought a bar.
    i must say: its good!
    from previous experience i always found that once you pass 60%, it gets less tasty.
    however the 99% is pretty good.
    thx for the tip!

  10. September 11th, 2007 at 06:39 | #10

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article o.us poetry, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  11. nitemaresbydesign
    September 11th, 2007 at 13:28 | #11

    A friend brought me roasted cocoa beans dipped in 85% cocoa chocolate when she returned from visiting family in Italy two years ago. They are an acquired taste, but might be something you would enjoy. If you get the chance give them a try.

  12. September 11th, 2007 at 15:00 | #12

    Great review. I’m a big fan of Lindt. Have you ever tried Vosges? It’s good too but they are getting a bit crazy these days with things like bacon chocolate.

  13. September 11th, 2007 at 19:06 | #13


    Check out the two Lindt Cafes we have in Sydney! ๐Ÿ˜€ One’s over at Martin Place and the other at Cockle Bay wharf/Darling Harbour …

  14. J
    September 11th, 2007 at 19:28 | #14

    This little article and it’s pictures were like food porn! Mmmmmm…Lindt….

  15. thapsis
    September 11th, 2007 at 20:00 | #15

    Thanks Albert, will check them out.

    Since moving on to more finer chocolates, I find I cannot eat many of the regular “candy” chocolate bars anymore. Kitkat, cadbury, bounty, just to name a few. In fact, Hersheys Kisses, make me gag. They would have to be the worst chocolates (if that’s what you call it) I have ever had.

  16. deadbum
    September 11th, 2007 at 22:05 | #16

    you guys are total commoners. Lindt make _horrible_ chocolate, and comparing anything that approaches “good” chocolate to hershey is like comparing low quality dog food to different types of filet mignon. The New York Chocolate Show (google it) showcases actual good chocolate. My personal favorite is a swiss company called felchlin that makes a variety of single origin chocolates and truffles.


    Their chocolates have won awards, and for good reason. The now sold out Cru Sauvage is probably the best chocolate that has ever been created. Any one of their single origin chocolates are also a transcendental experience. Chocolate snobbery is not about the cocoa content of the bar, otherwise creating the best chocolate would just be a matter of packing in more cocoa into less milk. Properly created single origin chocolate has a complex harmony of flavors more similar to a fine bottle of wine than to a simple numbers game of how much cocoa is in it. Go buy one of these lindt travesties, and any of the single origin bars on that page, and honestly tell me that the lindt doesn’t taste like bitter ass.

  17. September 11th, 2007 at 23:02 | #17

    winner of the World Chocolate Awards “Best Bean to Bar Chocolate Bar” and “Best Dark Chocolate Bar” The only importers of Chuao Cocoa (which they undercut Lindt and Valrhona to secure)

  18. September 11th, 2007 at 23:02 | #18
  19. September 11th, 2007 at 23:02 | #19

    Amedei (in Tuscany)

  20. snowbird
    September 12th, 2007 at 01:53 | #20

    Its the same way with medicine.Our bodies and tastes are not the same.Thats why so many make mistakes and marry the wrong mate.Tastes change and so do we.Thank God we have choices,in some countries they know absolutely nothing about chocolate,or at the least,very litte.And unless a miracle were to happen,they’ll never in their lifetime be able to taste it,smell it,or enjoy its flavor.So be thankful for any type of chocolate you can find and learn to share it when possible.And while you are enjoying a product thats found in stores all over the nation be extremely grateful that you are allowed that luxury another day!

  21. Anonymous
    September 12th, 2007 at 05:56 | #21

    Since Japan has gotten but a single mention, I add that Men’s Pokky is dark-chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks, if anyone else was sad that Pokky & dark chocolate never seem to mix.
    I started out eating “pure” baking chocolate before I started school, back when they had unsweetened chocolate flavor packets in brownie mix. In consequence, I’ve never been able to enjoy American milk chocolate. All of you who can’t stand dark chocolate and still enjoy “brown crayon wax” as Charles Schultz said in “Peanuts” are so lucky! I can find good dark chocolate in the supermarket, but good dark chocolate candy bars are at best seasonal, and expensive, and not the best quality (I still have a stash of Kit Kat Dark in the freezer). The specialty dark chocolate I find is just nut bars, or maybe some dried fruit in a bar. If you love dark chocolate, you’re not supposed to like caramel or nougat or marshmallow or whipped goo unless it’s in a $10 truffle? Dilettante’s doesn’t even have their dark-chocolate-dredged ginger any more (another wonderful acquired taste!)

    In making chocolate desserts at home for my allergy-ridden, sugar- and dairy-intolerant family, I was disappointed to discover that the only brand of pure dark baking chocolate in the grocery store that does NOT contain sugar or milk is Hershey. Bakers & Ghiradelli & all the organic sugar-free specialty baking chocolates either contain sugar (although labeled ‘unsweetened’) or milk & milk derivatives. So, while I do not admire their candy, their baking chocolate is remarkably pure (for the USA) and good to work with. I have to admit that they are (finally) being dragged into higher-quality chocolate production by the competetion. I thought their “Special Dark” Baking Cocoa was a total scam (unsweetened cocoa powder is unsweetened cocoa powder, right?) but it does actually bake things that taste chocolate-ier to me. I guess it’s not just added dark coloring. But if they CAN make good chocolate, why haven’t they been doing so all along? Cheap so-and-sos!

  22. Shirley Marquez
    September 12th, 2007 at 08:42 | #22

    The 99% chocolate contains a negligible amount of sugar, so it is quite diabetic-friendly. The fat content is the main nutritional concern; as with all rich chocolates, enjoy in moderation. Here is the nutritional info for 100 grams, as supplied by Lindt and found on the web (not in US-standard format):

    * Energy: 530 calories/2,210 kilojoules
    * Protein: 13 grams
    * Carbohydrates: 8 grams
    * Fat: 50 grams

    For comparison, the 85% bar has 8 grams of carbohydrate in 40g of chocolate, or 20 grams in 100g. The extra 12g are sugar. Still a relatively small amount of sugar, and thus a food that a diabetic can enjoy in moderate quantities. The US-standard nutrition data follows:

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size: 4 Squares (40g)
    Amount per Serving
    Calories 210 Calories from Fat 160
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 18g 28%
    Saturated Fat 11g 55%
    Sodium 20mg 1%
    Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
    Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
    Sugars 5g
    Protein 4g 8%
    Calcium 4%
    Iron 15%
    Est. Percent of Calories from:
    Fat 77.1% Carbs 15.2%
    Protein 7.6%

  23. Marie Streeter
    September 12th, 2007 at 13:36 | #23

    I am not a chocolate connoisseur but I am pregnant and so I crave chocolate every day. This being my second child, I have refined my chocolate palate and found that the friendliest dark chocolate to both my mouth and my thighs is Ghirardelli’s 72% cocoa. It makes for an awesome smore’s in the microwave, recipe:
    1 square of chocolate
    1 waffer of graham cracker
    1 large marshmallow
    pile together and nuke for 10 seconds ONLY. (yes, it explodes otherwise)

    I have tried this with the Lindt 85% and really wasn’t impressed. Chocolate is very much like wine and beer, you have to develop an appreciation for the richness of the product to appreciate the subleties in the origin of the fruit or grain it is derived from. I’ve never been big on anything made by Hershey’s, I have always preferred the Mars varieties and Cadbury’s is tops for milk chocolate. In the Lindt line however, I highly recommend the Pear and Dark Chocolate, pure decadence!


  24. Anonymous
    September 12th, 2007 at 21:23 | #24

    i am a dark chocolate lover, so when I saw a bar of 70% coca and another of 85% coca I had to try them. The 70% coca was great it had a good balance of sweet and bitterness. The 85% coca bar was too bitter for me at first. I found that I had to eat half of the square at a time. I can’t imagine eating a bar of 99% coca, although I would love to try one just to see what it taste like. I would recommend the 70% coca bars, but not the 85%, that is only for people who truley love dark, dark chocolate.

  25. spacedcowgirl
    September 12th, 2007 at 23:01 | #25

    Wow, people are really serious about chocolate…

    I enjoy the Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips. I’ve never had anything as dark as the 99% bar (and after that post I really want to try one), but the Ghirardelli taste like a very good, basic dark chocolate to me. Not waxy at all, but melt nicely; a strong dark flavor with some acidity. Yummy.

    The Dagoba Xocolatl bar is also good IMO.

  26. Dr. Phil (junior)
    September 13th, 2007 at 12:39 | #26

    Just so you know that if you eat chocolate that is over 78 or sum, then its very healthy, and enough healthy to eat for breakfast, or for just some kinda meal. I do also know a person that is working in a chocolate factory. ๐Ÿ™‚ just some news, if you didn’t know this.
    Also, NEVER eat white (chocolate) why, thats is like eating fat that is just frozen, to make it hard like a chocolate, by the way, white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all, its just called that, so people don’t know they are eating fat and coconut powder.

    From a 14 year old!

  27. Anonymous
    September 13th, 2007 at 13:48 | #27

    I can find a ton of those chocolate bars in top foods and safeway and stuff. Stanford sucks!

  28. Fett
    September 14th, 2007 at 16:04 | #28

    My wife is nuts over dark chocolate, interesting that the darkest of dark is available right here at the MoA. We may have to check that out.

  29. September 15th, 2007 at 10:32 | #29

    99%? That’s close to the black-hole of chocolate, any more and your face would be sucked in backwards.

    I’m fond of the 85% though, goes great with a decent cup of coffee.

  30. TrueConnoisseur
    September 16th, 2007 at 09:03 | #30

    First to debunk a few myths on this page:
    Cocoa beans, when ground, become cocoa butter, cacao (used to make traditional chocolate), and cocoa liquour. Liquour in the sense that shellfish give off liqueur, not something you would want to drink. Cacao is ground into nibs, small chunks of cacao solids, then into cacao powder. This is essentially the unsweetened cocoa powder you would find in your pantry. White chocolate is named such because the main ingredient is cocoa butter. There is, however, no coconut in white chocolate.

    Now for the main event:
    Chocolate is not just another word for cacao. Chocolate, in the traditional sense is a combination of cacao powder, milk, and sugar, The concentration of cacao in the mixture is where the percentage on the front of your package comes from. Most mass produced chocolate has additives to make it remain solid at room or body temperature. This is why a Lindt or Ghirardelli bar will melt when you touch in and a Hershey’s bar will not. Chocolate chips, made by anyone, have added wax so you can bake them and they will retain their shape. Chocolate can be called chocolate if it has as little as 5% or 10% cacao in it, and it is still, in fact, chocolate. Something with a lower percentage is not a lesser chocolate, it is essentially less bitter, sweeter, and more milky.

    Armed with this knowledge, go experience the world of chocolate! There are fine dark chocolates that can be found in any grocery store, like Ghirardelli or Lindt (I can find these in my small town NC grocery store, so I promise you can too). A better but still available dark chocolate is “Scharffen Berger,” which is surprisingle made here in the USA. But if you want to truly taste fine chocolate and can travel, I would recommend “La Maison du Chocolate,” “Chocolate Bar,” or “Jacques Torres Chocolate.” The first can be found in NYC or Paris, the second and third in NYC. The third, as the name suggests, is run by Jacques Torres, one of the world’s finest chocolatiers. All of the three above have some of the most decadent dark chocolate I have ever tasted (and trust me, I have tasted a few), as well as surprising and innovative chocolate flavors.

    And since everyone is giving their own opinion, my ideal is a 80% bar if it is mass produced (still hard to find, I usually go with Lindt’s 70% because it is most affordable and available for me), but I love the super dark chocolate (weighing in at 90%) I had at La Maison du Chocolate. They also have some of the best drinking chocolate out there.

    Enjoy Chocolate!

  31. Juniper
    September 17th, 2007 at 00:14 | #31

    andp602, I recently read while looking for stuff for my dad to eat (he’s diabetic) that dark chocolate is sometimes good…. I’d ask your doc but food for thought (ha)

  32. September 19th, 2007 at 10:04 | #32

    Thanks for a great article.

    I haven’t tried the 99% Lindt bar yet, I’ll definitely look out for it. I have tried the 85% Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate, which I really like. I worked my way up gradually over a few years.

    When you get to these levels of cocoa, you can’t eat them as you might ordinary confectionary. With fine chocolate, you can only eat a square or two, let it melt on your tongue and let the aromas go up your nose. I find this kind of chocolate very satisfying.

    I started having a square or two every night, after dinner mainly to help insomnia. I learnt chocolate helps produce serotonin in the brain, which you need to make tryptophan, which is necessary to make melatonin, which you need to sleep. I always have bars of Green & Blacks in the house. After a while, it started getting boring, having to have chocolate every day, but when I don’t, I miss it. It’s a nice routine – a little bit of chocolate and a cup of rooibos tea with evening TV. : )

  33. September 19th, 2007 at 10:22 | #33

    YUM! YUM! Chocolate is the BEST! I have always loved dark chocolate and this article helped me to realise that I am afterall doing the right thing by eating plenty of the gorgeous substance!

  34. September 19th, 2007 at 14:05 | #34

    Dagoba also does one (percent) better. Their “Prima Materia” bar is 100% cacao. It’s also practically inedible.

  35. B. Durbin
    September 19th, 2007 at 21:43 | #35

    Just thought I’d mention that in the bargain books section of most Borders is a softback cookbook called Chocolate (published by Hermes House), and the first ninety pages are an illustrated history of chocolate. It also gives a few quick hints for the unknowledgable so that we can pick out good chocolate from bad without knowing the manufacturer, such as vanilla over vanillin, if the product has it.

    Personally, I find I can’t beat the occasional Royal Cherry Chocolate from Harry & David, but that’s because I loves me the fruit. Of course, I’m a chocolate heathen and will try just about anything once, even if it’s cheap and horrible.

  36. sabrina
    September 20th, 2007 at 10:51 | #36

    I agree!!!
    The โ€œtop premium qualityโ€ is Venchi, from Italy!
    You can purchase directly from the web http://www.venchishop.com

  37. September 20th, 2007 at 15:07 | #37

    Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has a nice online selection of chocolate – some fairly exotic. There is also an informative article on their website called “Turning Beans into Bars – How Chocolate is Made”. You can find it here: http://www.zingermans.com/Article.pasp?ArticleID=article9. Enjoy!

  38. September 20th, 2007 at 15:09 | #38

    Hmm… Zingerman’s link didn’t work… Try this instead – article starts on the right side of the page… http://www.zingermans.com/Category.pasp?Category=sweet_stuff

  39. Elsa
    September 20th, 2007 at 19:36 | #39

    They sell this stuff in Japan. While I was studying abroad there, someone bought a bar, and we proceeded to offer hunks to other exchange students and watch them run to the vending machine to buy a coke to wash it down, flipping us off while we laughed…we didn’t read the foil.

  40. September 23rd, 2007 at 23:55 | #40

    “an act reported with a crisp snap” – Love the prose. Your well-documented tasting was an inspiration. I am traveling to Minneapolis next month and was planning to visit the MOA to receive my own cautionary sales pitch on the road to chocolate nirvana. However, a repeat reading of your careful devotion and some insider comments drove me to the local World Market for a shameless quickie. I was able to maintain my composure for the ride home, but once in the door, I ripped back the golden rules of consumption and placed the dark and luscious objet du desir on my tongue. Commence cocoitus. There were peak notes, there were voluminous valleys, moans, sighs and ultimately bliss. 3 more times with Lady La Lindt and a nap was in order.

  41. September 24th, 2007 at 04:48 | #41

    You can get 100% chocolate from http://www.domori.com. However even the 99% is too strong for me. 70% to 95% is perfect

  42. September 29th, 2007 at 14:44 | #42

    Belgium, Swiss and France are the chocolate heaven, truely elite indeed.

    Do you like Cote D’Or (very famous) and Leonidas brands ?

  43. hockey man
    October 1st, 2007 at 01:22 | #43

    i too enjoy the bars on a regular basis. it is truly a different chocolate experience.

  44. jose366
    October 2nd, 2007 at 23:30 | #44

    I got the 99% Lindt the last time I was in Europe. My palate wasn’t ready for so much flavor. I preferred the 85%. Belgian chocolate is still my favorite.

    Greets from Mexico.

  45. October 5th, 2007 at 14:35 | #45

    I must admit I pity you poor Americans !
    I live in Belgium, where the chocolate is just a hundred times better here than the fake brown yukk they sell in your part of the world as ‘chocolate’.
    Just today, I bought some regular “noir de noir” from Cote d’Or (www.cotedor.be), which I frequently use in desserts and other “amuse-bouches”. Mmmmm. The website of the good people at Cote d’Or is full of recipes too, but only in Dutch or French which are, together with German, the official languages in Belgium.
    Last month, a friend from Congo gave me a bag of pure untreated cocoa beans ‘straight from the tree’. Not knowing what to do with it and being too much of a prat to ask him, I tried nibbling some of those. “Chocolate” certainly did not spring to mind, but a couldn’t stop myself from munching away ! Luckily, I met him again today and he explained it should be peeled, carefully roasted, cooled, dried and ground in an old coffee mill to reach its full potential.
    Curious what this will result in…
    By the way, all you chocolate afficionados should really try this: a furthermore unknown punter called James Runcie wrote a book (fictional, but hey…) called ‘The discovery of chocolate”; I liked it a lot…
    I’ll get back to you when I’ve finished roasting my beans, so to speak…

  46. Rhia
    October 8th, 2007 at 13:57 | #46

    I volunteer for the Vancouver Chocolate Festival, it’s amazing how much better versed in chocolate the European countries are. I’ve had the 99% chocolate and I must tell you, it’s simply lovely. How chocolate was supposed to be, none of this white chocolate crap. White chocolate is what you remove from chocolate in order to make it darker. Then they sell you the white chocolate.
    Anyhow, you’ll have noticed that you don’t have cravings for the dark chocolate, you simply enjoy it. That’s another thing about fine chocolate, it’s not ‘addicting’ so to speak. You can enjoy it slowly, then put it away for a while. It’s also good for your heart, like (or with) a glass of wine after dinner.

  47. October 9th, 2007 at 03:50 | #47

    Chocolate is hard to digest.. easier in the cold climate, the beans of chocolate are so bitter you could not eat it at all.. without spitting it right out of your mouth.. pure chocolate is not possible.. I am from Brasil and I know the Coco fruit.. watch your skin when you eat too much of it..

  48. October 10th, 2007 at 22:08 | #48

    I’ve eaten 75% cacao before and loved it. It’s definitely something to be savored. Thank you for the ‘taste experience’ of 99%. I will have to find some soon. Sounds divine.

  49. coko
    October 13th, 2007 at 18:06 | #49

    Wow, way to over analyze something to death.

  50. October 15th, 2007 at 01:39 | #50

    I work in one of the Atlanta GA Lindt Chocolate Retail Stores and by far, the 99% Bar is my favorite Lindt Product to sample to customers, simply because of the many facial expressions that I see from people who aren’t used to such intense dark chocolate. Unfortunately, many Americans are so used to American-style chocolates and don’t appreciate the real authentic chocolates such as Lindt and other international-based chocolates.

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