November 7, 2007

Slitti – Lattenero 70% – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Slitti apparently has no problem at making his bars look immaculate. This one is as smooth and glossy as a bar can get, devoid of any manufacturer defect imaginable. The color, though, is forbiddingly dark and evocative of black coal rather than chocolate, but nonetheless, the aroma emanating from it is far more beautiful. It’s very deep and coffee-like, suggestive of dark things to come, but grapes and coconut lighten the load, while woody spice sits high as well. With no real low points present, however, every note seems like an alpha male clamoring for attention, but it remains pleasing and balanced, just presented at a high volume.

And this is more or less how the flavor is composed. Dark wood, coconut, and spice all unload in surges, then calm down moderately for a creaminess of flavor that contributes somewhat of a refined edge to an otherwise loud flavor. All this happens quickly, though, and just when it seems the chocolate has extended itself, grapes then enter, evolving into melons with a minor acidity and slight bitterness that never offends as much as it complements. Like the Lattenero 51%, the chocolate simply gets better the more it melts, but here both complexity and intensity are where this chocolate excels.

If, with flavor, Slitti hit the nail right on the head, he missed far and wide with texture. It’s decidedly fudge-like despite the high cocoa solids, showing that even a minimal amount of milk can cause damage. The strongest of the Lattenero range, the bar is indeed a dark exposé of high percentage milk chocolate, but with its primary emphasis on cacao rather than a balance between it and milk, is the bar perhaps too dark to be classified as a milk chocolate? Who cares! Slitti is doing remarkable things with this Lattenero line, and at 70% this bar has much more to offer than its novelty value. The impact of the milk solids far outweighs its material weight, softening both flavor and texture but rounding out the former. In some ways it resembles an Indonesian bar from Pralus minus the smoke, so dramatic and austere the flavor is but also reasonably controlled and highly unique overall.

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Hans-Peter Rot



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