Zotter goes (almost) all the way with a 100% – at least if one dismisses the addition of a little salt. Thus the claim on the package “without added ingredients” is taking some liberties with terminology – is salt, then, not an ingredient? Such pedantic quibbles aside, however, obviously Zotter makes no pretence about who they’re courting: the serious chocolate-lover who’s not at all intimidated by the pure stuff. Interestingly, though, this is the “up-and-coming” source of the 2 from Zotter’s 90-100% pack, the 90% clearly having the “star billing”. However, it is undoubtedly positioned at another level altogether from almost all other 100% organic chocolates, the only one (arguably) with similar elite credentials being Pralus’ Le 100%. A statement chocolate if ever there was one.


Reviews

Alex Rast: 13-Nov-2010

Posted: November 13, 2010 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 8.5 10%
Look/snap: 8.5 5%
Taste: 8 35%
Melt: 9.5 5%
Length: 8.5 15%
Opinion: 8.5 30%
Total/100: 83.75 100%
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A bar that sits in the shadow of its awesome partner the 90%, this chocolate inevitably is going to suffer in comparison. Yet despite the disadvantage of a high-profile brother, it holds its own and proves to be a good chocolate in its own right. It doesn’t have the depth of character of the 90%, but in compensation it proves true to Zotter’s claim and reveals itself as extraordinarily mild. This is in a relative sense of course: no 100% is going to taste less than powerful. But here is a chocolate that one could readily eat more than the 35g, without a sense of “overload”. Basic, classic flavours here produce a nicely-balanced chocolate and a fine demonstration of how to interpret a pure cocoa.

Out of the wrapper, the chocolate looks good, predictably rather dark, but with hints of reddish that minimise alarm, and with a lack of mould defects that demonstrate Zotter’s typical attention to detail. The aroma, meanwhile, already indicates the promised mildness; unlike most 100% it isn’t overpowering but rather subtle, starting with raspberry mixed with a hint of rubber, then progressing to a straightforward chocolatey with nut hints, eventually shifting into dark coffee with earthy notes and a hint of soy sauce. Nothing here is particularly unusual: these are all fairly common flavours, but the nice smooth progression without jarring notes shows exemplary balance.

The taste is again, a familiar one but where balance reigns. The initial sensation is of blackberries and cream, then a powerful coffee flood washes through. This subsides and reveals an earthy background, before interesting hints of olive and cheese poke through at the end. Nothing earth-shaking here, to be sure, but a fine basic chocolate flavour.

Unsurprisingly, the melt here is first-rate, as is easy with the pure mass; lack of other ingredients in the way makes the achievement of an effortless smoothness effortless! The flavour likewise seems to partake of this effortlessness; one feels as though here is a bean that offers no resistance. Lack of resistance does in this case also correspond to lack of drama; perhaps a few more quirks might have made this chocolate still better. But still, this is overall a very edible bar that is a credit to its origin and manufacturer.



About the Author

Alex Rast
Alex Rast is a long-time chocolate experimenter, taster and part-time consultant to chocolate companies. Starting in 1990 with early experiments himself in making chocolate, he quickly moved into evaluating chocolates in commercial production and assisting other companies in improving process. Over the course of many years he has evaluated over 700 distinct chocolate bars. He is one of the earliest reviewers for SeventyPercent and has helped to define and systematise the ratings system. In addition to bar chocolate, he also experiments with chocolate baking and the formulation of "canonical" recipes for classic chocolate items.