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least bitter 100% or 99% chocolate?
October 25, 2003
8:36 pm
psage
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I've tried a number of 99% and 100% chocolates, and so far this is what I've found. If anyone has more information about other bars, please post!

Least bitter to most bitter:

------------

Teuscher 99% - not bitter at all, but it's sweetened with saccarine and the 99% includes an undetermined amount of cocoa butter, so it's not really 99% chcolate liquor, which is my definition of a real 99% or 100% bar.

Domori Puro - I had two batches of this with different expiration dates on them. One batch tasted sweet, the other bitter. I hope the sweet one wasn't a mistake, with some sugar left in it by accident (perhaps from incomplete cleaning of the last batch of other chocolate). The sweet one was my favorite so far, but I'm a bit hesitant to order another case because if I get the bitter one I'll be unhappy!

Slitti 100% - more bitter than Domori Puro but still quite nice.

Scharfen Berger 99% - still edible, but getting more bitter. The 1% sugar (left over from incomplete cleaning of the conch, as they explained to me) makes it sweeter.

Cluizel Noir Infiniti 100% - too bitter for me.

----------

What's your opinion? I'd like to know!

October 26, 2003
1:01 am
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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I really want to try the Slitti 100%. The highest percentage that I've had is Lindt's 85%, which is quite bitter, but I like it. I want to try others such as Cluizel's 85%.

October 26, 2003
7:19 pm
stevec
London, United Kingdom
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Interested to hear that you had two different experiences from the Domori Puro. Were they both with their expiration date? Is it really likely that they could make such a mistake in production? Has anyone had a similiar experience? Just put an order in for Domori Puro from this site to try it myself. Has anyone tried Lindt 99%?

firepants

firepants
October 29, 2003
1:13 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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The last bar of Puro I had was actually somewhat bitter, but the one prior to that wasn't; they both had the same expiration dates. I have another bar but have not opened it yet. I find Noir Infini much more bitter than Puro, and I honestly don't care for the additional spices, although the bar still tastes good with them. Cluizel's 85% isn't too bitter at all, actually. It reminds me of a much more subdued and tame Noir Infini without the spices. Galler's 85% isn't bad either - not bitter and very robust.

October 29, 2003
6:57 am
psage
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I love the Galler 85%, but I am trying to avoid sugar as much as possible (read: entirely), which is one reason I want to find a 99% or 100% bar that's completely satisfying.

The good batch of Domori Puro was, but what happens if I order another 100 bars and they're all the bitter variety???

That's why I'd like to know of any alternatives.

March 2, 2004
6:44 pm
conway
Ireland
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Unfortunatly I have not tried any of the chocolates you mention. However I am intrigued by the 100%. What exactly are the ingredients in a 100% chocolate bar..surely there must be some emulsifiers etc?

March 2, 2004
9:52 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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It's just what the label says, 100% cocoa content. It's pure cocoa liquor with cocoa butter added to smooth it out some. Without the cocoa butter, it's like bakers chocolate. Grainy and very bitter. Still, I've never had 100% eating chocolate. Scharffen Berger's 99% baking chocolate isn't bad actually, hah.

April 18, 2004
2:31 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I found the Slitti 100% the most "palatable" of the unsweetened chocolates, as it is made strictly for eating and not so much for baking. It's incredibly smooth and is actually pretty intense despite the creaminess. My only complaint is the slightly smoky flavor in the beginning, but that quickly disappears into spicy cinnamon and hazelnuts. Domori Puro is still my favorite; no bitterness at all, with hints of bananas and even mangoes. Cluizel's Noir Infini is somewhat bitter to me, and the orange doesn't help either. Callebaut's is pretty gritty and fruity but still very good.

May 3, 2004
3:07 pm
alex_h
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i found cluizel's 99% to be more bitter than domori's puro which i find to be more bitter than enric rovira's 100%.
i immediately bought five bars of rovira's after tasting it in the shop!
i've heard lindt's 99% is extremely bitter. and there's a 99% bar here in germany by leysieffer which is not as strong as cluizel's. anyone confused yet?

domori's got a new 100% bar called 100%. haven't tried it yet though.

it's hard for me to discern very many nuances in these bars, rovira's evolves a bit to coffee though. i can only say i love the intensity!

May 16, 2004
8:05 am
blakej
San Francisco, USA
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Of the ones the original poster mentioned, I've tried Domori, Slitti, and Cluizel. I found the Cluizel almost unpalatably bitter; the Domori definitely not sweet, but smooth enough to be a great experience; and the Slitti so non-bitter that I couldn't believe it was unsweetened. I'll probably get more of the Domori and Slitti at some point (and they might work well as part of a non-traditional truffle ganache), but probably not the Cluizel.

May 16, 2004
10:55 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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I’m not a huge fan of 100%s myself. I don’t really eat them for pleasure but more out of interest. However Domori have three new 100%s as part of their new Hacienda San José range - these are from 90% genetically pure grafted and cloned criollos they have been growing for the last six years.

I've tried the Ocumare 61 so far, and it is by far the best 100% I have tried - still bitter at first but a great flood of creamy flavour afterwards in the mouth. I think this will knock you guys out! It's far more accessible than any other I've had, ok so anyone not so keen on strong chocolate might find it too much, but most people I’ve given it too find it at least bearable.

This new range is just becoming available for sale now and we hope to have it soon, though they seem to be keeping the production fairly exclusive to begin with and the chocolate will only be available as part of a boxed set. Each of the three varieties will also come in a 60% with nibs, 70%, 80% with fructose and salt (!). Can’t wait to try all the others.

The three varieties are Ocumare 61, Ocumare 67 and Canoaba. To give you an idea of what to expect, Puertomar is Ocumare 61 and Puertofino, Ocumare 67 – I think these are made from early production from the plantation, but the new products seem finer still. All very interesting stuff ... we’ll have a full feature on these up as soon as we can.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
May 16, 2004
10:57 pm
Martin Christy
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Oh, I must get round to trying the Slitti as well ...

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
May 17, 2004
4:06 am
blakej
San Francisco, USA
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I'm also not a huge fan of the 100%'s; I find them mostly a curiosity. I've seen some people claim that the 99-100% dark chocolates are the best way to go, and that those who prefer sweeter versions are just "sugar-holics" rather than "chocoholics". But after learning to like darker and darker chocolates over the years, I've found that the best ones for me are right around 70% - which of course you've known all along if you're running this web site.

Do you find that the 100% versions of Puertofino and Puertomar are as interesting as the sweetened ones? (I know that you've just gotten them in, but I'd be interested in your initial comparison.)

I'm really excited to try the new Domori line. Of course, the cost of shipping from the UK makes me a little less excited to order them...

May 17, 2004
3:59 pm
alex_h
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martin,

i am also very much interested in your opinion (initial or otherwise) of the new domoris. especially since i can't seem to find any information on them. there isn't even mention on domori's website.

i am quickly becoming a fan of 100% "chocolate". the more i try it the more i like it. i don't miss the sugar and certainly not the vanilla. and being a fan of domori's puertomar (and domori in general) i am very curious as to how the ocumare 61 100% tastes!

May 19, 2004
7:55 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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It took me about 10g of unsweetened chocolate to acclimate my palate to it. At first, I didn't know if I liked it, then after the second 5g square dissolved in my mouth, I fell in love. I could eat it every day, and indeed I would, but I don't want to victimize myself to a loss of interest. I still need to try Rovira's 100%, which I assume has a taste similar to the 70%...or does it not? The reason I ask is because I believe Cluizel uses the same blends for his 72%, 85%, and 99%, which all have a distinct cinnamon and bitter taste.

I don't miss the sugar or vanilla either, but as with all foods, some flavors are consequently muted because of the flavor-enhancing properties these ingredients possess. However, I especially enjoy the "pure" flavor of the chocolate, with no interference.

Generally, I don't like to fall below 70% either; 60% is my limit, but even at that percentage, chocolate can be too sweet. The lowest I'll go is Manjari, which is 64%, or even Guittard's l'Harmonie, which is another 64%. It just depends; if the flavor is good and isn't muted by the sugar, then I'll enjoy it for the most part. The ideal range is for mne 65% to 70% because anything less would be cloyingly sweet, whereas anything stronger (around 85%, and sometimes 80%) will be too flat or dry. The aforementioned range is ideal because the balance among all the ingredients is perfect enough where no flavor is muted or disguised; usually, the only detectable imperfections are other things, such as fermentation, roasting, etc.

May 19, 2004
8:44 pm
alex_h
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i wouldn't compare rovira's 100 to his 70. but you could be right, just that i can't say. i just had a piece of 100% and i love it every time! the 70 is just too sweet for me, even if i haven't eaten a piece of 100 before. and there's not really anything special about it that i would say makes it a necessary eat.
the 100 is so much more subtle to me than puro, even though i have detected the same nutty flavor in it. but that is not as strong as in domori's, which turns me off after a while for being so dominant in that respect.
my range at the moment is between 70 and 75 with a jump to 100.
all i am eating right now is either domori, amedei or rovira, because i keep discovering new products. i have come back again to puertomar and have reclaimed it as my ultimate favorite. it's 75% seem ideal and the slight bitterness is very quiet in its almost grainy texture. i am really using my fantasy here!

strange that i don't really care much for 80's either, but then love 100's so much, and also leave out 99's completely. however, one bar that does interest me is marcolini's 85% fleur de cacao. tried it?
i have yet to come across marcolini here (munich or even germany).

as i predicted valrhona's nice chocolates have all fallen off my list. fickle me! yeah, but no matter how good they taste, they are quite sweet...

current faves? nothing much has changed, except the dropping of the aforementioned valrhonas and the adding of domori's green.
i sure hope my package arrives soon! with all the new stuff i could get my hands on. it's even being sent to me in a cooler! how convenient! i'll have a storage box then too.

see? i'm going haywire: first i set up rules just to break them again and again and again. but someone once said that that's what they're there for :-D

May 23, 2004
11:54 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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I find it difficult to set a limit for which percentage is my favorite. Some 85%s might be sweet and not too strong, while some 70%s are too strong for me - it depends on so many factors. I tried Slitti's 100% and Michel Cluizel's 99% when I was quite new to chocolate. It was quite disappointing at that time, but silly me expected something similar to 70%, just stronger and less sweet. If I had judged them without comparing with other bars I certainly would have liked it better. I guess it is also a question of growing up and getting used to not expect the sweet experience. In fact, I tend to think of chocolate as divided into four groups: Milk chocolate, very sweet and rather dark chocolate, not so sweet dark chocolate, strong often bitter very dark chocolate. The third group is the one I'm most into. Although I don't associate the two first group with high quality chocolate, I find it a bit unfair to compare bars across these dividing lines. I didn't throw away my 100% and 99% bars - I used them in cooking, adding sugar on my own. Highly recommendable!

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 24, 2004
3:38 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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I don't necessarily set a limit on myself either, but I have found that anything lower than 64% is just too sweet for me...except for Callebaut's 6040. Although it's a mere 60%, the extreme fruitiness of the chocolate conveys a particularly strong chocolate flavor. Upon eating a piece, I had to question the authenticity of the "6040" labeling hehe. Also, I found that it was rather gritty and not as smooth as other brands, especially the unsweetened which was really pasty.

May 24, 2004
3:14 pm
alex_h
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i find i have to limit myself to keep from becoming excessive. i hope this will be less and less the case as i grow wiser ;-)
but if you say less than 64% is too sweet: try amedei's 63%. i got a bar as a gift this weekend and thoroughly enjoy it! even though in my opinion it is close to amedei's 70 in taste.

update on the 100% front: just tried domori's new bar "100%". interesting.

first taste - very flowery and sweet with the harsh strength of a 100 in the background. very fresh and airy almost.
second - like the first.
third - this is funny. i keep reading about cheese in the descriptions and now i've finally tasted it! all of a sudden it just billowed up in my mouth. can't place which cheese, however. more in the camembert direction. strong... strange... and lingering.

this bar doesn't have the strong nuttiness i found in puro or in some other domori bars.

May 25, 2004
3:42 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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Have you tried Blend No. 1, and if so, did you taste an extreme hazelnut flavor? It's amazing how powerful it is. Quite remarkable because normally dark chocolate doesn't pair too well with nuts because the nuts get lost in the chocolate. However, the natural flavor of the chocolate is reminiscent of hazelnuts, so as a result, the flavors perfectly intermingle into a chocolate/hazelnut fusion(only without the nuts ironically).

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