Originally posted by Chocolati
For starters, I’m new to fine chocolates and being in Canada I can’t find much except for Lindt (would like to try others like Valrhona and Amedei but can’t find them). Lots of Hershey and others like that but I’m quite skeptical of those ones.
So today I bought Lindt’s 85% and 99% bars.
1) The taste: I have to read the review here again (I think there’s a review for it), but how does everyone here feel about Lindt’s 99% bar? Is it something to keep trying or something to avoid and get a better 99-100% / unsweetened bar?
Well, it’s not too bad, but you do have to keep in mind that it’s been Dutched. Heavily. Therefore in a sense it’s not a very representative 100%. Yes, it’s palatable, and in that sense not too bad, but I think the consensus is that using the brute-force tactic of crushing it with potassium carbonate is heavy-handed, to say the least. So I think it’s good as an intro, in the sense that it won’t intimidate the neophyte and thus deter him from future experimentation with 100%’s, but there are better options to be had. You probably know the Usual Suspects: Cluizel, Domori, Pralus. Bonnat isn’t bad either, and this also might be the time to put in an order right here at SeventyPercent for the Venezuelan Black which is quite interesting as well.
2) Texture: Comparing it to the 70-85%, it was very sticky in my mouth. It felt like I had to really struggle to move the chocolate around. Is this normal for this percentage level or is this something bad and something to watch out for?
Yes, stickiness is normal, or to be exact the slick mouthfeel that goes with very high cocoa butter content, an inevitability in 100% chocolates which average around 50-55% cocoa butter.
3) As a side-question, how does one detect ‘blooming’ in bars, especially if one is trying out a high percentage bar and doesn’t know better?
Bloom is instantly identifiable by the “foggy” appearance – a coating that gives the bar a dull look, almost as if it is covered with a layer of dust. Shun any bars that look like this, and even a matte apppearance is risky. Look for shiny, smooth surface with good, vivid colour.
Thanks again for your time!