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elektra
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May 21, 2004 - 12:33 pm
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At last, some new reviews on the site. It just amazes me, how Martin and the other conoisseurs can describe the chocolate experience in such detail, and the terminology.... Chocolate tasting like fried food??

I'm jealous really, as I'm still at the stage of being able to distinguish only the bad from the good, and the good from the great. The more I taste the very best chocolate, the less time I have for the mediocre.

Elektra

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alex_h
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May 21, 2004 - 2:25 pm
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very amazing! how did the fried mars bar get in there? :-)

but seriously: martin, you rated lindt's new madagascar bar. i was of the opinion that it would be automatically disqualified because of it's "natural flavoring: vanilla". as far as i know (and my knowledge in this matter isn't very far-reaching) natural flavoring - be it vanilla or onion or strawberry - is just that: flavoring and not the real thing. what do you say?

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elektra
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May 21, 2004 - 3:11 pm
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Martin,

I agree with Alex, in that I'd prefer the site to deal exclusively with the highest quality dark chocolate, free from artificial flavourings. There are so many other websites which deal with these, why not stick what you know and love? I'm a great beliver in quality rather than quantity.

Elektra

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Martin Christy
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May 21, 2004 - 3:33 pm
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They mean it is real vanilla - this is just how it translated from the French, I haven't seen an English language version of this bar yet.

I will never knowingly eat chocolate with 'flavouring' in it - trust me!

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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alex_h
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May 21, 2004 - 4:21 pm
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i'll try chocolate with flavoring just to see what it's like and to be able to compare. i can't say i would necessarily taste the difference.
yet i am still not convinced. why would they mask the name of an ingredient?
when i tried lindt's madagascar what immediately hit me was its intense scent and taste of something (imo) artificial. same thing with slitti. both tasted and smelled like candy to me.

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choca
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May 21, 2004 - 4:42 pm
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i would have to see the wrapper , and i am sceptical because it is lindt , but vanillin tends to be artifical and vanilla should be a natural flavour essence .
as you say it is still not naturally occuring in the cocoa bean .

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alex_h
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May 21, 2004 - 4:53 pm
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from what i've read vanillin is natural but not only found in vanilla. it can be artificially produced, however.
you can take natural or artifical vanillin, add other substances (artificial, natural or "other") to make vanilla aroma.

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Martin Christy
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May 21, 2004 - 6:45 pm
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That 'candy' note in my opinion is typical of bulk Forestero beans, rather than vanillin – the flavour of which is more like an overpowering but simple vanilla with a metal tinge. As far as I know if they say vanilla then it must be real vanilla, by saying 'Natural flavouring' I think they are just trying to promote the notion that they are using natural stuff.

This is confusing, but I think 'natural flavor' has a different meaning in the US than the one it has in Europe, and this does not help. (In the US it just means a natural source, e.g. if you can process cow bones and come up with something that tastes like orange, that would count as 'natural flavor'.)

If it was fake they would have to say 'vanilla flavoured', and this would suggest something more artificial than vanillin, which is unlikely given that Lindt are trying to get on the origin bandwagon.

All this should not be confused with 'flavour' cocoa (beans) which has a totally different meaning and indicates that fine quality beans have been used, rather than bulk ones bought on the New York futures market. For the best definitions of this difference see the ICCO site here [url]http://www.icco.org/questions/finecocoa.htm[/url].

Even some top chocolate brains I know are confused by this, but investigations are afoot and I hope to have a more definite answer soon – I hope this helps some!

I also have the Lindt Ecuador review done and will post this soon.

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adornix
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May 21, 2004 - 7:02 pm
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Hi,

in german the text is: "natürliches Vanillearoma" and that means - as far as I know - aroma that tastes or smells like vanilla and is "natural" but not real vanilla. Same like "natural strawberry aroma" that is made of bark: totally natural but no strawberries in it. If there is real vanilla in it, the text (in german) would be: "Vanille" or "echte Vanille" ("real vanilla").

I tried this chocolate today and I'm not impressed. What I really don't like is the very cool melting.

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alex_h
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May 21, 2004 - 8:22 pm
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martin,
thanks for the link. will check it out soon. very confusing subject.

adornix,
i bought my bar here in germany as well and maybe therefore i reached the same conclusion as you.

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Martin Christy
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May 21, 2004 - 8:25 pm
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Ok, ok, time to ask Lindt directly. If the answer comes back negative I shall expunge the bar from the site! It would seem an odd choice though, to make an 'origin' bar with flavouring ... still, strange old world!

The cool melt is I think typical of Lindt's very refined particle size, i.e. from a lot of conching. The big industrials tend to conch a lot, whereas smaller companies bars can be a lot more rustic, like Bonnat's. I guess it's a matter of taste, but if you've got good beans to start with, you can do less to them and still make a good chocolate.

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alex_h
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May 22, 2004 - 1:39 am
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my thoughts exactly! why make an origin bar with flavoring? and while we're at it: why make the bar with bulk beans? my guess? marketing strategy and a bar made for mass-production to satisfy the current dark-chocolate fad. in times like these and with a revered name like lindt (for many at least) you might make a bit of money... strange olde world indeed!

there's a similar thread going under slitti in the general forum somewhere. i wrote them and asked about their dubious flavor and posted their reply.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 22, 2004 - 4:43 am
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If you're Lindt, then why not make a bar with bulk beans? They already cut corners (using vanillin in most of their bars, except the Excellence and origin bars), but if you're a huge industry giant such as Lindt, then the majority of the people buying your chocolates will be the general public who won't care about the beans. They'll see the brand "Lindt," and mercilessly chomp and chew the bar without any regard to flavor. At least that's what I think. Ultimately, Lindt is all about the profits, as we can all see by their bandwagon-hopping decision of releasing a single origin line. They just want to appeal to a wider array of people (namely us), while maintaining their already faithful followers.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 22, 2004 - 4:46 am
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Conching too long is also a characteristic of Hachez, one that interferes with the flavor. It tastes cold and simulates the effect of eating a cold bar.

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Martin Christy
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May 22, 2004 - 8:01 pm
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I think they add too much cocoa butter as well.

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Lone Ly
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May 24, 2004 - 1:45 am
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I am surprised why there seems to be no standard terms according to this. My impression is that in labelling most eatables, there are standardised and strict rules for what to say about which ingredients - at least in Europe.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 24, 2004 - 4:25 am
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There are strict guidelines to follow, but sometimes companies read the FDA handbook a little too carefully and find tiny loopholes. For example, the FDA considers that any food product containing less than .5g of fat can be considered fat free. As a result, the reason why "fat free" cooking sprays are labeled as such is because companies such as Pam, base this on a serving size. A third of a spray is one serving, and thus has .5g of fat. So if you vehemently spray your pan in a "fat free" frenzy, you're actually not cooking fat free, just fat reduced. No one is really being lied to; this is perfectly legal, but a little misleading if you don't read the labels.

In the US, there are strict rules to follow too; some companies are even required to label the amount of trans-fats in their products, but sometimes I feel this in response to the current health craze. But in response to your comment to European health/ingredient guidelines: How come brands such as Cluizel, Galler, and Castelain don't have nutrition labels?

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alex_h
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February 16, 2005 - 5:48 pm
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new reviews! new reviews! new reviews!
martin, i though you had someone helping you out there.

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Martin Christy
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February 16, 2005 - 6:19 pm
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Yes, just got to get them online. Plus ANOTHER new reviewer from the US if all works out. And I will do some soon too, honest ...

Martin Christy
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alex_h
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February 17, 2005 - 9:27 am
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cheers!
that other reviewer doesn't happen to be a member of the forum?

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