Friday, May 28, 2010

Bernard Castelain Intense 77% cocoa

I usually read the comments that the manufacturer puts on the label after tasting the bar, but this time I happened to read this quote first: "The richness of cocoa from South America and Africa develops a bitter note in the mouth. The ideal chocolate."

Bitterness is indeed a significant element of dark chocolate -- it enhances the resonance of the chocolate flavor, lengthens its duration, and can provide a framework upon which other dimensions of the bar are displayed. But simple bittnerness does not in itself make a chocolate bar "ideal." The bitterness needs to be mediated and managed to produce an overall pleasant effect. The ultimate in bitterness is pure cocoa, also known as unsweetened chocolate, also indicated with "100% cocoa." Most people do not find 100% pure chocolate the ideal chocolate, though everyone will likely describe it as "bitter."

This bar does display the bitterness they advertise, but there's little else that's going on. The bitterness lasts a little too long, and there is no nuance to the experience. It earns the title "Intense," but it has a way to go to earn the title "ideal." 6.4

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