Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today's Chocolates

So I've had these two bars in The Stash for a while, both Endangered Species solids darks. One is the Supreme at 72% cacao, the other the Extreme at 88% - this appears to be their highest concentration. I thought today, why not sample a bit of both to see what difference sixteen percentage points makes.

And yes, it is significant. I won't go too much into coloring, as I've had both bars for a while and it's time to whittle them down. The snap in both is still strong, however, and each carries a distinct aroma. Where the Supreme tends to give off a slightly sweet odor, the Extreme brings forth a sharper tang. The taste is further evidence of this difference. I hesitate to say this bar has a minty, wafer finish - it's not the strong flavor of their Deep Forest Mint bar, just an afterthought in taste...or perhaps this bar came out with a batch of their mints. Who knows? The finish is smooth with enough sweetness.

Extreme, by comparison, takes on a more raw flavor. I won't say bitter because I don't pucker at the scent or taste, but I can really detect the cocoa content is heavier and bolder than the first bar. It doesn't seem to melt as quickly as the other bar, but it finishes smoothly with no other after-flavors.

It's said that if you truly want to appreciate the flavor of high-cacao count dark chocolate, you must gradually ease your tastes to accept it. You don't want to grab a 99% bar and start chomping, but familiarize yourself with the different levels of flavor available. Start in the 60s and work your way up. It's been a while since I went as high as the 80s, so perhaps my taste buds need another gradual reorientation. I am definitely feeling the 72% more right now, but that could be a matter of personal preference.

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