Back in January, I spouted forth about the times when only the truly dark and strong chocolates will do. In the comments section, the lovely-and-soon-to-be-met-in-Paris Camille recommended Theo’s Venezuela 91% bar, and I mentioned I had both had and planned to review it. Over a month later, and I’m finally following through…
Theo Venezuela 91%
I only have a photo of this chocolate in its packaging, so I’ll keep the review short in order to avoid boring you with tempting-photo-less text.
While Guittard’s Nocturne tasted undeniably of fennel and the 90% Lindt’s flavour brought to mind non-sweet but delicious cookies, this particular Theo bar was earthy, woodsy and, more importantly, tasted purely of chocolate. Completely lacking in tangy, citrusy, or red berry notes (which aren’t up my alley), the Venezuela bar is definitely intense in its lack of sweetness. It does, however, offer up divine cream and cocoa notes.
I revelled in the Venezuela bar’s flavours of peanut butter, walnut, hazelnut, and tobacco, and wrote (in all capitals), in my ever-growing chocolate document, “LOVE LOVE RICH CHOCOLATE ESSENCE GOOD”.
I do think you have to be in the mood for this dark-spectrum chocolate, but the absence of sourness, acridity, or bitterness in its flavour makes such a mood one well worth tuning into.
Endangered Species Extreme Dark Chocolate 88%
And while we’re at it, let’s take a peek at this slightly sweeter yet “extreme” dark chocolate produced by Endangered Species.
Endangered Species uses the image of different (wait for it) endangered species for each of its chocolate flavours, and includes a plethora of information about these animals’ plights on the inside label. 10% of the profits go towards helping said animals, and so I’d like to think that there’s a pleasant, friendly jaguar out there alive today just because I munched away at this chocolate. Hopefully, he or she isn’t currently munching away on an unsuspecting child.
While this chocolate has a cacao content of only 3% less than Theo’s Venezuela bar, it is noticeably sweeter, even in the aroma. It smelt strongly of coconut and granola (the good American type of granola… no one does granola like the US). And the coconut flavour appeared in the taste as well, albeit mildly, and blended in with tobacco notes.
One night, I switched between these Theo and Endangered Species chocolates to see what differences I could pick up, and oh! what fun was had! The latter’s use of beet sugar and vanilla was immediately noticeable, and I believe factored into its sweeter taste.
In addition, the Endangered Speices chocolate had a smoother mouthfeel and a fruitier taste when eaten alongside the Theo, though when eaten alone had stronger smoky and granola/muesli notes.
Without any other photos, I think I’ll stop blathering on now. Also, for those of you interested, I spent over twelve hours today getting from Amsterdam to Paris, so I’m rather knackered.
There was a tram, two trains with a five minute dashed-connection between, then a half hour wait before getting on another train, which stopped before it ought to have because “someone didn’t come to work today”, which meant everyone on that train had to pile out to get on a bus for two hours, then there was another train, then there was the metro…
And now I can’t help wishing I’ll go to sleep and wake up tomorrow with someone I love in the bunkbed above me, to help navigate Paris’ metro system and eat pastries and go to the Louvre with me.