In need of some restraint this week, I ate only dark bars with no milk. Even I find it impossible to overeat these. And it’s when you get to high cocoa content that you really taste the beans.
The Original Beans Piura 75% (£4.95, 70g) is a super-smooth, super-bright chocolate made from Peruvian white cocoa from a parched landscape. It tastes so fruity that if you were blind testing, you’d swear there were sultanas or raspberries in it. But there aren’t, it’s an uncompromising two-ingredient chocolate: cocoa beans (split into mass and butter) and sugar.
Soma’s 70% Mr Salazar Costa Esmeraldas (£10.95, 65g; from cocoarunners.com in the UK) is from a family-owned farm in Ecuador where limes, oranges, papaya and bananas are grown among the cocoa (it reduces land erosion). This has a superb snap and – honestly – I got notes of banana.
Did I say it was impossible to overeat? This was tested with a Bare Bones 65% Guatemala bar (£6.50, 70g) that was complex but also quite sweet and kinda, confusingly, creamy. For a darker hit, its 70% Madagascar(£6.50, 70g) is what to try. Another bright, fruity taste to rival the Piura.
For something a bit different, try Salcombe Dairy’s 65% Peruvian with mango (£5.95, 80g). This tastes darker than a 65% with a bitter edge set off by pieces of dried mango. If you only eat dark chocolate, but like a bit of an inclusion, this is a welcome treat.