100% chocolate, is there really only cocoa?
Many people denigrate 100% chocolate. Too bitter, too intense, too little gourmand. Too much everything. But can we make a generalization about this? And above all, is there really only cocoa in 100% chocolate? I offer you an overview of the question. You will then be able to form your own idea of whether or not you want to taste 100% and know what to pay attention to when choosing this type of tablet.
100% cocoa chocolate
Who says percentage of cocoa, says impossibility to distinguish the cocoa liquor and the cocoa butter contained in the bar. Cocoa butter mainly influences the texture. Two 100% chocolates with different cocoa butter proportions will therefore have a different taste. Adding butter tends to soften the chocolate.
100% Trio, Ugandan Latitude Semuliki, Taucherli Suhum, Marana Cusco Peru
These variations linked to cocoa butter are strongly influenced by local traditions. Thus, chocolate 100% produced in Switzerland will often be more melting. It may be richer in cocoa butter than a similar bar in France or Italy. Before tasting chocolate with a high cocoa content, it is best to take this aspect into account. Each producer also has their own style, you can also rely on your brand preferences.
However, the experience of the chocolatier must also be taken into account. Making chocolate with a high cocoa content requires advanced know-how. On the one hand, the artisan must carefully select his beans so that their flavor potential is interesting and balanced. On the other hand, roasting does not tolerate any mistakes, because the taste of overly roasted beans cannot be camouflaged by sugar… well… almost not.
Would you like a little sugar?
The mention of the percentage of sugar in a chocolate is subject to rules. Thus, in small quantities, generally below 2%, the percentage of a component does not need to be mentioned. In the case of a 100g chocolate bar, this leaves the possibility of not indicating the percentage of sugar if it represents less than a few grams of the total mass.
If European legislation allows this tolerance, this does not mean that the presence of sugar should not be mentioned. It is therefore advisable to read the list of chocolate ingredients carefully. Nowadays, it is rare for a tablet to contain 100% sugar.
100% cocoa or chocolate, but not both
Despite everything, there is a subtlety… Whether in Switzerland or in the European Union, to be called chocolate, a product must be composed of cocoa and…. sugar. This therefore means that a bar marked 100% should not be called chocolate! It is therefore not uncommon to see 100% alone or the mention 100% cocoa.
Recently, chocolate producers achieved a new feat. Create a bar with 100% cocoa, but sweetened… To achieve this, they used the sugar contained in cocoa juice. The final product contains 75% cocoa in the classic sense and the rest is cocoa sugar. As a result, the 100% label is perfectly legitimate, while producing a sweeter product. Note that these are often blends, the cocoa juice frequently coming from Africa and the cocoa liquor from South America.
These experiments are interesting and allow us to discover the taste variety of the cocoa fruit. However, they should not obscure the fact that the quality of the products and the experience of the producer all make the difference in a product with a high cocoa content. Personally, to this alternative with a very (too?) calibrated taste, I prefer either the 100% classics, or a dark chocolate at a lower rate.
Which chocolate should you choose?
The consumer may feel like they have to choose between trickery and a pure, but very intense taste. Rather than questioning it, it is better to see these choices as an asset rather than a limitation. Let your curiosity guide you and don't be afraid of not liking a product. It's all a matter of personal taste. To avoid having a bad memory, trust your sense of smell and start with very small pieces. 100% is a pleasure that is learned slowly, without obligation.
And you, what are your experiences with this type of tablet? What is your 100% favorite?