Another offering from the J. D. Gross / LIDL stable of chocolate (which, as we now know thanks to our astute and helpful readers, is made by Rausch).
So enthusiastic and knowledgeable are our readers that I received a comment about this particular brand before I had even had time to review it (thanks Ulli) so I thought it time I posted this in case any of you were wondering what this one is like.
As you can see, this particular variety comes in a handy ‘three-stick’ package, and is somewhat more expensive than an individual bar of J. D. Gross ‘Ecuador’ ( about 30% more expensive, in fact). Given the relatively low price of a bar, this is hardly great cause for concern – especially if you’re in the habit of shelling out £2 or more for the good stuff.
Now to my mind, 75% cocoa sits in the upper limits of palatable chocolate – any more than that and I tend to think of it as cooking chocolate, simply because at 80% or above there isn’t enough sweetness to cut the cocoa flavour. Anyone who eats high-cocoa content chocolate will also tell you that when you get above 65% cocoa a relatively low increase in cocoa content can make a huge difference in taste.
These bars are branded ‘Extra Bitter’, and the smell of them certainly hints at a dark, rich taste. The chocolate is almost black, and the first taste is definitely bitter on the tongue, but as the chocolate began to melt my mouth was flooded with a mixture of bittersweet cocoa flavours. The underlying taste is most definitely dark, rich and with a very pleasing bittersweet finish, with less of the sugariness that you sometimes find in other brands, and it has none of the fattiness that you sometimes find in cheaper brands (possibly due to the use of different types of fats?)
Overall, I would rate this as an excellent dark chocolate for everyday consumption. It’s very easy on the palate with a distinctive flavour, and at around 40p per bar, it’s certainly easy on the wallet! It will be interesting to see if Rausch decide to sell their chocolate at similar prices if and when thy launch in the UK, because chocolate of this quality could certainly be sold at a slightly higher price.