After having an experience I’d rather forget when tasting Witor’s cousin flavour, Bianco Cuore Al Latte, I was feeling a bit nervous about sinking my teeth into this one: dark chocolate with 60% cacao.
The packaging didn’t look too promising either. It resembles a sort of ‘wannabe classy’ unknown chocolate brand that we Aussies tend to see in our $2 Crazy Bargain shops at Christmas time, especially if filled with liqueur or hazelnut crème and often made in such non-chocolate-famed countries as Czechoslovakia or Hungary. If purchased, the bargain hunter tends to get exactly what they paid for: cheap chocolate that is best left unknown.
Gingerly I opened the wrapper and was relieved to not be able see any dots of oil or grease on the wrapper. The chocolate wasn’t glossy but made up for it by being a very dark colour, almost black. This boded well for the claimed 60%.
Slowly, gently, I snapped off a chunk and very carefully inserted it into my unusually reluctant mouth. Italy was much more famous for pasta, tomatoes, olives and wine – what on earth would they do to dark chocolate? A few moments later, the answer arrived: a fantastic job.
Witor’s fondente extra dark is delicious. Not the instant melt-in-the-mouth, moistly mushy interior of a Lindor ball delicious, but the grainy deliciousness that you generally expect with darker, harder and more bitter chocolate. Not that it was too bitter either – it has just enough sweetness to counteract the relatively high cocoa content and not scare off any newcomers to the ‘Dark Side’.
In the tradition of a wine critic suggesting that a cheeky red would do well accompanying ‘plum roasted duck with wok-braised Asian greens, this chocolate would pair up a treat with a glass of ice cold milk or a decent cup of Earl Grey tea. Alternatively, it would do just as well as something to slip into your backpack when camping in winter (for the energy and carbs, of course, not as any old excuse to imbibe more chocolatate), or when freezing your butt off watching the football.
I could see why my local supermarket would import this block from Italy to cater for the neighbourhood’s large Mediterranean population. It is a very nice, not-too-serious dark chocolate and is rather good value at slightly less than three bucks per block. I’ll definitely push aside the local nonnas to reach up to the top shelf and buy it again.