Chocolate by word of mouth is one of the best forms of communication; by it, I was able to learn, even in my uncharacteristically long hiatus from visiting World Market, that they had a 99% cacao bar in stock. What I didn’t know until I arrived in worshipful stance in front of the chocolate aisle was that this bar is part of World Market’s own range. While I have mixed feelings on this range, it does provide easy availability and low prices, neither of which is typical for a bar of this high cocoa content. So even though I was only planning on running in and out of the store for candles, naturally I had also to bring with me a chocolate possessing such potential.
The problem with my impromptu chocolate-seeking was getting the chocolate safely home: I had my bike with me and thought the bar would survive a fifteen minute ride home, but that was a foolish supposition. The edges melted a little and so I’m unable to evaluate the chocolate’s shine – yet I rather like its slightly melted design. It’s a clean enough melting that it looks artsy.
Starting with the flavor notes was promising: “Intensely bold, irresistibly rich and as dark as it gets with slight notes of black currant in the finish.” A deep, not bitter, aroma plays toward the simplicity of Ghirardelli. Breaking apart one of the eight squares reveals a flesh velvety and red-toned, like a dense brownie. Alluring.
On the tongue, though, the chocolate brings a slight bitter wave. Its feeling is a bit dusty, though not so much as in Lindt’s 99% offering. At this point, you pass a barrier of coughing, shaking bitterness that threatens to strangle you. Beyond the barrier, smoother territory emerges where you begin to taste a bit of the black fruits/berries. The finish is lovingly warm and red, accompanied by the dissipation of bitterness.
My second piece (only one fourth of a square) hit with less initial bitterness since the bitterness was already in my mouth, and its bitter barrier only made me wince and grimace. Again, the finish, coming like a whispering sigh, was the best part. Perhaps it was a sort of “I have conquered and victory is sweet” reaction?
This isn’t the best 90% or above chocolate I have had, but it also isn’t the worst. I’m impressed by its texture–it held together much better than did Lindt’s offering, and I also found it less bitter than that bar. Add in the two dollar price and easy (U.S.) accessibility and you have a good deal. Probably I won’t be buying it again any time soon, but World Market has come out with a great opportunity for trying out a decently made, high percentage chocolate.