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Is chocolate with 100 percent cocoa worth eating?

dark-choc

Some sellers report a High Street trend towards chocolate that is 100 percent cocoa.  It goes against traditional chocolate that has vanilla and sugar blended in, together with milk if it is milk chocolate.  Cadbury’s for decades used ads which showed a glass and a half of full cream dairy milk being poured into one of their chocolate bars.  Their Dairy Milk has a minimum 26 percent cocoa, while Mars Galaxy has 25 percent.  Even Cadbury’s Bournville, a dark chocolate, has 36 percent minimum cocoa.  On the Continent, especially in Belgium, chocolate has traditionally featured higher cocoa percentages, and there was an EU move at one stage calling for British chocolate to be re-christened “vegolate.”  It came to nothing, except perhaps for inspiring an episode of “Yes, Prime Minister” featuring an EU attack on the British sausage.

Chocolate consumption goes back a long way, to the Mokaya over 3,000 years ago, and during the Aztec empire.  I eat dark chocolate every day, preferring something over 70 percent cocoa.  I have tried it with 100 percent cocoa, and find the taste lacks balance.  For me 85 percent cocoa is near the top of what I find pleasant, and some of the experts seem to agree with me. Alasdair Garnsworthy, head chocolatier with the Chocolate Society, says, “Chocolate with a high cocoa content can still be made using cheap beans. You can get chocolate with a lower cocoa content that is far better because it has been made with quality beans.”  It seems to matter more that you start with good ingredients than that you use 100 percent cocoa.

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