A blog about artisan dark chocolate and our experiences as we taste and review high quality dark chocolate bars from all over the world. This blog was inspired by winning a golden ticket from Chocolopolis.
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My friend Phillip gave me this chocolate bar a few months ago. Botticelli is a brand made by Dynamic Chocolates at their facility in Delta, Canada (near Vancouver).
The ingredients of 70% Cacao were listed as unsweetened chocolate, sugar, and soy lecithin. Based on the labelled fat content, the "unsweetened chocolate" included added cocoa butter.
Inside a paper sleeve, the three ounce bar came wrapped in brass foil-sided wax paper. There was no listed production or best before date.
The bar was scored into 12 pieces, each imprinted with parallel lines. Underneath many adhered bits and scuffing, the surface looked smooth. The color of the chocolate was a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015).
Cacao 70% had a hard snap. The aroma contained scents of smoky roast, sweet molasses, and some earthiness.
The chocolate tasted of roast, sweet, and nut flavors. The roast reminded me of burnt toast. The sweetness was molasses. The taste was also bitter and a little chalky.
The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted about 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a short length. The finish was bitter, acidic, and somewhat tannin.
I didn't find Cacao 70% available for purchase online. However, Phillip told me he paid $2 for this bar, and at that price, it's a bargain for a decent chocolate (as you can see on our Best Chocolate Values page).
In 2014, Dandelion released two chocolates made with cacao from a 2014 harvest at Vicente Norero's Camino Verde farm in Balao, Ecuador. In addition to a bar with 85% cocoa solids, they released this bar as their first 100% chocolate.
That Camino Verde cacao was the one and only ingredient in this chocolate. There was no added cocoa butter. This chocolate was made at Dandelion's nut-free facility in San Francisco.
Enclosed inside thick craft paper sealed with a sticker, the two ounce bar came wrapped in heavy gold-sided foil. The bar reviewed here was from batch 1, with a best before date of September 2015.
The bar was scored into 18 pieces, each with imprints of 5 parallel squiggles. The surface looked superb. The chocolate had a medium-dark brown Dark Brown (PANTONE 19-1012) color.
Camino Verde 100% had a medium hard snap. The aroma was primarily a cocoa and coffee roast combined with a musty earth scent. I also smelled nut and dried fruit close to raisin.
The taste began with earth and roast. The roast included cocoa, tea, and a hint of malt. Nuttiness and some dairy joined the roast flavors. The taste was also tannin, sour, and chalky.
This chocolate had a melt that was more smooth and fudgy. The length was medium, with the flavor lasting about 30-35 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was tannin, somewhat acidic, and slightly sour.
earth, roast (smoke, tobacco), fruit (berry, date), peanut, sweet
somewhat acidic, somewhat bitter, slightly chalky
Valrhona blended a variety of their Grand Cru cacao to make Andoa. The bar reviewed here was made on 3 October 2013 with a best before date of February 2015.
The ingredients of Andoa were cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, and soy lecithin. Cocoa solids made up 70%.
The 70 gram bar came wrapped in brass colored foil inside a paper box. It was scored into 20 uneven pieces and had imprints of Valrhona's logo and name. The surface was great other than some tiny bubbles in a few of the corners.
The chocolate was a medium brown Dark Brown (PANTONE 19-1012) color. The snap was medium hard.
Andoa gave off an aroma of roast, earth, fruit, and sweetness. The roast was a smoky cocoa. The earth scent was moldy. The fruit seemed to have a faint berry scent. I smelled a hint of marshmallow in the sweetness.
Initially, the taste was a combination of earth and a smoky roast. A berry fruit flavor grew and the roast added some tobacco flavor. I also tasted peanut and date, as well as sweetness.
The melt was smooth. The length was medium, with the flavor lasting about 25-30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was somewhat acidic, somewhat bitter, and slightly chalky.