Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: Zotter Labooko Raw Chocolate 80%

Lindy's Rating: 8.5
Richard's Rating: 7.5
chocolate makerZotter
barRaw 80%
cacao treesunknown
size70g ~ 2.5oz
cocoa solids80%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercoconut blossom sugar
other ingredientssalt
list priceN/A
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1314
Seal Brown
appearancerelief, imprints, textured top
aromafloral, spice (anise), sweet, earth
tastenut, roast, floral, earth, acidic, dried fruit (date), spice (anise), tannin
meltmore smooth
finishtannin, acidic, slightly bitter
Labooko Raw Chocolate 80% is Zotter's only unflavored raw dark chocolate bar. Although I haven't yet received confirmation, I believe they sourced the organic and fair trade cacao for this chocolate from Peru.

The chocolate was sweetened with organic coconut blossom sugar rather than cane sugar. The 80% cocoa solids included added organic and fair trade cocoa butter. A tiny amount of salt was among the ingredients.

I don't have information about the maximum temperature used in processing this chocolate, but a Zotter representative told me that their current flavored raw chocolate is kept below 69°C (156°F), which is well above the temperature limit of most raw food. Raw Chocolate 80% was crafted with a 12 hour conching time.

The two 35 gram bars came in Zotter's standard packaging for the Labooko line: separately wrapped in gold foil-sided wax paper that was glued into the folds of the heavy outer paper. The outer paper is printed with one of Andreas h. Gratze's dramatic drawings of a person.

Based on Zotter's recommended 14-month shelf life, the best before date of October 10, 2014, indicates these bars were produced in August 2013.

The color of the chocolate was a medium-dark brown Seal Brown (PANTONE 19-1314). Each bar had a "zotter" relief and imprints of "Labooko" and cacao pods. The snap was hard.

Raw Chocolate 80% had a wonderful aroma, with scents of floral, anise spice, and sweetness. To me, it also smelled a bit earthy and the floral scent seemed to include just a hint of jasmine.

The taste began with nut, roast, floral, and earth flavors. Dried fruit, and date in particular, developed, along with the anise from the aroma. The chocolate tasted acidic and tannin.

The melt was more smooth. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting 20 to 25 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was tannin, acidic, and slightly bitter.

Lindy likes raw chocolate, and rates Raw Chocolate 80% as her current favorite. I was somewhat less impressed, but still ranked it among raw chocolates as second only to Pacari Raw 70% (and the best raw chocolate without cane sugar). You can see our raw chocolate rankings on the bottom of our Chocolate Rankings page and our unranked list of (cane) sugar-free chocolates on the bottom of our Chocolate Lists page.

It appears that Labooko Raw Chocolate 80% is no longer on Zotter's website. However, you can still purchase it online for $7.49 from NewLeaf Chocolates or from Chocolate Voyages.

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