How to taste dark chocolate

Get ready to engage each of your senses with this step-by-step tasting guide from a Lindt Maître Chocolatier.

When it comes to developing your palate for chocolate, Lindt Excellence is the perfect ingredient – especially dark chocolate, which has subtle, complex notes much like a fine wine does. Here, Lindt Maître Chocolatier Stefan Bruderer shows us how you can use all five senses to discover what makes Lindt Chocolate so exceptional.

Sight

The first impression is important when it comes to chocolate tasting. Premium chocolate should have a silky sheen and even texture. If you’re opening different bars for a tasting, take note of the wide range of brown shades.

How to taste dark chocolate

Sound

Can you hear a crisp “snap” when you break off a piece of the bar? Quality chocolate will separate easily and neatly. Dark chocolate makes a clear, sharp noise, while milk or white chocolate has a more gentle snap because of its milk content.

How to taste dark chocolate

Scent

Bring the chocolate to your nose and inhale its aromas before you taste it. The scent can vary depending on the region where the cacao beans were sourced and the flavour of the bar. Do you detect any other notes, such as vanilla, spices or fruit?

How to taste dark chocolate

Touch

High-quality chocolate should melt at your body temperature. Hold a piece of Lindt Excellence chocolate between your thumb and index finger and gently rub. Once it begins to melt, feel the texture. Notice the smooth composition; the particles in Lindt chocolate are so small that the texture is never grainy or rough.

How to taste dark chocolate

Taste

Put a small piece in your mouth and let it begin to melt slowly on your tongue. Inhale through your mouth and out through your nose – this allows the flavours and aromas to fully penetrate your senses. Now chew the piece three to five times and concentrate on the taste and texture. Is it spicy or neutral, sweet or salty, nutty or fruity? Challenge yourself to identify all the flavours.

How to taste dark chocolate

How do you eat dark chocolate? Well, put it in your mouth and chew, of course. It’s creamy, sweet, bitter, and probably very enjoyable. But what if you want to get more out of your dark chocolate experience? Learn to tell the differences between the growing number of varieties? Like tasting wine, you’ll have to apply a little more thought and awareness. You must learn to recognize things like snap, aroma, texture, and finish.

Chocolate is an incredibly complex product, but tasting can be broken down into a few components. Brad Kintzer, chief chocolate maker at TCHO, says that one of the most important things is taking your time. He brings a rather Jedi Master approach: “Pretend like you’ve never tasted chocolate before,” he says. “Monitor the experience from the time you break open the wrapper.”

How to taste dark chocolate

In fact, you should monitor the experience even earlier. Start in the store: Buy different brands, different percentages, different origins. Buy organic and fair-trade chocolates. Taste widely and agnostically until you find brands and types that you like. There’s been a lot of emphasis placed on percentage, but Kintzer points out that one 80 percent bar can vary wildly in flavor and texture from another. Michael Recchiuti of Recchiuti Confections says that the exact same percentage can differ in every other aspect: sugar content, flavor, acidity, texture. Tasting is the only way you’ll discover the differences.

You’ve bought the bars; you’re ready to taste. Be prepared to write things down: “Don’t be afraid to geek out about it,” says Kintzer. “Taste is so subjective and personal,” says Recchiuti. “Tasting notes are always different.” You’ll want water as a palate cleanser and perhaps some crackers. Your chocolate should be at room temperature. Don’t taste right after you’ve brushed your teeth or drunk a few glasses of wine or coffee; your palate should be fresh.

Visual: Take your time; inspect the bar. A properly tempered bar is shiny and bright. What’s the color like? Color variations can be extreme, from light to dark. Is it dusty-looking with bloom? Bloom can change the texture of a bar, which affects flavor.

Aroma: Some people rub their fingers over chocolate to warm it up and release the oils that deliver aroma. Remember that as you taste, the aroma will develop. Some tasters will even melt chocolate and eat it with a spoon to get more of the aroma earlier.

Texture: Break a chunk off. A clean snap indicates that the chocolate’s been well tempered. Put it in your mouth. Close your eyes and think about what you’re experiencing. Chew a few times to break it up, and let it melt in your mouth. The rate at which it melts affects how quickly the flavors develop. Smack your tongue on the roof of your mouth to get a sense of the texture. Is it creamy, fatty, gritty? How well does it spread out across your palate?

Flavor: The basic flavors you might experience are bitter and sweet. But do you get any sour notes? Any roasted notes? Is there fruitiness from the acids? Sometimes you’ll get a zing of brightness and citrus. Some flavors come from flaws in the chocolate-making, like smokiness, mustiness, or earthiness; even hamminess, says Kintzer. How does the flavor linger? What is going on in your mouth even well after the chocolate is gone?

In the end, you’ll know what you like. And you’ll get a better understanding of the complexity of premium bars. But if you want to gobble down some Reese’s Pieces, Kintzer says he’ll understand. He does that too.

Discover the chemistry that makes your favourite chocolate bar so irresistible…

There’s no doubt that chocolate is one of our favourite indulgences, with over 7.2 million tons of it consumed worldwide each year. What you may not realise is that it’s the hundreds of complex chemicals found in chocolate that keep us coming back for more. Not only do they give chocolate its delicious taste and smooth texture, but they also have powerful effects on the human brain to make us feel happy and alert. It’s no wonder that the plant genus from which this tasty substance comes from is called theobroma,derived from the Greek for ‘food of the gods’.

Is chocolate good for you?

How to taste dark chocolate

The ultimate comfort food?

Although it is typically considered an unhealthy treat, some chocolate does actually have some health benefits. Cocoa beans are rich in natural antioxidants called flavonols. One such flavonol, called epicatechin, can increase the levels of nitric oxide in your blood to relax your blood vessels. This helps to improve blood flow, lower your blood pressure, and can also prevent atherosclerosis, a condition where the arteries harden after becoming clogged with plaque. Epicatechin can also improve your body’s insulin sensitivity, helping to keep your blood sugar levels under control and reduce the risk of diabetes. However, not all chocolate is rich in flavonols. White chocolate is not a good source of these antioxidants as it does not contain cocoa solids, and milk chocolate has a higher proportion of milk and sugar rather than beneficial cocoa. Therefore, dark chocolate is the best option, and the higher the percentage of cocoa solids the better.

So, why is chocolate so tasty?

The glossy shine, satisfying snap and smooth texture of chocolate are the main characteristics that make it so appealing, and they are all achieved through clever chemistry. To form solid chocolate, a liquid cocoa butter mix is cooled so that its fat molecules join together in crystal structures called polymorphs. If the cocoa butter cools and hardens too quickly, the fat molecules form a loose and disordered polymorph that makes the chocolate soft and dull-looking with an unappealing white coating called a fat bloom. To avoid this manufacturers use a technique called tempering, controlling the temperature and rate at which the chocolate cools, to create a tight crystal structure. This particular polymorph is called Form V and gives the chocolate a melting point of around 33.8 degrees Celsius (92.8 degrees Fahrenheit), just slightly cooler than our body temperature (37 degrees Celsius/98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). This means that when you put chocolate into your mouth, it slowly melts over your tongue, creating yet another appealing characteristic. The smooth texture of the melted cocoa butter creates a pleasant ‘mouthfeel’, a word used by the food industry to describe the way a substance feels in the mouth, and a main contributor to its overall enjoyment.

How to taste dark chocolate

Explained: The science behind your love of the brown stuff! Click to enlarge

Discover more amazing science in the latest issue of How It Works. It’s available from all good retailers, or you can order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, make sure you subscribe today!

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How to taste dark chocolate

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Many people agree chocolate is delicious, but chocolate itself comes in all shapes and varieties. From dark to milk, and inexpensive to refined, the taste variations of chocolate is based on concentration of original cocoa in the chocolate, quality of ingredients and additives used. While chocolate is frequently enjoyed alone, it also pairs well with other foods.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate inherently has more original cocoa present, but even dark chocolate comes in a variety of cocoa concentrations. Dark chocolate bars have anywhere between 35 percent cocoa content — cocoa solids with cocoa butter — and up to 100 percent cocoa — unsweetened chocolate without other ingredients or additives. Dark chocolate naturally has a more bitter taste than milk chocolate, but levels of cocoa higher than 80 percent make it especially bitter due to low sugar levels. Sweet chocolate-lovers often do not tolerate the taste of this high cocoa content well.

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate, the sweeter counterpart to dark and the basis of many popular candy bars and sweet treats, has less of the original cocoa bean than dark chocolate. Milk chocolate contains cocoa solids but is also diluted with milk solids, sugar and cream, giving it a smoother, creamier taste with less bite. The name is fitting — milk chocolate has a milkier taste than dark. In addition to taste, milk chocolate often has a creamier texture than dark.

Chocolate Quality

The quality of your chocolate has a huge impact on the taste. Products manufactured by large, commercial companies are intended to last a long time and be relatively inexpensive for buyers. Cheap milk chocolate can often have a waxy taste. Low-quality dark chocolate can also taste harsh and offensive. Often cheap, low-quality chocolate contains artificial flavorings, which comes across in the taste. Many small, independent chocolate producers and chocolatiers aim for a more refined taste in their products.

Taste Pairings

“Fitness” magazine provides some ideas for pairing chocolate with other foods for a healthy mixture that packs a tasty punch. Fruit, low-fat yogurt, a handful of nuts and cereal all taste great with a small amount of chocolate sprinkled on top. Consider drizzling homemade dark or milk chocolate sauce over a bowl of fresh berries or low-fat frozen yogurt. Both kinds of chocolate can also be a tasty addition to milk, coffee or soy-based beverages.

Get ready to engage each of your senses with this step-by-step tasting guide from a Lindt Maître Chocolatier.

When it comes to developing your palate for chocolate, Lindt Excellence is the perfect ingredient – especially dark chocolate, which has subtle, complex notes much like a fine wine does. Here, Lindt Maître Chocolatier Stefan Bruderer shows us how you can use all five senses to discover what makes Lindt Chocolate so exceptional.

Sight

The first impression is important when it comes to chocolate tasting. Premium chocolate should have a silky sheen and even texture. If you’re opening different bars for a tasting, take note of the wide range of brown shades.

How to taste dark chocolate

Sound

Can you hear a crisp “snap” when you break off a piece of the bar? Quality chocolate will separate easily and neatly. Dark chocolate makes a clear, sharp noise, while milk or white chocolate has a more gentle snap because of its milk content.

How to taste dark chocolate

Scent

Bring the chocolate to your nose and inhale its aromas before you taste it. The scent can vary depending on the region where the cacao beans were sourced and the flavour of the bar. Do you detect any other notes, such as vanilla, spices or fruit?

How to taste dark chocolate

Touch

High-quality chocolate should melt at your body temperature. Hold a piece of Lindt Excellence chocolate between your thumb and index finger and gently rub. Once it begins to melt, feel the texture. Notice the smooth composition; the particles in Lindt chocolate are so small that the texture is never grainy or rough.

How to taste dark chocolate

Taste

Put a small piece in your mouth and let it begin to melt slowly on your tongue. Inhale through your mouth and out through your nose – this allows the flavours and aromas to fully penetrate your senses. Now chew the piece three to five times and concentrate on the taste and texture. Is it spicy or neutral, sweet or salty, nutty or fruity? Challenge yourself to identify all the flavours.

How to taste dark chocolate

Is there a more universally-loved treat?

Chocolate has a long history of not only being a sweet treat, but a healing food as well. Let’s be honest though, the first chocolate lovers definitely weren’t eating Hershey bars.

Chocolate, in a mostly unprocessed form, has a surprising number of health benefits. But if you aren’t used to eating the darkest chocolate, it can take a while to adjust to the taste.

Because we don’t want you to have to go your whole life without eating chocolate again, this is our advice to adjusting to the taste of dark chocolate.

Table of Contents

A Brief History of Chocolate

How to taste dark chocolate

Chocolate is one of the most beloved foods in the world. The cacao bean, found within the fruit of the cacao tree, is from which chocolate is made.

For starters, the scientific name for the cacao tree is theobroma cacao. Theobroma translates from Greek as “food of the Gods” – an apt moniker!

Chocolate has been around for more than 3,000 years. Yet, early forms of chocolate were nothing like the sweet treats we are used to eating in the present day.

Ancient civilizations inhabiting South America were the first known cultivators of cacao. Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmec civilizations revered cacao as possessing sacred qualities.

Only the elite members of these ancient societies consumed the cacao bean. Priests, warriors, and rulers would drink beverages made from cacao beans at ceremonies.

To brew this special drink, cacao beans would be subjected to a fermenting process. Then, the beans would be roasted and ground into a paste which would then be formed into small cakes.

These cakes would be mixed vigorously with water to create a chocolate drink. Depending on the ceremony, other spices would be added to the beverage (i.e. chili, vanilla, etc).

The Spanish conquistadors brought chocolate back to the Spanish courts from Mexico. As raw cacao is bitter, the Spanish used cinnamon and sugar to sweeten the beverage.

Despite this sweet alteration, one aspect of chocolate remained the same. Only the upper echelons of Spanish society were able to afford and consume chocolate.

Incredibly, Spain kept chocolate a secret for almost 100 years. Chocolate was eventually introduced to France through a marriage. The King of France Louis XIII married a Spanish princess in the early 16 th century.

From there onwards, chocolate spread throughout French courts and across Europe. European governments began establishing cacao plantations in tropical, equatorial countries.

Over the years, different forms of chocolate edibles and beverages were developed. A British chocolate company experimented with cocoa butter to create chocolate bars.

Different brands and types of chocolate began to be sold. For example, the Swiss began adding milk to their chocolate.

Today, approximately $75 billion per year is spent on chocolate worldwide! (Source)

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

There are many types of chocolate that exist in the market. Chocolate comes in different colors and with a range of additional ingredients.

Chocolate has leaped forward from its modest historical origins as a raw cacao beverage. It is now available in an abundance of forms, from luxurious desserts to ice cream and candy bars.

The two most well-known and popular types are milk chocolate and dark chocolate. But aside from the obvious color distinction, what else differentiates the two?

Well, the basic ingredients for a start.

Dark chocolate typically consists of only three elemental ingredients:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Sugar (in limited quantities or not at all, depending on the brand)
  • Cocoa butter

Like with most food products, the better the quality the purer the ingredients are. Poorer quality dark chocolate may include vegetable oils and artificial ingredients.

A high quality dark chocolate will contain between 70 and 80 percent of cocoa solids. 100 grams of a good dark chocolate is worth approximately 600 calories.

That same serving of dark chocolate is nutrient-packed. It provides the following daily value allowances:

  • 98 percent of manganese
  • 89 percent of copper
  • 67 percent of iron
  • 58 percent of magnesium

Studies have linked consumption of dark chocolate to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Up to 100 grams of dark chocolate a day can decrease your risk of cardiovascular infarctions.

Comparatively, milk chocolate contains significantly less cocoa. Milk chocolate also contains dairy and far more sugar than dark chocolate.

Although milk chocolate does contain many of the same nutrients as dark chocolate, it is in smaller quantities. This is due to the lack of cacao.

Most commercial brands of milk chocolate are made up of over 50 percent sugar. Additionally, milk chocolate is more likely to contain artificial ingredients and flavorings.

Many popular brands of milk chocolate contain corn syrup and vegetable oils. In combination with high amounts of sugar, it simply isn’t a very healthy option. (Source)

Adjusting To Sugarless Chocolate

Dark chocolate’s health-boosting properties are due to higher concentrations of cacao. Cacao beans in their raw form have even more powerful health benefits.

Cacao nibs are essentially pieces of cacao beans. They do not contain any additional or artificial ingredients.

Cacao nibs have powerful antioxidant properties. They also contain high amounts of essential minerals and vitamins.

Although cacao nibs do have an intense chocolate flavor, they are bitterer than both dark and milk chocolate.

The amount of nutrients and benefits you gain from eating cacao depend upon its purity. If you can work your way up to enjoying raw cacao nibs, all the better!

If you’re used to eating very sweet types of chocolate, start off slowly. Don’t begin by selecting a brand of dark chocolate containing 80 percent cacao if you aren’t ready.

The average milk chocolate contains less than 30 percent cacao. Ideally, you can start off by eating chocolate brands with up to 50 percent cacao content.

How do you choose the right chocolate to set about adjusting your taste buds? The chocolate you select should be bitter enough that the taste is only tolerable.

It shouldn’t be bitter to the point that eating it puts you off entirely – that isn’t the goal of this exercise!

Eat between two and three squares of your selected chocolate daily for a minimum of three weeks. Ideally, your taste buds will begin adjusting to and savoring the flavor.

After that, select a brand with cacao content 10 percent higher than what you started with. Repeat the process until you’re able to eat and enjoy chocolate brands containing up to 90 percent cacao.

If you’re finding it difficult to enjoy chocolate with high percentages of cacao, don’t give up. Cacao nibs can be added to healthy smoothies or breakfast bowls for all the nutrients with none of the bitterness. (Source)

Additional Reading:

Here are some of our favorite chocolate recipes and resources.

Quick & Easy Guide to Tasting Chocolate

Dark chocolate tasting and wine tasting both follow the same principles. In both cases, we use our sensory awareness to deepen an experience. With dark chocolate, as with wine, we have the opportunity to transform an activity that could be mundane (i.e., the act of consumption) into something sublime. This is what it means to live richly.

Below you will find a Quick & Easy Guide to tasting chocolate. If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the subject, feel free to download our Comprehensive Guide on how to taste chocolate.

STORAGE & PREPARATION

• Store dark chocolate at room temperature and keep it away from direct sunlight and other strong odors
• Try to avoid eating garlic or other heavily-spiced foods before tasting chocolate.
• Get other people involved. Tasting chocolate is always more fun in a group setting.
• If you’re tasting multiple different bars of dark chocolate, it’s nice to have a glass of water on hand to cleanse the palate in between bars. Bread or salted crackers also help.

SETTING

• Choose a place that is free from other strong odors.
• Both the room and the chocolate should be at room temperature.
• When it’s time to begin, bring your attention to the chocolate and to your own sensory awareness. All five senses will be called into action.

How to taste dark chocolate

VISUAL

Inspect the color and sheen of the chocolate bar. White splotches (called bloom) indicate that the chocolate has suffered temperature damage. When this happens, the chocolate is still edible, but the nuances will be compromised.

AUDITORY

Break off a piece of the chocolate and listen to the “snap” that it makes. A fairly loud snap usually indicates that the bar was properly tempered. It’s also an indicator that the bar is not too warm for tasting; a warm chocolate bar won’t snap.

ON THE NOSE

• Bring a piece of the chocolate near to your nose and explore the aroma—as you would with a glass of wine.
• Start out by assessing the intensity of the aroma. Then, look for primary characteristics such as fruity, floral, earthy, nutty, spicy, or classic “chocolatey” aromas.
• If you already have a well-trained nose, you may also perceive secondary aromas. Don’t worry if you can’t pick out specific characteristics—dark chocolate is often subtle on the nose. You will soon get a second chance to perceive aromas, via the retronasal passage, once the chocolate is in your mouth.

How to taste dark chocolate

LET IT MELT

Now move the piece of chocolate into your mouth. Don’t chew! Rather, use your teeth to break the chocolate into a few smaller pieces, and then let it melt. As it melts, move it around inside your mouth (as you would with a mouthful of wine) to maximize exposure to your taste buds.

TEXTURE

Take note of the texture. Maybe it’s smooth and silky, or maybe it’s a bit granular. Observe how it melts (quickly or slowly) and its consistency (thin, thick, pasty, or buttery).

ON THE PALATE

Try to identify the primary flavor characteristics (fruity, floral, vegetal, nutty, spicy, chocolatey). From there, you can also try picking out more specific notes, such as raisin, fig, orange blossom, hazelnut, forest floor, honey, anise, tobacco, caramel… the list is nearly endless. Or don’t worry about putting words to it—simply let the sensory impressions wash over you.

COMPLEXITY

Pay attention to how the flavor evolves over time. A complex chocolate will unfold like a miniature movie inside your mouth, with a cast of different characters and a developing plot line.

How to taste dark chocolate

FINISH

Last but not least, observe the finish. Does the flavor sensation disappear shortly after the chocolate melts, or does it linger? What are the final sensations? How do you feel in the afterglow?

PAIRING

Now that you have properly tasted dark chocolate on its own, you have the option to take it one step further. If you enjoy wine and spirits or cheese, the next level is to explore pairings with dark chocolate. Click here to learn about how to pair chocolate with wine, spirits, and cheese.

How to taste dark chocolate

How to taste dark chocolate

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Americans bite into about 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate every year, and it’s no secret why. Who doesn’t love a rich bar of chocolate? Plus, if you choose the dark kind, you get the bonus of heart-protective flavonoids and antioxidants.

To help you pick a bar that satisfies your sweet tooth (and sneaks in some stellar health benefits), we tested five popular dark chocolate bars to find the absolute best dark chocolate. (We know, it’s hard work, but someone’s gotta do it, right?)

How we graded them

Here are the three metrics we used to determine each bar’s final grade. And for more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

Nutrition

When selecting the best dark chocolate bar, we didn’t dwell too much on nutrition. Dark chocolate bars are pretty nutritionally similar across the board. They all have saturated fat coming from cocoa butter, and they usually contain added sugars to balance out the cacao’s natural tartness. Whether one chocolate bar contains significantly more fat and sugar compared to its competitors helped us break ties.

Clean Ingredients

Ideally, our go-to bars form their bases with unprocessed cocoa, which boasts a higher antioxidant content, as well as contain the least amount of additives.

Texture & Taste

Dark chocolate should be rich, creamy, and anything but chalky. We endowed extra points to chocolates that allowed the cocoa’s indulgent texture and flavors to outshine added sugar.

The best dark chocolate bars—ranked from worst to best.

Hershey’s Special Dark

How to taste dark chocolate

Nutrition: Per bar (41 g): 200 calories, 13 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (3 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 2 g protein

Ingredients: Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Milk Fat, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Milk

Texture & Taste: Hershey’s bar was lackluster in both consistency and flavor. We weren’t fans of the texture, and the overwhelming sweetness left much to be desired.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

This treat was too sweet and waxy—two characteristics quality dark chocolate shouldn’t have. This brand may withstand the test of time, but our trained taste buds were more critical of this special dark chocolate bar.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark 60% Cacao Evening Dream

How to taste dark chocolate

Nutrition: Per 3 squares (38 g): 190 calories, 14 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (3 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein

Ingredients: Bittersweet Chocolate (Unsweetened Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla)

Texture & Taste: Ghirardelli’s bar surprised us with an artificial flavor and a gritty texture, which were both jarring and unpleasant. Rather than melting in our mouths, the square left a grainy consistency.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Besides tasting unnatural, this dark chocolate bar had a disturbing sweetness that seemed to try to mask the tart undertones. Instead of dissolving on your tongue as you would expect, this Ghirardelli Intense Dark bar crumbled, crashed, and burned.

Cadbury Royal Dark

How to taste dark chocolate

Nutrition: Per 7 blocks (39 g): 170 calories, 12 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (3 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 2 g protein

Ingredients: Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Milk Fat, Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavor, Lecithin, Milk)

Texture & Taste: Rich and ultra-creamy—just like a Cadbury egg. The squares were small but dense and chunkier than the other bars tested. What caught us off guard the most was the chocolate’s slightly smoky aftertaste. We can probably chalk that up to the natural and artificial flavors.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

The thick and chunky squares were hard to bite into, but the loud crunch was oddly satisfying. The bar boasted an unexpected yet intriguing smokiness, which we were indifferent about. We think this pick would pair well with the earthiness of a full-bodied red wine.

Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Smooth Dark

How to taste dark chocolate

Nutrition: Per 4 squares (40 g): 250 calories, 19 g fat (12 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 10 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (3 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 3 g protein

Ingredients: Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Soya Lecithin (emulsifier), Bourbon Vanilla Beans

Texture & Taste: Perfectly sweetened with bourbon vanilla bean notes, this snack had a milky creaminess and rich flavor.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Lindt’s master chocolatiers struck a balanced flavor that wasn’t bitter or too sweet. It tasted more like an intense milk chocolate bar than a dark bar, making it an ideal treat for those getting used to the taste of concentrated cacao. Welcome to the dark side!

Godiva 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

How to taste dark chocolate

Nutrition: Per 4 blocks (40 g): 240 calories, 17 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (4 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 3 g protein

Ingredients: Unsweetened Chocolate Processed with Alkali, Sugar, Butter Oil (Milk), Soy Lecithin

Texture & Taste: This semisweet bar embodies the smoothness and indulgence you’d expect from Godiva chocolate. The divinely velvety texture coupled with the balanced flavor made this pick our #1.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Tearing off the edge of the paper shell revealed Godiva’s golden foil wrapper—a fitting wrapper for a treat that reminded us of Charlie’s gilded ticket to the Wonka factory. Indeed, we’ve won the chocolate jackpot here, too. Godiva’s bar was heavenly, from its silk-like texture to the luscious, full-bodied goodness we were hit with in every bite. It was a clear choice for us.