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E. Guittard Quetzalcoatl

Log: Day the Third in Munich. Still not much in the way of taste. I may or may not have looked like a crazy stalker while tailing a man who had a lit cigarette in his hand at the Marienplatz. I desperately wanted to smell something, and thought cigarettes might be aromatically strong enough to give me my wish.

I also scurried into bakeries, brushed close to roasted nut stalls, and loitered near smoked meats at the Viktualienmarkt. No luck.

Munich is, to me, a very quiet and very clean-smelling city.

On the plus side, I can detect simple sweetness, so have been overloading my teas with sugar. Also, as I’m not eating any chocolate right now, I can pretend I’m catching up on the reviewing.

E. Guittard Quetzalcoatl

E. Guittard Quetzalcoatl

Words I can't pronounce seem to be the order of the day.

The only other E. Guittard chocolate reviewed on this blog has been the Nocturne 91%, which fascinated me with its strong fennel flavour and silky melt. E. Guittard’s Quetzalcoatl chocolate is far less intense at only 72%, but bears the unique characteristic of having no cocoa butter added. (It appears to be the only one of E. Guittard’s line-up to boast this.)

The Quetzalcoatl is promisingly dark in colour, and puts forward aromas of red currant and coconut. I was a little worried that the chocolate would veer too closely to the tangy-fruit spectrum for my liking, but fortunately such worry was misplaced. I loved this. It is simply deeply, richly chocolatey, starting with hints of berry and wood before moving into muscovado sugar and ending with what I shall simply describe as dark and roasted flavours.

E. Guittard Quetzalcoatl

I'd stamp my name on things too if I created them and they were lovely.

E. Guittard once again nailed a thick, soft, and utterly smooth melt devoid of chalkiness in this chocolate. In so doing, the company presented me with deliciously rich and earthy and tobacco-y yumminess – all without making me shadow unknown Germen men on the street.

And that’s a good thing, right?

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Fancy flavour combinations and sugary delights are all well and good for keeping the novelty alive in one’s relationship with chocolate, but there are times when nothing but the darkest, most intense, barely-a-whisper-of-sweetness chocolate will suffice.  

E. Guittard Nocture 91%

E. Guittard Nocture 91%

I've often enjoyed playing Nocturnes on the piano, so surely I'm well-suited to this chocolate?

As is usually the case with higher-percentage chocolates, this 91% Nocturne by American chocolate company E.Guittard is very dark in colour – on the blacker side of brown – and has a firm texture and snap. Also nicely glossy, its aroma is of hazelnut, coconut, and cocoa powder with a slight hint of earth. 

Two factors stood out tasting this chocolate. First was its smooth texture and thick, soft melt, which was quite unlike the chalkiness sometimes found in 85%-and-above chocolate. Second was the intense flavour of fennel that seemed to function as a sheer overlay. While the bar had notes of hazelnut, walnut, iron, burnt toast and even – though this clearly marks me Australian and I believe derives from the mineral strength of the cacao – burnt toast with a skerrick of vegemite, the fennel was ever-present. 

Nocturne’s thick texture and and lack of sweetness makes it not for the faint of [chocolate] heart. The bar does, however, exemplify how diverse chocolate can be, depending on the cacao used, what type of sugar is chosen, and whether emuslifiers or vanilla are added. To further illustrate this…

Lindt 90%

Lindt 90%

Not to give the game away, but WHY OH WHY is this not available in Australia?

My opinions of Lindt are as follows: 70% no thanks, 85% yes please, Excellence Chili the perfect accompaniment to watching Ellen with my mother on the couch. (I miss watching Ellen with my mother on the couch!)

Here is the first line of my tasting notes on Lindt’s 90% bar: HOLY MOLY COOKIES BROWNIES COOKIE COOKIES COOKIES IF NOT SWEET.

I’m nothing if not eloquent.

But I do stand by my reaction. Each time I have this, I’m overwhelmed by how much it tastes like a malt-y, wheat-y, oat-y chocolate chip cookie – just without the sweetness. I love it. Absolutely love it. To me, it’s not bitter, or at least not in an acrid, screw-up-your-face way. Though I must admit that I gave some to L.MiteMaster and Mrs.C and they looked at me like I was crazy when I said “cookies!”

Lindt 90%

Lindt => Cookies => Cookie Monster => Sesame Street theme in my head.

I think the cookie idea emanates from the bar’s strong vanilla flavour. To Lindt’s credit, they opt here for real vanilla rather than the fake vanillin flavouring used by so many large-scale chocolate companies.

I love that there is no tanginess or fruitiness to the LIndt 90%, nor even much earthiness. The chocolate simply has that lingering cookie flavour and a hint of brownies – the kind made with cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate (which is not usually a good thing, but works here).

Seeing as I’ve been rather verbose these past two days, I’ll cut myself off here. Though only from the writing, mind you. Not from the chocolate.

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