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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Whittaker Dark Block

     
Whittaker Dark Block 
Posted: 19 January 2011    7.0 
Whittaker Dark Block Whittaker's new Dark Block is, by the Chocolate Republic's assessment, new and improved. Although it's got just 3% more cocoa solids than the previous version, it doesn't taste as bitter. I found myself snacking on this one between paragraphs. I didn't notice this intermittent noshing with the original 47% bittersweet bar.  Good riddance, oldie!     
Avg price/gram: USD 0.017  Cocoa %: 50  Size: 250g  New Zealand chocolate 
       


The Chocolate Republic hasn't even been in existence that long, and already, I'm doing re-reviews!    

Less than four months ago, I reviewed Whittaker's Dark Block.  Just a few days ago, another parcel of chocolates landed at my doorstep anonymously, postmarked from Bhutan.  Inside were two Whittaker bars, two Lindt bars, and four tiny Green & Black sampler bars.  A note accompanied the parcel.  "Enjoy the calories, sucker, as I diet on unhygienic Bhutanese food.   Love, Your Secret Admirer."  Was it sarcastic love or true love?  Was this really sent from an admirer or a psychopath bent on getting me fat? 

Why worry about that, I reasoned.  Let me see if there were any chocolates in the box worth reviewing.  My eyes immediately caught sight of this Dark Block bar.  I hadn't particularly adored it the first time.  Was there a reason to review it again?

The answer is yes. The Dark Block of months past was called the Bittersweet Dark Block and clocked in with 47% cocoa solids.  Today's Dark Block measures in with 50% cocoa solids. Whittaker's couldn't add 10% cocoa solids to the former total. It would've gotten too dangerously close to their 62% blends on the market. That might've destroyed Whittaker's business model and sent the New Zealand economy into a tailspin. Rumor has it that 75% of the New Zealand economy is based on Whittaker's sale of chocolates, and the other 25% on sheep.  

Whittaker's new Dark Block is, by the Chocolate Republic's assessment, new and improved. Although it's got just 3% more cocoa solids than the previous version, it doesn't taste as bitter. I found myself snacking on this one between paragraphs. I didn't notice this intermittent noshing with the original 47% bittersweet bar.Good riddance, oldie! 

The old wrapper wasn't as attractive either.  It showed three pieces of the Dark Block -- because three pieces was all you'd eat before the complaints started.  This new version shows six pieces of the block.  Whittaker's is so confident you'll eat twice the amount with each serving of the new bar.

I got to give Whittaker's credit where credit is due.  I wrote their marketing manager after tasting their atrocious Rum and Raisin, made with the then prevalent 47% bittersweet.  I got back a friendly response that, distilled down to its basic essences, meant "Thanks for contacting us.  Your feedback means so much to us.  We care so very much about your input . . ."  Have you fallen asleep yet?  Maybe Whittaker's really is listening.  Or if not listening, at least tasting their own chocolates to look for paths to improvements. Could the next step be a 50% Rum and Raisin bar that would make a fruit-loving pirate proud?

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Duc De Praslin Dominican Republic 31% from Thailand -- 31% cocoa solids
 Lindt Les Grandes 33% Hazelnuts Milk from Switzerland -- 31% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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