The chocolate was smooth and the roasted slivered almonds were delicious. I love dark chocolate, I love almonds, and five years ago, this bar would've gotten my taste buds' full attention. But 2006 is a long time ago in Chocolate Republic terms. My taste buds have gone through some advanced educational studies since then.
price/gram: USD 0.035
Cocoa %: 47
An anonymous donor recently
mailed me a small collection of chocolates and told me that
"these will blow your f--king mind, man!" Each
chocolate was designed to blow away a different part of my
mind. He included a graph of the brain and pointed to
the sections that would be blown away as I bit into the
individual bars. The Lindt Excellence Roasted Almond
was designated to blow away about 35% of my cerebellum as
well as tear at about 11% of the pieces of the temporal lobe and anterior commissure.
I'll repeat here what I said
about Lindt in the past. This is a mainstream widely
distributed brand using decent, but not superb, ingredients
and combining that with over a century of chocolate know how
to create well above average products for its size. On
its web site, Lindt tries to personify itself as some local
chocolatier using age-old chocolate-making secrets that just
happen to be distributed around the world. From
Lindt's own web site about
their Roasted Almond: "This elegant recipe is the
perfect combination of two simple ingredients, smooth dark
chocolate with the sophisticated crunch of slivered almonds,
for a delightful chocolate experience." Lindt goes on
to describe the color, the aroma, and the taste and offers
pairing suggestions. What Lindt doesn't mention is the
emulsifiers and artificial flavors.
Make no mistake that Lindt is
not a premium elite brand. It's a Swiss version of
Hershey or Cadbury, but the Swiss just happen to know how to
make better chocolates. Hershey and Cadbury have no
compunction about using artificial flavors or substituting
inferior oils for cocoa butter, but we hold those brands to
no high standards. Somehow, Lindt, being Swiss by
birth, we've come to expect more. Certainly, Lindt
charges more, and overall, they do deliver more quality more
of the time.
But where in the unwritten manufacturer-consumer agreement
does it say that Lindt must use only the finest ingredients?
This is Marketing 101. Lindt has gotten us to believe
they use the finest ingredients, as they spill out
factoryloads of premium-posing chocolate across various countries.
For the records, this Roasted
Almond bar was manufactured in France, not Switzerland.
We've still categorized the bar as Swiss because this
manufacturing differentiation seems to be based on the type
of bar and not the consumption destination. It's a
different model completely to Hershey or Cadbury, who
manufacture in other countries for local tastes and markets.
Lindt knows their reputation depends on the chocolate always
being identified as Swiss -- or at the very least, European.
If these bars were made under license in India, Malaysia,
Australia, wherever, the Lindt brand name would be
tarnished. It's the same reason you don't see real Rolex watches made under license in Vietnam.
The chocolate was smooth and
the roasted slivered almonds were delicious. I love
dark chocolate, I love almonds, and five years ago, this bar
would've gotten my taste buds' full attention. But
2006 is a long time ago in Chocolate Republic terms.
My taste buds have gone through some advanced educational
studies since then, particularly with
Almond bar. That's really dark chocolate at
62% compared to Lindt's artificially flavored 47%, and
Whittaker is asking half the price per gram. I won't
belittle Lindt's achievement of "excellence," of
multinational chocolate mass-marketed throughout the world
as premium, but if you're looking for real premium in
a genuinely dark chocolate bar, go with a specialist.
Lindt from Switzerland manufactures dark chocolate with roasted almond in it. It's a delicious Swiss bar
made from Swiss chocolate. And it's got slivers of roasted almond in it, too. The Chocolate Republic reviews it at Doug's Republic with Doug