/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Ritter Sport Extra Dark
Ritter Sport Extra Dark
Posted: 6 November 2011
Don't sweat it. This bar delivers. The chocolate
isn't gritty, packs in a ton of rich cocoa flavor, has a solid
texture, and leaves plenty of cash in the wallet. I will go out on a limb and say it very well could be the best value extra dark out there available to most people most of the time.
price/gram: USD 0.023
Cocoa %: 71
Ritter Sport is a very
interesting chocolate outfit out of Stuttgart, Germany.
I can't tell you exactly how Ritter Sport did it, but this
has somehow been able to position itself successfully
between the low-end and the high-end, but more on the
high-end side, without being sublime chocolate. It
could be the clever "Quality. Chocolate. Squared" slogan,
referring to their 4 x 4 blocks of chocolate able to fit
into the pocket of any sports jacket. It could be
great distribution. Ritter Sports show
everywhere. It could be the price. Ritter Sports
come in at the same price per gram as ultra cheap
multinational chocolate while exuding a more premium image.
In fact, I concluded after reviewing several Ritter Sports
in the past that this brand was the best bang for your buck
at a Thailand 7-11 outlet.
Ritter Sport isn't the kind
of brand you seek out. It's more a brand you buy
when there aren't better chocolates at better values
available. I had realized this quite awhile back and
moved on. But just a few weeks ago, I was
contacted by an American in Shanghai seeking my opinion on
Ritter Sports' Extra Dark. Was it good? I didn't
like not knowing, so at my earliest convenience, I went out
and got my hands on it. You can't let the fans down.
The Ritter Sport Extra Darks
in the Chinese language wrappers mention that the bar is
made from fine cacao from Ecuador. Marketing materials
claim that a large portion (how large??) of fine Arriba
cocoa from Ecuador is mixed with refined real vanilla and
spiced West African cacao -- most likely, Ivory Coast -- to
"perfect this first-class chocolate creation." It all
sounds great on paper, but none of this is really chic.
Ivory Coast and Ghana, both in West Africa, are the two
biggest producers of bulk cacao beans in the world.
Ecuador is the largest producer of flavor beans, producing
more than half the world's supply.
So, the bottom line, nothing
premium is going into this bar. And how could you
really expect there to be at the prices Ritter Sport is
Ritter Sport has been panned
since early 2009 because it's been substituting
butterfat for cocoa butter in some of their flavors.
Such a substitution would affect the texture and flavor, and
no top quality producer would ever consider going down this
The Extra Dark doesn't look like it was a casualty of this
Don't sweat it. This bar delivers. The chocolate isn't gritty, packs in a ton of rich cocoa flavor, has a solid texture, and leaves plenty of cash in the wallet. While
not the best extra dark bar anyone sane has ever had, I will
go out on a limb and say it very well could be the best value extra dark
out there available to most people most of the time.
In a utopian world, with a lot of choice and free markets available to you, you
wouldn't go near Ritter Sport Extra Dark. But live in
an Asian country where tariffs on premium chocolates run
high, Ritter Sport Extra Darks start to look very tasty indeed.
Hitler would be proud that
his Aryan nation at least spread to the chocolate aisles of
most nations' food market shelves.
Germany is home of the Ritter company, makers of adequate German chocolate. The German Ritter Sport
bar is found worldwide. Recently Doug tried the Ritter Extra Dark with cacao from Ecuador. The chocolate republic
welcomed Ritter in and Doug of Doug's Republic said it was okay