Lifestyle

Dark chocolate bars that hit the spot

Occasionally, some restraint is called for. When I need to recalibrate both my taste buds and my insulin levels, I restrict myself to very dark chocolate. Preferably 90% and over, but with some over 80%s getting a look-in. I stop short of almost all 100% though as that, to me, is self-harming by chocolate. Although: see later.

Sticking to 80%+ quells the calorie consumption – it is virtually impossible to gorge on very dark chocolate – and gives me a new appreciation for the cocoa bean. There will be quite a heavy sprinkle of 80%+ mentions in the coming weeks. For now if ever you needed to taste just how different two chocolates can be, try Original Beans Mexican Zoque 88%, £5.95, and Asda’s Extra Special Ugandan 85%, a bargainous £1.40.

Original Beans makes some of the smoothest chocolate out there and the Zoque is described as ‘spirited’. If this were a school student it would never wear uniform properly, break every rule but still, miraculously, pull it out of the bag on exam day. The taste is wild, strong, earthy, uncompromising. The Asda Ugandan is kinder. There’s a smoothness that belies its cocoa content and it’s strangely creamy – definitely the kid that says yes Miss and hands in their homework. It feels weak next to the OB, but if you’re new to very dark chocolate, it’s an excellent place to start.

A quick mention of a 100% bar: Willie’s Pistachio and Date, £2.99. Of course, dates have natural sugars, but this still has 100% credentials. Great if you fancy something a bit more exciting than just a 100% bar.

Follow Annalisa on Twitter @AnnalisaB

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