If you haven’t read Part 1 of my adventure of trying to appreciate 100% chocolate, head there first so you get the whole picture of how many bars I’m trying altogether (it’s the most 100% I’ve ever consumed), then return here 🙂
My curiosity about Pump Street’s 100% bar was what started a conversation between fellow blogger Victoria Cooksey and I that I wanted to try more 100% bars and learn to appreciate their intensity. She generously mailed me several samples from her personal stash. I was thought I was only getting two pieces of 100% bars, so I was very surprised when she sent me 7 to try!
Pump Street 100% Hacienda Limon Ecuador – The scent was kind of sweet and earthy. I tasted some brightness mingled with a touch of earthiness. The texture was fudgy. It wasn’t bitter like I thought it would be, which was a pleasant surprise! My husband said the chocolate was too astringent for him but he liked the smell.
Dick Taylor 100% Brazil – This chocolate smelled sweet, fruity and nutty. Some astringency developed as my bite started to melt, but the flavor reminded me of raisins. The astringency intensified as my bite melted but the subtle raisin flavor remained. Toward the end I tasted nuttiness as well. Chocolate Path lists the tasting notes as cocoa, green tea and dates.
French Broad 100% Guatemala – This bar smelled nutty but as my bite melted, it started to taste subtly fruity while astringency started to develop. The flavors remained that way until the end of my bite where it became bitter to the point of being too much for my taste buds. I almost didn’t finish trying to savor my bite. On the other hand, another chocoholic friend, Max of Dame Cacao, enjoyed this bar and you can read her thoughts here.
NearyNógs 100% Dominican Repbulic Hispaniola – This chocolate smelled spicy like cinnamon. Unlike the previous samples, this one had subtle astringency and I was able to appreciate a deep chocolatey flavor combined with subtle spiciness. The aftertaste consisted of nuttiness. Trying this was a nice break since my stomach was starting to get upset from all of the astringency and brightness I was experiencing. NearyNógs’ website describes this bar as having tasting notes of berries and spice.
Soma Chocolate, Arcana 100% Porcelana blend – This smelled chocolaty but tasted bright, bitter and chocolaty. This time the texture was not as fudgy, which was great. Soma’s website lists the tasting notes as cashews, licorice, pink grapefruit, and grass.
Damson 100% Vietnam Ben Tre – This smelled sweet but as my bite melted the brightness and astringency started. I got a lot of strong nutty flavors from this bar, like roasted walnuts. The brightness went away and I was left with astringency, a flavor that reminded me of shittake mushrooms and nuttiness. Toward the end I got some fruitiness like tart cherries. Can you believe this is the first time I’m finally trying a Damson bar? I’m glad I experienced a flavor story with this for my first sample of Damson!
Chocolate Tree 100% Ambanja Madagascar – This also surprisingly smelled sweet and I tasted subtle frutiness. As my bite melted I was reminded of the flavor of chocolate covered cherries. This 100% was also not so bad in that it didn’t have a lot of astringency either. Chocolate Tree’s website lists fruitiness and earthiness as tasting notes for this bar.
Out of the several samples I tried the Soma, Damson and Chocolate Tree were the most tolerable for my palate in its current state. My husband made a good point in comparing 100% bars to tasting whiskey since the flavors of both products are intense. I’ll keep trying 100% bars every once in a while to keep slowly adjusting my taste buds. I do believe that over time I’ll be able to appreciate 100% since I did after all begin to grow fond of bean-to-bar chocolate after at least a year of trying various chocolate makers’ products.
Thank you, Victoria, for being so generous and for being willing to ship all of these samples to me! If you want to read Victoria’s thoughts on these bars, she writes Dark Matters Chocolate Reviews. She shares more of her reviews on Instagram and on YouTube.
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.