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Flavor: 85% Cocoa|Change
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Lindt is a famous Swiss chocolate maker, and all its various chocolates are wonderful, including this extremely dark chocolate--in its own way. For those who are used to semisweet or sweet chocolate, the flavor of this bar may seem surprisingly bitter and take some getting used to, but if you are a connoisseur without a strong "sweet tooth," you will likely enjoy this chocolate very much. As for my own particular tastes, I found it rather too bitter, and so did my husband. I personally prefer dark chocolate with a bit less cacao, such as Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Twilight Delight 72% Cacao.

The question some may ask who love sweet, milk chocolate is, why pay more money (often quite a bit more) for dark chocolate such as this that doesn't taste sweet? The main reason for most people in the over-50 crowd is the health benefits to be gained from consuming dark chocolate. The more chocolate contained in a chocolate bar, the more of the good stuff--cacao--that you are getting. In short, the more "bang" for your "buck."

Over the last four years there have been dozens of scientific studies analyzing and confirming substantial health benefits from a small amount of dark chocolate consumed daily. The latest findings from a Harvard study released in early 2011 indicate that as little as 6 gm. of dark chocolate (about 30 calories) is a sufficient daily "dose." The original German studies in 2007 used Ritter Sport chocolate, but I haven't so far been able to discover which kind of Ritter's dark chocolate was used by the researchers. However, since Ritter's only makes two types, 50% cacao and 71% cacao, this product, at 90% cocoa, fits well within the parameters of that study. An equivalent amount of this chocolate compared to that in the study would be a little more than one-half of one of its 10 gm. individual squares. (Note: the package lists a "serving" as "four squares" which is 40 gms. This is almost seven times the 6 gm. amount that researchers found is sufficient to improve health.)

The health benefits of dark chocolate are due to the flavonoids contained in cocoa. Flavonoids act as antioxidants in the body, which both prevent and reduce inflammation. Over many years of medical research, inflammation has been found to contribute to or directly cause a host of diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer, as well as autoimmune diseases like arthritis.

Flavonoids are found in the pigments of fruits and vegetables which give them their color. The darker and deeper the color of a fruit or vegetable, the greater the amount of flavonoids it contains. Cocoa is derived from the dark-brown cacao bean, which is the fruit of the tropical tree, theobroma cacao. In any chocolate product, such as this one, the higher the percentage of cocoa/cacao, the more flavonoids the chocolate contains.

Dark chocolate such as this product is better for your health than milk chocolate because it contains more antioxidants, which are good for you, and less sugar, which is not good for you--especially if you have diabetes or are struggling with your weight.

The FDA defines categories of chocolate based on how much cocoa/cacao is in a given product:
1. Unsweetened chocolate with no additives is 100% cocoa. Most all brands of unsweetened baker's chocolate fall into this category. Their ingredient list will state simply, "chocolate."
2. Bittersweet chocolate contains 35-99% cocoa (35% is the minimum), and it must contain less than 12% milk solids. There is a large range of products in this category, and the product names reflect the amount of chocolate they contain. Unsweetened chocolate is very bitter, and the more cocoa in a product, the less room for sugar, and the more bitter it will be. In order to avoid frightening off customers who are used to sweet chocolate, marketers often substitute the words "dark," "extra dark" or "intense" for "bitter" if that word is not paired with "sweet," for example as "bittersweet" or "extra bittersweet." This product lies at the top of this range.
3. Sweet chocolate contains 15-34% cocoa (15% is the minimum), and it must contain less than 12% milk solids. It is sometimes also marketed as "dark chocolate," even though it has a much lower percentage of cocoa solids than bittersweet, which can cause consumers, in such cases, to purchase a product with less cocoa in it than they realized they were getting. Everything else besides the cocoa and milk solids is essentially sugar.
4. Milk chocolate is only required to have a minimum of 10% cocoa, a minimum of 12% milk solids and 3.39% milk fat. The rest is sugar and milk.

The ingredients of this particular dark-chocolate bar, per the package, include:
Chocolate
Fat (pure chocolate contains a very healthy saturated fat called cocoa butter)
Sugar
Fiber (pure chocolate is also rich in fiber)
Protein (pure chocolate contains some protein)
Vanilla

People who are allergic to nuts (including peanuts and tree nuts), soy, and milk should not eat this product since it is manufactured with the same equipment that processes those things and traces could be in this chocolate.
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1919 comments|24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 9, 2015
Absolutely *LOVE* this chocolate! I love dark chocolate in general and as most dark chocolate lovers know, the darker the more bitter (some would say) it may taste!

Guilt free from junky ingredients. Lindt provides only the best! See photos for the details or taste for yourself... The purity tastes dee~lish!

Too strong of a flavor for my 4 yr old granddaughter and my elderly parents but my husband love this 85% cocoa Lindt! Rich, smooth, and flavorful; a small piece is all that's needed to quench the sweet craving for sugar-- or seratonin, lol (especially helpful during stressful situations!)...

I'm uploading some photos so you can see it's goodness, in all it's glory, before we cracked any bars open. Even in 90 degree weather, Amazon delivered it perfectly packaged to not be melted...

It will, however, melt in your mouth. Smile. Yum Yum!! Highly recommended. Hope this is helpful.
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on December 23, 2009
As expected its about a third less sweet than the 85% Lindt version. But even at 85% the sugar hooks me a little while with the 90% Lindt the taste of sugar is so faint I don't experience anything except the fullness of chocolate. So if you like the taste of chocolate but can't stand the bitterness of 99% this may be the bar for you.
0Comment|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 24, 2011
Poor Charlie...

Hard to get the phrase "New Coke" out of my head.
I always bought Lindt because of their quality and consistency. Very, very Swiss.

I have been enjoying this chocolate bar for the past twenty years in Europe and the USA.
We just finished our old stash of Lindt Excellence 70% dark chocolate bars. I went to the store for more and noticed on the outside of the bar the words, "NEW RECIPE." It should say, "RUINED PRODUCT."

The bar has what appears to be a lighter color, less snap and definitely less depth and body of cacao. The great flavor is gone. Now the chocolate liquor that used to slowly melt off the back of the tongue, flowing down your throat is replaced by a thick wax that reminds me of Hershey.

On the back it says:
"EXCELLENCE 70% COCOA is characterized by a warm brown hue and a light fragrance of cacao. Experience this new milder recipe the balances smooth dark chocolate flavor with a surprisingly rich and creamy texture."

MANUFACTURED BY:
LINDT & SPRUNGLI (USA) INC.,
STRATHAM,NH 03885

the old bar said:

Manufactured by:
LINDT & SPRUNGLI SAS (France)
DISTRIBUTED BY:
LINDT & SPRUNGLI (USA) INC.,
STRATHAM,NH 03885
11 comment|29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 30, 2011
The natural bitterness of the intense cocoa is very well balanced by the carefully chosen quantity of other few and simple ingredients -- especially the vanilla. It melts slowly in your mouth into a very fine, rich, and especially smooth presentation, allowing one to really appreciate the taste of cocoa. I'm not a food snob, but I've tasted a LOT of dark chocolate, and the other ingredients in this Lindt dark chocolate really "dress up" and present the cocoa well. Not overdone with too much sugar, nor underdone leaving it neither too bitter in taste, nor too chalky/chunky in texture to enjoy.

I have to agree with other reviewers, too: the 90% really is smoother than 85%. Essentially that's the challenge, right? Get as close as you can to enjoying the bean for what it is. They work harder to do this (and succeed in my opinion) with 90% versus 85%.
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on November 24, 2012
i was bummed when i saw that they use alkali in the cacao processing (Dutch method). i contacted Lindt and they said 90% is the only product that uses alkali. I bought 90% because i thought it was the most healthy. alkali recduces the amount of flavanols. next time i'll get 85%.
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VINE VOICEon August 21, 2010
I bought these bars because of their high content of Cocoa and I have been very pleased with them. I drop a piece in my coffee every morning and makes the coffee tastes great. In the afternoon I use another square and let it melt slowly in my mouth as I drink tea. These are two delicious ways to use this healthy chocolate.
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on May 16, 2012
I am not sure why so many folks are so bitter about this chocolate. I might not be a chocolate expert, but I definitely love good Swiss chocolate and I think this product is great (even though it is made in the USA - by a Swiss company). This stuff tastes great, is not too bitter for a 70% bar and gives me my chocolate fix without sending me into a sugar shock. The reason it melts in warm weather is because it is real chocolate - that's what it does. Anyhow, wanted to put in a good word for my favorite snack.
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on June 14, 2007
This is my favorite Chocolate!!
I hope they re-stock soon!!
Not for Kids or Adults that like milk kind!!
Kids usually hate this kind. It's good for you, that's probably why!
I also like Dagoba Organic Dark Chocolate - New Moon , 74% cocoa, 12 Units / 2 ozmore cocoa the better for heart:0
Don't have Coffee or Chocolate anymore :D
0Comment|21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 6, 2010
This bar used to have the best chocolate flavor for the money, now it tastes like swiss miss solidified into a bar of wax. The closest I could find to what it used to taste like was some 63 percent Valrhona at double the price.
0Comment|24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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