Vivani’s Organic Dark Chocolate Espresso

Vivani Dark Chocolate EspressoIn spite of the name, Vivani Organic Dark Chocolate Espresso is made by a German company, Ludwig Weinrich GmbH, which been in the business of producing fine chocolates for a century. Like so many contemporary confectioners, Weinrich uses only organic ingredients. (One assumes that it’s also Fair Trade, although that’s not specified — it’s just that “fair trade” and “organic” seem to go hand in hand, especially in regard to chocolate.) The Vivani line was first introduced at the world’s largest organic trade fair, BioFach, in 2000.

The Organic Dark Chocolate Espresso has two of my favorite things: dark chocolate and espresso. The list of ingredients is impressive in its brevity: cocoa liquor, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter, espresso, and cocoa solids. And it’s 70% cocoa – minimum.

Do, how does all this translate to the chocolate bar that’s sitting on my desk?. First, it’s 3.5 oz (100 g), divided into small squares. It may not seem like a lot, but we’re talking about chocolate –- more would be greedy. (Besides, you can always buy two.)

The color is not as dark as some dark and semi-sweet chocolates I’ve seen, but it certainly smells like chocolate, with a faint hint of something buttery – not butter, but close. The texture, on first bite, is somewhat brittle, as we should expect from a good dark chocolate, but it softens almost immediately in the mouth.

And yes, it’s definitely chocolate, all caps, with just a hint of espresso underlying the chocolate flavor. It’s lacking a bit of the earthiness that I’ve come to associate with dark chocolate, perhaps because it’s a little sweeter than many – but still not enough to detract from its essential chocolateness. (Is that a word? Well, it is now.) It would be really easy to pig out on this one, but I’m restraining myself – all things in moderation, and all that.

This one is definitely worth looking for in your local sweets emporium.

There’s not really much more to say. Pardon me while I have another bite of chocolate.

About Robert Tilendis

Robert M. Tilendis lives a deceptively quiet life. He has made money as a dishwasher, errand boy, legal librarian, arts administrator, shipping expert, free-lance writer and editor, and probably a few other things he’s tried very hard to forget about. He has also been a student of history, art, theater, psychology, ceramics, and dance. Through it all, he has been an artist and poet, just to provide a little stability in his life. Along about January of every year, he wonders why he still lives someplace as mundane as Chicago; it must be that he likes it there.

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