100% "Dark" Chocolate That Actually Isn't Bitter and IS Delicious.
by Kiki Athanas
February 22, 2018
You don’t know chocolate like this chocolate. This is different.
This is chocolate that actually doesn’t require sugar. It’s chocolate that is 100% cacao and STILL knocks any other blend or dark or milk chocolate out of the park. It’s out of this world.
Oh yeah, there’s a story here.
A few months back I discovered literally the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. Hands down.
In an elegant and tiny chocolate shop on the streets of Lisbon, Portugal, I discovered the glory of cacao from Sao Tome - an island off the western coast of Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea.
Of course, I could care less at the time.
“Do you sell any sugar-free, pure, organic, fair-trade chocolate?” I asked the shopkeeper, expecting nothing less than a pitiful reply asserting that they have “dark” chocolate - likely filled with sugar and other ingredients I’d rather avoid.
She passed me an exquisite packaged thick bar of cacao. Seriously, just cacao. In all its glory - no more and no less.
Perfect, I thought: indulgent health food I can feel good about while cafe-hopping during my stay in Europe.
A few days later I found myself in Madrid and decided to crack open the chocolate.
I’m used to bitter, “healthy-tasting” things, so I was comfortable with expecting that this would taste short of creamy, but satisfying and rich nonetheless.
I was immediately confused.
“THAT BITCH!” I thought. Silly me expecting Europeans to understand English perfectly - obviously the woman who sold me this incredible tasting but impossibly 100% cacao bar did NOT hear me when I said “sugar-free”.
I was on a strict ‘Bulletproof’ keto diet at the time, and I was avoiding carbs like the plague.
This chocolate did not only taste too sweet to be sugar-free, it was also suspiciously creamy.
Did I mention I was off dairy at the time too?
Frustrated and irritated, I read the package carefully and hunted down the ingredients list.
100% cacao mass.
That was all.
How was it possible? This chocolate tasted way too delicious to be ‘Kiki-approved’.
Needless to say, my remaining few days in Europe religiously started with a swanky cafe date ft. me + a thick square of this divine chocolate.
Until one day, I finished the bar, headed back home to North America, and began to crave that indulgent blissful taste once more.
“No worries”, I thought to myself, I’ll hit up some extravagant health food store and get the finest quality of 100% dark chocolate money can buy. No expense spared. Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Swiss - whatever was the best, I’ll take it.
I tried them all, but they all tasted like some form of, well...100% cacao mass.
Essentially, a bitter ingredient that required sweeteners in order to become more palatable.
I swore I thought that 100% bar I bought in Lisbon was different.
A bit of Googling got me nowhere, and realizing that even if I did find the source, the chances they shipped to Canada were probably low, so I gave up.
It was all probably in my head anyways - or perhaps I was under the magical spell of Europe.
Either way, that glorious cacao disappeared out of my life forever.
Until one day, while strolling the streets of downtown Palo Alto, I came across a precious chocolate shop with the most Charismatic man I had ever met. For whatever reason, my friend and I twisted his rubber arm and he generously treated us to a full scale chocolate tasting event. As soon as I let the first piece of chocolate melt in my mouth...I felt my entire body light up.
I jumped out of my seat and started rambling like what I can now only imagine seemed like a scene out of a far-fetched comedy.
“I KNOW this chocolate!” I screamed. “I thought I’d never find it again!” I added desperately.
Panos, the shop owner, gave me a guilty smile. I simply said “Portugal”, and he knew right away.
I went on to hear the full story of Alegio Chocolaté, and how Panos’ business partner, Claudio Corallo, working and living mainly in Africa, experimented for years until finally he was able to perfect the art of growing a bean that is not bitter.
This is not chocolate. This is different.
Thank the mystical universe for bringing me to this chocolate once more, for this time, I will remember the name, the story, and need not eat any other form of “chocolate” ever again.
P.S. if you're ready to fork out a bit of hard earned mula in exchange for pure bliss and a party in your mouth, you can order some for yourself here. I've already stocked up. If you'd like to know my top pick, it's none other than - you guessed it: 100%.