Several years ago, after a year of tasting a wide variety of dark chocolates, I settled on Lindt’s 70% dark chocolate bar as my everyday bar of choice. While not the best of all the bars I tasted, it provided a good balance of taste and reasonable pricing. In short, an ideal everyday bar for the chocolate addict in me.

Unfortunately, Lindt couldn’t leave well enough alone. When I made a recent visit to my favorite neighborhood grocery to pick up my next stash of five bars, I noticed a little red triangle on the front of the package that said “NEW RECIPE”. I should have know the jig was up, just from the use of all caps. If they have to shout it at you, it can’t be good news. I checked the back of the package and lo, what should I see but a new ingredient, “soy lecithin (emulsifier)”. Oh-my-gawd-NO! Anytime a food processor adds something from soy, you know they have decided to industrialize the product with cheap commodity soy.

However, I gave it a chance and tried the bar. It had a slightly lighter color, losing the rich dark, dark brown of the earlier bar. It’s taste changed in two ways. First, it had a smoother and softer texture. This seems to be what they were after, since the marketing hype on the bar now says “Experience this new milder recipe that balances smooth dark chocolate flavor with a surprisingly rich and creamy texture.” Yup, no question they accomplished this objective.

But, at what cost? Unfortunately, their NEW RECIPE ruined the dark chocolate flavor. What was once a fair tasting 70% dark chocolate bar, now is bland and tasteless. Now the bar tastes like a poor quality milk chocolate bar with about 40-50% cocoa solids. My advice? No need for you to “experience this new milder recipe” since I’ve done the hard work for you.

Bottom line: I’m in the market for a new 70% dark chocolate bar with good flavor and a reasonable price. Fortunately, dark chocolate has become quite popular in the past few years and there are now lots of alternatives available. First stop? Trader Joe’s. Also: You, my friends, are welcome to make your own suggestions!

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