Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chocolate Review: Endangered Species 72% Mint

By Benjamin Skipper

So it turns out I've been deceiving myself. Previously I tried to portray myself as having a conflict in deciding which is my favorite among several varieties, but I guess I was mistaken: It's certainly Endangered Species 72% cocao with mint. I love it so much that I actually bought it in bulk. Mint is just positively one of my favorite things.

This bar is wonderful. It doesn't contain a particularly attractive design on the bar, but it does have that nice shiny gloss which makes it look appetizing and moist, and a decent mouthfeel where it melts and becomes creamy at an acceptable rate. What really makes this great, in my opinion, is the mint alone: I love the way it smells, tastes, aftertastes, and makes my breath smell (and taste). It's particularly refreshing, especially intensely so if you crave it, and can be a wonderful addition to foods that have a strong scent; you certainly won't want to brush your teeth after eating one of these bars.

The only improvement I can think to really make is to intensify the mint. When I consume something minty I want to be slightly overwhelmed by it and breathe it out the nose. I may just get my wish since Endangered Species announced the possibility of a mint cream filled bar on its Facebook fan page, but it's still up in the air; I submit my vote in that regard anyhow.

However, there is still the need for me to justify my choice in face of other competitors, such as Green & Black's 60% cocao with mint and New Tree's 73% cocao with mint. They're both good varieties, but both have vices that make me choose Endangered Species instead.

Green & Black's, on one hand, seems to have a more intense mint flavoring, but its 60% cocao content makes it appear sickeningly sweet. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but the paid the price of such pleasure later on in feeling a bit ill. G&B's might be good in moderation or integrated into some dessert, but considering how much chocolate I like eat when I concentrate on it I wouldn't eat the bar by itself. Plus it's more expensive too, so perhaps I'd save it for a special occasion.

New Tree, on the other hand, is either equal to or greater in mint intensity as ES. It actually bests ES in the aesthetics department by being the most attractive bar I have ever seen: The bar's novelty is that it has the texture of leaf veins on it, but its so extremely detailed that it looks like an actual leaf imprint rather than an imitation. It also has 1% more cocao than ES, but the additional nutritional benefit is probably insignificant. I would pick this bar over ES if it weren't for one thing: The price. This is absolutely the most expensive chocolate I have seen to date, and only purchased it since I had a gift card. Honestly, I really don't see any justification for such a high per-unit price, so unless it's with another gift card or a higher income I'm going to opt for the cheaper ES since it offers more satisfaction on the dollar.

As such, my current verdict is that Endangered Species wins in the mint arena, and serves as my absolute favorite chocolate brand and variety for the time being.

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