Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fine chocolate with bubbles? Nestle Aero 70% Dark Chocolate bar has simple ingredients and natural flavours

According to the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, fine dark chocolate should only contain the following ingredients: "Cacao liquor (or cocoa mass), sugar, cacao butter, lecithin, and vanilla". So when I casually glanced at the ingredients list of a Nestlé 70% Dark Chocolate Aero bar at the grocery store the other day, I was surprised to see that the ingredients for this chocolate bar fit the definition by the FCIA.  So I asked myself a question: Can a commercially sold "candy bar" be considered fine chocolate? 

To find an answer, I started by tasting the 70% Aero bar. The result?  It tastes great. Sure, it is likely made from a mix of forastero cocoa beans (rather than the superior criollo or trinitario beans), and so the flavour is pretty generic. But overall, it has a nice chocolate flavour and no overpowering taste of added flavouring (like some candy bars taste like). I like that the company uses natural flavouring and that the dark chocolate has not been sweetened so much that is tastes like sugar, rather than dark chocolate. 

So if going by the FCIA definition, Nestlé has, in fact, produced a fine dark chocolate bar with bubbles.  Of course, I'm sure many chocolate connoisseurs would argue that the beans should be hand-selected and the chocolate should be bean-to-bar artisan-made in order to be considered "fine" chocolate.  They would probably also argue that the beans should be superior and there should be an abundance of flavour from the environment where the beans were grown, which should come through in the flavour of the chocolate.  That is not the case with Nestlé's 70% Aero bar. 

I too consider artisan-made chocolate from single origin criollo or trinitario beans to be far superior to commercially marketed candy bars.  However, since Nestlé has simplified the Aero dark chocolate bar's ingredients (unlike the use of a multitude of complex and unnatural ingredients in other commercial candy bars), and since they use natural flavouring and it tastes great, why not consider it to be fine accessible chocolate?  In other words, it's fine chocolate for the masses. With bubbles.

I'll leave it up to you as to decide if it can be considered fine chocolate.  As for me, I only know that I will probably eat another one when a craving for dark chocolate hits me again in the grocery store.

Fore more information on the Aero Dark Chocolate bar by Nestlé, go to: http://www.nestle.ca/. Here are some more stats from the package of this chocolate bar:

Licensee: Nestlé Canada Inc., North York, ON
Ingredients: Dark Chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids (cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa, cocoa butter, soya lecithin, natural flavour). May contain milk.

2 comments:

  1. Oooh, this sounds lovely! How can you argue against dark chocolate bubbles?

    Check out this post I wrote comparing the Aero bar with Hershey's new Air Delight: http://www.picturebritain.com/2011/08/aero-vs-air-delight.html

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