Saturday, November 21, 2015

Chocolate from Austria, Zotter-Style: and the Most Interesting Dark-Milk Chocolate EVER

A few weeks back, I ordered the Zotter 'hand-scooped' line of chocolate bars, and a few bars from Zotter's Labooko line of 'pure chocolate'. I've been wanting to taste Zotter chocolate for years and finally got my hands on not one, but FIVE of their chocolate bars.

Zotter is an Austrian bean-to-bar chocolate maker, founded by Josef Zotter in 1987. The company's motto is "quality, creativity, sustainability" and they focus on making Organic and Fair Trade chocolate.

Zotter promotes that they offer over 300 different kinds of chocolate, making this one of the widest offerings of chocolate flavours that I've ever heard of! I could devote an entire blog to tasting a Zotter chocolate!

Of the mere five chocolate bars that I tried, I found new favourites, and certainly a few that I will NEVER forget.
My passion for chocolate was sparked yet again (truthfully my passion for chocolate is sparked each and every day, but it really was special this time) when I tried the Labooko 'Milk Chocolate "dark Style" 70% without sugar bar'.  That's right, it is without sugar.  That does NOT mean there is a sugar substitute like maltitol, aspartame or stevia added to this chocolate - it means that there is ABSOLUTELY. NO. SUGAR. ADDED.  And yet it is milk chocolate. Genius!

While researching dark-milk chocolate earlier this year, I thought about making milk chocolate with no sugar added.  I wondered why no one else was selling it, and thought perhaps I might be the first.  But sadly (or rather happily) I was wrong. This chocolate bar by Zotter has all the creaminess of milk chocolate, and all the bitterness of dark chocolate.  And once you get over the first bold and bitter bite, the creaminess takes over and a savoury crème fraiche flavour of deliciousness sweeps over you. It reminds me of my sour cream truffle recipe, only much more savoury. I think every foodie and dark chocolate lover should try this bar.

The Labooko 100% Peru chocolate bar by Zotter had a quite distinct roast flavour, with something perhaps floral.  There was very low acidity, especially when I tasted it up against a bean-to-bar 100% chocolate of Brazilian origin. However, it may not just be in the processing and the 34 hour conche; the packaging says this is the "mildest cocoa" Zotter has ever encountered (cultivated by the El Natanjillo coopertaive in Peru), and also describe the chocolate as "Mild, balanced and original."  And that is definitely a true statement for this chocolate bar by Zotter.

Of Zotter's 'hand-scooped' chocolate bar line, my absolute favourite was the BitterClassic Mousse. This had a beautiful straight-up taste of dark chocolate, with a lovely fluffy-melt-in-your-mouth centre.  The flavours were real (I suppose that's because there are NO vanilla or artificial flavours in this product) and there was a lovely mild heat after from just a hint of chilli spice that Zotter included in the mousse.  

I was also excited that the ingredients were simple and NO hydrogenated oils or modified palm oils were added to the product. I have found other commercial 'mousse' chocolate bars often have unnatural ingredients, so this was a nice change.

Zotter's 'hand-scooped' Espresso dark chocolate bar was also quite tasty, although not my favourite of all time.  And the Hazelnut bar was interesting, with a strong flavour of real honey, yet not very sweet at all for a milk chocolate.  It was not one I would re-visit, but I think the slight alcohol taste and crunchy hazelnut would appeal to Europeans or people who like European-style desserts with low sweetness and ground hazelnuts.

Overall, my first experience with Zotter was pretty amazing.  I look forward to tasting the other 360 flavours! There are some very interesting flavour combinations that should definitely be tasted.  Check out the list here.

You can buy Zotter chocolate in Canada from Cook Culture, in the U.S. online from the new Zotter USA website at  or in the UK at: . Or check out the company's main website at:


  1. I love Zotter's variety and quality. Zotter = no limits in chocolate! ;) Cheers from Poland!

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