Thursday, May 3, 2007

Guittard Quetzalcoatl

Guittard QuetzalcoatlIf there were a poster child for the fight for real chocolate, this might be it. This is pure chocolate, at its most basic form. The Guittard Quetzalcoatl.

Quetzalcoatl is one of the gods of the Aztec pantheon with a serpent head and feathers. He was the morning star, the giver of agriculture and creator of books & calendars. Most importantly, the legends say that he gave cacao to the Aztecs. (Truly making it a food of the gods, as the botanical name for the plant implies Theobroma cacao.)

The traditional chocolate of the time was made by taking whole beans and crushing them/grinding them on a metate (also used for corn). The resulting paste (what we now call cocoa liquor) was combined with milk or water and spices to make their chocolate. Xocoatl, the early name for chocolate actually means “foamy water.”

Gary Guittard created this bar using whole cacao beans and no added cocoa butter. So the ingredients are just about the shortest you’re going to see on a chocolate bar: Cacao Beans, Pure Cane Sugar, Soya Lecithin, Vanilla Beans.


The package characterizes the bar thusly:

This very dark, high intensity bittersweet chocolate is for the true aficionado. Dark, rich flavors linger with a minimum of sweetness, and its 72% ‘cacao mass’, unlike chocolate labeled % cacao, contains no added cocoa butter

This bar is dark and roasty with strong woodsy flavors in the cedar family along with smoke and tobacco. There are a few dried fruit flavors in there as well, with some raisin and cherry notes. It has a dry finish and is very filling. I have to admit that I’m a big fan of high-cocoa butter chocolate bars, as I think the butter buoys the flavors so that they can roll around on the tongue a little longer and you can tease out more of the intricacies. I was really missing the extra fat here.

This isn’t a bar I’d eat all the time, but I like it as an educational piece of chocolate.

As part of the effort to Keep it Real, I asked Guittard if they’d be willing to donate something to the cause that I could give away. So after I pledged my $100 Chocosphere gift certificate to the lovely chocolateactivists who took the challenge, I also got a package of a dozen of Guittard’s bars (a $38 value) plus this extra bar for my own enjoyment, of course. I did a second drawing yesterday using all those people who entered with the “raffle ticket” that commented to the FDA (to kind of even the playing field). The winner was reader desertwind! Congratulations ... I hope you enjoy the array of fine (and real) bars.

Name: Quetzalcoatl
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Guittard
Place Purchased: sample from Guittard
Price: retail $2.50
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Guittard, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:25 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I am not worthy.

    Comment by desertwind on 5/03/07 at 1:04 pm #
  2. Yowza!

    (my mini-review)

    Comment by desertwind on 5/04/07 at 2:50 pm #
  3. Great site!  You’re making my mouth water.  This Guittard Quetzalcoatl chocolate bar you review sounds interesting.  I look forward to getting one when I return to the States in a couple months.
    I like your site so much that I am adding your link on my blog.  I’m a blogging newbie…been in Thailand during the whole blogging craze.  I didn’t even know what a blog was a year ago!
    I look forward to seeing more of your posts…especially the chocolate ones!

    Comment by Cocoa-Nut on 5/06/07 at 5:22 am #
  4. But if it doesn’t contain cocoa butter, can it be considered chocolate?? I’m confused.

    Comment by Tricia on 5/07/07 at 4:52 am #
  5. Cybele's avatar

    Tricia - cocoa beans are already 53-56% cocoa butter. Most chocolate bars are made by reconstituting cocoa solids with cocoa butter (so the solids may be from different beans than the cocoa butter). There is also extra cocoa butter added to keep that melt in your mouth texture. This bar contains only the natural cocoa butter in those cocoa beans. So it’s actually a “less fatty” bar than some other 72% bars you might see.

    Cocoa-Nut - thanks for stopping by. You might want to revisit my other chocolate reviews I’ve done so far (388 to date). The chocolate reviews get a little fewer and far between in the summer since it’s so hot here in Southern California.

    desertwind - I hope that’s a good Yowza! (And I hope that means that nothing melted along the way!)

    Comment by Cybele on 5/07/07 at 8:30 am #
  6. Aw, Sweetie—all arrived in perfect condition. That little box of chocoltae is HEAVY, isn’t it?

    It’s a good Yowza! in a “shockingly good shock” way.

    Later, I wimped out and “tested” the Orinoco (only milk chocolate bar in the bunch.) Lovely.

    Weather is heating up, which means my coffee & chocolate cravings increase. By the end of the week, I should be well into the semisweet and bitter sweeet!

    Comment by desertwind on 5/07/07 at 12:05 pm #
  7. Thanks for the clarification, Cybele!

    Comment by Tricia on 5/15/07 at 4:25 am #
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