March 4th: Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate 50% Cocoa

Back in July 2010 I made the sweeping statement that I had fully covered the Ritter Sport range, with only the now out of distribution Cocos (Coconut) bar my only admission. Thankfully for me, ChocolateMission reader David was on the ball, and just a few weeks ago he e-mailed me informing me that there was one last bar missing from my review archive. David had noticed that I hadn't reviewed Ritter's 50% dark chocolate, whats more, I hadn't reviewed the 'Diet' bar either - shame on me Eh? Haha!

After this startling revelation had been made :D I sent a cheeky little e-mail to my pals at Ritter HQ Germany. Before I knew it, I had the two 100.0g bars sitting on my kitchen table-top, prime and ready for taste testing. With the coffee on the boil, and my fellow family gathered round ready to offer their 'expert' opinions, we gave both a try after a light lunch.

Before we get in to the detail on how they tasted it is worth noting the tangible differences between the two offerings. Aesthetically the bars could be told apart by the shape of the blocks, with the standard offering having deeper cut grooves in between each piece. Calorie wise you can see the differences between the two bars below. Roughly speaking the Diet bar had 100kcal less per 100.0g compared with the standard offering, something which no doubt would have been driven the by substitution of the sugar in the original with artificial sweeteners.

Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate 50% Cocoa
Kcal 525 Fat 33.0g Carbs 51.0g (per 100.0g)

We all tried this one first as we drawn by the more modern looking packaging and non-diet proposition appealing to us more. Placing the first block in my mouth the melt was a little slow to develop, however once it did it the flow was smooth and felt nice in the mouth as it transitioned from solid to liquid. Like the melt, the taste was initially quite slow to register, and the full breadth of flavours didn't come to the party until midway through the development. Once they did arrive, we were greeted with a sweet dark chocolate experience, that although remained 'friendly' due to it being grounded by a rooting of sugar, was still interesting enough, offering minor red fruit hints. The lasting mouth impression was impressive.

7.3 out of 10

Ritter Sport Diet Dark Chocolate 50% Cocoa
Kcal 412 Fat 30.0g Carbs 44.0g (per 100.0g)

I have to admit my excitement for trying this Diet variant was considerably lower than it was for the standard bar above. I'm no organic food junkie, but the idea of artificial sweeteners being included in my foodstuffs isn't one that appeals to me all that much. In the name of being a Ritter Sport completionist (right word!?), I put those concerns aside and gave the diet bar it's fair run. No doubt you have peeked at the score already ... did I get the scores the wrong way around!? Nope!! It was a shared opinion that this diet bar was infact the better tasting out of the two. The flatter block shape not only meant it melted faster, but it was also advantageous in that the release of flavours was quicker and thus longer sustained. Speaking of the taste, compared to the standard 50% offering, this bar was far less sweet which allowed a deeper depth of cocoa flavours to be appreciated. The taste had different stages and layers of flavours, with notes of red wine, soil and coffee all intermittently detectable.

7.8 out of 10

Overall whilst neither of these were the greatest of dark chocolates in the world, they would more than hold their own against any of their mass manufactured brand dark chocolate offerings. Admiteddly it was a complete surprise that the Diet version was the better out of the two, though this is something that I would like to hear second opnions on before I went recommending one over the other.

So .... I can finally say it with validity ... I have reviewed every Ritter Sport flavour out on the market :D