Ritter: Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts, Rum, Trauben, Nuss (Rum, Raisins, Nuts) And Dark Chocolate with Marzipan

ritterAlfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG of Germany produces an extensive selection of chocolates and chocolate candies (and I will explain the distinction below), some of which we have reviewed here before. I’ve had three more examples cross my desk, and of course, they got tasted.

Ritter’s Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts starts with a firm texture and a slightly earthy scent. It’s a bit sweet for dark chocolate, which seems to mask whatever overtones there might have been in the taste, although there is a slight molasses aftertaste. The whole hazelnuts are a bit double-edged: they provide a satisfying crunch, but there’s little nut taste.

Rum, Trauben, Nuss (Rum, Raisins, Nuts) boasts “echtem Jamaika-Rum (this is another one apparently for the German market), and while there’s no doubt about the “rum” part, the flavor is somewhat lighter than the Jamaican rums I’m familiar with. The raisins are detectable as chewy parts with an extra burst of sweetness in an already overly sweet mix, while the nuts are discernible as texture. Take it as indicative that the first ingredient listed is sugar, and the bar claims only 30% cacao. The rum is so overpowering in this one that I suppose it would be waste to include more.

Dark Chocolate with Marzipan sums up the basic problem I had with this entire group in one word: sweet. It is terribly sweet, of course, due to the marzipan filling, to the extent that the chocolate is pretty much lost. The ingredients list also claims almonds, although they’re not detectable over the sweetness. The percentage of cacao is unlisted.

And, if you’ve read the above, you have undoubtedly figured out why I have described these as “chocolate candies” rather than “chocolates”: For all but the first, the chocolate is pretty much theoretical, and the first is a tad too sweet to be really enjoyable.

Well, no one bats a thousand.


Robert M. Tilendis lives a deceptively quiet life. He has made money as a dishwasher, errand boy, legal librarian, arts administrator, shipping expert, free-lance writer and editor, and probably a few other things he’s tried very hard to forget about. He has also been a student of history, art, theater, psychology, ceramics, and dance. Through it all, he has been an artist and poet, just to provide a little stability in his life. Along about January of every year, he wonders why he still lives someplace as mundane as Chicago; it must be that he likes it there. You may e-mail him, but include a reference to Green Man Review so you don’t get deleted with the spam.

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