The 70% Solution: Tasting Notes on Domori Sur Del Lago Clasificado Chocolate

A half-kilo foodservice Domori "plaque"
A half-kilo foodservice Domori "plaque"
Ben Calderwood

Consider The 70% Solution your chocolate valet, a guide to seeking and sampling premium dark chocolate at foodservice outlets and nosh boutiques across Los Angeles. 70-percenters adhere to two rules: No flavors or inclusions, as they are known to confectioners--items like nuts, fruit, spices or bacon (sorry Vosges), and cocoa content at 70% or above.

Producer: Domori, Italy.

Bean: Venezuelan single-origin, Trinitario and Criollo varietals.

Content: 70% cocoa mass, lecithin, sugar. No added cocoa butter or vanilla.

Notes: Fine chocolate expresses terroir much like wine--or for that matter, coffee, tea and other natural products where human intervention serves only to catalyze flavors the sun and the soil have created. The Italian cacao masseuses at Domori work from bean to burnished single-origin bar (that is, beans from a single locale identified by country and region; not a blend) with expertise rivaled only by a few niche producers than can be counted on one hand. Domori previously marketed itself as the "Cacao Cult;" today they offer "Cacao Culture."

Sur Del Lago cacao, grown south of Venezuela's sprawling Lake Maracaibo, is coveted for its silken, just smoky flavor profile. Domori's 70% Clasificado bar does not disappoint. For the uninitiated, this is a magnificent welcome to the world of ultra-premium dark chocolate. Smooth and mellow with silken mouthfeel and good snap, each bite reveals little pops of tobacco, almond and faint red fruit, without the intense fermented or vegetal notes of similar top-shelf bars.

Supplies of Domori tend to materialize and dematerialize with little warning. Right now, find Domori 75 gram tasting bars at:

Cube Marketplace @ Divine Pasta:615 N. LaBrea Avenue, Los Angeles; 323-939-1148.


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