Going 90 percent, into the bitter

Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My friend fanned out high-end chocolate bars like they were a deck of cards. She had a Lindt Excellence with 90 percent cocoa and kind of challenged me to take it and see what I was made of.

I told her I probably would not appreciate it as much as she would, but she convinced me it would be a good advance on my birthday present. I told her I’d share it.

I recall years and years ago she was doing dark chocolate when I was still at milk chocolate. I eventually got a taste for the darker stuff. You hear it is more healthy, has an air of luxury and a small portion satisfies much more than the cheaper stuff. Still, I typically go 75 or 80 percent cocoa, tops.

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So I broke open the 90 percent and had to say, it was all too much. I call something that bitter, like coffee, motor oil. My friend likened it to baking chocolate. I tried it another day by dipping a bit into hot coffee and it became melty and much more palatable.

I presented the bar at several occasions, inviting people around me to partake. Some acted like they were afraid of it and others were familiar with it and enjoyed their taste.

A little 90 percent goes a long, long way. This chocolate bar could last until my next birthday.

Update: Within a week, I taught myself to really like 90 percent. Now the 72 percent is a little sweet, but then, chocolate is allowed to be sweet.


My husband has people in The Valley in Texas. When we head that way we always ask where locals get good Mexican food.

Last time I was there, more than one person said their office workers love to go to Laredo Taco Company, which is in Stripes Convenience Stores.

A gas station? Turns out I stopped at one when it was not time to eat and it all looked pretty good. Smelled great, too.

When I heard Port Arthur was getting a Stripes, I was hoping the food would come, too. It has. I attended the ribbon cutting and sampled some enchiladas and a pork dish. The tortillas are made fresh daily, I was told.

These guys will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and I’ll be back. Stripes is on FM 365 on the Medical Center of Southeast Texas side.