Step aside, Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. The classic battle of good versus evil is now the stuff of celebrity food personalities. Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the “Good & Evil” chocolate bar. We tasted it. Let’s see if it’s worth its weight in cocoa butter by breaking it down into its component parts:
Here’s the backstory: In 2008 — in a remote canyon of Peru’s Marañón River — a rare and thought-to-be-extinct cacao tree, Pure Nacional, was discovered. The even rarer first harvest beans (Premier Cru Supérieur as they’re called) were selected and then processed in some 135-year-old Swiss chocolate-making machinery to protect the beans’ delicate flavors. According to the packaging of each hand-numbered bar (we had bar #1957), Eric Ripert represents the smooth chocolate (“good”) and Bourdain decided to add in nibs (“evil”). The nibs actually add a very satisfying, subtlety bitter crunch, so we’d counter Bourdain’s publicity and keep them in the good category.
This 2.6 oz bar of chocolate will set you back eighteen (18) dollars. A conventional Hershey’s bar costs roughly one (1) dollar. So is the Good & Evil bar 18 times better than a Hershey’s bar? Sure. At least. This thing proved to be extremely smooth with a flawless bite and superb flavor notes. Every nibble was excellent. But you can also get a hold of very good chocolate bars from purveyors like Green and Black’s, E. Guittard, ki’Xocolatl, Scharffen Berger and countless others for less money. While Good & Evil is very likely the best chocolate we’ve ever tasted, for $18 we’d expect to be transformed into a giant cocoa nib and rolled away by a band of Oompa Loompas.
If you have an unbounded sweets budget, by all means stock up. You won’t be disappointed. If an $18 price tag makes you bat an eye, there are plenty of old-school candy bars that have stood the test of time and can be acquired for pocket change.