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Rant: Lindt dark chocolate changes

New Lindt bar on left; old one on

New Lindt bar on left; old one on right Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

Dark chocolate  is an obsession of mine. For years, I’ve kept a canister on my desk filled with individually wrapped Lindt Excellence 70 percent squares. Three squares a day, about 30 calories apiece; whom was I hurting?

The canister is empty now. That's because several months ago, Lindt stopped manufacturing the individually wrapped minis. Not a problem, a company executive assured me. I’d still be able to buy the same chocolate in bar form.

Not the case, as it turns out. A recent purchase of a 3.5-ounce Lindt Excellence 70 percent bar had the ominous words “new recipe” emblazoned in red on the label. And the description “intense dark” replaced with “smooth dark.”

Reading the ingredients, I see only one addition to the old list, which consisted of chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, natural bourbon vanilla beans. Add to those soya lecithin, an emulsifier.

Yuck. The chocolate has absolutely lost the bittersweet edge I used to crave. Its mouth feel is oily and creamy. It may as well be a Hershey Bar.

Thanks, Lindt, for coming up with something new and ingenious: a dark chocolate tailor-made for milk-chocolate lovers.

Above, new Lindt Excellence 70% "smooth" dark chocolate bar on left; old "intense" bar on right

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