Not what you have probably been led to believe.
The only somewhat reliable indication 70% cocoa content provides is the amount sugar in the chocolate: ~30%.
Cocoa content is a quantitative measure, not a qualitative measure. Cocoa content does not tell you anything about the beans used to make the chocolate, how well the beans were treated post-harvest, how they were roasted, or total fat content – because added cocoa butter is included in the calculation of total cocoa content.
Raining on the Cocoa Content Parade
Contrary to popular belief, cocoa content is also not a reliable indicator of bitterness, which is the result of a complex interplay of the bean varietal, fermentation, roasting, and other processes.
- A chocolate made from perfectly fermented and roasted Porcelanas with no added cocoa butter will not be bitter at 70%.
- Over-roast those same beans – a travesty to be sure – and the same recipe will likely turn out bitter.
The Bitter Truth
Cocoa content tells you nothing about how a chocolate will taste or potential health benefits, which are also affected by alkalization.