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Chocolate

Old 02-23-16, 04:15 PM
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late
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Chocolate

So I read about a taste test of chocolate. It was annoying...

Let me preface my comments by saying that I have had chocolates in several European countries. We are not in their league.

They start by liking Ghiradelli 60% baking chocolate. That's not a bad choice. It lacks the fruity notes and mouth feel of the best, but on a 1-4 scale, it does make it to 2.

Then they go to Callebaut. The product they tested is new, I don't remember seeing "intense" on their labels. To oversimplify, they are French. They like their chocolate like their coffee. Intense, bitter. My response to both is WTF? But I do need to try that, I haven't gotten the brand for a decade because I don't care for it. My rating: 3

Then they go off the rails with Dove. Dove bars, the chocolate on chocolate ones, I love.. I rate them below Hersheys. Rating: 4

It's been too long since I had Scharffen Burger, no comment.

I like Bakers, try mixing it with Ghiradelli.

There is a candy shop one block off Rodeo Drive in LA. They fly chocolates in from Europe. The real thing.

There are a number of small, quality, candy makers. We have Len Libbys in my neck of the woods. Their candy is perfect for movies. Rating, a half point from one, the top level. For candy, a small company that cares about making good chocolates is usually going to be your best choice.

For baking chocolate, the way to go is to blend different chocolates together to get the taste you want. I take the easy way out (also cheap) by blending Bakers and Ghiradelli (smooth with dark). But there are other choices. If you want a suggestion, try blending Scharffen Burger and Bakers. That's just a guess on my part, I was doing that sort of thing 20 years ago.

I will let you in on something. I don't want it to remain in obscurity. If you want the very best chocolate, what is by far the best; is wild chocolate. I know of only one bar made with it. I personally haven't tried it, it's the holy grail for choco-cognoscenti. I have tried, but it's next to impossible to get.


http://www.cooksillustrated.com/tast...tails=2-237082

World Final Winners ? 2015 - International Chocolate Awards

Last edited by late; 02-23-16 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 02-23-16, 04:29 PM
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I love the chocolate in Reese's cups, I've always wished I could get it alone.
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Old 02-23-16, 07:51 PM
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I like my chocolate like I like my bikes... not super cheap crap and not terribly expensive.
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Old 02-23-16, 07:54 PM
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I'm a sucker for high end dark. Lillie Belle out of Oregon is my favorite.
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Old 02-23-16, 07:56 PM
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Ever since I got hooked on dark chocolate, I absolutely detest milk chocolate.
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Old 02-23-16, 08:50 PM
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I much prefer dark chocolate as well, but not super bitter. However, Reese's PB cups are like crack. I think I like the center more than the chocolate.

Though in general I suppose I'm more of a fan of baked goods rather than chocolate.
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Old 02-23-16, 08:52 PM
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We are spoiled for chocolate around here in foodie country! Free trade super dark chili and raspberries and whatever.

The Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% is different flavor than their regular 72%. More flavorful, flavor lasts longer.

I can't do Hershey's any more. It sort of has a slightly mealy texture that leads to a dirty flavor I can no longer enjoy. Milk chocolate in general just seems super bland.
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Old 02-23-16, 10:59 PM
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Hershey's tastes like they use paraffin wax in it.

I loved the chocolate when I was traveling in Belgium and the Netherlands.
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Old 02-23-16, 11:25 PM
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ever noticed that if you drink coffee after a few glasses of red wine, the coffee tastes of chocolate?

maybe it's the herb. B^)
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Old 02-24-16, 07:23 AM
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I like Valrhona chocolate from France, they are the best chocolate I know.
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Old 02-24-16, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BenzFanatic View Post

I much prefer dark chocolate as well, but not super bitter. However, Reese's PB cups are like crack. I think I like the center more than the chocolate.

Though in general I suppose I'm more of a fan of baked goods rather than chocolate.
Len Libbys makes dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They are quite good. My favorite thing they do is dark chocolate covered cashews.

Welcome to Len Libby
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Old 02-24-16, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by late View Post
We are not in their league.
I eat lots of chocolate, about 1 pound per week for decades. Wilbur Buds semi or mix of milk and semi is teh best, try the 5 pound box. Wilbur Buds

Here's my on-going chocodex, hundreds of rows:
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Old 02-25-16, 10:46 PM
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I wonder if medium priced chocolate will beat out high priced ones if the test were done blind?
I'm assuming that just like in the wine industry; there's this thinking that if a brand is super
expensive it must be good/the best.

How the Mast Brothers fooled the world into paying $10 a bar for crappy hipster chocolate - Quartz
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Old 02-26-16, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post

I wonder if medium priced chocolate will beat out high priced ones if the test were done blind?
I'm assuming that just like in the wine industry; there's this thinking that if a brand is super
expensive it must be good/the best.

How the Mast Brothers fooled the world into paying $10 a bar for crappy hipster chocolate - Quartz
There are plenty of bad, high priced chocolates. I can't stand the espresso style chocolate bars, for example. (Often French, they are bitter, lack fruitiness and sometimes not even good mouth feel.)

Walk into a supermarket in Switzerland (seriously). There will be a rack several feet long of just chocolate. Buy a dozen, see what you think.
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Old 02-26-16, 02:10 PM
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My brother lives near the Lindt factory in Zurich. They sell 2nds (and 3rds*) by the bagful on rows of folding tables on the dock and you walk buy and pick up the bags you want - I think it was weekends or a certain day per month or something like that. (*3rds like a bag of broken chunks from same flavor bars in a 1kg bag for ~$5)
Lindt of course in the US is over marketed/priced.

Since I've traveled to Europe (GB/CH/D/A mainly) nearly every year since I was 2 I grew up favoring better chocolate.

Pretty much grew up on these and Ritter Sport. I much prefer dark chocolate now.
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Old 02-26-16, 02:32 PM
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I'm not fussy .... love a Crunchie though

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Old 02-26-16, 02:42 PM
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If you like Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, try the Trader Joes Dark Chocolate cups. They are much better, IMHO, but I prefer dark chocolate to milk any day.
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Old 02-26-16, 03:09 PM
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I only sample RPBC on Halloween. I find them disgustingly sweet with little flavor.

But I've always suspected the big candy makers use a different recipe when building Halloween stocks.
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Old 02-26-16, 03:21 PM
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I sometimes buy Moser Roth at Aldi. Basic cheap dark chocolate. If I'm in some other store I might buy some Lindt. I could clean out a tray of various round and square things if they're free.

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Old 03-01-16, 12:59 PM
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I lived in UK for 2 years, I remember the EU had a big complaint about whether England should be allowed to label what it sells (i.e. cadbury's) as 'chocolate', because it has such a low chocolate content.

But Belgian chocolate, ah, that's the stuff! Where we lived there was a Leonidas shop nearby -- heaven!
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Old 03-02-16, 06:53 AM
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I'm lucky because I live not that far from Antwerp. My favorite Belgium chocolate shop is Del Rey, not cheap but very good.
I do not consoider Cadbury Chocolate, it is chocolate flavored candy.





A dame blanche from Del Rey.



Some chocolate I bought last year in Germany. It lasted maybe a week


And some chocolate cakes from a shop in Holland.
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Old 03-02-16, 08:01 AM
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Trader Joe's has a big selection of decent dark chocolate, and it's inexpensive. It's interesting to try different ones. I like the "Dark Chocolate Lover's" 85% Columbian bar.

A local shop, Maverick Chocolate, makes their own chocolate starting with the beans. It's a long process. After roasting, then winnowing the husks:
We have two cocoa grinders, or melangers, in our shop. Each grinder has a 3″ granite base and two 50 lb. granite wheels. After a few hours in the grinder, the cocoa nibs have liquefied. We then add the sugar and any other ingredients into the chocolate. To obtain a smooth texture, we grind the chocolate for four days. After grinding, the chocolate is poured into pans and allowed to age. Aging allows the flavors within the chocolate to fully develop.
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Old 03-02-16, 08:33 AM
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I like good chocolate which is pretty much all blended. There is the 100% pure cacao stuff that is pushing toward a test of manhood rather than an attempt to make something taste good (hoppy IPAs and pure scorpion pepper hot sauce are doing that same thing).
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