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  1. Thanks again for the replies and suggestions. I got some recs from Joanne at Chocosphere as well and then put together an order to try and hit a variety of them. I received that order today. I went with Joanne's rec of an inexpensive Guittard for the semisweet, which I haven't tried yet. I might have gone with the Zephry for the white given the cost but it was out of stock, so I went with the Opalys instead. I'd have liked to try the Ivoire as well, but that didn't seem to be available in a smaller size. I'll probably get that when the Opalys starts running low to test them side-by-side. The b
  2. Well, I hope you'll visit AP next time then, Alex! We have a couple of long-time institutions like Noon o Kabob for Persian and Tre Kronor for Swedish breakfast - those are musts on any Chicago food tour. I used to include Great Seas (around the corner from me on Lawrence) on that list too for Korean-Chinese, but it's unfortunately bounced around between owners with legal issues over the years and isn't as good anymore. But then there are a bunch of little unpretentious joints that have popped up along Kedzie and Kimball between Montrose and Lawrence over the last few years, and the stretch of
  3. Thanks for the kindly welcome! Chicago certainly is a fine place to eat. For starters, it's tough for me to travel given the sorry state of pizza everywhere else but here. I always read these "How do I make good pizza?" threads online and give thanks that I can just order in something respectable from a joint that's 10 minutes away. Why screw around with dough and stones and sauces when I can just order in cheaper and better? Poor non-Chicago people... I know Chicago has some well-regarded spots in the big global food scene too, but that's not really my bag, though a c
  4. I'm in the US - sorry for not pointing that out and being the typical presumptuous American. We have a TJ's, though it's not on my regular route. I also remember reading somewhere that their blocks were from Callebaut. Whole Foods (more convenient to me) used to stock Callebaut-marked blocks but didn't have any out as of a couple days ago - possibly due to virus precautions in the stripped-down prepared food area. I'm not opposed to Callebaut - I remember working through a big block years ago and it was fine. But I'd just as soon try other recommended varieties, especially in a mor
  5. Like many folks I've been doing a lot of baking lately - something I never quite had time to do well before. I've been focusing on cakes and pastry and I'm getting frustrated buying supermarket fancy chocolate. I guess any plain dark chocolate under 70% just isn't trendy enough to stock these days, and not one of my four local markets carries a single bar of plain white chocolate anymore. I started browsing Chocosphere and Worldwide, but I'm lost in the vast selection there and comparative taste tests are surprisingly scarce online. I see there's a ton of chocolate knowledge on this forum so I
  6. Hey everybody! I've seen some interesting threads from here turn up in Google over the years and I figure I should join in. Like a lot of folks, I'm doing a whole lot of cooking these days - particularly baking, which I never really had the time to dive into before. Hoping to get some chocolate advice from the baking peeps here. When I'm not shut in at home and baking every day, I cook a lot of Asian food - Japanese, Cantonese, bit of Sichuan, bit of Korean, or whatever else catches my interest. Living in Chicago I have some good restaurants for all of those nearby too,
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