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BDuncan

What's your favorite chocolate, and why?

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What’s currently your favorite type of chocolate (for primarily consuming, not so much for cooking with) and please say why, be it something that’s commercially mass produced, or a more expensive gourmet variety you love, despite it costing more, or something you might even make yourself. Of course if you have more than one to name, no problem.

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Valhrona, mostly the really dark kind. I like it for cooking, too. I also like Callebaut and Scharffenberger.

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Lindt, because it's the best I can buy here :biggrin:.

When I'm willing to drive an hour to Whole Foods, I get this spicy dark chocolate with chili peppers (can't remember the brand). Something like $8 for a bar.

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Yeah, I'm a big fan of El Rey chocolates too. I especially like their dark milk chocolate which is pretty hard to come by these days.

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Alinka, is it the Dagoba organic? They make a really good chocolate with peppers. Also one with candied ginger that I really like.

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Monoprix 70% Noir. Last time we went to France, we brought back an attaché case full (more than 100 bars).

Barring availability of those, Valrhona, which is 3 to 4 times the price and also difficult to find here. El Rey, which I can't seem to find any more here at all.

Dagoba and Chocolove flavored chocolate bars, for variety. Ghirardelli dark chocolate raspberry, which I don't know if they're making any more because they closed the Ghirardelli store here (poor location -- I could've told them if they'd consulted me before opening!!!)

But for "everyday" nibbling, Ghirardelli Double Chocolate (now rebranded as "60% chocolate") chocolate chips. We always have a bag in the freezer.

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Right now, Rapunzel Bittersweet 70%, available at Whole Foods. I really like the balance between bitter and smoothness, and the deep chocolate flavor of it.

There's another brand that's a favorite I found at Cost Plus, Hachez. It's available there in three flavors: bittersweet, with strawberry and pepper, and with candied orange peel, all 77%. Again, it's a nice balance between the chocolate flavor, bitter, and smooth, with just enough sweet to enhance the flavor. I've only tried the straight chocolate and the orange - they're both good, but the orange is really something special.

Marcia.

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Not sure if the top 2 are available in the states, but I know Teuscher has stores in the US:

Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate Hazelnut and Currents

Rococo's Earl Grey flavored dark chocolate

Teuscher's cocoa truffles (does this count?)

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Lindt, because it's the best I can buy here :biggrin:.

When I'm willing to drive an hour to Whole Foods, I get this spicy dark chocolate with chili peppers (can't remember the brand). Something like $8 for a bar.

Is that Vosges? It is good.

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Scharffen Berger 70-80%. I find it more fruity and complex than the chocolates I've tried from Valrhona, El Rey, Hachez, etc. (stuff you can find at Whole Foods). I'm wondering if there's a super-elite chocolate I'm unaware of that is substantially better than these brands.

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Right now, I really enjoy Dove Dark Chocolate Promises. I don't think this could be considered among the "fine" chocolates mentioned so far. It is certainly not super-elite. I like it, though, not only because it tastes good and I can afford it, but because the little servings are perfect portion control. They are just the right size for after-dinner sweets, and I no longer have issues with putting the bar away unfinished!

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What do I eat daily? Mon Cheri hazelnut chocolates (The Italian chocolates with the French name :blink: ) - because my local ShopRite carries them & puts them on an outrageous sale 4 times a year & I fill up the cupboard with them.

Actual fave? Lindt dark with broken hazelnuts. Perugino version of same a close second. Unfortunately about twice the price by volume as the Mon Cheri on sale, & not as easy to obtain where I live, so it remains a special treat. Gotta get that chocolate/hazelnut fix without going broke.

Yes, I've had better artisanal chocolates, but even apart from the price, I am just addicted to that basic no-frills chocolate/hazelnut combo.

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Rococo orange and geranium thins - delicious, fragrant, dark and crisps discs, for when I want a girly mouthful.

When chocolate is more of a pressing priority for my stomach, Domori 70% Porcelana, or their 100% (you CAN'T eat too much of this - the body won't take it!) or their milk and salt bar.

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Scharffen Berger 70-80%. I find it more fruity and complex than the chocolates I've tried from Valrhona, El Rey, Hachez, etc. (stuff you can find at Whole Foods). I'm wondering if there's a super-elite chocolate I'm unaware of that is substantially better than these brands.

I'm thinking that chocolate at this level starts coming down to individual taste more than what's objectively "better", because while I have several friends who swear that Scharffen Berger is the best chocolate they've ever had, period, I find it very acidic, sour, and not very chocolatey. My taste buds must be different.

Marcia.

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Milka... I've only had it once before and can't seem to find it around up here... but, man, it was heaven brought about by a purple cow.

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1711058_a226ce8f8f.jpg

Mmm.

I'm especially fond of Valrhona Ivoire.. I like it for its delicate flavour. Not to mention the joy of cleaving chunks of chocolate off a large block.

(And yes, that is two 1kg blocks of sweet, delicious Valrhona.)

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Alinka, is it the Dagoba organic?  They make a really good chocolate with peppers.  Also one with candied ginger that I really like.

I don't think so. Sorry to say, I was not impressed with Dagoba (even though I thought the wrapper looked promising :smile:). The flavor seems somehow uninteresting, just sweet... I think it was Vosges, as Tess says. They have other interesting flavors, like green tea. But I actually prefer plain dark chocolate, provided it is very good. Once in the chocolate museum in Koln I bought 99% dark chocolate. I realized 85% is as high as I am willing to go - that stuff was strong! :biggrin: So bitter, I had to chase each bite of the 99% one with a bite of milk chocolate :biggrin:.

So many good ideas, everyone! I really want to try Hachez as purplewiz suggests, and SuzySushi's Monoprix 70%... (Can I confess I've never tried Valrhona :shock::biggrin:... By the way, is there a good mail-order place I can get that from?)

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There are some varieties of Valrhona available at Cost Plus World Market if you have one nearby. I ordered a large amount of the unsweetened Valrhona and Callebaut online at Chocosphere.com. They have a good selection.

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semi-sweet Scharffen Berger

Almond Roca :biggrin:

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I'm thinking that chocolate at this level starts coming down to individual taste more than what's objectively "better", because while I have several friends who swear that Scharffen Berger is the best chocolate they've ever had, period, I find it very acidic, sour, and not very chocolatey. My taste buds must be different.

Mine, too. I recently tried a Scharffen Berger milk chocolate bar and a bittersweet dark chocolate bar. My immediate reactions were "Yuck, why is it so sour?" and "This doesn't even taste like chocolate." I felt really unsatisfied after eating it--none of the happy chocolate brain waves were going.

To me Guittard bittersweet is the epitome of chocolate flavor. And I live near a chocolatier who uses Guittard coverture for all of her creations :wub: I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

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Right now, Rapunzel Bittersweet 70%, available at Whole Foods. I really like the balance between bitter and smoothness, and the deep chocolate flavor of it.

There's another brand that's a favorite I found at Cost Plus, Hachez. It's available there in three flavors: bittersweet, with strawberry and pepper, and with candied orange peel, all 77%. Again, it's a nice balance between the chocolate flavor, bitter, and smooth, with just enough sweet to enhance the flavor. I've only tried the straight chocolate and the orange - they're both good, but the orange is really something special.

Marcia.

Yes, Hachez rules! Very smooth for the cocoa content and not hugely expensive, either. My first brand that I loved (before Hachez) was Chocolove - started with the 55% varieties and now I love their "gold label" 85%. If I remember correctly, anyway. Its the highest cocoa content they sell. Yum!

Andrea

http://tenacity.net

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I adore boutique chocolates and I'm a dark chocolate girl, but there is something about a simple Hershey bar! I DO prefer the Special Dark sometimes, too. I'm just not snobby about it, I adore the creamy mouth feel! :rolleyes:

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I'm thinking that chocolate at this level starts coming down to individual taste more than what's objectively "better", because while I have several friends who swear that Scharffen Berger is the best chocolate they've ever had, period, I find it very acidic, sour, and not very chocolatey. My taste buds must be different.

Mine, too. I recently tried a Scharffen Berger milk chocolate bar and a bittersweet dark chocolate bar. My immediate reactions were "Yuck, why is it so sour?" and "This doesn't even taste like chocolate." I felt really unsatisfied after eating it--none of the happy chocolate brain waves were going.

To me Guittard bittersweet is the epitome of chocolate flavor. And I live near a chocolatier who uses Guittard coverture for all of her creations :wub: I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Interesting. I'm wondering if cacao beans are like coffee beans in that lighter roasts are more acidic and fruity, and darker roasts have fuller flavor and better mouthfeel. Maybe Scharffen Berger is a "light roast" chocolate.

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