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BDuncan

What's your favorite chocolate, and why?

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do you get your d.g.p. chocolates locally in s.f.?  any idea where i can find it in the midwest?  i'm headed to the internet engines right now!  :raz:

cheers.

u.e.

u.e.,

I got it on a whim at a store called Chocolate Covered on 24th street here in San Francisco.

It's a nice little store with a pretty large selection of chocolates.

PS. I believe I was thinking of another bar when I was talking about the Vosges Red Fire above and am going to edit that post.

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My absolute favourite chocolate bar is Jean-Charles Rochoux's tablette aux noisettes (bar with hazelnuts).  The hazelnuts are toasted and then coated in a very thin layer of caramel and surrounded by very rich and  fruity dark chocolate - a hint of bitterness, but not sour at all.  Oh my God, they are soo good.

We tried Bernachon's Kalouga chocolate bar (dark chocolate filled with salted caramel) shortly before we found Rochoux's shop and this was like a "real man's" chocolate bar.  The chocolate was incredibly intense, dark and bitter.  It was an amazing contrast with the salty gooey caramel. I could only eat one square without feeling like I had a lead weight in my stomach.  I can't say that I didn't like it but in the end it was just too much for me.  In contrast I could have gobbled down the entire Rochoux hazelnut bar immediately.  It was very more-ish as the Brits say.

Here are some photos...

gallery_29603_2480_45892.jpg

gallery_29603_2480_20222.jpg

Your post has me salivating. Now, I've got to search these little treats out.Thanks fo the tip.

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My two faves have been mentioned once apiece upthread. I use them for cooking, but I also have now restricted myself to them and them only for nibbling. The chocolate confections from each are also out of this world, but I'm all for the bars.

I can almost guarantee once you try them, it will be hard to settle. And I used to go ga-ga over Valrhona and Scharffen Berger.

Domori and Michel Cluizel.

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My absolute favourite chocolate bar is Jean-Charles Rochoux's tablette aux noisettes (bar with hazelnuts).  The hazelnuts ...

We tried Bernachon's Kalouga chocolate bar (dark chocolate filled with salted caramel) ...

Your post has me salivating. Now, I've got to search these little treats out.Thanks fo the tip.

Uh oh! I feel badly. I don't know where you live Chow Guy, but I don't think either of these chocolates make it to the states. If you are in Paris now or in the future Rochoux's shop is on Rue d'Assas, just South of the Bon Marche and Etoile d'Or in the 9th carries Bernachon's chocolate.

So sorry to get your mouth's hopes up. Irresponsible posting!

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erik!!

i'm ecstatic over your post!!  i was just about to send one out on the same topic.  i'm a BIG FAN of "hot" chocolate (ie. spicy heat)!!   :wub:  in fact - i just bought the dagoba xocaltl TODAY - it's sitting right in front of me, but i haven't tried it yet.  :laugh: 

Update: So I've tasted the Dagoba Xocolatl. I'm going to agree with eje that this is truly a treat for "hot (spicy)" chocolate fans - and especially so for dark chocolate lovers like me (the bar is a passable 74%). Among its ingredients are chile, maca, nutmeg, vanilla and cacao nibs...

My only criticism is that it has a rather high citrus note, which I'm not particularly fond of... but, that is personal. It hits the palate in the beginning, pretty strongly, but then is overtaken by a heady dose of heat from the chile. The cacao nibs are a welcomed and pleasant touch.

Anyone ever had any experience with Venchi's? I tried their 85%, but didn't care for it as much as Scharffen 85% or Valhrona dark varieties (85%+)... I have to admit, I'm really an amateur when it comes to eating chocolates, so I have limited experience. I'm curious as the Venchi flavored bars - I saw ones with green tea, ginseng, absynthe (which drew interest only because it was the darkest at 74%), and cinnamon (which, I would have plucked right off the stand if it weren't for the fact that it was a wimpy 31%).

u.e.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

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I can almost guarantee once you try them, it will be hard to settle.  And I used to go ga-ga over Valrhona and Scharffen Berger.

Domori and Michel Cluizel.

Which Michel Cluizel bar is your favourite? Mine is the Hacienda 'Los Anconès'. :smile:

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I can almost guarantee once you try them, it will be hard to settle.  And I used to go ga-ga over Valrhona and Scharffen Berger.

Domori and Michel Cluizel.

Which Michel Cluizel bar is your favourite? Mine is the Hacienda 'Los Anconès'. :smile:

For purely eating out of hand, it's hard to beat the Concepcion 1er Cru Plantation (Valenzuela) bar. It's incredibly balanced.

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I wanted to share a new item I came across yesterday.

I usually try to make sure I keep my chocolate in some form that is "self-contained". Usually I stash Droste Extra Dark Pastilles. However, I came home yesterday with a new one: Lindt truffles, with their 60% chocolate for the shell (the same filling as the other chocolate truffles). Wow. Very good. The filling is still a bit sweet for my tastes, but the dark shell makes up for it. I think I'm glad I only got the 20 piece bag....

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I've had some chocolates recently from Christopher Elbow ChocolatesChristopher Elbow Chocolates. He's based in Kansas City but ships all over the U.S. He uses Guitard for his molded couverture, which I find interesting.

Elbow is doing some interesting with "caramel" fillings. I don't usually like caramel, but I'd have to admit that some of his unique flavors actually work. For example, "Bananas Foster." I really don't care for banana flavored things - or the fruit in general (unless it's slathered with hot fudge and serves as a vehicle for ice cream) - but I really enjoyed his version of the New Orlean's flambee in caramel form. Others include a Pinot Noir Caramel as well as a Strawberry-Balsamic Caramel.

You can see my photos and reading tasting notes for each candy on my flickr account here.

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Green and Black dark chocolate with candied ginger

a match made in heaven.

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Green and Black  dark chocolate with candied ginger

a match made in heaven.

I've seen G&B and never bought/tried it... do they sell it in this combo form, or are you recommending combining the two at home?

u.e.

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Here in Edmonton, the only widely available "upscale" chocolates are Callebaut and Lindt. The Callebaut is typically the bittersweet couverture (811? 835? something like that), while the Lindt is the usual range of 66%/75%/85% bars.

I use the Callebaut for ganache and truffle centres, because I mostly do those for Christmas and Callebaut has good brand recognition up here. Personally, I find the Callebaut bittersweet to be too sweet for eating out-of-hand. My wife and I lean to the 85% Lindt for a personal indulgence, while our daughter tops out at 70%. We're also partial to the Rogers Fire Bar, a dark bar (I'm guessing 60-65%) with cinnamon and both ancho and chipotle peppers. I'd like it to be a bit darker and less sweet, but it's a good bar.

I understand why the Lindt and comparable chocolates are off-putting for some people, with the fruitiness and acidity front and centre. Certainly, for those of us who grew up on commercial "chocolate" bars, it is a strange and unaccustomed flavour. Bear in mind that cocoa is naturally acidic (hence the alkalization performed on "Dutch process" cocoa); how the beans are processed probably determines whether the acidity is brought to the fore or toned down. I suspect it's more complex than simply the degree of roasting, though I am certainly open to correction from someone more knowledgeable.

I lean to intense flavours, rather than subtle ones. I love cumin, chilies, limes, cilantro, and garlic; while things like sushi, zucchini, and cauliflower tend to leave me cold. In chocolate, as in coffee, I detest sweetness and look for an immediate in-your-face impact that's almost too much for my palate to process right away. I compare the initial impact of an 85% bar to that of a good espresso, which also has an intensity and acidity which is disconcerting to the uninitiated.

Having said that, the best chocolate is always the one you most enjoy eating... :wub:

I've just recently discovered that there is a chocolatier in the downtown which sells various privately sourced single-estate chocolates. I'm going to try to get there next time I have a day available for errands. Can't pass up an educational opportunity like that!

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Santander Dark Columbian (70%) is my new favorite. Complex, creamy, and deep chocolatey. Well balanced with a very unique taste.

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Green and Black  dark chocolate with candied ginger

a match made in heaven.

I've seen G&B and never bought/tried it... do they sell it in this combo form, or are you recommending combining the two at home?

u.e.

yes they do they sell a dark chocolate bar with ginger pieces in it.

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I recently came back from Geneva, Switzerland where I had some of the most wonderful pave chocolates and truffles. They were too delicate to withstand the trip back to Indonesia and melted upon arrival. :sad:

However, these are some of the bars that I brought back and have yet to open up and try.

gallery_11814_2555_27797.jpg

gallery_11814_2555_10251.jpg

I think these will be the first to taste.

gallery_11814_2555_5292.jpg

Don't really know much about chocolate and I'm nowhere a chocolate connoisseur as many of you are here, however, I'm loving this thread, really educative. I'm learning about smoothness, subtle fruitiness and acidity as well as flavor combinations and finishes.

Are these your average run-of-the-mill mainstream brands?

What do y'all think?

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Basically any chocolate that is either black (as in dark), brown (as in milk), white (as in...well yeah white chocolate duh!) or anything there in between...hehe

I love chocolate...mmmmmmmm

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I had not tried Green & Black before, but bought a bar of "A Darker Shade of Milk Chocolate" today at the grocery store. I am an avowed milk chocolate lover who is trying to expand my palate. I have enjoyed some darker chocolates, but still love my milk the best. This bar was very good - not waxy or bitter, but not bland either (I have discovered that in expanding my palate, I am minimizing my love of some brands of milk chocolate while widening my appreciation of some darks!). Melts nicely under my tongue and I like the thickness of the bar (I don't know why this should matter, but it does).

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I remember seeing a post (somewhere on eGullet) linking to an article in the NY Times (I think). It was a hilarious and cute interview with a French chocolatier/chef (Robuchon? J. Torres?) where the chocolatier/chef tasted a variety of chocolates blind-folded. I can't find that post or the article... it's been a while. Can anyone help me out?

Appreciate it!!

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Wow,

I didn't know we had some many chocoholics! thats great! well my favorites would have to many but I love...

Guittards Quevedo from Ecuador and Guittards Ambanja from Madagascar.

Man I am a fan of so many like El Rey, Chocovic, Valrhona and many more...I love any single origin chocolate I can get my hands on....

-Robert

www.chocolateguild.com

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When I splurge... Godiva chocolates.

When I just need a fix:

Hersheys' kisses

Krackel

Herseys' dark chocolate

Nestle crunch

What I miss: Black Magic chocolates (deep black chocolates a relative brought home from his many travels when I was a little girl).

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As I was eating some chocolate today, I thought I'd resurrect this thread and add another question: what chocolates do you have in your stash right now and what are they best suited to?

For my part, in my small (albeit rapidly expanding) stash, I have

a block of El Rey for molding (delicious)

Green and Black 60 with Currants and Hazelnuts: hands down my favorite for out of hand

Valrhona 71: I tried some a little while ago, don't really remember what I thought

Venchi 56: unopened

Chocolove 77: decent, dark, not too bitter, slightly fruity-- a good choice for nibbling when you need a real chocolate fix

Scharffen Berger 71: okay in very small amounts, otherwise too bitter and acidic-- not my favorite

Lindt 70: okay, I wouldn't buy it again now that I've found better

And the requisite bag of Ghirardelli 60 chips in the freezer for a quick fix

Overall, I think so far Chocolove is my favorite for plain, deep goodness, but Green and Black beats everything else easy for my favorite all around. Delicious chocolate with hardly any bitterness but a nice, fruity roundness which is compounded nicely by the currants and hazelnuts... rest assured, I'll be trying more of them! Meanwhile, I don't think I'll spend my money on SB or Lindt any more.

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As I was eating some chocolate today, I thought I'd resurrect this thread and add another question: what chocolates do you have in your stash right now and what are they best suited to?

For my part, in my small (albeit rapidly expanding) stash, I have

a block of El Rey for molding (delicious)

Green and Black 60 with Currants and Hazelnuts: hands down my favorite for out of hand

Valrhona 71: I tried some a little while ago, don't really remember what I thought

Venchi 56: unopened

Chocolove 77: decent, dark, not too bitter, slightly fruity-- a good choice for nibbling when you need a real chocolate fix

Scharffen Berger 71: okay in very small amounts, otherwise too bitter and acidic-- not my favorite

Lindt 70: okay, I wouldn't buy it again now that I've found better

And the requisite bag of Ghirardelli 60 chips in the freezer for a quick fix

Overall, I think so far Chocolove is my favorite for plain, deep goodness, but Green and Black beats everything else easy for my favorite all around. Delicious chocolate with hardly any bitterness but a nice, fruity roundness which is compounded nicely by the currants and hazelnuts... rest assured, I'll be trying more of them! Meanwhile, I don't think I'll spend my money on SB or Lindt any more.

Enurmi---

Wow sounds like you've tried a lot...so I am going to pick your brain...

For dark I have been eating Lindt 85% Cocoa bars. I like em' a lot - but I haven't much dark chocolate to test them against/compare them to. i just recently got into darks....and I have lil mini 70% dark Dove's bites (3 bags of them that mom and grandma filled my stockings with (because I had told them for my deep, newish, love of dark chocolate) and I like the dove - but I like the Lindt more cause its darker....85% vs. 70%....Lindt to dove respectively....

Well --- what is up with Lindt in your opinion???? why don't you care for it as much now that you've tried all those others....??? What is it about the Lindt?

Am I horribly missing out here? thinking that Lindt is so grand when in reality there are others that would kick it to the curb in an instant? And - if so....where would I find these possible delights? I am in Chicago and I see Lindt bars everywhere - yet have not seen all those that you referred to! Is it cause I am not looking for them, yet I am farmiliar with Lindt so I spot it?

Thanks in advance! Sorry for all the q's!

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[Enurmi---

Wow sounds like you've tried a lot...so I am going to pick your brain...

For dark I have been eating Lindt 85% Cocoa bars. I like em' a lot - but I haven't much dark chocolate to test them against/compare them to. i just recently got into darks....and I have lil mini 70% dark Dove's bites (3 bags of them that mom and grandma filled my stockings with (because I had told them for my deep, newish, love of dark chocolate) and I like the dove - but I like the Lindt more cause its darker....85% vs. 70%....Lindt to dove respectively....

Well --- what is up with Lindt in your opinion???? why don't you care for it as much now that you've tried all those others....??? What is it about the Lindt?

Am I horribly missing out here? thinking that Lindt is so grand when in reality there are others that would kick it to the curb in an instant? And - if so....where would I find these possible delights? I am in Chicago and I see Lindt bars everywhere - yet have not seen all those that you referred to! Is it cause I am not looking for them, yet I am farmiliar with Lindt so I spot it?

Thanks in advance! Sorry for all the q's!

Feel free to pick my brain! :biggrin: For me, chocolate is a very personal-taste thing. I mean, some people love the Scharffen I mentioned and think it is the best chocolate-- I personally don't love it. It depends a lot on what you look for in a bar. Since you asked, I went back and held a little tasting (oh the things I do for the sake of experimentation-- oh the sacrifices) between the Chocolove 77, my favorite really dark chocolate, and the Lindt 70. The Lindt isn't bad-- I'm not saying that-- but it's not what I look for in a chocolate. It has a citrusy undertone and a very tangy aftertaste that doesn't appeal to me. To me, it doesn't have quite enough backbone to stand up to the strong aftertaste. The 77 is a little more deep and fruity with a very light bitter-chocolatey aftertone. Again, this is just personal opinion-- I find the Chocolove far more satisfyingly chocolatey. The Lindt's undertones/aftertaste distract from the chocolate taste itself, for me. I would definitely say to try some other chocolates (perhaps a Green and Black... or no, more for me! :smile: ) and see what you like best, since Lindt is the only one you've tried, but if you decide you like Lidnt the best (which you may well do), then I'm all for that! No chocolate police here! :wink:

I live in DC and I find my chocolate at the Whole Foods and Balducci's near me. Also, increasingly so, I've been finding some high quality dark chocolate in my Giant-- probably because it was just renovated to be more "gourmet".

Good luck!

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