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The Chocolate Report


etalanian
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I was just perusing the King Arthur site (love their flour) and looked at the chocolate they offer. They made this reference to "The Chocolate Report" regarding Merckens Bittersweet Chocolate Bars for baking: Several years ago, The Chocolate Report did an extensive blind-tasting, with a crew of top chefs. Merckens was ranked #1 in both bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate, and #2 in white chocolate."

I have searched the web to no avail. I have found a Chocolate report that is about fair trade, but nothing that would give "extensive blind-tasting" results for chocolate.

Is anyone familiar with this report? Can someone tell me where I can get a copy of this report? Does anyone know how old the report actually is? Or who authored it?

Thanks for any help!

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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Eileen, I found references that talk about "...Lise Stern's "The Chocolate Report" a supplement to the bimonthly publication The Cookbook Review." but that's about it. Take a look at this for the best info I found. He also says that Merckens milk chocolate is no longer such a great thing. :sad:

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Thanks for the info! (Do I call you Mage?) I would love to get my hands on that report to see which (and how many) brands of chocolate were taste-tested. I'm always curious when I see references like that. It must come from the Merckens company, because it is on every site that sells their chocolate. But I guess I'll have to live without it.

Loved the photos of your kitchen!

Thanks for the response.

Best,

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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I was just perusing the King Arthur site (love their flour) and looked at the chocolate they offer. They made this reference to "The Chocolate Report" regarding Merckens Bittersweet Chocolate Bars for baking: Several years ago, The Chocolate Report did an extensive blind-tasting, with a crew of top chefs. Merckens was ranked #1 in both bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate, and #2 in white chocolate."

I have searched the web to no avail. I have found a Chocolate report that is about fair trade, but nothing that would give "extensive blind-tasting" results for chocolate.

Is anyone familiar with this report? Can someone tell me where I can get a copy of this report? Does anyone know how old the report actually is? Or who authored it?

Thanks for any help!

Eileen

KA been using that quote about Merckens in their catalog for years and I've always wondered about its credibility. I, too, looked for the report but Google turned up nothing.

Taste tests are of questionable worth, but FYI here's a summary of a bittersweet/dark chocolate test Cook's Illustrated conducted in 2004 and of unsweetened chocolates in a 2002 test.

DARK CHOCOLATES

Overall Favorite:

Ghirardelli Bittersweet

The runners-up, listed in order of preference based on combined scores in three taste tests (raw, chocolate sauce, and flourless chocolate cake) in each category:

Sweeter Dark Chocolates:

Callebaut Dark “Bittersweet”

Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet

Baker’s Bittersweet Baking Chocolate

Perugina Bittersweet Chocolate

Disinct & Bitter Dark Chocolates:

Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate

El Rey Saman Dark Chocolate

Valrhona 70% Cacoa Dark

Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Pure

UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATES

(Chocolate was tested raw and in brownies)

Recommended:

Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Pure Dark Chocolate

Callebaut Unsweetened Chocolate (2nd place in both tests)

Ghiradelli Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar (1st place in the brownie test)

Valrhona Cacao Pate Extra

Nestle Unsweetened Baking Chocolate

Not Recommended:

Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate

Hershey’s Unsweetened Chocolate

Edited by Steven Blaski (log)
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Thanks for taking the time to supply the info, Steven.

I agree that taste tests are questionable at best, but I was curious about this one because I had not seen Merckens included in one before. I always use Callebaut, which I can get at a restaurant supply in Phila, so I had never looked at the chocolate page and therefore never before read the comment on KA. I like to see how things are compared when claims like that are made.

et

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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Thanks for taking the time to supply the info, Steven.

I agree that taste tests are questionable at best, but I was curious about this one because I had not seen Merckens included in one before. I always use Callebaut, which I can get at a restaurant supply in Phila, so I had never looked at the chocolate page and therefore never before read the comment on KA. I like to see how things are compared when claims like that are made.

et

You're welcome, Eileen. BTW, I just visited your website for the first time -- congratulations! It's very elegant and looks quite useful, too. I've bookmarked it.

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Thanks for the info! (Do I call you Mage?) I would love to get my hands on that report to see which (and how many) brands of chocolate were taste-tested. I'm always curious when I see references like that. It must come from the Merckens company, because it is on every site that sells their chocolate. But I guess I'll have to live without it.

Loved the photos of your kitchen!

Please do call me mage, all my new friends do. :smile:

I'm curious about the actual data, too. I hate marketing claims without the facts behind them. I looked at the link from schnitzel, and while it was interesting data, I doubt that I could get any of them within 45 min. and most would have to be mail-ordered. I am so not near a city.

I must admit I really love the kitchen. We moved a year ago and when we put our old house on the market, we painted the kitchen brick red and put down relatively inexpensive hardwood. Over the walls we'd lived with for 6 years. The walls that were this "pudding" (meaning "cream") color that we'd coated the entire house with when we'd moved in, because even if we were in the middle of a book, we weren't living with the sherbet hues of green, blue, and yellow. (I used it call it the "Maybelline Blooming Colors" house because it was the exact same colors as this 4-color set of eye shadow that was really popular in that early '70s part of the '60s when I started wearing makeup.)

Anyway, after 6 years of the kitchen looking like a rental apartment, we fixed it up pretty to sell. :angry::sad: So, the new kitchen was part of the first set of rooms that got done when we moved in; plus, the red's much brighter and prettier and the floor is this 3/4" tongue and groove mahogany that we stumbled across for almost nothing.

Your blog is very nice, it's on my list of places to poke around when I have some time.

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