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May 7, 2001 08:39 PM

Dean & DeLuca chocolate: a warning

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I recently bought some Callebaut milk chocolate at Dean & DeLuca. It turned out to be so horrible that I couldn't eat it -- very weird taste and definitely the worst I have ever had (and I have eaten just-barely chocolate like Palmer Easter bunnies). I don't know if this was a bad batch or what, but D&D will be giving me a refund one of these days.

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  1. Hi--be very careful buying white chocolate anywhere--regardless of brand. Unlike dark chocolate--which can be kept for a year or two if properly wrapped and stored--white chocolate spoils very quickly, because of the milk solids and milk powders. It keeps for a few months at most without deteriorating. It is very sensitive to light, air and temperature changes, and also absorbs odors easily, which is why alot of chocolate manufacturers wrap their products in foil. Most of the bulk chocolate I've seen, broken up and re-sold from larger blocks, is wrapped in clear, flimsy plastic wrap and there is no guarantee how long it has been sitting there. What's worse, in most gourmet supermarkets it is stored near the cheese counter--and while I like a good blue cheese as much as the next person, I don't like my chocolate perfumed with it.

    Chocolate is a finicky thing, and most places that sell it don't really know much about it. You might be better off buying a block yourself from an ingredient wholesaler--like Harry Wils or Dairyland. These are the very same sources that Dean & Deluca (and restaurant pastry chefs) are buying from and in my experience, they will sell to anyone as long as you are willing to buy their minimum amount, which is usually an 11# block. That's alot of chocolate, but at least you'll know it is in good shape.

    1. sorry I referred to white chocolate in my reply--everything I said applies equally to milk chocolate, too.