Favorite dark chocolate
I was thrilled to see another report on the health benefits of dark chocolate. Considering that my guilt factor has now been removed I'm ready to start some major sampling . What are your favorite brands of dark chocolate?
Amadei, Valhrona, Scharfenberger, Micheal Cuizal (that's completely spelled wrong, but maybe you'll recognize it when you see it), and Godiva 70%.
I'm SOOO healthy!
Trader Joes, which already had good prices on Valrhona, now carries large bars of Scharffenberger at $1.99, the same price as the tiny bars in gourmet shops. I like the Mocha...
But I'm also partial to the organic chocolate in the brown wrapper at Trader Joes that comes in dark chocolate with pecans and raisins. (Tera something?)
I really like the "unique origin" varietal single bean chocolates available at Trader Joe's; the Guaranda from Ecuador is particularly nice. The Ocumare is pretty good too. In addition, I think the flavor of the El Rey Apamate dark chocolate from Venezuela is excellent (although the texture is a bit grainy).
As far as blended dark chocolates, I'm very fond of both the Merckens (slightly sweeter) and the Guittard (complex and nutty) dark chocolates, available in large chips (convenient for snacking) from the King Arthur Flour online baker's catalogue (http://shop.bakerscatalogue.com/).
I know lots of folks love Scharffen Berger, but I think it's too acidic (with a horrible sour aftertaste) for eating chocolate. (Maybe it works better for cooking.) Chocosphere.com (link below) has lots of other interesting choices. The Max Brenner stuff is extraordinary.
re: David Kahn
Thanks for the link to chocolate nirvana! (Chocosphere)
If you're in the West, See's Chocolate has large chocolate chips which I am told are made by Guittard...either that or Guittard's are made by See's...anyway they are good! (See's chocolates however are just okay)
"What I say may not be true, but something very like it is..." Plato
I agree with David's comments on Scharffenberger. Too acidic and fruity for my taste, although I do manage to scoff a few Nibby Bars every now and then (especially satisfying on camping or hiking trips). Sometimes I appreciate their acidity because it ensures I won't pig out on them...
Another thing I dislike about Scharffenberger's large bars is how thin they are. The milk chocolate, especially when warm, is so thin it bends like a piece of wax -- ugh. I want to break off a huge, thick chunk of dark chocolate I can sink my teeth into.
As far as proper eating chocolate is concerned, I enjoy, in order of preference:
Valrhona Le Noir Gastronomique -- I think Valrhona is the superior dark chocolate (rich, complex, good texture, and I appreciate this huge, thick bar)
The Valrhona bar with bits of candied orange peel
Guittard semisweet chocolate chips -- these are surprisingly delicious for eating straight from the bag, and their larger size is satisfying too
Green & Black organic
I'm a fan of Scharffen Berger's 70% and Limited Series line. I also like Guittard's Ambanja(madagascar) and Quevedo(Ecuador)....another good artisan chocolate maker that just came up in the USA is Amano chocolate and their Madagascar bar is excellent...great american bars...I also like Valrhona and Amedei in Europe...
Keep the Chocolate Comin...