Your Favorite Chocolate Bars!
Ever since Hershey destroyed my beloved Nibby Bar (It's now sold as a thin sheet instead of the thick chunk, and I sware the chocolate is lighter!) I've been on the hunt for a new favorite chocolate bar. Currently I am working through the Vosges line (Currently testing out the Barcelona and Woolloomooloo bar) , which are great. But wondered know that there is lots of new stuff out there equaly as wonderful. I like not too too dark chocolate (~40-60 range) with nuts, salt or interesting bits in it. Like I was originally going to try the Goji bar, but the guy at surfas warned us that the Goji berries are "odd". Also, I know TJs has a new line with a Nibby Bar knock off... is that any good?
Any and all suggestions for Chocolate Bars helpful! :)
Santander has an excellent 70% bar of Colombian chocolate with ground espresso beans. It's a bit stronger than your specified range, but the Santander Colombian chocolate tastes sweeter than you would expect from the percentages. Usually available at Whole foods. You might also try their 65% pure chocolate bar; it has a really interesting flavor profile, almost like marshmallow.
Domori also makes an 80% Blend No. 1 bar with ground cocoa nibs that is very good (although somewhat inconsistent in flavor), but it might be too bitter/strong for you. Available here http://www.chocosphere.com/cgi-bin/we... if you want to give it a try.
I really love the Five Star Bars by Lake Champlain Chocolates.
They have a hazelnut one, one with fruits and nuts, a caramel one and a peanut butter one. They are splendid. The couverture is milk chocolate, though, I believe. I learned about them in the book Candy Freak.
Pierre Marcolini - Fleur de Cacao (for high end)
Arriba Plantations - 65% (mid range)
Chocovic - Guaranda (day to day snacking)
I totally agree with you about Vosges. I like their Red Fire bar but wasn't pleased with their truffles and their hot cocoa was decent.
Ditto on the Scharffen Berger bars and I love Lake Champlain's Five Star hazelnut and fruit and nut bars too! For a plain bar, Lindt's 70% cocoa bar is my kind of bar for snacking every once in a while.
I have to dissent on Scharffen Berger. We recently did a dark chocolate taste test of about 15 different chocolates from around the world (65-88% cocoa), and Scharffen Berger was one of my least favorites (the only one I liked less was Ghiradelli). In comparison to some of the other chocolates I tested, I thought it chalky, flat, and almost waxy. I'm probably not much help to the original poster who isn't so into dark chocolate. Almost everything in the 40-60% range seems to have enough sugar content to make it all taste pretty good.
Here's the list of the chocolates we tried, country of origin for the beans are in parenthesis. All are plain dark chocolate.
Guylian 60% Belgium
Green & Black Organic 70% Italy
Rapunzel Organic 70% Switzerland
Santander Columbian Single Origin 70% (Columbia) Columbia
Scharffen Berger 70% Berkely, CA
Valor 70% (Ghana/Panama/Ecuador) Spain
Equal Exchange Organic 71% (Dominican Republic/Peru) Switzerland
Unique Origin Varietal Chocolate 71% (Ecuador) Spain
Unique Origin Varietal Chocolate 71% (Venezuela) Spain
Endangered Species 72% USA
Ghiardelli 72% San Francisco, CA
Dagoba Organic 73% (Dominican Republic) Oregon, USA
Droste 75% Belgium
Lindt 75% France
Hachez 77% Germany
Valrhona 85% (Africa) France
Weiss 85% France
Hachez Premier Cru 88% Germany
The absolute favorite was Santander Columbian Single Origin 70%. We also really liked Hachez 88%. If you are interested in our tasting notes, email me offlist.
If anyone has other dark chocolates they enjoy and think should be added to my tasting, please let me know!
re: Ruth Lafler
That is correct!! I bought a Nibby Bar at a cheese shop recently and was shocked to see the change. Bought it and the flatness of the new shapped bar totally changed the experience for me. I had remained hopeful that the Hersey buy would not mean a change, but I guess you can't stop 'progress'... :P