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Seems like the last two weeks everytime you turn on the TV there was another show about chocolate (guess Valentines Day triggered the chocolate love-fest) I'm interested in hearing the Chowhounds take on the best:
Baking Chocolate
Eating Chocolate
Best Chocolate from a grocery store


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  1. Suzanne, I like ocumare if I spelled it right. It's dark, and has a bitter, lingering taste when it melts in your mouth. It can be used for cooking and baking and of course eating. It comes from Venezuela. Many people like Valhrona, including myself. There are many varieties. As far as what I prefer in the form of prepared chocolate candies, Neuhaus is real good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: son of a butcher

      hmm - never heard of ocumare(?) Valhrona I have heard of but never had -- will have to try - thanks!

      1. re: suzanne0115

        ocumare is my favorite. not just from venezuela. it's a single bean, criollo.

        trader joe's carries ocumare under the chocovic (orange) label. $2 for 85 grams, scored in eight squares. it's usually on the shelves over the frozen foods.

    2. get ready for a ridiculously long thread i think...that being said ill chime in:)
      for eating, i love the DAGOBA brand. i used to eat their slightly spiced xocatle (or however you spell it) one, but now i love their ultra dark 88% eclipse bar. terrific.

      for baking? sorry, i dont bake with chocolate.

      1. I've been eating and testing a lot of chocolates lately. I love it when I can order small, individually wrapped squares. I recently ordered Green and Black's Maya Gold (orange flavor) and a mix of Dolfin chocolate squares from chocosphere. I like it all!

        I also like the Dagoba Xocatle and the roseberry.

        But when I tasted the Dagoba cocoa (unsweetened) I was not impressed. Truth is, Hershey's is better in my opinion. I was just at the store yesterday and bought Green and Black's unsweetened cocoa since I like the squares. I'll have to report back when I try it.

        At the grocery store, I buy the individual square mix of darks, mint and orange Lindt.

        I'm going to a chocolate tasting class outside of Boston this Friday evening. It's being held by Temper chocolates and I'm really looking forward to it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: puppymomma

          Dagoba is okay, but I must confess my FAVORITE is Scharffen Berger out of Berkley CA - they have several gradients of cacao -- the 99% being purely for baking, but the 62% and 70% (I think) is wonderful with a glass of red wine!

          How was the chocolate tasting? I've been thinking of hosting a wine and chocolate tasting party, or doing that for dessert after a dinner party.

        2. For what it's worth, Ocumare is a growing region in Venezuela, not a brand. Look for Ocumare origin chocolates by Neuhaus, among others...

          1. For baking, Trader Joe's chocolate chips. They have turned my ordinary cookies into perfection,(that and the plugra butter, of course)

            1. Trader Joes chocolate is the best for the money. I shave or chop into pieces and add to cookie dough. It's the best!

              1. Hello Everyone,
                Great conversations...I am somewhat a fan of Ocumare chocolate...it is actually a growing region and a bean type. Chocovic has a bar that uses it that is sold at Trader Joe's...it is ok but I think other companies do a better job with it.

                My favorite eating bars are ones that are grown in Madagascar, Ecuador, and the Chuao region in Venezuela...great great chocolates...anyone tried these regions before?


                1 Reply
                1. re: aguynamedrobert

                  I think TJ's actually is carrying more than one Ocumare origin chocolate these days -- it's hard to keep track!

                  I love the Vintage Plantations chocolate bars from Ecuador. To me, they are smoother and less bitter than a lot of high cocoa solids bars, and they don't use vanilla, so the chocolate flavor is very pure. I like the 65 percent, but the 75 percent is very good if you like higher percentage chocolate. I haven't eaten enough Chuao to make a judgment on it, and I don't remember ever having a specified origin chocolate from Madagascar. Can you recommend one?

                2. What brands does your store have? Mine only has Chocovic and Valrhona...

                  -Chocolate Connoisseur

                  1. Guittard is my favorite brand.

                    1. I don't know if this company was mentioned but I also love "Amano" chocolate in Utah...they are brand new to the game and they are dinamite. The owner is a great addition to the craft of chocolate making!

                      Chocolate Connoisseur