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:
Best Chocolate from a grocery store
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.
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.
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.
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.
For what it's worth, Ocumare is a growing region in Venezuela, not a brand. Look for Ocumare origin chocolates by Neuhaus, among others...
For baking, Trader Joe's chocolate chips. They have turned my ordinary cookies into perfection,(that and the plugra butter, of course)