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What am I not getting about CHOCOLATE?

I've never been a big fan of chocolate, milk, dark, white etc.. I like it and I will eat it if it's in front of me, but I rarely go out of my way to seek it out.. Also, I've always been puzzled by friends who swoon at the sight of chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream etc..

Then I started thinking.. maybe it's because I haven't really had GREAT chocolate yet in my life. I recall that I felt similarly ambivalent about shabu-shabu, steak and fish tacos until I tried the "real thing". Normally when I do eat chocolate, I eat Lindt, not too much Godiva (as I actually dislike Godiva as opposed to just being ambivalent), etc. I did notice in my travels that chocolate I ate in Europe were rather tasty. But since I don't live in Europe but here in the US, what kind of chocolate should I look for so I can find out once and for all that I really am not a fan (or discover that I am after all)?

Can you help turn me into a chocoholic? I want to fit in!!

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  1. LoL,
    I'm like you. I have never been a fan of chocolate. I never buy anything chocolate unless as a gift for someone else. I do like the taste of chocolate but it's one of those take it or leave it kind of things. With one exception - I am absolutely addicted to Reeses peanut butter cups. I see the commercials for them and have a immediate Pavlovian response.

    6 Replies
      1. re: hannaone

        Reese's are the best, and only the original. Jfood has tried all the derivatives, inside-out, with caramel, blah blah blah. But when push comes to shove the orange wrapper gets me going. If it wasn't bad enough they now make a triple package. It's hard to constatntly hide the wrapper in the garbage can as jfood enters the house.

        1. re: jfood

          Have you ever eaten the Trader Joe's peanut butter cups? Might just be me, but I think it's noticeably superior to the Reese's. Don't get those mini ones at TJ's, but the regular sized ones in the brown wax paper.

          1. re: Feed_me

            Man, I totally agree with your assessment of the TJ's p-butter cups. I used to buy bags for my office but I had to stop because I was eating them all. I used to get the mini ones.

          2. re: jfood

            When I go to visit my cousin in England, I bring him Reese's peanut butter cups, although I guess they're finally available there. He thinks their size and the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter is perfect.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I love both the Trader Joe's mini PB cups as well as Reese's but find that most other chocolate candy bars that I loved as a kid (Snickers, Mounds) are just not that irresistable anymore and I think it's because the candy companies have substituted sugar for HFCS. One thing I will say in defense of Godiva - the US does not allow Godiva (Campbell's Soup Company in Camden NJ) to add alcohol like they do in their European product. Most European chocolatiers include an amount of alcohol. They can't do it in the US and in my travels I have found that it rather dramatically affects the taste of the chocolate.

        2. I enjoy the occasional chocolate treat, but I don't crave it or seek it out like most people do.

          I think it has something to do with how you were raised -- if you ate alot of chocolate growing up and associate it with "decadence" or "comfort" food, then it follows you into adulthood.

          1. I'm also not a chocoholic and I've eaten some great chocolate. I don't dislike chocolate, I just don't crave it. I ate it regularly through childhood, liked it more when I ate more sweets than I do now, but I've always preferred tangy, citrusy deserts, or any kind of pastry. I don't think it's a deficiency, just a difference in palate.

            1. Full blown chocoholic here.

              I'm so bad that I basically have to stay away from the stuff. ALL deserts have to have chocolate in them. The more the better too.

              As for what you aren't getting. I suppose it's the same thing I don't get about cranberries or something like that. Not everything is for everyone. Just leaves more for me!!


              1. If you're serious about exploring chocolate, here's what I would do. Go here: http://chocosphere.com/ . Order a bar of the 65% Santander, a bar of the Domori Redline Blend No. 1, a bar of Valrhona Noir Amer, and maybe a bar of the Chocovic Ocumare and/or the Guaranda. (There are lots of really good chocolates on chocosphere and elsewhere; I just picked out a couple that I think are good and interesting and reasonably accessable to someone who's just getting into this stuff; other folks may have other suggestions.) When you get the chocolate, break off a piece that fits comfortably in your mouth and place it on your tongue. Don't chew it. You can break it up gently a little with your tongue and teeth, but mostly, just let it melt/dissolve in your mouth. Pay attention to the flavors. This will really give you a chance to taste pure, high-end, bittersweet chocolate. If you don't like chocolate after this, then it's probably just not for you.

                3 Replies
                1. re: David Kahn

                  oooh i just might do what you suggested. thanks!

                  1. re: koreankorean

                    Looking at where you post, it appears you live in either NY or LA. In both places you should be able to find shops that specialize in premium/artisan chocolate. At some places you can buy tasting-sized squares or small bars that you don't have to spend a lot of money on, you can talk to someone who might actually be able to guide your explorations, and of course, you'll save on shipping. I suggest you post on your home board for suggestions.

                    In addition, there have been many, many threads on chocolate on these boards, some of them asking questions very similar to yours -- I suggest you do a search.

                  2. re: David Kahn

                    This is good advice. Also, I know that in Boston, there is at least one chocolatier who sponsors chocolate and wine tastings. You might look for something like that wherever you are. I know that, to me, great chocolate is great, but great chocolate paired with, say, the right port or the right fruit is out of this world. But then again, I do like chocolate. That said, I don't generally like heavily chocolatey desserts. Chocolate cake with ganache and chocolate mousse? No thanks. That's like wearing the same color head to toe. But a piece of great dark chocolate with an excellent orange? Or a sweet cream ice cream with dark chocolate chunks? mmmmmmm

                  3. I don't think it is a matter of not getting it. Some people just don't enjoy as much as others. I love chocolate. But I love the texture of chocolate as well as the taste, so if there is anything but pure cocoa butter in the chocolate it doesn't taste as good to me. Cocoa butter melts at less then body tempurature, which is probably why I love the texture so much. Melts in your mouth and in your hand......

                    1. Hmmmm i must say I "like" chocolate,but don't have to have it, however i know a ,shall we say rather "worldly" young lady that says Chocolate is the "real thing" and satisfies her unlike "any " other experience in life....from the look on her face when she has good chocolate I'd say thats true!

                      1. Both Lindt and Godiva are icky ... especially Godiva. I'm not sure from your profile where you live but it seems like either LA or Manhattan. Ask on those boards for the best artisan LOCAL ... LOCAL ... LOCAL ... chocolate makers in the area you live.

                        I'm sorry, but most of the big chocolate makers are only ok to me ... and I love chocolate. I went thru a phase of eating many of those high-cost chocolate bars and there is not a single one that sticks in my mind.

                        However, locally a chocolate maker ... XOX ... makes the most wonderful truffles.

                        It depends on your tastes too. Some like sweeter chocolate others darker and bitter. I'd also ask on your local board about the best of all things chocolate in your area ... chocolate dessets, candies, ice creams. If you don't like the best of the best ... you don't like chocolate.

                        I'm guessing from your handle you are Korean. Many of my friends who are Asian are not such chocolate fans for some reason. Don't know why that is, but I'd throw that into consideration. Might be a cultural thing. It's not as likely a dessert for those cuisines. This isn't as true for those of Asian descent who were born in the US and exposed from birth to the chocolate culture.

                        1. If you don't get it by now, you probably won't. I can't believe that you haven't had the opportunity to eat some good chocolate by now (forget Lindt and Godiva). Perhaps you're one of the few who just don't get turned on by it. That's OK. That leaves plenty for the rest of us who do. ;-)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ellen

                            oh but I want to fit in with you guys!! I won't feel fully socially integrated until I can appreciate this "chocolate" thing!
                            hehe. =)

                          2. What you mentioned seems so true of many things.. something's 'meh' until you run into what it's actually supposed to be. (But apparently there are hordes of people content to eat the stuff that's actually not good at all. Go figure.)

                            My favorite chocolate, aside from what they put (or used to put) on Baci (those little blue and silver wrapped dark Euro chocolates with hazelnut I think) is Lindt Excellence 70%. It's a nice smooth dark chocolate with not too much sugar. I can eat their 85% also but beyond that, I'm not such a big fan of other chocolates, even some of more gourmetish brands out there now. And I hate milk chocolate. Chocolate liqueur is a different taste and I do like that, separately.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Cinnamon

                              Yes, I think you completely get what I'm saying about how I feel like I need to try the "best" before I can actually like something.

                            2. You can also get yourself a nice rich chocolate and a bottle/glass of ice wine. Try them together as a desert. It's incredible.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Davwud

                                Its funny you should say that, I have never liked chocolate because it makes me so thirsty. I end up looking like a dog when you give them peanut butter, maybe I don't produce enough spittle.
                                The one way I have enjoyed it is finely chopped chocolate sprinkled atop a piece of crusty bread poped under the broiler just until it begins to melt with a drizzle of really good olive oil with a pinch of sea or kosher salt. I can take down a couple of those but only once in a great while.

                              2. Well, I think that you just don't really like chocolate...That's OKAY...I feel the same way about creme brulee and tiramasu...I just don't get it...Could absolutely live without these desserts...To each his own! ( I am a definite chocoholic!)

                                1. To start, you should try the hot chocolate from maison du chocolat.....OH MY God, that thing is just so good and addictive.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Monica

                                    Monica, where is this "maison du chocolat"?? Is this a brand name?? or a place?

                                    1. re: koreankorean

                                      It's a high-end French chocolatier: http://www.lamaisonduchocolat.com . I think they have an outlet in NY.

                                  2. Jfood does not get wine but many in my office have cellars with 2000+ bottles. Heh, to each his own. But I love chocolate. And jfood loves all chocolates from Hershey bars to as high end as you can place in front of me. Jfood once sat at a table outside a cholateria in Paris with Mrs Jfood for about an hour, just sampling. Granted the franc (yes franc) was 7:1 against the dollar so it did not hurt as much as a 1.35 Euro, but it was a wonderfully relaxing hour in our favorite city in the world.

                                    Godiva in Europe versus US as jfood understands it relates to preservatives the FDA makes the US side put in the chocolate. Just returned from a quick jaunt to LA and sweet talked the See lady at airport for a bunch of samples. Made the 5.5 hour flight back much more better (see what chocolate does to the syntax).

                                    But in the end eat what you love and love what you eat.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jfood

                                      I was thinking the same thing. I'm completely ambivalent about wine, and I'm stopped feeling like I'm "missing out" on something great. It's not about finding the wine to change my mind. I'm just not into it.

                                      But chocolate on the other hand . . . I like everything from the cheap stuff (which I thoroughly enjoy) to See's to the most $40 a pound stuff I get locally.

                                    2. I like chocolate a lot, but I don't really love chocolate bars or truffles all that much -- I enjoy a truffle, but more is just too much, and chocolate bars (even of great chocolate) don't do that much for me. I really like baked good with chocolate in them, though, so maybe it's just that I like it in a different form. The Double Chocolate Cake from epicurious made me rave for weeks. I think it might help to determine what you don't like about chocolate, and then experiment with the things that you do like.

                                      1. I really don't want to sound racist at all, but I think it's about the Asian culture. I am also Korean, and I can't stand the smell or taste of any kind of chocolate. You can always attribute this to being Asian. I like savory, salty and spicy foods, not sweet. I do think that chocolate is an aquired taste.

                                        1. Do you like sweet or bitter food? If you like bitter, try some extra-dark chocolate with as high a percentage of cocoa as you can find... if you like sweet, get your hands on some Swiss or Belgian chocolate. Yum!

                                          1. I'm also Korean and not a big chocolate fan. I tried to fit in ate a lot of chocolate (especially dark chocolate!) for a while, but I never developed a passion for it. It's yummy but I don't crave it. I do, however, love ice cream. I take it as a blessing- save some chocolate calories for ice cream!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: fpark

                                              So you wanna be a chocolaholic! Ghirardelli chocolate might help. You also have your hershey's candy and your reeses peanut better filled chcocolate. The thing is to go at it by baby steps. I have been a chocoholic my whole life but if you're just starting out, don't sweat it. If you prefere to understand chocolate's origins and such wikipedia.com could help explain some background. As far as consumption goes, just eat it. Don't eat too much but as far as building your taste, take it into small stages. That's what I'm doing to try to get my spice tolerance up. I'm guessing it could work for aspiring chocoholics like yourself. Best of luck to you.

                                              1. re: princesspersimmon07

                                                P.S. another good idea is to sample differant kinds of chocolate and chocolate combinations so you can find the right type to kick off your chocoholism. Next time you see a box of assorted chocolates, buy it and try it. It has all sorts of chocolate combos. I hope these tips help. Chocolate is a wonderfull thing. One thing to remember that dark chocolate has anti-oxidants in it. European producessed chocolate has more of that than American processed does.

                                                1. re: princesspersimmon07

                                                  This board has just inspired me to abandon my computer and go seek out some chocolate!!

                                              2. This is an old thread, i know, but an excellent post koreankorean. I too, have always wondered about the whole "chocolate thing." And it can't be genes or culture, because everyone in my family LOVES chocolate. I was always the odd woman out. Everyone would get really annoyed when I was a little kid, because for my birthday parties I always requested lemon, white, or strawberry cakes. And no, I am not asian, either. I have sampled amazing fresh made chocolates in France and other places, and I could still take it or leave it. I think it's just a matter of personal preference. I will say that two of the suggestions above are good ones though: first, you can't beat the original Reese's, and secondly, do try the thing where you buy several high quality chocolate bars and let a small nib melt in your mouth. Then try fruit and wine pairings. Though I still will never be a true "chocoholic," I learned to enjoy chocolate in these ways. Valrhona is delicious!

                                                1. I'm a chocoholic. I dislike Hersheys, Lindt and Godiva. My current favorite is Vosges bars. World market carries them, currently munching on a square of Creole bar (espresso and chicory). a. korkunov chocolate is also a good one, they are dark chocolate but more on the sweet side.

                                                  I like to try new kinds of chocolate just like some people try new beers or wines. Valhrona is good. I use Guittard for truffles and brownies etc.

                                                  1. I wouldn't worry so much about fitting in, let people appreciate you for your non-conformist ways. There are PLENTY of other indugences.

                                                    I am not a huge fan of chocolate, although I do enjoy it from time to time. Being told to stay away from it during my acne scarred youth probably has something to do with it (although I don't believe that myth any more). I am also not a fan of coffee - love the smell, just don't ask me to drink it, or eat coffee flavored things. Talk about not fitting in...... as an American, not liking coffee is tantamount to a Korean saying no to KimChee (which btw, I love).

                                                    1. I don't dislike chocolate. In fact, when I do eat it I enjoy it quite a bit. But when ordering dessert in a restaurant, if given a choice between something chocolate and something non-chocolate, I will almost always order the non-chocolate.

                                                      After thinking about it for a while (a few years ago) I started to realize that my preference didn't come from a dislike of chocolate but rather from a craving for other types of sweet flavors.

                                                      At first I thought I craved fruit: cherry pies & strawberry cheesecakes & peach ice cream, etc.

                                                      Then I realized it wasn't fruit, but cream. I crave cream the same way my chocoholic wife craves chocolate. As a young boy I loved eating vanilla ice cream with no toppings. Nowadays I love cream cheese pastries (a touch of lemon or a slice of apricot is a nice touch); vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries; cheesecake & cherry cream cheese pies; tapioca pudding; Swedish cream (Elliott Bay Book Co. in Seattle used to have one of the best); fruit pie a la mode; apple crisp with whipped cream; a hot buttered rum topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream; a white Russian.

                                                      The commonality to all these desserts? Cream, cream, cream (plus some milk, butter, cream cheese--anything dairy).

                                                      So while I am currently teaching myself to like dark chocolate, most of the time I'm busy trying to feed my craving for the other stuff I really love.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: alanstotle

                                                        Me, too. Cream. Ice cream. Custard. Cream cheese danish. Apple turnovers filled with cream. Chocolate cake filled with whipped cream and raspberries. Strawberry shortcake. Cream horns. Gingerbread served warm with lots and lot of cream.

                                                        Have I mentioned clotted cream on anything? Or the wonder of Jersey cows and their beautiful, creamy milk?

                                                        My grandparents used to put light cream on their Cheerios. I would too if I didn't fear ending up three hundred pounds. But sometimes I sneak a little half-and-half on my oatmeal...

                                                        1. re: curiousbaker

                                                          I don't think koreankorean is so unique. My student and her mother don't like chocolate. I am really indifferent to it without actually disliking it. I know quite a few people who aren't that keen on it in fact. Yes, it could be to do with some people preferring savoury flavours to sweet or that their taste buds simply aren't wired to the flavour. I remember that when I was a kid I liked it more so that could be something to do with it.

                                                      2. Yes, it's the quality.

                                                        Expensive but worth it...Lake Champlain Chocolates. Teuscher chocolates. Numerous others mentioned here.

                                                        But...I'd rather have ice cream. And I don't like chocolate ice cream.

                                                        curiousbaker, I used to have ReddiWhip and cocoa krispies for breakfast as a kid. And I wonder why I have a chronic sweet tooth.

                                                        1. I don't like chocolate, either, kk -- unless I'm in a very specific mood* (i.e. that grouchy one that comes for some people once a month ;).

                                                          I've tried great chocolates: My sister lives in Switzerland sends me care packages of high quality Swiss chocolates, I've had it from Vosges, Teuscher, small-time chocolate artisans and lots of other places -- and my informed conclusion is that i just don't love it. I like it, of course -- but love? Not like I love really good french fries or really good pork belly!

                                                          My SO, on the other hand, bought me a box of chocolates for V-day and ate it all himself and will pretty much sell his body parts for even 'crummy' (read: non-gourmet) chocolate. To each her own!

                                                          (* When the mood does strike and I want chocolate, I want it in creamy, dark form -- i.e. as a perfect, dark chocolate mousse. Maybe I'm really just a cream fiend like alanstotle... without the deductive powers of reasoning. :)

                                                          1. Omg. I'm totally envious! I can't stay away from that stuff. I think I have to have it every day. Well, ok, I don't have to, but I keep a supply at work and at home, which is kindof dangerous.

                                                            Ice cream, on the other hand, even in this heat wave we are having (temps in the high 90s), I like, but I can eat in moderation-- well, except the mint cookies and cream flavor that Ben and Jerry's carries, but digress. . ..

                                                            As someone in an earlier post asked, it would be helpful to know whether your preferences are for less sweet or sweeter things, b/c that would change whether to recommend dark or milk.

                                                            I'm a 70 percent or more dark person myself. :)

                                                            If you like red wine, you'd probably like dark chocolate, and they go great together. And just a little bit (like a small square or two) is enough, really.

                                                            In Europe, they seemed to serve a small square with almost every hot beverage I ordered.

                                                            Also, I'm probably an oddball for suggesting this, but try the bar with minimal things in it. Nibs and a few nuts or seasonings are great, but once you get into caramels and nougats and 90 percent of the truffles with this and that filling-- those become cloyingly sweet. Though if you're more of a sweet desserts type, then obviously ignore me.

                                                            But I grew up disliking snickers, milkyway, etc. etc. (the only exception was kitkat and reeses, but now I don't like the PB cups much anymore. KitKats are a different story. I'm still a sucker for them, alas. . ..) Then I discovered the good minimally/unadulterated chocolate bar.

                                                            However, if you don't like chocolate, that's totally fine! Think of all of the calories you're not wasting!

                                                            1. i think i'm somewhat one of the meh-chocolate people. While i occasionally enjoy a high quality piece (like the chocolate salted caramel i had last weekend from the market...mmm)....or some of the spiced varieties..chocolate is one of those things that i can buy, and it can sit in my cupboard forever with nary a thought. Salty things however...like potato chips...not a chance. One of my exception, like some others, are peanut butter cups. I can't even buy them at Halloween. But that's a small chocolate ratio. I love the salty peanutty chocolate covered goodness.

                                                              I prefer white birthday cake, or better, carrot cake...on my day

                                                              Occasionally the smell of melted chocolate, kind of nauseates me.

                                                              Which is all kind of amusing, because i make and sell some pretty ooey-gooey chocolate cheesecakes, that thankfully don't tempt me one little bit, and it's always or mostly the chocolate varieties that get ordered. I prefer the fruit varieties, and never order such things in restaurants for desserts. Give me a great creme brulee or raspberries and cream. Or better yet, an appetizer :)

                                                              I am insulin resistant or diabetes prone, for what it's worth. This aside, if and when i've ever eaten too many sweets, and particularly chocolate, my skin feels like i'm crawling, and i just feel like CRAP. I've had what i call candy/chocolate hangovers. Maybe that explains the willpower.

                                                              But that being said, i do like it, but as a very rare treat.

                                                              Many of the people who i know that are choco-maniacs...don't seem to exercise much discretion in what they'll chow down on, as long as it's chocolate. And that includes those "mocklate" varieties, like the "chocolate flavored confection" type things they sell on easter and such. So not worth it.

                                                              I'd recommend, if you tend to like salty or spicey foods, to try some of the chipotle chili, garam masala, or chocolate with sea salt type of deals. They're lovely.

                                                              But hey, if you aren't mad for the stuff.....why waste your calories in that direction? Cook something chocolatey for your pals....they won't even notice that you're not eating it while they're scarfing theirs down.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: im_nomad

                                                                ah -- perhaps the fact that you make and sell so much chocolate is part of what turns you off to it?

                                                                i think they've done surveys on this: generally people fall into either the love grease or love sweets category. often, it's related to gender. dudes are more likely to love grease, girls more likely to love sugar, supposedly. i'm a girl and i dearly love my grease and salt, while my SO... well... i guess he defies the trend, too. he loves both.

                                                                1. re: cimui

                                                                  I think you may be right about being around it all the time turning you off. I'm a card carrying chocoholic, but sometimes when I've been cooking with chocolate the smell of melted chocolate in the kitchen starts to get to me and makes me feel slightly nauseated. The aversion is of short duration, though!

                                                                2. re: im_nomad

                                                                  imnomad, you SELL cheesecakes? OMG. So it's true, if one is around the thing that one craves all day long........nah, it wouldn't help me.

                                                                  koreankorean, do you like savory stuff? What do you crave?

                                                                  1. re: im_nomad

                                                                    What does 'meh' mean? Is it American slang?:)

                                                                      1. re: Kelli2006

                                                                        eheh thanks Kelli:) It's a horrible sounding 'word' though isn't it?

                                                                        1. re: Kelli2006

                                                                          Thanks, I've been wondering, to, but hadn't gotten around to asking.

                                                                    1. I think it's perfectly fine to dislike chocolate, if it's not to your taste! I do like chocolate, but I'm not crazy about it. I prefer caramel or fruit-based desserts. I really like a square of dark chocolate every now and then. It just hits the spot.

                                                                      1. I'm not big on chocolate (or sweet things in general), my tastes run much more to the savoury side of taste sensations. The only time I crave a sweet dessert is after a spicy meal. And I prefer Chinese pastries to Western ones because they are less sweet.

                                                                        Having said all that, then, I love the very dark almost no sugar chocolate bars. The bigger the percentage of cocoa, the better. I don't have a favourite maker, I just get what looks like a good bar and eat it over the course of a week. Hmm, I should get one today...

                                                                        1. I have a huge sweet tooth and have tried to cultivate a taste for high quality chocolate (since I figured it was healthier than other sweets, due to the antioxidants), but recently have concluded that I just don't like the flavor of chocolate. I have a theory that people (like me) who don't like coffee also don't appreciate chocolate. The taste and smell of coffee nauseates me. I'm not nauseated by chocolate and can eat it on occasion, but I see it as along the coffee spectrum. I am curious if other coffee haters also don't have a taste for chocolate.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: omotosando

                                                                            Another data point: I hate the taste of coffee, but love the smell. I love chocolate.

                                                                          2. Another vote for the theory that perhaps Asians don't have a taste for chocolate. I'm Chinese and can take it or leave it. I do like dark chocolate with Cognac or Armagnac (my fave is El Rey Bucare) and most things from Fran's, and also have a serious weakness for most stuff from See's. But it's easy to stop after two or three bites. Caramel, on the other hand--I'll take anything caramel over anything chocolate, any day of the week!

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Erika L

                                                                              I'm not Asian, but I prefer Japanese cuisine to any other (with Thai second in place), so I guess that kind of counts, and accounts for my non love affair with chocolate.

                                                                              1. re: Erika L

                                                                                that can't be true given the popularily of ferrero rocher chocolates in chinese, japanese and korean grocery stores! it's a standard hostess present, was always present at lunar new year celebrations, etc...

                                                                                and the indian parts of my family by marriage all seem to be pretty obsessed with the stuff, too. standard presents to bring to india: the newest technological gadgets and chocolate.

                                                                                1. re: Erika L

                                                                                  My grandfather was a chocolatier in Asia and judging by his lifestyle prior to moving to the US, was not hurting for customers. Although I don't know how much that anecdote disproves your theory that Asians don't have a taste for chocolate since I dislike chocolate.

                                                                                2. Funny, but even as a child I looked at people as vanilla vs. chocolate lovers.
                                                                                  Not everybody likes chocolate in Europe- I am tempted to say that the love for chocolate is a very American thing. I will eat it, but never crave it. I much prefer vanilla!

                                                                                  1. I too could live happily without chocolate. But if you want to cultivate a taste, you might try Trader Joe's "One Pound Plus" 500 gram bar of Belgian chocolate ($3.49 for half a kilo of Belgian chocolate!). It is very creamy and doesn't have that intense bitter chocolatey flavor.

                                                                                    1. I really love chocolate. Rather than buy commercial stuff, I prefer to get a high-quality dark chcoclate from a company like Callebaut and make my own chocolate desserts, e.g. "Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte" from "The Cake Bible" by Rose Levy Barenbaum. All it contains is chocolate, eggs and butter, but I heighten the chcoclate taste by adding raspberry puree. Amazing stuff. Then there is the "Queen of Sheba" cake form "Cocolat" by Alice Medrich.....I could go on.

                                                                                      Of course, chocolate cake HAS to be served at room temperature.

                                                                                      1. I truly think that a desire for chocolate is something you're born with. I was strictly a vanilla ice cream girl, and I never much strayed from that. As an adult, I like chocolate well-enough, but it is definitely not something I go out of my way to have. My husband is pretty much the same way, but somehow, we gave birth to a chocoholic. At the age of 10, he decided that dark chocolate was the thing, and now, at 12, it's pretty much the only kind of chocolate he eats. One thing's for sure: he didn't get it from his parents!