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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!!

              DT

              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