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Feb 27, 2008 05:58 AM

Novice Dark Chocolate Lover Needs Recommendations

I have been made aware of the health, anti-oxidant and appetite curbing benefits of dark cacao. I would like to order some high quality product from 'World Wide' and don't know where to start with so many possibilities. Too expensive to just start ordering "willy nilly". Can this novice get your best recommendations? I am open to your enlightened suggestions. Thanks

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  1. If you want some excellent chocolate that won't break the bank, I suggest you start with Plantations from Ecuador. I like the 65 percent (especially the version with cacao nibs), but you might want to order the 65 percent, the 75 percent and the 90 percent and do a comparison tasting to see what "level" you like best. Also, it doesn't have any vanilla, so you get a real "pure chocolate" flavor from it.

    I find it hard to believe that there isn't a retailer in Toronto that would have a big selection you could buy without paying for shipping. You might find this helpful:

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I would agree with Ruth that there must be a bazillion places in the GTA to buy and try good quality chocolate. If you go to any good gourmet food place, you should be able to buy all sorts of brands of chocolate.

      In the book "Foods that fight cancer", they recommend a dose of 40 grams of dark chocolate of 70% cocoa mass per day! Wow! Can't go wrong!

      So get thee to a gourmet food store, and start looking at the packages for 70% cocoa mass on your bar. Names I like (but frankly I am not that picky, I like most good quality chocolate): Valrhona, Callebaut, Poulain, Michel Cuizel, Cote D'Or, Lindt, etc.etc.etc.

      I find going much above 70% is a little hard core for me. Personally, I prefer somewhere from 55-70% cocoa mass is great.

      Have fun getting healthy!

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Actually, you don't even need to order or go to a chocolate specialty store. I think I discovered my first dark chocolate bar that I truly loved at Trader Joe's! If you have either a TJ or Whole Foods near you, there are excellent non-bank-breaking chocolates for $2 or so. I don't know about the TJ brand, but the one I tried I think was called Ocumare. It's $1.99 in the Bay Area, so I'd imagine that in other areas, it would be less. If you like milk, though, this one is bitter (71 percent), so you might start with something like 55 percent, then 60-65 percent, and gradually try the over-70 percent types.

        1. re: anzu

          The Ocumare chocolate at TJ's is Chocovic and is indeed good quality chocolate. However, the original poster is based on Toronto and doesn't have access to Trader Joe's.

      2. I prefer Callebaut as dark as I can find (Whole Food's semi-sweet chunks are quite tasty). Plantations is really good, but can be hard to find.

        In a pinch, and I tend to find this more often than not, I like Lindt 85% and also the Lindt dark chocolate with pear.

        1. I tried Callebaut for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was HEAVEN! I like Purdy's 70% and it made Purdy's taste like garbage.