Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Mar 16, 2009 03:05 PM

Good inexpensive eating chocolate?

My all-time favorite eating chocolates are:

- Amedei Porcelana
- Amedei Chuao
- Domori Porcelana
- Valrhona Ampamakia
- Michel Cluizel 1er Cru d'Hacienda `Concepcion'

Unfortunately these are a bit too expensive for everyday consumption.

Until recently my everyday eating bar was Valrhona Madagascar Manjari 64%. Our local Whole Foods carried them for $3.39 per 75g bar, but, sadly, they recently discontinued it.

I've looked everywhere for a similarly priced replacement. Online retailers carry the Manjari bar, but for $5.65 each (at Chocosphere). I've tried other well-regarded inexpensive products, such as Dagoba 59% and Chocolove Rich Dark, as well as Valrhona's Noir Amer and Noir Cacao, but these just seem to have off-flavors and lack the refinement of the Manjari.

So, my question is: can anyone recommend a good inexpensive eating chocolate that's comparable to Valrhona's Manjari?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This may sound unsofisticated in the chocolate world, but have you tried Trader Joes chocolates? I usually get the milk chocolate (my favorite type), and enjoy it more than any other variety I have tried, which admittedly does not include any of those listed above.

    11 Replies
      1. re: Peripatetic

        I went to my local TJ and bought the three-pack of the TJ's milk chocolate (the one with the yellow wrapper -- is that the one you were referring to?) and . . . it's not bad! It has a slightly odd caramel flavor, but I like caramel and could live with it.

      2. re: sdnosh

        I've always liked TJ's chocovic line.

        1. re: sdnosh

          I agree that Trader Joe's has many good well-priced chocolate bars. Some taste better than others...

          I like TJ's Swiss dark chocolate - in a green cardboard wrapper.
          The best value... the 3-pack of 47 gram Belgian chocolate bars. Great quality at a very reasonable price.

          I did not like the 100 calorie dark chocolate bars.

          1. re: val ann c

            val ann c, those three-packs are Callebaut - at least, I bought one (bittersweet) a couple years ago that had Callebaut stamped in the chocolate. Usually, the chocolate is without an imprint, so I figured it must have been an error that "outed" the maker.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              good to know!

              btw, i don't know the chocolate referenced by the o.p., but i like those little dove individually-wrapped dark chocolates called "promises".

              if the o.p. is talking about bittersweet, like the "green and black" organics mentioned by pete s, below, then my little "dove" suggestion is so off-base. mr. alka brought those back from u.k. recently, and they're too bitter for me.

              1. re: alkapal

                Oh I like the promises too. I can't really eat dark/bittersweet chocolate because it triggers migraines, so most of what is listed here really doesn't work for me.

                1. re: queencru

                  the promises are the silkiest chocolates i've had since i ate superb chocolates in brussels.

                2. re: alkapal

                  I agree about Green and Black's . . . I lived in the UK for over ten years and never understood their popularity, other than the British following among a certain demographic for all things organic.

                  I tried Dove Promises and thought they didn't seem to have enough cocoa butter content. Non-premium producers remove some butter fat and sell it separately because they make more in total than if they kept it in and sold it as premium. Mass market producers remove almost all of it and replace it with cheaper vegetable oil. I forget which category Dove falls into.

                    1. re: Peripatetic

                      In the US, it cannot be labeled "chocolate" if it contains vegetable oil, it must be labeled "chocolate flavored."

            2. M&M's dark chocolate, yumm....

              2 Replies
              1. re: cstr

                I love M&Ms, but I can't control myself around them! With good chocolate I can eat just a little and be happy.

              2. You might want to check out Cost Plus/World Market. They have a good selection of premium chocolate bars at good prices, and they also have some of their own private label bars that are pretty good (especially the sea salt) and very reasonable.

                However, I think you're going to have to resign yourself to the fact that the bars you listed are the creme de la creme, and there's a reason they're so expensive! You're simply not going to find that quality at a much lower price.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  You're right about World Market, I will check them out again.

                  I know I won't find Amedei/Domori/Cluizel at low prices, but until recently I was able to get Valrhona Manjari bars (which are very good but not ultra-premium) for a good price ($3.39 for a 75g bar) from Whole Foods. I was hoping someone could recommend something else on a par with Valrhona Manjari at a comparable price.

                2. WorldWideChocolate has your bar at $3.99 each, or $17.99 per 5-pack. :)

                  That is, of course, before shipping charges.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mcsheridan

                    Thanks! Shipping is rather high, but it works out to close to $4 per bar if you order 25 of them. That's not too bad.

                  2. If you can find Sarotti Grand Chocolates (200g/7oz bars), it's relatively inexpensive.