*Good* white chocolate. Where to buy/order (that's not ridiculously expensive)?
I like to use white chocolate for baking and candy making at times. I use Trader Joe's white chocolate chips, but that's seasonal. I normally buy a lot. I used to buy block white chocolate from them, too, but they stopped carrying Ghiradelli bar chunks a while back.
Any suggestions on where to buy good white chocolate (either chips or bar chunks) that is real white chocolate (not just white chips or candy melts)?
These are two online companies are recommended by posters in previous threads. Both of these companies have a good selection of white chocolate brands in different sizes and shapes. Chocolatesource is a little cheaper, but they make up for that in shipping charges. There may be some restrictions on shipping right now, depending on where you live and the weather. For local companies, I use Trader Joe's or other stores in my area. Other posters closer to your area may have more ideas for where you can buy locally:
A third online source is World Wide Chocolate:
In summer, most companies tack on a charge for special warm weather packaging and require or strongly advise next-day or two-day air shipping. Chocosphere is located in Oregon, while Chocolatesource and World Wide Chocolate are headquartered in Massachusetts and New Hampshire respectively. If you live on either coast, you may be able to take advantage of less expensive ground shipping.
I do the same as you - stock up on TJ's. I used to keep most of it in the fridge but came upon an unopened bag that had been in the cupboard for well over a year in which the summer was very hot. I expected them to be rancid or at least taste bad, but they were fine.
Here are the results, cocoa butter percentages, and pricing from Cook's Illustrated's ratings of white chocolate. Note that it is from 1997 so the per pound prices will be for comparative purposes only, and I have omitted the street addresses and phone numbers (no web addresses back then!):
Barry Callebaut White Superior, 30%,chunk, $9
Lindt White Swiss, 30-35%13oz bar for $6
Peter's Snowcap, 38%chunk, $4
NOTEWORTHY: El Rey ICOA, 34%, chunk, $5.35
Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels, 0%, 12 oz for $2.39
Perugina Classic White, 20%, 3oz bar for $1.59
Ghirardelli White Confection, 36% 4oz bar for $2.29
Merckens Ivory, 30-40%, chunk, $4.50
Baker's Premium White Chocolate, undisclosed %, 6oz box of squares for $2.19
Valrhona Ivory, 35%, chunk, $10.21
VanLeer VanGogh, 39%,chunk, $5
Barry Callebaut Ultimate Line 1000, 24%. chips, $3.80
The good news, I guess, is that the Lindt is widely available in supermarkets and drugstores. (They have a white chocolate and coconut bar that I like for eating as is.)
There used to be a bunch of Lindt stores in this area but they have closed in the past couple of years.
These are really helpful. Thanks! I definitely know where to find good white chocolate; I just don't know where to find it at a reasonable price (for the amount I like to use). Whole Foods has it in large chunks for a large chunk of a price...know what I mean? Wanted some alternatives. Those on-line sources look good; I think my stash can wait until cooler months. I recall looking at them and feeling a little put off by the surcharge for overnight shipping (due to weather/season).