Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Dec 18, 2012 05:46 PM

Dark vs. Milk: Let the Battle Begin

Do you crave delicious, dark, bittersweet chocolate, or do you wimp out and eat chalky milk chocolate (deliberately provacative)?

Defend your viewpoint.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I enjoy both. Is that allowed?

    It all depends on what my tastebuds are in the mood for at the time.

    As a child, we were all confronted by the Hershey bars at the grocery checkout. They were the ultimate then.

    I still love the Toblerone that were sold at school fundraisers.

    A Russian friend turned me on to all the delicious dark chocolates with a glass of Port.

    It's chocolate. It's all good!

    I guess I'm defenseless, at least when it comes to chocolate.

    12 Replies
    1. re: justalex

      Justpaula stepping in here to totally agree with justalex. I love chocolate, almost any, and unless it is total crap I will be delighted to eat either dark or milk. However, I do lean towards dark and will prefer it if I am eating a chocolate bar or piece with other flavors (I.e. - mint, orange, coconut, raspberry). I have a soft spot for Cadbury Milk Chocolate Fruit and Nut bars and am fortunate to live in a part of NYC where I can easily obtain the ones imported from the UK instead of settling for the ones produced by Hershey' s that are found all over the U.S.

      Interestingly, just yesterday I watched an episode of ATK/Cooks Country on which the taste test segment was dedicated to milk chocolate bars. The losers were the obvious choices (Hershey' s and Nestle), the audience had selected a Dove bar as their favorite, but the test kitchen winner was a brand I had never heard of: Endangered Species. It intrigued me because it is a milk chocolate, but it has a 48% cacao content - which I believe is nearly double the amount in most milk chocolate. Sounds wonderful to me! On the expensive side, but I deserve a treat...and thanks to Amazon Prime's free two day shipping, it will be in my hands by Thursday.

      1. re: Justpaula

        ". . . it has a 48% cacao content - which I believe is nearly double the amount in most milk chocolate."

        It more like four times as much, compared to mass market milk chocolate. A Hershey bar contains 11% cacao, only 1% above the FDA's required minimum of 10%. Basically, you are eating sugar with a little chocolate thrown in.

        At the other end of the scale, Bonnat in France makes milk chocolate bars with 65% cacao. That's the highest amount I know of. It's as high as, or higher than, many dark chocolate bars.

        I confess to a preference for dark chocolate in the 70-80% range, but also enjoy a well made milk chocolate that is not too "burnt caramelly"--a fairly common defect that comes from cooking the milk.

        1. re: cheesemaestro

          Wow! Thanks for that info, I hadn't realized that most milk chocolate had such little cacao content, making the Endangered Species 48% sound more intriguing to me (can't wait to receive the package of twelve, yes twelve, bar package I ordered).

          So, as I mentioned before, I lean towards dark, but there is something to be said for the comforting, creamy, mouth-feel of a decent milk chocolate.

          1. re: cheesemaestro

            I'm usually a 70%+ dark chocolate kind of guy, but I do enjoy the smoothness of milk chocolate so the 65% Bonnat bars are intriguing... But I just Googled around and found them selling for $10+ each. Any idea on whether they can be had at a slightly lower price?

            1. re: davis_sq_pro

              Around $10 seems to be the going price, but I would take a look at the two big online chocolate sites: Chocosphere on the west coast and World Wide Chocolate on the east coast. WWC has a special on all Bonnat bars through Tuesday (Feb. 12) for $8.00 a bar (normally $10), while Chocosphere's regular price is $8.45. Each organization has an extensive selection, and ordering from either is a great way to explore different bars. If you buy a variety, rather than just a couple of bars, the shipping cost isn't prohibitive. If you live on or near the east coast, shipping by ground will probably be cheaper from WWC, but this may be cancelled out by WWC's overall higher prices. Chocosphere has better information on its web site about the producers, their bars and flavor profiles than WWC.

              I also like Michel Cluizel's milk chocolate bars, which, however, have a lower cacao content, in the 47%-50% range. For that matter, I really like Cluizel's dark chocolate bars, including, if you're inclined to go all the way, the Noir Infini bar, which is a 99% bar, and, as such, might not be to your taste..

          2. re: Justpaula

            hmmm... seems I might have seen this brand at whole foods?

            1. re: Justpaula

              Our co-ops and natural foods stores carry this brand.

              1. re: Justpaula

                My regular grocery store carries Endangered chocolates, so I grabbed a bar of their 48% milk the other day. Wow. It has the nice creamy texture of really good milk chocolate, but a much more intense chocolate flavor.

                1. re: mpjmph

                  Wow, is right. I finally tried it and I also really enjoy the intense dark chocolate flavor - not intense for those who prefer 70% + cacao, but very strong nonetheless. Combined with the creaminess of a milk chocolate, a snappy creaminess though, this bar really hits the spot of my chocolate happiness. I have eleven bars left. Must. Have. Restraint.

                  Since I am still in baking mode, I am thinking I may chop some up for a recipe instead of eating them all out of hand.

                  1. re: Justpaula

                    Me, three. It's my favorite milk and is great in that "Ultimate Hot Chocolate" recipe and its variants that's on Chow.

                2. re: Justpaula

                  I got a bar of the Endangered Species milk chocolate in the organic section of Kroger today.
                  Since I've been nibbling on Christmas cookies all day, I'm saving the chocolate for after dinner when my mouth isn't having a sugar overload.
                  I am very curious!

                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                    Me too! I received my twelve-bar pack from Amazon today, and upon opening it, I explained to my DH the discussion here - and reminded him of the taste test we saw last weekend on ATK/Cooks Country. His immediate reply to the milk v. dark question was "milk all the way!", while my preference is towards dark (although I like milk too.....I mean, hey, if it is chocolate I like it). But, he is equally intrigued by the high cacao content in the Endangered Species Milk Chocolate. Planning on ripping one open before the night is through (I am also knee deep in Christmas cookies).

              2. What battle?

                Neither is a substitute for the other. Each has its unique role and place in the culinary tableau.

                When I want or need dark and don't have it, my first impulse is not to reach for milk. My first and perhaps only impulse is to go get some dark. And vice versa.

                If the question is given the choice which one would you rather have one bite of? If that was the case I would abstain and just walk away.

                1. My favorite is a strawberry dipped in white chocolate, then dark chocolate, then milk chocolate. In that order.

                  1. I'm bi-choc-u-al. I even experiment with white chocoloate at times. Different moods, different chocolate.

                    Why are you eating such shitty milk choc that it's chalky? Seriously, I tend to find it rather smooth.

                    1. I'm not a choc-aholic, but do prefer dark over milk.