Chocolate Recommendations

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ThankYouJack
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Chocolate Recommendations

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:24 pm

My local grocery store doesn't have an extensive chocolate selection. I'm looking for something that's high cocoa (60-85%) and medium to higher end brand (but not crazy expensive). Any chocolate aficionados out there and recommendations on what to try and where to get it?

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nisiprius
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by nisiprius » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:44 pm

I like Taza Mexican-style chocolate, made in Somerville, MA. I prefer the wheels with the gritty texture (sugar crystals). You're actually supposed to use them to make hot chocolate, not to eat, but what do I care about how you're supposed to use them? Expensive, not crazy-expensive. My wife and I treat ourselves to a wheel every few months. They have an 85% "super dark." They also have chocolate covered cacao nibs, yes, chocolate-covered chocolate, and unfortunately that is crazy-expensive, but... I think we need to get ourselves some for Christmas. My wife once made brownies according to my late mom's brownie recipe but covered them with chocolate-covered cacao nibs... wow...
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daveatca
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Re: Chocolate

Post by daveatca » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:55 pm

Trader Joe's
500g for $4.99
Made in Belgium
3 variations
Image
Last edited by daveatca on Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PAW
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by PAW » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:06 pm

Yes to chocolate-covered cacao nibs. Trader Joe's has them very cheap, a couple bucks for a 3.5-oz package of tiny, crunchy nibs covered in 66% dark chocolate. Very easy to snack on without going overboard. I believe dark chocolate is a health food, but not when I eat an entire bar at once. 8-)

My favorite is Jacques Torres fresh from his factory in DUMBO, Brooklyn, but of all readily commercially available brands, TJ's may be my favorite, with Lindt a close second (if it's fresh). But Trader Joe's price-to-quality ratio can't be beat, and they sell so much it's always fresh.
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Re: Chocolate

Post by Zott » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:20 pm

daveatca wrote:Trader Joe's
500g for $4.99
Made in Belgium
3 variations
These are good but I thought that I would need a jackhammer to break off bite-size pieces. I prefer TJ's 73% dark chocolate bar with almonds---$1.99 for 3.5 ounces.

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Sandi_k » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:06 pm

Lindt Swiss chocolate

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by marco1910 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:07 pm

Trader Joe's 88% is the best!

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Chocolate

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:23 pm

daveatca wrote:Trader Joe's
500g for $4.99
Made in Belgium
3 variations
Agree that Trader Joe's has good chocolate bars at very reasonable prices. They have both small bars that come in packages of three and "pound plus" bars - same chocolate, different packaging.
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JimInIllinois
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by JimInIllinois » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:43 pm

Try Aldi, usually right near the entrance.

rixer
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by rixer » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:49 pm

For me, nothing beats those individually wrapped Doves milk chocolates you buy in a bag at most grocery stores and pharmacies. They're the best and they don't even cost that much.

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by pierremonfrere » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:56 pm

http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com/

https://www.grenadachocolate.com/

http://www.jouvaychocolate.com/

My top three. Two are from the island of Grenada that a tried while I lived there. Not sure if you can get them here.

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tetractys
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by tetractys » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:17 am

No recommendation. I think the fake stuff tastes a lot better. -- Tet

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by rayout » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:23 am

Delish 70% midnight dark

It is a walgreens house brand. Higher cocoa butter content than most for a smooth mouth feel.

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sunnywindy
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by sunnywindy » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:57 am

Green & Black's Chocolate, preferably "Dark 85%"
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lgs88
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by lgs88 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:59 am

I second the recommendation for Green and Black's. I am partial to their dark chocolate with orange.

But nothing beats a Hershey bar with almonds.
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Barefootgirl » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:48 am

I prefer cocoa beans to processed chocolate, actually. They're great ground and brewed like coffee - more intense chocolate flavor than hot chocolate, IMO - and I even add a bit of cream. yummy. I think the reason I like it so much is because I love the flavor of chocolate but with cocoa beans I can control the level of sweetness or "darkness" I like - can't do that with a pre-made bar and I find them all either too sweet or too dark/bitter - or worse, many are even waxy/fake tasting. I realize I am a bit of an oddball on this - we all have our thing.
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BeerTooth
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by BeerTooth » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:36 am

another vote for Aldi

incredible value for the quality of dark chocolate you get

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by angelescrest » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:04 am

Trader Joe's is the best I've found for the price.

Dove chocolates? Hershey's? No thanks.

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JDCarpenter
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:34 am

DW is into dark chocolates of various types. But, her "go to" to finish off the wine from dinner most nights is Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Chips, Bittersweet Chocolate (60% cocoa). Not the very best chocolate in the house, but quite good, great bang for the buck, and no hassle to eat just a bit and put the bag away for the next day(s).
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House Blend
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Re: Chocolate

Post by House Blend » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:41 am

Zott wrote:
daveatca wrote:Trader Joe's
500g for $4.99
Made in Belgium
3 variations
These are good but I thought that I would need a jackhammer to break off bite-size pieces. I prefer TJ's 73% dark chocolate bar with almonds---$1.99 for 3.5 ounces.
Those 500g 72% bars have stayed on my grocery list for a couple of decades.

When you unwrap the bar, score all of the grooves with a knife, put the bar inside a clear plastic produce bag, and then break off the squares with your hands.

Works for me.

One square apiece is the standard dessert chez Blend. Supplement with a few strawberries when in season. Bliss.

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:42 am

sunnywindy wrote:Green & Black's Chocolate, preferably "Dark 85%"
+1, the 70% version is also quite good. Sometimes you can find it for a real Boglehead price of $1.99 for a 3.5 oz bar. You will not be able to eat the bar in one sitting, it's quite rich.

Also, Lindt Swiss made Extra Milch......difficult to get here in the States, but super rich milk chocolate, one piece goes a long way. Yum. :)
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:44 am

JDCarpenter wrote:DW is into dark chocolates of various types. But, her "go to" to finish off the wine from dinner most nights is Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Chips, Bittersweet Chocolate (60% cocoa). Not the very best chocolate in the house, but quite good, great bang for the buck, and no hassle to eat just a bit and put the bag away for the next day(s).
Jacque Torres aka Mr. Chocolate sells baking chips, they are more like miniature disks of chocolate but they are about $6 a pound for 60% and $11 or $12 a pound for 72%.
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soboggled
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by soboggled » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:50 am

I like See's chocolates, inexpensive and fresh, about $20/lb plus shipping, 200 local shops. Not much more than bigger US companies but much better.
In business since 1921, owned by Warren Buffet since 1973.
TJ's also a bargain.

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Raybo » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:09 am

I have been a serious consumer of high-percentage chocolate bars for decades. Everyone who knows me brings me chocolate bars. After some serious effort, I've managed to reduce my intake to about half a bar a day, though, I often take down an entire bar or more in a day.

I used to keep a log on my phone that rated each bar I bought and tasted so that when I saw one at a good price I could see if I liked it the last time I had it. I also used to hold (70%+) chocolate tasting for friends. No matter what the line-up, Lindt 70% chocolate bar (the white wrapper) always won the blind tasting.

My favorite used to the the Green and Black organic 70% and 85% bars. But, in the past 2 years (as a result of California's requirement to label harmful chemical exposure), there have been numerous reports about the contamination of lead and cadmium in chocolate. More and more brands and bars have been tested over these years and the results are shocking, at least to me. The brands I used to enjoy, I no longer eat in an attempt to lower my exposure to these two heavy metals.

You can view any number of articles about lead and cadmium in chocolate by searching google. The blog entry has a long list of brands/bars that have been tested.

I was shocked to learn that bars of Green and Black, Lindt, Trader Joe's, Choco-love, and others, I've enjoyed in the past, are all on the list as containing enough lead and/or cadmium to force a warning under California law. Granted, there are too many brands and bars to test them all, so it is hard to now if a particular bar is "safe" to eat. The only high percentage bar in the "No Warning Required" list is the Ghirardelli 86% bar. While this isn't a bad tasting bar (if you like 86% dark chocolate), it is now the one I try to eat mostly. All in all, one of the saddest discoveries of my life!
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soccerdad12
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by soccerdad12 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:24 am

I am definitely not a chocolate snob, but I do eat 1 square of Ghirardelli 86% dark everyday. I buy the ones in the individually wrapped packages so I am not tempted to increase the amount I eat. Supposedly dark chocolate is really good for you in small amounts. I like the taste, but to tell the truth I eat it for the supposed health benefits.

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by soboggled » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:29 am

Ironic that raybo's list is for dark chocolate, the one that is supposed to be good for you. First arsenic in red wine, now this. What's next, poisonous broccoli?

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Toons » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:32 am

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Pete12
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Pete12 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:53 am

Another +1 for the Moser Roth chocolate at Aldi - you could eat it blindfolded and not know the difference from the high-end / expensive brands!

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JDCarpenter
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:53 am

Raybo wrote:...

I was shocked to learn that bars of Green and Black, Lindt, Trader Joe's, Choco-love, and others, I've enjoyed in the past, are all on the list as containing enough lead and/or cadmium to force a warning under California law. ...
This [apparently] is a warning under Prop. 65. I'm personally shocked if an item doesn't contain a warning under that regime. Unless I were melting the bars down and mainlining them every hour, I wouldn't be concerned.
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by angelescrest » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:59 am

soccerdad12 wrote:I am definitely not a chocolate snob, but I do eat 1 square of Ghirardelli 86% dark everyday. I buy the ones in the individually wrapped packages so I am not tempted to increase the amount I eat. Supposedly dark chocolate is really good for you in small amounts. I like the taste, but to tell the truth I eat it for the supposed health benefits.
Nothing about those little bitty packages prevents the temptation for me to just open a second, third, or fourth one.

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by nisiprius » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:10 am

lgs88 wrote:...But nothing beats a Hershey bar with almonds...
I used to think so, even ten years ago, but not any more. To me they are almost like white chocolate: smooth, luxurious, sweet, crunchy, everything that goes with chocolate except an actual chocolate taste. Sure there's some, but there just isn't very much. Every so often I'll give them a try, and I've been disappointed.

I don't know if that's because I'm getting old, or because I've gotten accustomed to the taste of dark chocolate, or whether Hershey's has cheapened the product... or all three.

I do suspect the product may have changed, though. And the reason is that when I've tried other childhood-memory-hard-to-find things... like Chuckles, Nik-L-Nips, Necco wafers... I've gotten an intense flashback, and suddenly it's as if I'm in elementary school again. (I got the same thing when I revisited my elementary school and, apparently, they must use the same distinctive sweeping compound they used because when the door opened and I caught the smell, bingo! Time travel!)

Hershey bars with almonds do not give me that flashback.
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by pennstater2005 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:23 am

I've tried liking dark chocolate but I can't. Milk chocolate only. I need the saturated fat....that's taste baby! For years I couldn't figure out why my dad's dippy eggs tasted so much better than mine. He cooked them in bacon grease!
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by alpenglow » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:33 am

Burdick Chocolate is my favorite.

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by nisiprius » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:34 am

tetractys wrote:No recommendation. I think the fake stuff tastes a lot better. -- Tet
It's funny you should mention that. There is some strange "chocolatey" coating they put on things like Hostess Do-Nettes or Drake's Funny Bones. It is thin, glossy, and has a consistency almost like a sheet of plastic. It separates and peels off easily from the cake underneath, like an eggshell does from a hard-boiled egg. Every once in a while I will get an intense craving for it. It does not taste like chocolate. It tastes like the chocolatey coating they put on things.

I also have a strange affection for some kind of flavoring that goes in cheap "chocolate" ice-cream novelties, like the little cups that are half-"vanilla," half-"chocolate" with a little wooden spoon in them. The tip-off is that the "chocolate" isn't brown, it's a sort of dark violet. The "vanilla" doesn't taste like vanilla, the "chocolate" doesn't taste like chocolate, and neither tastes like ice cream--not very cold--but the two halves do taste different from each other.

(The strawberry in the "Van-Choc-Straw" slices doesn't taste like strawberry, either, but it does taste different from the Van and the Choc.)
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by nisiprius » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:46 am

I was intrigued by the claimed heart-healthy benefits for chocolate until I dug into it a little deeper, and found that the original research, on a tribe of native Panamanians called the Kuna, involved their drinking eight cups a day... of strong unsweetened cocoa. So, if you drank it to U.S. taste, sweetened and with milk added, you'd be talking >2,400 calories a day in cocoa alone...

...and that the study was funded by Mars...

...and that another researcher found that has raised serious questions about it.
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by sunnywindy » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:38 am

Re: Hershey's: It's not my favorite brand, but it is worth a trip to Hershey PA. The atmosphere kind of gets you into the 'spirit of chocolate' and then everything tastes good!!
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Kitty Telltales » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:44 am

JimInIllinois wrote:Try Aldi, usually right near the entrance.
. Just to add, we live in Germany and the chocolate sold at Aldi is one of the highest rated in Germany. What is sold here is exactly what is sold in the USA. Aldi USA often sells many German popular items. :sharebeer Especially during the holiday season.

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by heartwood » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:30 pm

tetractys wrote:No recommendation. I think the fake stuff tastes a lot better. -- Tet
I don't think it was fake, but I always loved (and still do) the cheap chocolate easter bunnies of my childhood (and adulthood).

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by malabargold » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:35 pm

Merckens, Callebaut

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by barreg » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:52 pm

Another vote here for Trader Joe's.

Besides the pound plus dark chocolate bars, the dark chocolate almonds are also excellent.

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Re: Chocolate

Post by S&L1940 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:55 pm

daveatca wrote:Trader Joe's
500g for $4.99
Made in Belgium
3 variations
Image
+1 I take the TJ's dark chocolate straight; with some self control a bar can last almost a month...
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by S&L1940 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:05 pm

Kitty Telltales wrote:
JimInIllinois wrote:Try Aldi, usually right near the entrance.
. Just to add, we live in Germany and the chocolate sold at Aldi is one of the highest rated in Germany. What is sold here is exactly what is sold in the USA. Aldi USA often sells many German popular items. :sharebeer Especially during the holiday season.
Aldi and TJ's are from the same mother. not sure if they are still corporately linked but would guess that some of their products are from the same source. They also seem to have the same growth model, slowly moving into a geographic area and then saturating locations. For years there was a web site begging TJ's to come to south Florida.
Now they are slowly blanketing the state.
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by rec7 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:07 pm

Trader Joe's organic chocolate bars $1.99 I think. My favorite.
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Re: Chocolate

Post by mrc » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:11 pm

daveatca wrote:Trader Joe's
500g for $4.99
Made in Belgium
3 variations
Image
+1M on that, but I don't like sharing this too broadly -- don't want them to run out!
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by livesoft » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:17 pm

soboggled wrote:Ironic that raybo's list is for dark chocolate, the one that is supposed to be good for you. First arsenic in red wine, now this. What's next, poisonous broccoli?
I think there is no problem with eating two 43% bars if you like 86% and no problem eating four 21% bars if you like 83%. If we just talk about the moles of the chemicals that you get, then it just doesn't matter. Sure, you will get some sugar along with your other chemicals, but you can reduce sucrose and other carbohydrates elsewhere in your diet.

Besides, chocolate with almonds is a mild laxative and pushes out food before it all gets absorbed in your intestines. Perhaps that's another take on getting something 'before it all runs out.'
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by nisiprius » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:21 pm

heartwood wrote:
tetractys wrote:No recommendation. I think the fake stuff tastes a lot better. -- Tet
I don't think it was fake, but I always loved (and still do) the cheap chocolate easter bunnies of my childhood (and adulthood).
The mouth feel of biting off a hollow ear is great. And the Drostes' chocolate oranges they sell around Christmastime are actually quite good.

The worst, the worst, the absolute worst are the chocolate bars youth organizations sell as fundraisers. The brand I love to hate is, if I recall correctly, actually called "World's Finest Chocolate." I buy them because, you know. And then I try to eat them because I've paid for them and how bad can they be? And then I don't finish them. These are the only chocolate bars I have ever not finished.
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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Ninegrams » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:07 pm

barreg wrote:Another vote here for Trader Joe's.

Besides the pound plus dark chocolate bars, the dark chocolate almonds are also excellent.
I used to buy the 72% bars until I tried the chocolate&almond ones which are just incredibly tasty IMO(plus almonds are just so healthy for you), and as a bonus they aren't on the lead/cadmium list. Win,win, win!

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by Youngblood » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:12 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:I prefer cocoa beans to processed chocolate, actually. They're great ground and brewed like coffee - more intense chocolate flavor than hot chocolate, IMO - and I even add a bit of cream. yummy. I think the reason I like it so much is because I love the flavor of chocolate but with cocoa beans I can control the level of sweetness or "darkness" I like - can't do that with a pre-made bar and I find them all either too sweet or too dark/bitter - or worse, many are even waxy/fake tasting. I realize I am a bit of an oddball on this - we all have our thing.
Similarly, I use Hershey's special dark 100% cacao.

Sugar is poison so as much as I can limit it...

I've heard some people just chew the beans. Do you do that? If so, is it palatable?

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Re: Chocolate Recommendations

Post by jdb » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:33 pm

This thread may not be good for my so called diet. Realized that we are out of TJ's 72% dark chocolate covered almonds so of course will need to make special trip tomorrow to replenish. Thanks for the reminder, I guess. [Edit one day later:73%. How do I know?]
Last edited by jdb on Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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