Chocolates!


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Re: Chocolates!

Postby gingkoseto » Oct 11th, '10, 13:47

Oh I love chocolate!

I agree with entropyembrace about Lindt. I think it's more of a brand for gift chocolates than chocolates for personal enjoyment. But still I love some dark versions and nut versions of Lindt.

I currently get most of my chocolates from whole food. I would recommend this movie Chocolate Country to all chocolate lovers:
http://www.chocolatecountryfilm.com

It's an award winning small production film that is still struggling at selling more copies. I recommended it to friends last year and some of them told me the DVD made great Christmas gift :D

The producers (whom I personally know) spent years in a village in Dominican Republic helping people build up their cocoa co-op. The film well demonstrates why organic and fair trade chocolates are generally great in quality and tastes.

I am terrible at brand names. The chocolate brands I like include (I am not sure of their exact names) "Green and Black", "Fair Exchange", "Divine ..." and Taza. But I guess there are lots of great chocolates in Europe that can't be found here.
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby the_economist » Oct 11th, '10, 20:55

haha i should place a disclaimer here: my comments on the brands mentioned so far deal purely with their pure dark choc bars. i generally don't eat flavoured bars any more though i prob won't say no if offered a piece.
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby entropyembrace » Oct 14th, '10, 15:41

I picked up a sampler of single origin chocolates today...many are even single estate...will be fun to taste! :mrgreen:
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby TwoPynts » Oct 14th, '10, 16:42

There are many delicious chocolates out there (and quite a number of stinkers too) but one of my favorites is the Chocolove brand. They are normally available at health food stores like Wholefoods. They even come with a poem inside. The best are the 3 darkest plain chocolate ones, though the other varieties can be good too.

http://www.chocolove.com/10greatbars.htm
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby entropyembrace » Oct 14th, '10, 17:06

I tried the first one today... Mexico 66% cacao

It has a rich fruity character with hints of smoke and spice...like smoked chillis.

There´s definitely some similarity with the Oaxaca chocolate I had in Mexico :)
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby the_economist » Oct 15th, '10, 16:22

entropyembrace wrote:I tried the first one today... Mexico 66% cacao

It has a rich fruity character with hints of smoke and spice...like smoked chillis.

There´s definitely some similarity with the Oaxaca chocolate I had in Mexico :)


is this the house brand chocolate bars of the store near your campus? That's rather exciting :)

i find the non-blended single-origin/estate bars are generally more complex and have more character. some bars have wonderful characters. others are shady dudes hanging out in a dark alley! its been a while since i got my hands on a nice single-origin bar.

trying green n black's 70% now. the taste is pretty good, nice chocolaty punch, not overly bitter. its a little more sour than what i like but its overall a very decent bar :)

it may well become a staple choc, together with the lindt 70% (old recipe).
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby entropyembrace » Oct 15th, '10, 20:43

Yep, these are bars made next to campus...they have about 20 different single origin bars that they make in shop...and I have mini bars of 16 to try :)

planning on trying one each day...today Cuba 70%

It´s more subtle than the Mexico bar has notes of smoked chillis in common but they are not as strong in the Cuban...also detecting some leather notes...there´s a slight pleasant bitterness. The flavour notes are very subtle and hard to pin down in this one. Reminds me a bit of the Nannuo puerh from OTTI #5 that way...
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby Alucard » Oct 15th, '10, 21:06

Dark chocolate is my fav, usually straight up. Even inexpensive ones from Trader Joes are great. I recently had dark chocolate w/ chili pepper, actually they used chili pepper extract. It tasted exactly like plain dark chocolate, no pepper flavor at all but it had a slight burning sensation that you get when eating chili peppers.
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby debunix » Oct 15th, '10, 21:11

gingkoseto wrote:organic and fair trade chocolates are generally great in quality and tastes.


I have generally found chocolate with 'fair trade' and 'organic' labeling to be disappointing. I am more serious about my chocolate than my tea, and have tried chocolate from dozens of different makers, big commercial producers to some pretty small productions.

For 20 years I was allergic to chocolate--great big hives and swollen lips and eyes if I tried to sneak some, as I did every 5 years or so. But that last time I tried it, starting with some chocolate coated mint patties that probably contained only a tiny bit of actual cacao, I didn't break out, and I haven't since.

My theory, and I'm sticking to it, is that chocolate for me is like penicillin for someone who is seriously allergic to it: there is a specific desensitization protocol that can be used in an emergency, of giving a tiny then gradually increasing dose of it while making sure that the level of it in the body never again goes too low until the treatment is low, because stopping and starting it again will allow the allergy to return. But as long as a constant level of the drug is achieved and maintained in the blood, someone can get safely treated with it for a period of a few days or weeks. [FYI, this is only done in a hospital with lots of monitoring, don't try this at home!]

So I need to maintain a certain daily chocolate dosing or I will revert to chocolate allergy.....or at least that is how I rationalize my daily dose.

For a long time now I have preferred the 70% Scharffenberger, and only a few of the others I've tried have come close--some of the Michel Cluizel 1st Crus de la Plantation were right up there, but they're far more expensive than even my Scharffenberger, and to me not sufficiently better to justify the added cost.

But I'm always looking for new things to try, and have a bar at home that I bought recently that says it was made by the local cacao growers in Venezuela. Hope springs eternal, but Scharffenberger always wins.

This is my main competitor to sencha to start the day: hot chocolate. Some exceptionally fine days start with a little of both.

Image
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby entropyembrace » Oct 15th, '10, 22:50

thanks for giving the hot chocolate recipies debunix...I was wondering a bit how to make smooth hot chocolate from a bar.

I´ll give it a try with one of the better bars I can get at the grocery store like Côte D´or or Terra Nostra. :D

btw I broke my 1 single origin square a day "rule"

the first single estate bar... Oropucce Estate in Trinidad 65% cacao
it´s sweet and aromatic...shorter aftertaste and not as complex as the Cuban and Mexican bars.

Still haven´t gotten to any of the really high cacao content bars in the sampler...maybe one of them next.
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby the_economist » Oct 16th, '10, 00:29

the scharffenberger 70% is indeed good. if i see it in the supermarket (its a rarer creature) i usually get it, although scharffenberger texture is not quite as smooth i feel. the 70% bar has a nice robust chocolate kick to it.

that, the lindt 70 and now the green n black make up my regular choc eats.
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby TwoPynts » Oct 16th, '10, 09:56

Scharffenberger is indeed a top notch chocolate, and has an interesting back-story if you care to look it up. See's chocolates is also good if you like box chocolates.

http://www.sees.com/Cat.cfm/Dark_Chocolates

I had an allergy to bee stings. I would swell out of proportion to what most people experienced from a single sting. We used to keep a bee-sting kit handy when I was a kid. Then one day, I was stung and the reaction wasn't so bad. So I totally agree with debunix allergy theorem.
:mrgreen:
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby gingkoseto » Oct 16th, '10, 20:56

I agree with debunix's allergy theory too. :D
debunix, you are indeed serious about chocolate! :D I've checked out the Scharffenberger website. It's somewhat more expensive than the chocolates I usually get. But I am going to try some. I think expensive chocolate can actually make you more self-disciplined in eating and savor every bite more mindfully :D I probably had the "nibby" type before since the package looks somewhat familiar. I love the mouth feeling of nibs. :o
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby debunix » Oct 16th, '10, 23:03

I am very serious about chocolate, for sure.

One thing I really appreciate about the fancy high-percentage chocolates is that it is harder to overeat/overdo with a really strong chocolate than with a milder milk chocolate.
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Re: Chocolates!

Postby Chip » Oct 16th, '10, 23:22

debunix wrote:I am very serious about chocolate, for sure.

One thing I really appreciate about the fancy high-percentage chocolates is that it is harder to overeat/overdo with a really strong chocolate than with a milder milk chocolate.

This is quite true ...

I have not weighed in here yet, but have been reading each post with interest. Although my interest in DC has long been serious, serious enough to have it in my TC profile for the last 4.5 years, but I am a rank amateur compared to you guys. So I listen and learn on this topic. :mrgreen:
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