Because I'm trying to stick with my decision not to post any more political posts (and boy, is that hard--but, you know, I don't think I'd change anyone's mind any more than the scores of other political posts are going to change my mind)...

I discovered something about my plebeian tastes recently. (Well, something more--I already knew that I preferred good/straightfoward food to Haute Cuisine, for example.)

I figured out a long time ago that dark chocolate tasted better to me than milk chocolate. To wit, I really and truly liked Hershey's Special Dark, rationing it out a quarter-bar (that is, half an ounce) a day--when you can find Hershey's Special Dark.

So with the proliferation of serious chocolate from around the world, I thought I'd see what $5 or $6 gets you that $0.60 doesn't, trying some of the best-known and most expensive chocolate bars.

And discovered something: The most expensive ones, with 70% chocolate content (or whatever the key ingredient is), I didn't like at all.--could barely eat them. The middling ones, 40% to 60% chocolate, were OK.

And I actually liked Hershey's Special Dark, which is presumably a degraded mass consumer piece of c**p, better than the expensive spread.
Ah well. We don't all have rarefied tastes, at least not in all things. (Now when it comes to cruise ships, I do have rarefied tastes...another story.)


And isn't it nice to know that research shows chocolate is actually good for us.

Thank you! Quite sincerely, I am very pleased at any honest agreement we can come to. Perhaps chocolate is sort of a reverse "No-mans land"--an "Every-person's land".

I'm pretty sure the stuff I buy semi-bulk at WFM (El Rey) is Mexican. I have also heard that the Mexicans make their hot chocolate with water rather than milk. That would take some getting used to, but, since chocolate is involved, I think I could get used to it.

Loved your description ChuckB...poetic. And I think history proves it out too; didn't the Mexicans (who found the stuff) get high on chocolate? Hey, seems like when we don't agree on anything else, we agree on chocolate! What's not to like?

Walt, the thing with the 70% stuff (I actually like it in small quantities) is that it has less SUGAR cause it has 70% cocoa, so only 30% is left for other ingredients.

The very best (I regret to say I am a chocolate connisseur--and it shows)--is GUYLIAN. It's Belgian I think and they make these incredible thin little squares that come in a black box, a good thing to buy at the duty free next time you fly overseas. Enjoy!

I think there is something opium-like, something sweetly oblivion-inducing about good dark chocolate. To me, it's as if its flavor anaesthetizes part of my brain without actually making me unconscious. While the flavor of good dark chocolate is on my tongue, it's as if I can still see the world around me, but I'm really staring past it into the beautiful, silky darkness of outer space, sprinkled with just a few gem-like stars. I get the same effect from good-quality chocolate ice cream, especially when doused with a jab of rum or Irish whiskey. No pain.

I love Lindt's dark chocolate bars (I think they run around $3 in these parts), although the Lindt 70% Cocoa that recently appeared at a Randalls near us would definitely take some getting used to.

The stuff I mainline, however, is El Rey 70%. I pick up a small ingot of it each week at the Whole Foods on the way to work (about 2" x 4" x 3/4"). Behind the coffee bar there is a table piled with chunks of Scharffenberger, El Rey, and one or two other brands whose names I haven't learned, all broken off from large bars and weighed and labeled and wrapped in cellophane. El Rey is only $5.99/lb (Scharffenberger and its German and French colleagues I think are all well above $10.00), and at that price it is really quite nice.

My chief quarrel with American chocolate is that the makers seem now to use some corn syrup to sweeten it instead of real sugar. Perhaps I'm imagining things, but I seem to be able to taste it right away.

Yes, I've tried Dove. For a long time, that was what I was eating. For my own taste, it and Hershey Special Dark are comparable--and HSD's easier for portion control.

Does Ghirardelli make dark chocolate? I never remembered G. as being anything more than ordinary, but it's been quite a while here too.

I think it's the best mass market dark chocolate. Ghiardelli is good too but it's been quite a while since I've had it.

I am not a big fan of expensive dark chocolate myself. I am not a huge fan of dark chocolate, but really, no chocolate is bad chocolate.

As far as middle of the road/pricier stuff goes, Lindt does everything well. I love their white chocolate (that's all my husband's fault. I never liked white chocolate before he introduced me to it).

Lindt truffles=good.

We were unpleasantly suprised by what we thought would surely be a sumptuous $6.00 dark chocolate bar that was 70% pure cocoa. Ptooey! Even worse, we couldn't pawn it off on the cats, like other food mistakes we've made.

As one who gave in to political temptation. I salute your discipline. I am also a dark chocolate fan. Have you been to the chocolate store in Sitka? Can't remember their name now, but they're famous (justifibly so) throughout Southeast.

Years ago, Consumer Reports compared chocolates from all prices ranges and styles (milk, dark, etc.). They had chocolate tasting experts on the judging panel. Turns out Hershey's chocolate was judged best tasting overall in either the milk chocolate or the dark chocolate category (it's been a while so I have forgotten which). It beat out a lot of pricier chocolates. So your preference for Hershey's just might mean that you have gourmet taste buds, not pedestrian ones. :-)

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