The taxonomical name for chocolate is Theobroma, that is, food of the gods—appropriately named, because these beans, when dried, processed, and sweetened, make a tasty confection that is simply divine. Not only is chocolate potentially a health-saver (as Forbes blogger Dr. Robert Glatter, put it, the flavonoids in chocolate “may provide antioxidant, anti-thrombotic, and generalized anti-inflammatory protection against cardiovascular disease”), but also it’s tasty as hell. Let’s eat.
But which one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of chocolates to choose from?
I guess I’ll have to try them all. (Whoever said blogging was easy?) So until I’ve finished sampling all the chocolate, I can’t definitively say which is the best in the world. But based on the prodigious amount of chocolate I’ve already eaten, I can tell you which ones I’m currently enjoying and can recommend.
Single-source cacao beans: You either loves ‘em or hates em. In this case of the 75% Cacao bar, there’s a lot to love. The chocolate has a terrific texture and an even better taste: smooth and rich, with more than a hint of vanilla. Delicious.
Cacao nibs can add an unwelcome bitterness to a bar. Not in the Good & Evil. The nibs add an almost delicate crunch without the bitterness. The bar remains rich but not overwhelmingly dark and fruity but not astringent. This was a perfectly balanced chocolate.
My one complaint: The packaging, which describes the bar’s impressive pedigree, does not actually list the ingredients.
I was primed to like Oliver Kita’s Delightfully Dark Chocolate because I liked him personally when I met him at the New York City Chocolate Show. Fortunately, the chocolate did not disappoint: It was indeed delightfully dark. I regret not buying a dozen of these tasty bars. (For a real treat, try his black current and raspberry bon bons.)
The texture is a bit sticky in this Dark Honeycomb bar, and it’s more of a quotidian chocolate than a fine one. Still, it starts sweet and has a nice dark finish while imparting a honey-like flavor every moment it’s on the tongue.
I knew Dandelion was a winner when I saw that Paul A. Young, a London-based chocolatier, sold it in his Threadneedle Street shop. Nothing less than extraordinary comes off of those shelves. So it comes as no surprise that I’m entranced with the Madagascar bar, which is so fruity as to make it slightly tart. Because it’s not as sweet as most, it makes the bold flavor of chocolate shine through. It’s a knock-out.
Did I say five chocolates? Actually I meant six. I also adore the Venezuela bar. When you think of the word “chocolate,” this is the earthy, comforting chocolate that springs to mind. Just one single square is perfectly satisfying.