Chocolate Musings

BU4A2496Tastes change. Perhaps it is more accurate to state, however, that tastes evolve over time. Some times that evolution comes full circle. Such has been the case for me when it comes to chocolate. I LOVE chocolate! I have always loved chocolate, especially dark chocolate. About ten years ago, or so, inspired by a visit to the then novel Barcelona chocolate shop, Cacao Sampaka, I became quite enamored of blended chocolate bars, the more exotic the better. Since that time, thanks to companies like Vosges and Chuao, amongst others, the market for these kinds of chocolate bars have grown. Over the ensuing years I have tried and enjoyed many of them. Some of these blends really are quite interesting and delicious, but over the past couple of years, with the exception of some truly beautiful, creative and delicious products at Francisco Migoya’s Hudson Chocolates, I have found myself shying away from them and gravitating back towards simpler preparations of either pure, dark chocolate, or dark chocolate abetted by straight forward flavors such as with the Theo line (which are widely available and a great value) amongst others. This is not to say that the chocolate concoction bars aren’t good, don’t have a place or that I don’t like them. It is simply an observation about how my own personal preferences have evolved over time and at this point in time, I prefer to savor the distinct variety of flavors found in the wide world of chocolate, which has as much terroir (or producer variation) to keep things interesting as wine or coffee. BTW, my tastes with these products has evolved with time too. I’m sure that happens with everyone. How have your tastes evolved?

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3 Responses to Chocolate Musings

  1. This is just not your appreciation. World chocolate trends in the past few years have been moving towards terroir, chocolates or chocolate bars with origins, purity, and exotic flavors within the bar (not chocolate bonbons). You have a great example in Pacari. There are though fabulous design chocolates, as Enric Rovira’s.

  2. Simply seeing the chocolate bar image attached to your post makes me smile! There is definitely something about dark chocolate… I actually didn’t like it at all when I was a kid because I think we’re all raised on Hershey’s products, unfortunately. Now, I can’t stand milk chocolate – it doesn’t even seem like chocolate. I love the variety of dark chocolate that has entered the market over the last few years at various specialty food stores, and I’ve become interested in the politics of it. As in the coffee community, there are strong opinions on what products are “good” and which ones are “bad.” But, at the end of the day, simply biting into a 1-inch thick chunk of 80% dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s, paired with a glass of my favorite Malbec, makes me happy.

  3. I am a dark chocolate lover too, but I had an eye-opening conversation with a server at the NoMad a year ago; we were discussing Swiss products (their all-Swiss cheese courses are spectacular) and he told me why the Swiss are better known for their milk chocolates than for their dark chocolates; the reason: Swiss milk is just better. In the end, I don’t like Hershey’s milk chocolate bars for the same reason I don’t like their dark chocolate bars; they are just not good. And every now and then, I come across a piece of milk chocolate that is just as delicious as a delicious piece of dark chocolate.

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