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favorite chocolate
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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 19, 2004 - 7:18 pm
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Mainly taste and texture influence my rankings. If a bar smells bad, then chances are that the taste will be bad as well. For example, upon smelling a bar of Green and Blacks milk chocolate, I detected a sour odor that indeed reflected the taste. Needless to say, the taste was horrid. Price, access, and other unrelative things of that nature do not reflect my rankings because they do not concern the overall taste of the chocolate (in ideal conditions). If I can only order a certain bar of chocolate once a year due to availability, and if I have to pay $10 for it, then so what. If the bar is good, then the trouble of acquiring it makes the efforts worthwhile. If one overdoes it and buys the bar all the time, then not only is he going to spend a lot of money, but the appeal might diminish simply due to banality and increased exposure. This applies to everything, not just chocolate. The quality of the chocolate is what influences me, nothing else.

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alex_h
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May 19, 2004 - 8:26 pm
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i guess my question was a bit superfluous. reason i asked is that i am just overwhelmed by all the varieties of chocolate there are and sometimes go a bit crazy when it comes to buying and trying. i figured others might have the same "problem".
so you limit yourself in no way? makes sense.
how much do you figure your chocolate consumption costs you per diem? on average. do you have an "eating" chocolate? and if so, what is it?

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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 20, 2004 - 1:24 am
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I limit myself in several ways. For instance, I stay away from chocolates containing articial ingredients or hydrogenated fats. Also, since I like to stay above 65%, I automatically eliminate anything sweeter, including milk. I really don't have an every day chocolate: I eat whatever I have, but I only keep good quality chocolate on hand.

I face the same problem as you (along with everyone else): so much chocolate to try. As a result, I am constantly trying new bars, so in a sense, every new bar I try is my "every day" chocolate for that specific time. Besides, as I mentioned before, I don't like to eat the same bar all the time because doing so begets banality, and as the phrase goes, "variety is the spice of life."

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Polarbear
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May 20, 2004 - 6:24 pm
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Just like some of you others, I try to limit my purchases, for the benefit of my bank account and my weight [:p]

I concentrate on pure, dark chocolate, preferably with a cocoa contenet above 60%, because those lower usually are to sweet. I am also a fan of white chocolate, but the cocoa content should be at least 35%.

I buy milk chocolate or pralines only occassionally if i find some who i expect to be of high quality. I also try chocolates with a special flavour (e.g Green&Blacks Maya Gold) occassionally, if the ingredients are pure.

Chocolates with synthetic "flavourings" (Read: vanillin and funny chemistry), added fat etc. are generally not even considered - I know their taste in advance...

My choco reservoir varies greatly - it contained 25+, all different, bars after a visit to London in december - now, it's nearly empty. Time for a new trip somewhere, as the shops here in Tromsø (69N latitude) don't have the greatest selection; they have some Valrhona, G&B and Pronatec, but I have tasted through their selections... Unfortunately, PhD students with housing loans must prioritize the bank before choco bars.[:(!]

I eat approx two bars each week. I want moore, off course, but then it was the money and calories stuff again...

My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
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alex_h
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May 21, 2004 - 11:22 am
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i actually sometimes enjoy crossing certain bars (e.g. slitti) from my list because of their ingredients. this gives me more time to concentrate on the purer chocolate. i do like milk chocolate, but since it isn't very healthy to consume it in the amounts i used to, i have restricted myself to the occasional 55% bonnat or salt chocolate. you simply cannot eat salt chocolate in great amounts. and as for the bonnat? well, a 100g bar lasts me three days compared to a normal milk bar that would be gone in a day.

variety is also very important. i've gotten to eating mainly amedei and domori because i like what they do as well as how they do it. the way they (especially domori) are involved in sustaining biodiversity and all that just has an effect on me. they seem so serious about their chocolate.
but after a while you just long for something different.
and every now and then i will go and buy some truffles or some "junk chocolate". thank goodness this has become quite seldom though.

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alex_h
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May 21, 2004 - 2:29 pm
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current faves:

1. puertomar - domori
2. green - domori
3. rajoles 100% - rovira

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Lone Ly
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May 24, 2004 - 12:27 am
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I try to avoid "semi-quality" chocolates as I find them ridiculously (or tragically) expensive according to their poor taste. I'm always open for new brands and even flavored bars although I prefer non-flavored ones. However, when I come across brands I haven't heard of, I usually try only one bar at first to check whether it's waste of money. Without doubt I prefer Snickers to quasi-good brands like for example Hachez.

It varies what is my eating chocolate, but Amedei's Chuao is probably the one I'm eating most regularly.

I do not want to know what my consumption costs per day, but I keep telling myself I probably spend less than smokers do on cigarettes. As long as my fascination for cigars and cigarettes is tiny scaled compared to my interest in chocolate, I'm not worried. However, my chocolate consumption has come to the level where I've been thinking it would have been easier if it was my occupation.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 24, 2004 - 3:22 am
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I'm open to flavored chocolate as well, but I consider them among the ranks of mere candy bars (flavor-wise) because the additional ingredients only provide flavors not inherent in the chocolate itself. Besides, it takes all the fun out of trying to detect the natural flavor nuances. [;)]

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legodude
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May 24, 2004 - 8:18 pm
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Haven`t tried so many different chocolates, as the sypply here in Norway isn`t the best. Hope to get my hands on some Domori, Amedei and the other good brands that this site is selling. What I have tasted though, is Valrhona, El Rey, Michel Cluizel, Callebaut, Cacao Barry, Feodora, Lindt, Cote d`Or.

Top 3:
1. Valrhona Manjari
2. Michel Cluizel 1. cru Hacienda
3. Valrhona Gran Couva 2001

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
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adornix
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May 24, 2004 - 11:11 pm
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Flavoured chocolate may be a totally different thing but I like it very much. Best examples are Domoris Barrique and Green but there are others too. Leysieffer may not produce the best plain chocolates but they have a good hand for flavoured chocolates. What I like is, that they give a good amount of the flavouring ingredient to the chocolate but don't let the chocolate be overwhelmed by it. Chili for example is an ingredient that very easy kills all of the chocolate aroma (not black pepper! black pepper and chocolate is a marvelous combination!), as one can see with Venchi's Peperoncino: way too hot, no chocolate taste anymore. Leysieffer takes white chocolate with a good but not overwhelming amount of chili. So one has the creaminess and the milky flavour of white chocolate with a distinct chili flavour. And chili has a special and distinctive taste, not only burning hotness. Cinnamon also is very good with white and milk chocolate but I'm not sure if the special cinnamon aroma and hotness fit with dark chocolate.
One of the best ingredients for dark chocolate is ginger. Much ginger. Ginger is hot, but not as hot as chili, so you can combine a good load of ginger with a good and aromatic dark cocolate. Leysieffer has a much better ginger chocolate than Dolfin in my opinion.
Hm, well, the topic of this thread seems to be "favourite chocolate" :-)
My favourites are Domori's Blend No1 and Puro (for this very interesting burnded hazelnuts aroma and the strong coffee in it). I never forget to mention Bonnats Puerto Cabello and Trinité, of course.
And I LOVE Bonnats milk chocolate Java with 65% cacao.
I could swim in Bonnats milk chocolate with almonds - or maybe swim in a boat of it, which I would eat in a few days and then drown with satisfaction and a heavy stomach.
But sometimes I think my favourite chocolate is often the one I'm eating in the very moment. And in THIS very moment I have a bar of Bonnat's Ceylan before me, and I'm quite astonished. I rembered an aromatic, not too strong chocolate with a good cacao aroma. But this evening my first impression on the tongue is - well - sort oft yeast dough (as for pizza) or a czech black beer with a bit of sweetness in it. The cocolate is very smooth, the melting fantastic, no waxiness in it and not much coolness, and in the length it is a dry and round bitterness (maybe again like beer or like taste of the last parts of a big cigar whithout the cigar's sharpness). Most astonishing for me is, that this is one of the rare chocolates without a hint of fruity acid, that is not boring and flat, as the most very "balanced" blends with no hint of acid are quite flat and boring for me.

(If I really want to taste the fruit acids in a chocolate, I take a quite big piece in the mouth, chew it and suck a bit more than usual. Doing so I could produce a slight but not remarkable impression of fruit in Ceylan. I had the fading Idea of apple, but that may be a misleading illusion born of tiredness :-))))

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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 25, 2004 - 3:09 am
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I tasted a heavy hazelnut flavor in Blend No. 1 as well, with a distinct tobacconess. As you said, you tasted fruitiness in larger pieces, which is quite understandable. When you eat larger pieces, you have time to allow all the flavors to emerge, which allows you to experience them for a longer amount of time than you can with a small piece. This might be why my Domori bars are gone so quickly. In order to taste all the flavor nuances, I eat large pieces.

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adornix
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May 25, 2004 - 10:15 am
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So do I. It is a pity that they sell porcelana and puertomar only in 25g bars :-)

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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 25, 2004 - 2:55 pm
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No kidding, man. That would be gone in one day for me. That's why when I order it, I'm going to order multiple bars.

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alex_h
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May 25, 2004 - 4:15 pm
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yeah, that is a serious problem. i always end up ordering at least four puertomars. and when i put a big piece away, people always say: "i thought you were supposed to enjoy it!"
but heck: that is sometimes the best enjoyment. no thoughts, just pure unadulterated pleasure.

but somehow the small size makes them a bit more elegant and nice as well. a good compromise would be the size of domori's blend. or the new bars! they come in 75g and are nice as well.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 26, 2004 - 6:34 pm
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Well, eating a big piece is indeed the way to enjoy chocolate, because as I've said before, big pieces are essential in detecting the full spectrum of flavors. Besides, I'd rather have a mouthful of chocolaty bliss rather than eat several small pieces. The sensation just isn't the same. Also, if you eat smaller pieces, you really won't be satisfied, even if you keep telling yourself you are. Most people have a taboo on chocolate and believe that it makes you fat. Well, if you incorporate chocolate into a well balanced diet that isn't comprised of excessive fat, then chocolate won't do anymore harm than a piece of bread, and it's surely more healthy than an order of French fries. French fries are not essential to life functions, and neither is chocolate, but the general attitude and over abundance towards the former suggests otherwise. Maybe I should stop because I'm straying away from the topic [:o)]

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Hans-Peter Rot
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May 26, 2004 - 6:38 pm
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I'm not particularly a big fan of 50g bars either because not only are they generally over-priced, but they really don't offer enough opportunities, or tasting sessions, to get a full understanding and appreciation of the flavors. 50g bars are eaten way too quickly, but 75g and 100g are a good size for obvious reasons.

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Lone Ly
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May 31, 2004 - 7:13 pm
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Good point, Montegrano. I wonder why they produce such small bars when it is not satisfying to those who really appreciate the very taste of chocolate. I've just found Enrico Rovira chocolate in a shop nearby, but I was so disappointed when I realised all boxes only included "beans", some of them sized more like peas or lentils. I understand that design means much to them, but a good designer would never let design overshadow taste considerations.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
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alex_h
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June 1, 2004 - 5:13 pm
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yeah, i think rovira's focus is on chocolate sculpting. but even though, i still think he's better than slitti who also makes sculpted (or rather moulded) chocolate (keys and "rusty" tools).

<<ce qui fait du bien au palais ne fait du mal à l'âme>>

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Lone Ly
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June 1, 2004 - 9:16 pm
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Alex, The chocolatiers could make as many strange shapes they'd like to me as long as they provide the best bars in proper sizes/appearances and so on. I'm not that much into the sculpting, and in fact, if sculpting means that the taste is less than perfect because of requirements of consistence, I'm out of it. (I'd better have a lovely but lumpy chocolate mousse than a silky smooth with waxy or uninteresting taste.) Slitti still have got _bars_, and their keys don't fancy me at all. Talking about limits, usually I stick to bars, but there are two important exceptions: I'd die to buy Amedei's pralines & truffles and similar from Pierre Marcolini. Especially Marcolini's look like they're amazingly yummi.

This might be a stupid question which answer could easily be found on internet somewhere, but even though: Does Enrico Rovira make "proper" bars with proper shapes or does he only do these "beans"? They've only got the squared boxes of various beans in my shop - and I'm more than happy to have some recommendations. They were quite expensive, approx 12 EUR pr 100 g box, so I won't go for the oddest ones unless some dedicated member of this qualified forum says they're marvellous.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
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tom finnerty
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June 1, 2004 - 10:49 pm
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Hi Lonely, if you're going for chocs similar to Macolini, you should try l'artisan du chocolat- they're the best I've ever tasted, they do flavours including leather and tobacco. amazing !

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