I don't claim to be an expert on this subject: I know I am one! Since "everyone is entitled to my opinion," I thought I'd share my favorites (I've never met a chocolate I didn't like, but maybe I didn't love it!) and some things I don't care for so much...
First, I have never, and will never eat a chocolate covered creature of any kind! (I may pick off the chocolate coating, LOL!) That is just a waste of perfectly good chocolate! I'm not a fan of the chocolate fountains either. That's due to a) gross people double dipping, b) kids sticking their fingers in it (and umpteen dipping), c) the stuff is essentially chocolate flavored vegetable oil. No thanks. I also don't like things that a merely scented chocolate--it's an annoying tease! Chocolate covered bacon is only OK for me.
When I get up in the morning, if there is something chocolate in the house, it's history. If there isn't anything, I often make chocolate milk. I've learned to save money and a few calories by slowly stirring skim milk into Hershey's Coca powder with some sugar. Then, if I'm at school, I can grab my tiny carton of skim milk at lunch and drink it plain because I've already had my fix. It looks like I'm a healthy eater in front of the students. (Just ignore that piece of pizza...)
I thought I'd give you a list of some of my favorites. Know that I am not a snob. I live in the country and don't always have access to "the finer things." So in a pinch, I will lick the chocolate off a car tire if I have to. That said, there is nothing wrong with plain ol' Hershey's or whatever is around. Mark turned us on to those Reese's Fast Breaks. They are really good!
A chocolate experience that wasn't as good was my Macy's Godiva bar I had to purchase in order to hit the $30 need to use a $10 off coupon. That bar was almost fossilized. I didn't check the date and it wasn't the first time that had happened...how stupid of me. They don't have the turnover of a candy store, so I bet most of those bars at fine department store checkouts are old. Best to buy Godiva at a Godiva store. Duh!
I like Godiva, but now that it's fairly "common," I won't climb mountains for it anymore. (Like I ever did. Well, maybe I drove up a mountain or two??? I did live in L.A. you know.) Don't discount the local candy stores as some of them use good chocolate. It's a matter of taste and price. One of my favorite "local" places is called "Marie's Candies." It's in West Liberty, OH in an old train station. They always have samples! Good thing it's about a half hour away from me. I LOVE the chocolate covered soft peppermints in dark or light chocolate. (BTW, I often "do the dark" for health reasons LOL...) They are online at Mariescandies.com
I don't tend to order chocolate online because you have to wait for it, but if one of these stores is in your neighborhood, try them. A one stop shop online is Worldwidechocolate.com. Many of these brands also have limited varieties at Whole Foods (WF) stores:
Lake Champlain Chocolatiers: (WF) and lakechamplainchocolates.com
Callebaut Belgian Chocolate: (WF) and callebaut.com
Scharffen Berger Gourmet Chocolate (WF) and sharffenberger.com
Jacques Torres Chocolate (in at least NYC) and mrchocolate.com
Joseph Schmidt Confections (San Fran area), (WF) and josephschmidtconfections.com
Vosges Haut- (WF) and vosgeschocolates.com (full of odd varieties and organic)
Ghyslain Chocolates- (WF) and ghyslain.com
E. Guittard Chocolate, Etc.- (WF) and guittard.com
Mondel Chocolates (NYC)- mondelchocolates.com (a favorite of Katherine Hepburn)
Conrad's Candy- conradscandy.com (a favorite of Martha Stewart)
Max Brenner Chocolates- shop.maxbrenner.com
Recchiuti Confections (San Fran.)- recchiuti.com
Well, that's about all for today. Need to go out and get some yard work done! Just for fun: Guess how many times the word "chocolate" or plural is used in this blog. The answer will appear in my next post...counting will take the fun out of it...
Quote of the Post: The 12-step chocoholics program: NEVER BE MORE THAN 12 STEPS AWAY FROM CHOCOLATE!