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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In Search of the Best Dark Chocolate by Debra Holland

The cold I thought I had last week turned out to be an allergy to glutin. So I had to ban all products with glutin from my life for two weeks. No problem. I already try to keep my carb use to a minimum. Then I discovered glutin is in more than breads, cereal, pasta, etc. Apparently, glutin is used as a binding product, and is in other types of food, like the turkey hot dogs I eat, and my favorite ranch salad dressing. Chocolate candy bars are also on the proscribed list. More eating adjustments. Still doable, I think. I just need to read the packages of everything before I buy it. And since plain, dark chocolate is still allowed, I won’t be too deprived. Or so I thought....

Then, when I was at the grocery store, I picked up a package of my favorite candy--Lindt Dark Chocolate truffles and found that one ingredient is barley malt powder. ACK!!! I looked at another brand of dark chocolate and found no hint of glutin. Whew! But what brand to buy? I’ve always been a milk chocolate fan, until I discovered the truffles, which I prefer dark. And since dark chocolate is good for you, it’s guilt free eating. ☺ I’ve been a big fan of the truffles ever since.

In the store, I stared at the different brands of expensive European dark chocolate and some American ones, debating.... Then I decided to comparison shop--a rather expensive proposition. But I needed to find a brand I’d enjoy eating through the next weeks.

Feeling totally decadent, I bought eight bars of chocolate. I opened the first one, Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate 85% cocoa, on the drive home and ate some. Big mistake. Ick! It tasted sooo bitter, that it immediately soured my enthusiasm for the whole experiment. The bitterness stayed with me for quite a while, making me not want to try another. But by lunch, I was ready to continue the search. I ended up being disappointed by the results. There were a few others I’d never buy again and some that were ok. Nothing came near the truffles that I love.

Here’s my list:
Would buy again:

Ritter Sport (Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts)
Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate
Perugina Dark Chocolate with Almonds

Would maybe buy if there was no other chocolate around:

Garideli Dark Chocolate
Lindt Swiss Bittersweet Fine Dark Chocolate

Would never buy again:

Valor Dark Chocolate with almonds %70
Barellini Extra Dark Chocolate 72% coca
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate 85%

I’m still missing a few major challengers. The store was out of Dove Dark Chocolate. They also didn’t have the new big Hershey’s dark chocolate with the nuts and dried fruit. And one of my students told me that See’s carries a bar of dark chocolate, which tastes good. So those are still on the taste test list.

I’m hoping that one of the brands I haven’t tried, will go into a “this is great” category. But if not, in two weeks, I can gradually reintroduce glutin into my diet to see what happens. Guess what’s first on my list?


At 9:44 PM, Blogger Merrillee said...

I've tried the Hershey's Dark with almonds and dried fruit. Very tasty. I found it once at Sam's Club. When I went back, they didn't have it. Haven't found it any other place.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

I must confess - I really REALLY like chocolate just by itself. No nuts or dried fruit allowed.

Now straweberries dipped in chocolate...

Man, I am SO hungry now ; )

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

That's my favorite Ritter Sport!

Do you have Paul Newman's dark chocolate with orange flavor? I like that. And Chocolove, which is made right here in Boulder, and might be available at your local Whole Foods or Wild Oats.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I don't like dark or white chocolate, Deb, but I LOVE LOVE most other chocolates! In fact, now I'm craving some. Thanks a lot! :)



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