When No One Understands You, Chocolate Is There
February 8, 2009 9:28 PM   Subscribe

According to legend, Einstein was eating chocolate when he came upon the theory of relativity. These sites are all about chocolate and candy in general. Chocolate Obsession. Hyperbole? Maybe. Just a little. Ok, a lot. Chocolate does have a lot to offer, though. It is a one of a kind food characterized by a truly unique and intense flavor. The idea of Jim's Chocolate Mission came after a discussion with friends about the greatest chocolate bar. Was is the Wispa? Galaxy? Clark? The Chocolate Review is most likely to review English chocolate because that's where they're from, but they also do imports.

No discussion of chocolate would be complete without a little history, so here's the Chocolate History Time Line. For 4000 years, chocolate… like gold, has had a universal appeal.

Candyblog has meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

At Candy Addict you can find articles and reviews like the Top 10 Simpson's Candy Moments, or the 10 Grossest Candies.

Just remember the 12-Step Chocoholic Program. Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate. It's a helluva lot cheaper than therapy.
posted by netbros (39 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Just because, y'know, there may be a little valentine in your near future.
posted by netbros at 9:31 PM on February 8, 2009

Or if there isn't, you can at least console yourself with chocolate.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:50 PM on February 8, 2009

This is like a weather pattern of chocolate. A chocolate rain, if you will.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:11 PM on February 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

These are mere shadows on the arse hanging out of the Platonic cave of chocolate websites. These are Hershey-lite-vegelate-html.

Ptui!: I wave my single origin smelling nose at you. I conch in your general direction. I take my couveture and shrug vauguely at your pathetic attempts to bow prostrate before your true master, the Cacao Bean.

You want the real deal? THEOBROMA MEANS FOOD OF THE GODS YOU MORTAL. Read these websites with the appropriate awe. Educate your philistine tastebuds.


Once you have read about the true bean, to try fine chocolates from around the world (not that you deserve it, bricktongued fools), go to a Chocolate Show and maybe, just maybe we can talk.
posted by lalochezia at 10:12 PM on February 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

Mmmmm this post melts in my mouth!
posted by gomichild at 10:36 PM on February 8, 2009

Also:Chocolate in context (with more links than you can shake a stick at)
posted by lalochezia at 10:40 PM on February 8, 2009

I eat 100% Cacao unsweetened Belgian baking chocolate.

posted by Araucaria at 11:20 PM on February 8, 2009

I find the hype around Tcho fairly interesting. Their whole schtick of being founded by NASA engineers and the copy on their website is utterly bizarre (they act like they're a fucking online web startup or something).
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:34 PM on February 8, 2009

Cluizel Noir Infini is da bomb.

In fact I think I'm going to order some now.
posted by Foosnark at 11:37 PM on February 8, 2009

According to legend, Einstein was eating chocolate when he came upon the theory of relativity.

I don't know about that, but you could Measure the Speed of Light with a Chocolate Bar [youtube].
posted by pracowity at 11:43 PM on February 8, 2009

That blog needs to take a step away from whatever they can find at their newsagents that night. I can see the blogger standing in the queue, newspaper, Viz, "specialist magazine" and tin of lager in hand, seeing some random discounted chocolate reindeer from Thorntons at the counter, and saying... yep... I'll buy that and the snowman to review. There's a whole world of Chocolate Alchemist past that white chocolate bar. Maison du Chocolat? Charbonnel et Walker? Using the dark choc/chilli/almond bar from Montezuma as hot chocolate? (Ibarra chocolate replacement of choice for expats)

I can't eat American chocolate any more. It isn't the waxiness as much as it's the slightly soured milk flavour. One piece is OK, but the second makes me gip. It makes me kind of sad to not be able to eat the bags of Hersheys kisses friends and family send me at Christmas.
posted by Grrlscout at 11:53 PM on February 8, 2009

***runs into the room, cups hands to mouth***

I live within walking distance of the Jacques Torres factory/store.

***runs out of the room, ducking thrown objects***
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 12:02 AM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Shout out to the majesty that is Thomas Haas chocolates. Long live the single origin!
posted by kaspen at 12:25 AM on February 9, 2009

Also, 99% and up is truly rank, as much as I love bitter flavours, and I just can't believe that those who lord the snootiness of their consumption of it actually derive any pleasure from it.
posted by kaspen at 12:29 AM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Agree completely, kaspen - it's kind of like hops machismo among microbrew fans. I love hops, but I don't want to drink a pint of perfume.

My father in law is 83 and loves the darkest choc he can get. Thing is, he's 83 - his sense of taste isn't as keen as it once was, and it takes that much more to register, I think.

Grimp0 - how is JT choc? Worth pestering for?
posted by Grrlscout at 12:50 AM on February 9, 2009

I have a word for folks who insist on anything over 60%. I call them "fashion victims".
posted by Goofyy at 1:58 AM on February 9, 2009

I have a word for folks who insist on anything over 60%. I call them "fashion victims".

How very clever of you. Lindt Excellence 80% is actually really nice.
posted by Summer at 2:56 AM on February 9, 2009

Target Women: Chocolate -- yes, I have a serious girl boner for Sarah Haskins. And not just because she sent me an e-card expressing her excitement over my comfortable, once monthly vaginal ring.

I, for one, am an equal opportunity chocolate eater. Except for those waxy chocolates with nondescript filling that come in heart-shaped boxes 'round this time of year. And, generally speaking, chocolate ice cream, which always seems... gummier than other ice creams. Though, now that I have an ice cream maker I might make chocolate sorbet. Yum.
posted by giraffe at 3:49 AM on February 9, 2009

Metafilter: Open your mouth, expand your mind.

I'm so sorry.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:37 AM on February 9, 2009

I realize this is a total derail, but it comes directly out of the chocolate timeline and I'm unable to not raise an objection:

1755, America Discovers Chocolate: Diligently forging the concept of Democracy, Americans take time out to discovers Chocolate.

Note to timeline creators: The United States did not invent democracy. Sheesh. The Greeks keep getting shafted.

On to chocolate: why is it that North America accepts crappy chocolate? Can't we all rise up against it and insist on proper chocolate in the belgian style?
posted by Hildegarde at 4:45 AM on February 9, 2009

Not that I know all that much about chocolate, but...

I've been to the Theo Chocolate Factory out in Seattle, named by chopping up 'theobroma' as lalochezia mentioned above. If you want good chocolate and/or to see how it's made when it's made from the whole bean as opposed to some kind of powder or butter, go see them.

I've never been keen on dark chocolate as a few other people opined in this thread, but theirs is divine. I like chocolate from the beans from Madagascar the best, now that I've been there to try. They also have kind of weird and interesting taste combination bars. Probably my favorite is the 'Bread and Chocolate' bar which is essentially just buttered toast they've poured chocolate on. It's pretty amazing.

Anyway yeah. Nice people, nice place, great chocolate, and you get tons free on the tour. Expensive, but I buy like two a year to keep in my office for when they're needed. Wish I could afford more.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 5:25 AM on February 9, 2009

When people start talking about things like single-malt whisky and single-source chocolate, I get the feeling they have too much money and are just looking for impressive ways to be parted from it. In any case, I bet there's a television show in this -- have contestants take taste tests to show who is the most discerning (and win a lot of single-something products). Maybe it's been done.
posted by pracowity at 5:44 AM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Local Yucatan chocolate makers... Belgian expats. The chocolate is legendary...
posted by workinggringa at 6:28 AM on February 9, 2009

Well, I can't talk too much about chocolate (I'm not a huge fan of sweet flavours so I enjoy the bitterness that comes with more 'pure' chocolate), but I can definitely tell, and more importantly enjoy, the difference between a cheap blended whisky versus a good single malt aged 18+ years. I can't tell you what glenn it came from or what type of barrel it was matured in though.

Not everyone can. Nor wants to. The difference between a connoisseur and a snob is not their commitment, knowledge or passion to their field: it's how much they look down on the people not as well versed or interested in their field. I love talking to people who are geniunely well-versed in something (especially food & drink) and are willing to teach me how to appreciate it on a slightly higher level than I do currently. When I'm not considered X enough to be privy to this information is when you become a snob.

Also, passion tends to supercede money.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:30 AM on February 9, 2009

I live within walking distance of the Jacques Torres factory/store.

Wait until you're walking past the new JT store and your Oompa Loompa chocolate-making friend makes a very scoffing, very Gallic face and scoffs:

"Bah, machine-made trash. Single origin chocolate is a perfect example of too little knowledge being a bad thing. Chocolate isn't wine or oil, it requires blending. You, you'll come down to the store. I'll show you real chocolate."

And he does and it is good.

Very good.
posted by The Whelk at 6:34 AM on February 9, 2009

Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate! Aack!
posted by orme at 6:36 AM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also, 99% and up is truly rank, as much as I love bitter flavours, and I just can't believe that those who lord the snootiness of their consumption of it actually derive any pleasure from it.

I wouldn't say I am snooty about it. I'm not going to tell people that any chocolate "has notes of tobacco and lemongrass" or anything like that. I will not turn my nose up at a Nestle Crunch. I don't think you're a wuss if you stay below 45%.

I didn't like Lindt 99%, but Lindt 85% is very good without being a snob's chocolate bar. My way of judging a chocolate snob is whether they call that one pedestrian just because you can find it in grocery stores for a couple of bucks. (I've read that the UK version of that bar is not as good, but I don't know personally.)

Noir Infini actually is really good to me though. It does require something to drink, maybe even something sweet, but I enjoy it as the intense thing it's supposed to be. It requires paying attention to the experience instead of scarfing it down, which I could do with almost anything else.
posted by Foosnark at 6:52 AM on February 9, 2009

What American chocolate is good at is not taste, but marketing and packaging. Unwrapping a Hershey's kiss is a nice sort of sensory experience, and the shape itself is appealing, even if the actual flavor is meh. Same for M&Ms; the candy coating is by far the best part, it has appealing colors and crunchiness that makes you ignore the substandard chocolate.

The problem (for Americans) with good chocolates is that they're so good that they're distracting; you can't scarf them down easily while watching a movie without OD-ing on richness.
posted by emjaybee at 7:04 AM on February 9, 2009

if only all percentages could be as easily sublimated into taste

there's got to be a book written about mass processed food, percentages and various people's mileages, paging magicmolly...
posted by doobiedoo at 8:59 AM on February 9, 2009

Just to clarify, my "wimps" comment above was meant in jest. But not the 100% part.

Until recently, I would have drawn the limit at 80% or so. But last fall I had a chance to bite into a hop bud straight off the vine. After I recovered from the shock, I found that I could savor the nuances of bitterness and have become strangely attracted to the more intense IPAs and unsweetened chocolates.

Maybe its one of those examples of training your palate by repeated exposure. Eventually your autonomic nervous system figures out it isn't poison and stops triggering the gag reflex.

Or maybe I'm just getting old, as Grrlscout suggested.
posted by Araucaria at 9:46 AM on February 9, 2009

The thing about 'real' chocolate is you have to be in the mood for it. For example, buy some really nice Michel Cluizel or Valhrona chocolate and put it next to a box of Celebrations/Cadbury's Miniature heroes. See which one goes quickest.
posted by Summer at 10:11 AM on February 9, 2009

Only the pure stuff. I get the 86% cos it's the highest i can find, anything less is candy for babies.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:54 AM on February 9, 2009

The best chocolate is white lindt spherical type with white choco-butter inside. At least, from what's available in regular stores. Bitter chocolates (45%+?) are just foolishness, chocolate is meant to be sweet. Anyway, rahat loukoum is a better candy, when it's fresh, but here in the US it's almost never fresh. Hershey chocolate is rough-tasting and has some very slightly bitter sourness, it's slightly disturbing that people eat that. How could it be that they find it acceptable - have they no taste at all?
posted by rainy at 11:48 AM on February 9, 2009

According to legend, Freddie Mercury was packing fudge when he conceived of "Killer Queen."
posted by Curry at 1:18 PM on February 9, 2009

That's the most creative new euphemism I've heard in years.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:23 PM on February 9, 2009

Upon reconsideration I should have kept the "came upon" line instead of "conceived." Thus: According to legend, Freddie Mercury was packing fudge when he came upon Killer Queen.
posted by Curry at 12:32 PM on February 10, 2009

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