In an act of extraordinary selflessness, the staff of the Los Angeles Times food section has somehow survived an extreme marathon of a dark-chocolate tasting (registration required): 23 bars, each between 70 and 75 percent cacao content. And all for you, dear reader: As the headline says, “We Tasted Chocolate—So You Don’t Have To.” (I assume the rutabaga tasting is scheduled for next week.)
Dark chocolate, of course, is the only chocolate that chocophiles will admit exists: A commenter on CHOW’s recent story on dark-chocolate snobbery claimed that milk-chocolate fans have an “infantile palate.” Surely a milk-chocolate-lover wouldn’t appreciate the subtleties of the Theo Ivory Coast, as detailed by the Times: “A single-origin chocolate that smells a little of straw mats and has a flat, chalky texture; there’s little chocolate flavor and no finish.” (And only $6 for three ounces!) Good news: It finished last.
The Michel Cluizel “Noir de Cacao” (72 percent) came in first, and Valrhona’s “Le Noir Amer” (71 percent) second. The Valrhona is reasonably priced, but the steal of the tasting follows it: Chocovic Unique Origin Varietal Chocolates “Ocumare” (71 percent), which can be had at Trader Joe’s for $2 a bar.