The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

So, how does this whole thing work?

It's like chocolate Facebook? I'm not sure I follow.

I joined because I don't know anyone who appreciates Chocolate in the way I do. Everyone I know is crazy about M&Ms, and Hershey's Kisses. I'd much rather have something richer and smoother. My friends think those are smooth. So, I'm ready to get to know people who understand. But how do I do that?

Right now, the best chocolate I'm familiar with is Lindt. Is there better chocolate that's readily available? Also, for those who live in Phila., PA, there's a place called Naked Chocolate Cafe. I have no idea why it's called that, but they have some really good chocolate there. They have things like sipping chocolate, and delicious chocolate drinks.

So, if you can see this, and care enough to help me get acquainted with this community (and new chocolates), I'd greatly appreciate it!

Views: 13

Tags: Cafe, Chocolate, Gritty, Help, Naked, New, Smooth


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Comment by ChocoFiles on February 9, 2010 at 5:32pm
Here's a section from Chloe's book that might help you to build your own chocolate profile. (I found it on the internet somewhere, but can't remember where.) It helps you start from what you like now, and makes suggestions of fine chocolates to try.
Comment by Eric G on January 26, 2010 at 3:24pm
If you have a Whole Foods near you they have Kallari Chocolate which is delicious!
Comment by ChocoFiles on January 24, 2010 at 9:16am
I also just started a website with some of my Review information. I just posted a "Tasting Guide for Beginners" to get people started in the world of fine dark chocolate. Please let me know if it's useful to you.
Comment by ChocoFiles on January 23, 2010 at 8:32pm
I'm certainly not an expert, just an enthusiastic taster, but I've learned a lot over the last 3 years of my fine chocolate adventure. Here's a good place to start-- Tasting 101 on The Nibble.

Here's the text of part of it:

Beginner’s Guide to Fine Chocolate
1. The Beginning Connoisseur
Are you new to the world of fine chocolate and want to ease yourself into exploration? Start with these bars to slowly acclimate your palate to higher cocoa contents, and to broaden your taste buds to the varying flavors of cacao. If your previous experience has been with milk chocolate, you’re not going to find it here. There are excellent milk chocolate bars to be had (look for cacao contents of less than 50%). But while a connoisseur can enjoy a milk chocolate or a white chocolate bar, he or she needs to judge the cacao undiluted by milk. Even if you are accustomed to “dark” chocolate, these semisweet* bars, made by the finest chocolate houses in the world, may challenge you with their layers of flavor and complexity.
• Michal Cluizel Amer Brut 72%. A very neutral yet powerful chocolate with a bold flavor of pure cacao. It’s very agreeable and is perhaps among the best representations of a blended 70%-class bar.
• Valrhona Manjari 64%. This jewel made from Madagascar beans is extremely accessible with a refreshing sharpness that will introduce you to this country’s characteristic flavors.
• Valrhona Le Noir Amer 71%. Very light on the palate, with red fruits and floral tones persisting throughout the length. It’s not an intimidating chocolate for its class, so this is another perfect introduction.
• Amedei 66%. Characterized by a flavor of spicy dates, this blended chocolate has no bitterness and displays a palatable strength that most newcomers can handle. Buy the 70% bar for comparison and graduate to it when you’re ready.
• Scharffen Berger 62%. This one always seems to be a crowd-pleaser because of its light sweetness and accessible strength. Meander your way to the 70%, which is a tad sharper.
• Guittard l’Harmonie 64%. This chocolate has an excellent hazelnut tone with a touch of mint and floral nuances (these are characteristics of the cacao bean—nothing has been added). Conveniently packaged in 10g napolitans (small tasting squares rather than larger bars).
• Domori Puertomar 75%. If you think all 70%-class chocolate is strong, the delicate Puertomar will make you re-assess your opinions.
*Semisweet chocolate is defined as 50%-70% cacao content. Bittersweet chocolate has a cacao content of 80%-100%.
2. The Cost-Conscious
This selection caters to those who want to find high quality chocolate at an affordable price. We know quite a few people who want to enjoy a couple of bars a day...but not at $8+ per bar. The bars in this group will satisfy your cravings, won’t damage your wallet, and are comparatively easy to find.
• Lindt Excellence 70%. Not only does this chocolate possess an exceptionally satisfying strength, but the very affordable price and wide availability cinch first place in this category. It’s sure to come in handy for those emergency chocolate cravings.
• Valrhona Le Noir Amer 71%. Probably the widest available bar of the Valrhona line, this one is lighter on the palate than the Lindt, and the price is definitely bargain for a 100g bar.
• Dolfin 70%. The extremely affordable price for 80g of chocolate, the satisfying intensity, and the handy, pouch-like wrapper make this bar a nice value.
• Scharffen Berger 70%. Although the price is usually around $5 per 80g bar, the availability, intensity, and overall satisfaction it delivers qualifies it as a worthy contender. It’s quite sharp on the palate with an extreme red fruitiness typical of Scharffen Berger.
Comment by Sarah Scott on January 23, 2010 at 6:00pm
I'm new to this also but it seems very cool. I make chocolates and my favorite is Norman Love Confections out of Ft Myers FL, he also does a G Collection line for Godiva. If you have whole foods in your area it is a great place to buy higher end chocolate bars. Some of my favorites are Amano and Alter Eco.
Comment by Dee on January 22, 2010 at 5:54pm
Oh, my! It's quite an honor that you have commented on my very first chocolate blog! And, even more of an honor that you like Naked Chocolate too! That tells me that I have a better chocolate palatte than I even thought.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I heard you on "A Chef's Table" on NPR. I only heard a bit of the show, but when you described the difference between a chocoholic and a chocophile, I realized a whole lot about my love for chocolate.

So, I have barely begun to scratch the surface of all this, but I couldn't be more excited! Thank you so much!
Comment by Clay Gordon on January 22, 2010 at 5:43pm
Dee you have it right. is like Facebook, but just for chocolate.

Tom Block of Naked Chocolate Cafe is a friend - they do some very nice work. As for the rest of your questions I will let other ChocolateLife members chime in with their thoughts.

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