About a week after posting about my favorite ice cream, I received a delivery of incredibly good ice cream from a reader who felt that a mere comment would not adequately express the emotion he felt for his local creamery. It was a very effective form of advocacy. It also clued me in to the power of the keyboard. So I thought I would try again with chocolate!
Chocolate lovers are very passionate about this subject, so I am hoping for some spirited feedback and debate on this topic (if not some postal surprises). Many chocolate lovers sing the praises of Valrhona Noir Extra Amer-85% Cacao. It’s often used for the center in Molten Chocolate Cake. One of my friends keeps a large bell jar of M&M’s on her family room coffee table–a real test of discipline. Another friend eats a single piece of Swiss Lindt chocolate every day. An Italian friend loves Perugina’s Baci chocolates. A friend from Brussels loves Mary Belgian chocolates. There is no shortage of opinions.
I am partial to dark bitter chocolate with no frills. No filling (if you must, nuts and raisins). No non-chocolate flavoring. Not too sweet. These are some of my favorites:
- Amedei: I once took my family on a detour during a holiday in Tuscany to find the Amedei factory in Pontedera near Pisa. It’s my favorite, but it’s hard to find.
- Pierre Marcolini: My favorite Belgian chocolate. He used to have a shop near our house in Kensington. A perfect house gift (if you can’t find Amedei).
- Sally Clarke’s Chocolate Truffles: Another Kensington favorite. Sorry but you can only get these there. If you are in London, make a special stop.
- Green & Black’s Organic: A mainstay in my shopping cart, particularly the Hazelnut & Currant Dark and the 85% Dark.
- See’s Dark Nuts & Chews: I’ll take the nuts; you can have the chews.
- Raisinets: Good old movie treat. Now I’m partial to the dark chocolate version.
- Hershey’s with Almonds: This is where it all started in the early 1960’s, waiting on the street corner for my grandfather to stop by on his way home from work with a Hershey bar to spoil my appetite before dinner.