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Dark Chocolate- What percent cocoa do you prefer?


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I understand the higher the percent the more beneficial.  Yet, it can get bitter.  Is enjoyment of a higher percent an acquired taste?

Also, what brand is preferred? I would like organic and/or fair trade recommendations.

Thanks!

 

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26 minutes ago, vmsurbat1 said:

I guess I'm a wimp; 70% cocoa is the darkest that I enjoy eating as chocolate.  Anything higher and it feels like work to eat it, not fun, so I don't bother.

 

Nothing to feel wimpy about.  It can get bitter the higher the percentage is and it's not like it's some kind of virtue to like things a little on the bitter side.  

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I like bitter food, they are still less bitter than medicine. I bought Montrzumas ABSOLUTE BLACK - 100% COCOA from Trader Joe’s. Don’t think it’s organic.  Whole Foods probably has organic and fair trade dark chocolate bars but they are more expensive than Lindt.

https://www.montezumas.co.uk/100-cocoa-chocolate-bar-absolute-black.html

Edited by Arcadia
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3 hours ago, angelaguptathomas said:

I understand the higher the percent the more beneficial.  Yet, it can get bitter.  Is enjoyment of a higher percent an acquired taste?

Also, what brand is preferred? I would like organic and/or fair trade recommendations.

Thanks!

 

 

Equal Exchange has both organic and fair trade. If you eat some of their very highest cocoa percent (I think called Total Eclipse ?) , then a little bit down in cocoa percent (Extra Dark?) from that will taste sweeter by comparison after the more bitter. Yes taste is partly acquired. I think also other things eaten can affect “bitter” sensation. 

My current favorite is Theo with ginger, but it isn’t a very dark chocolate, more semisweet . 

ETA: I may try a very dark Total Eclipse type paired with a ginger chew and see how that is. 

Edited by Pen
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I prefer >90%.  I like lindt.  I tried a bunch of different brands.  I loath Ghirardelli, and won't buy it for any reason.

I actually prefer the taste of dark chocolate.   I started at a lower percentage, and have worked my way up out of preference.

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I don't know which number exactly, but if it's in a cookie, I like it dark but not too dark.  If it's a plain piece of chocolate -- maybe with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, then generally the darker the better.  

I don't get it often enough to have a favorite brand.  I once tried a chili pepper/dark chocolate blend that was great!

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It depends on what I am using it for. My favorite all-around chocolate by far is Valrhona Manjari 64%. I also like Cacao Barry Equateur 76% and Lindt Excellence and Valrhona Guanaja 70%.
 

Trader Joe’s carries Valrhona Noir Amer 71% and Noir Extra Amer at 85%, and both are good.

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Dd likes 90%, but will eat any dark chocolate.  We usually just have 60% at home and I get her the 90% as treats.  One of my sons thinks 72% is perfect and anything over that is too bitter.  I like 60% and probably could go a bit higher, but it does stop tasting good to me once the percentage is too high.

 

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Also with higher % cacao imo eating it becomes more like one square slowly along with something it goes with well (raspberries? Coffee? ...) not munching down a large amount. 

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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Nothing to feel wimpy about.  It can get bitter the higher the percentage is and it's not like it's some kind of virtue to like things a little on the bitter side.  

I agree. I have found that as I've aged I like the stronger flavor of the %78+ more.  I can't eat milk chocolate anymore either.  I definitely would not have thought that about myself when I was younger.  

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

 

Also with higher % cacao imo eating it becomes more like one square slowly along with something it goes with well (raspberries? Coffee? ...) not munching down a large amount. 

That is one thing I like about the really dark - it doesn't take nearly as much to satisfy.  Which is good, I'm pre-diabetic, but it's one of those things I "have" to have when I fly.

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I wish I kept track of brands and percents. The brands do vary, even at the same percentages. I know I’ve dabbled up to 86%, but they’re not all good.

I grabbed a Choceur “dark chocolate” bar from Aldi, which I didn’t realize was only 49%. It’s yuckier than other, darker bars.  I should really stop eating it!

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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I like bitter food, they are still less bitter than medicine. I bought Montrzumas ABSOLUTE BLACK - 100% COCOA from Trader Joe’s. Don’t think it’s organic.  Whole Foods probably has organic and fair trade dark chocolate bars but they are more expensive than Lindt.

https://www.montezumas.co.uk/100-cocoa-chocolate-bar-absolute-black.html

This is what I’ve worked myself up to, and it is actually satisfying unless I have been sneaking in other sugary foods. if I go below a 85% these days it just tastes too sweet. Getting into the high cocoa percentages actually is an acquired taste and there is a learning curve for your taste buds, but it is possible to retrain your tastes. 
 

Target has a large selection of organic free trade chocolate bars in varying percentages of cocoa. You just have to go and browse.

Edited by Seasider too
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Equal Exchange Organic Chocolate, Total Eclipse Dark Chocolate (92%), 2.8 Ounce (Pack of 12) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R2LRR33/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_barDFbV4GCSHJ

This is Total Eclipse which I find top limit of tolerable. One step down around 85% is easier to handle

 

Theo Chocolate Organic Pure 85% Dark Chocolate Bar, 3 Ounce, 12 Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004TSPQOO/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_pcrDFb94QS0RM

 

(2 steps down around 70% registers as “sweet” to me. Under 70% now seems disgustingly too sweet to me with rare exceptions.  ) 

Both companies combine both organic and Fair Trade .  

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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

I don’t find dark chocolate bitter, I just don’t think it’s yummy. And why waste time and calories on not-yummy chocolate? 😉 

@Pen I find it useful for reducing “sugar crash” when taking a 3hr long exam. I just eat a small bar before entering the exam hall. I guess the caffeine effect of dark chocolate might have helped too, but I do drink coffee before exams. 


https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/dark-chocolate/

Cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavanols that may help to protect the heart. Dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate. Flavanols have been shown to support the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the endolethium (the inner cell lining of blood vessels) that helps to relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby lowering blood pressure. [1,2] Flavanols in chocolate can increase insulin sensitivity in short term studies; in the long run this could reduce risk of diabetes. [3,4]

...

  • Cocoa is sometimes treated with alkali, or Dutch-processed, to improve the flavor and appearance. However this causes a significant loss of flavanols. Natural cocoa, found in the baking aisle, retains the most flavanols. [8]
  • The higher percentage of cocoa solids, the higher the caffeine content. Two ounces of 70% dark chocolate contains about 50-60 mg caffeine. In comparison, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 100-200 milligrams of caffeine.”
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The problem is the brand, not the percent. I did a chocolate factory tour in Mexico where they had you start straight 100 and work down to milk chocolate. Only 100 is rough haha. 
 

came back to US and tried high percent and it was HORRIBLE in comparison. So change brands. Maybe the TJ is good? Haven’t tried theirs.

If shipping isn’t bad you can order from Kaokao factory in Cozumel. Whoa I just looked and it’s free shipping on the 12 bar pack!!!! Yum!!! 

 

Edited by PeterPan
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4 hours ago, MEmama said:

Milk chocolate. 🙂 

I don’t find dark chocolate bitter, I just don’t think it’s yummy. And why waste time and calories on not-yummy chocolate? 😉 

Not trying to change your mind, just sharing why I take it very dark. First, my dietician recommends a small amount regularly for all the reasons Arcadia cited above, it’s food-as-medicine. Also, it’s a low-sugar preemptive strike against cravings for other sweets. I like it after lunch with a spiced tea. 

Edited by Seasider too
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I find this company’s chocolate too sweet for my taste now (seems sweeter to me at 70% than Theo does) , but you might like that and it has a nice creamy texture iirc and is paleo plus organic plus fair trade ...

Hu Chocolate Bars | 8 Pack Simple Chocolate | Natural Organic Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Non GMO, Fair Trade Dark Chocolate | 2.1oz Each https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PXTGN59/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_zCvDFb5PV5X65

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I love Lake Champlain chocolates: https://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com/chocolate/chocolate-bars

In addition to the bars, they have seasonal chocolates squares which come in a bunch of different flavors: https://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com/chocolate/chocolate-squares

Edited to add, I have no preference on chocolate. I like them all!! Except salted chocolate stuff for some reason, that doesn't work for me.

Edited by AmandaVT
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On 9/30/2020 at 5:47 AM, happysmileylady said:

I don't really have a preference.  Just about the highest I can really enjoy is 90%, but anything less than that is good with me.  Milk chocolate is just way too sweet for me.  

 

Similar for me, so I guess it must be taste/acquired taste.  I started finding milk chocolate “too sweet” iirc as a teenager. 

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