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A Review of Dark Chocolates

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a-review-of-dark-chocolates

A Brief History of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate can be traced back 3000 years and was used consumed in a beverage derived from the cocoa plant. It was consumed by indigenous central American tribes often as a medicine or in ceremonies. When it was brought back to Europe, sweeteners were added to make it more palatable. Currently its original medicinal purposes are an influence to modern consumers, as it contany attributes which benefit the body.


...dark chocolate was the only form of chocolate available. It was developed around 1900 B.C. as a beverage in what is now Central and South America. Later the Mayans and the Aztecs made bitter dark chocolate beverages for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. The Spanish brought chocolate back to Europe and added cane sugar or honey to the formula to sweeten it. It wasn't until 1689 that milk was added to traditional dark chocolate drinks by Hans Sloan in Jamaica, making the first milk chocolate.

— Tara Mchugh

The Contenders

This is based on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest. The category for fillings rates the sample on the variety of fillings avaiable.

BrandSweetnessTartnessFillingsTextureValue for PriceOverall

Cadburry

8

8.5

6

8

8.5

8

Chocolove

8.5

8

8.5

8

8

8.5

Dove

8

6.5

7

7

7

7

Endangered Species

7

7.5

8

8.5

8

7.5

Godiva

7.5

8

7.5

7

7.5

7.5

Green & Black's

6.5

9

7

8

8

8.5

Ghirardelli

8

8

8.5

8.5

7

8

Lindt

9

9

9.5

9

9

9

a-review-of-dark-chocolates

Dark Chocolate Abounds

Since I started trying to get on my health kick, I have been searching for a healthy desert alternative. I enjoy snacking, especially sweets. I would find them hard to give up. Cakes, cookies, ice cream, you name it. A milkshake can substitute as a good breakfast when you are in the mood, provided you include a donut on the side.

Dark chocolate is supposed to be healthy for you. And that seems to make sense because when it comes to sweets, dark chocolate is usually at the bottom of my list. I think of the small Hershey bars that I would get in my stocking at Christmas and pass them on to my little brother and sister. Or give them away to the neighborhood kids, pretending they were a delicacy.

Which, in fact, they are.

And I found some samples at my local stores. I didn't realize there were so many varieties available.

I tried to keep it basic though, and look at some of the samples being marketed.

These are only my opinions and I would appreciate any feedback you care to offer.

Or of course, any offers you can provide to my feeding.

Cadburry

When I think of Cadburry, I think pretty basic. Almost like Hershey's. It seems to be synonymous with chocolate and so much so, that it is cliche. Everyone is probably familiar with Cadburry eggs used during Easter and perhaps the other products you can find during holidays.

But this was pretty good. The one I tried was called Royal Dark and is sold in a purple wrapper.

It lives up to its name. Just the right amount of sweetness and the tartness is very welcoming. The chocolate bar is hard, but melts comfortably in your mouth and settles there and doesn't dissipate too quickly. You actually have a chance to savor it.

But that is the one criticism I would offer for this candy bar: the fact that it has an aftertaste that lingers quite a bit.

I like it though and it satiates.

a-review-of-dark-chocolates

The Benefits of Dark Chocolates

According to K. Gunnars, writing for Healthline magazine online says there are seven major benefits of dark chocolate. Those include: nutrition contributions, antioxidants, lowered blood pressure levels and a reduced chance of heart disease.

It's more than just a sweet concoction and helps many people relax. This is, of course, if its consumed in moderation. There are still calories and sugars in the substance which, if taken in high volumes, can have adverse affects. The recommended dosage, according to Life Enriching Communities, is 1 to 2 ounces a day.

Dark chocolate is usually defined as a bar that contains 70 - 85% of cocoa.

Overall, it is considered a benefit to most diets.

Chocolove

Well a very delicious sample of medium chocolate. Even though it is marketed as dark, it's only about 55% - which really isn't too intense.

The chocolate has a hard texture, I was slightly afraid of hurting my teeth. It certainly is delicious though, with the right blend of dark and milk so you are not overpowered with any bitter effects.

You can taste the salt grains and the nuggets are filled with salted almond chips, which provide an added flair.

Very good.

Dove

Well, at one time, Dove was considered a finer example of high end chocolates. Compared to Hershey's and Cadburry, Dove was quite exquisite.

Known for its silky smooth taste and velvety appearance, Dove was one of the nicer choclates. One that you would present to a girlfriend (or boyfriend) and would happily enjoy on a Sunday champagne brunch.

I however, was not overly impressed. It tasted like you're pretty basic, run of the mill, almost pretentious sample of sweets.

The chocolate had a slightly bitter tinge to it, almost medicinal. The sweetness came in, and left a pleasant after taste.

And it certainly was smooth in appearance and texture. Pure chocolate which crunched off the bar and simmers in your mouth until it melts away.

Not bad really, overall. A little pricey in most places.

a-review-of-dark-chocolates

Endangered Species

A little more bitter than sweet this confectionery is. A rich herbal chocolatey flavor that lingers.

Small bits of almond and salty grains fill the small squares.

A nice compliment to a glass of red wine or an after dinner snack to be enjoyed with coffee.

A little more sophisticated I think that the dark flavor lingers.

Personally, I prefer something a little sweeter but I think there are the Earth Day types who will definitely find this one a favorite.


Godiva

a-review-of-dark-chocolates

Godiva

Such an exotic sounding name and one probably thinks of Lady Godiva and horses when you hear this word spoken.

This is a slightly bitter sample which will probably appeal greatly to dark chocolate aficionados.

The bars are split up into smaller, individually wrapped portions - which is a very nice touch. You don't feel obligated to consume it in entirety. You can share with friends or even take some to work or school.

A little more pricey than some similar items, but pretty good. The chocolate is nicely shaped and looks appealing.

Pretty good, but I only tried the plain sample.

a-review-of-dark-chocolates

Green & Black's

Well this is definitely a darker cocoa. The flavor is extremely bitter and really lacks and sort of overall hint of sugar.

If you are truly a fan of darker cocoas, this will appeal to your senses. The flavor is biting and deep. The bars snap off in small squares.

You could possibly use this for cooking and baking - which is probably not a bad idea.

I didn't really care for this, but I like my chocolates smoother and sweeter. However, I recognize that this type has its audience - and if you are an aficionado, you will definitely find this enjoyable.

The chocolate inside is as sophisticated as the packaging and I would call it higher class.

Give it a try.

In Conclusion

Well, I have to say that I am definitely a fan of chocolates. However, my taste for the darker versions, had to be acquired. I much preferred sweeter varieties, especially those found in candy bars like Nestle Crunch, Twix Peanut Butter and M & Ms. But as I have experienced it more, I find that dark is not only more palatable, but preferred.

Most of the samples that I used above, did not contain any contents such as nuts. When you go shopping for these higher end samples, (they are located in their own area of on the aisles in most of the shops I visited), you will notice that there are many different flavors to choose from. Some examples of this are Lindt's variety with small orange pieces, Ghiradelli's caramel, varieties with sea salt. There was even one that included hot peppers. The list is probably infinite depending upon your geographical region as well.

Dark chocolate is versatile in the sense that it goes with almost anything. It can be enjoyed as a desert, a compliment to a beverage, or even as an energy snack after a workout.

From the examples I included, I did not opt for a variety of specimens, but rather opted for the flavor of the cocoa itself. I would recommend you try some of the spicier samples which include almond slivers, bars with tints of mint, or even an exotic raspberry blend. They can be used to cover bits of fruit, nuts, or even as a slivered topping with whipped cream and a sundae.

They are very good for you and will make you feel happy.

Some Links to Information on Dark Chocolate's Health Benefits

Comments

Jason Behm from Cebu, Philippines on January 24, 2021:

Suddenly I am craving for chocolates.

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