Belgian Chocolate.

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by superstring01, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Hell I'd trust you with my home address. Please don't forget me during the holidays

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    By the way there is a Brazilian salmon dish I had at a restaurant but I cannot remember the name. It was like a salmon spread that you would eat on toast, an appetizer. It was absolutely divine!

    But I prefer sweet things for the holidays

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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Excellent idea! I'd give you my addy too

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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    My wife is a chocolatiere and she generally uses French chocolate like Valrona and Callebaut. Although chocolate factories have recently opened in South America and they make very good products. They finally decided that they should get a bigger cut of the profit from their plantations.

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    But if I'm going to buy ready-made confections I do like the Belgian chocolatiers. Neuhaus, Gudrun, Daskalides, the list is endless. For bars I like the Germans such as Sarotti marzipan, and Lindt makes some good stuff, especially their white chocolates.

    But I'm a true American and my favorite commercial candy is Mrs. See's. Been munchin' on that stuff for 45 years. I can eat a pound at one sitting, and often do.

    Of course none of this compares to homemade macadamia-Pernod truffles, but Mrs. Fraggle has only been making candy for about 15 years.

    I've always loved white chocolate, which is (when done right) pure cocoa butter without the cocoa solids. It has no caffeine, which is a break for me since I've been a recovering caffeine addict for my entire life.
     
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  7. superstring01 Moderator

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    Is that Mrs. See's, the large-esque chocolate concern on the west coast? When I lived in Phoenix, it was a staple of mine. I consider it to be some of the best chocolate I've ever had. Not really available here in Cleveland (though, with the internet, anything is possible).

    Where does Godiva rank in this whole scheme? They seem to have the market cornered (in the USA at least) on ultra-premium chocolate. I think they have a shop in every mall in America.

    ~String
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Indeed. They're all over L.A. You have to get in line behind the Japanese tourists.
    They didn't have it yet in Arizona when I lived in Tucson, but I discovered it when I escaped to go to college in Pasadena in 1960.
    No East Coast presence at all. A couple of the top-end malls here in the Washington region have a See's kiosk selling ready-packs at Christmastime, and if you prowl an airport you might find it in one of the shops. They're ready and waiting for your internet order, although shipping is rather expensive. But I like to pick out my favorites and not settle for the prepackaged assortments.

    See's is now in Warren Buffett's stable, so if you get a job with another Berkshire-Hathaway company you might get discounted See's candy at the major holidays.
    My personal chocolate expert thinks Godiva is the best American commercial candy. It has a much more European flavor and texture than the rest. They make their own chocolate now instead of buying it from one of the factories like Hershey or Ghirardelli.
    I agree. In Washington they have billboards in the subway stations.

    Chocolate is one of the many benefits of the Industrial Revolution. Chocolate as we know it--pure cocoa butter and cocoa solids--can only be rendered from cacao beans by industrial processing. Before the late 19th century, the "chocolate" that had taken Europe by storm was nothing more than the "cocoa bean tea" that the Aztecs turned the Spaniards on to.

    In addition to caffeine, chocolate contains another psychoactive substance, an elixir named theobromine, from the Greek words meaning "food of the gods."
     
  9. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

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    Fine European chocolate? blechhh
    Try a raw cacao smoothie instead.
     
  10. darksidZz Valued Senior Member

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    Dearest god, allow me two wishes, one is for health and the other for superstrings chocolates =-P
     
  11. superstring01 Moderator

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    Fraggle: I just went to See's website and ordered a 2 pounds (for $39) of my choice of 10 bonbons. We'll see how they compare to my Belgian chocolates (which, btw, are all gone now).

    ~String
     
  12. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Pff.. what's the big deal about Belgian chocolate ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  13. superstring01 Moderator

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    Generally considered by experts to be (on average) better than most other chocolate; this due in part to strong traditions of quality, better ingredients, etc.

    Have you ever tried the stuff? (This question presupposes that you actually like and can appreciate chocolate; there is a small mutant segment of the human population that doesn't like chocolate and should subsequently be tracked-down and quarantined away from society)

    ~String
     
  14. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Hmpf.. I've often eaten Belgian chocolate and a range of chocolate from other sources and I have to say I don't notice anything particularly special about it.
    It's good chocolate, but so are a lot of other chocolates.
    Perhaps it's its name or its price tag that fools people into thinking it tastes better. Or maybe the fillings do it. You are talking about bonbons mainly, right ?
     
  15. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Yup, and it's kind of hard to escape it here really.
    I like chocolate but I don't get all lyrical over it.
    In fact, I think I like Swiss chocolate better.
    I like pure chocolate and in particular chocolate that is just chocolate (so sans the fillings). I like the big black blocks that break your teeth if you aren't careful enough

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  16. superstring01 Moderator

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    Perhaps. People are slaves to fashion, you know. Just look at what people will fork out for lables all over the world.

    In my case, however, I think that it is--on average--far better than most other chocolates. As with anything, labling a product by a nation is dubious at best. Like saying, "Japanese cars are all better than German [or French, or American]." And on average they might be, but I refuse to accept the notion that an Isuzu is better than a Mercedes or Lincoln.

    We're talking averages here, and on the average Belgians make better chocolate than most. I'm willing to bet that See's, L.A. Burdick or Maribelle make equal or better chocolate than anybody else on Earth, and they are all American (and premium to super-premium brands). But because of the moderate-to-low standards of confectioneries Hershey's**, M&M/Mars, and Nestlé, the averages outside Belgium are dragged down considerably (especially when one takes into consideration the consumption levels of these brands).

    In my case, I got chocolate from the higher end of the already superior quality Belgian chocolates: Côte d'Or. I also have traveled enough and tasted enough chocolate (though, I'm no Fraggle) to know the difference between the great stuff, the average stuff, and the truly horrific stuff.

    ~String

    ________________________________________________________________
    **Note: Hershey's does make super-premium chocolates, one just has to look for them, and they are very delicious.
     
  17. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Ok, but that's still personal taste. You can't say that it's a fact that Belgian chocolate is on average superior to any other nation's chocolate.
    Some people might like other chocolates better.

    I didn't know that Côte d'Or was Belgian btw.. I learned something new, I guess

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    Côte d'Or is a region in France, so I thought it was from France.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Côte-d'Or
    Heh.. ok not a region, a department.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  18. superstring01 Moderator

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    Indeed. And, it would seem, that people who are in a position to judge these things tend to agree on the fact that Belgians make some of the best chocolate (to go along with their, apparently, great diamonds as well).

    It was named after the Gold Coast in Africa where Belgian confectioneries had planted cocoa beans for the production of their chocolate. See: Wiki Côte d'Or (brand).

    ~String
     
  19. laladopi time for change. Registered Senior Member

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    Yea, I was just in Belgium in July for two weeks. the chocolates where good but theres way better beer there than anywhere else.
     
  20. laladopi time for change. Registered Senior Member

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    ...yea its been awhile.
     

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