If I had to choose between milk chocolate and dark chocolate, I would choose 10 out of 10 milk.
Yet here I am, knee-deep in dark chocolate bars, to find out which is the best. It’s not that I don’t like dark chocolate, I often don’t like the bitterness or overly fruity flavors that some dark chocolates have. I prefer smooth milk chocolate when a need strikes. My brother, on the other hand, is more known in our family for preferring cocoa and cocoa nibs. He lives on dark chocolate. My father ends up somewhere between the two of us and my mother, well, she’s not into chocolate.
After a heated debate between my brother and I about the merits of dark chocolate, we decided it was time to have a taste. Similar to my previous back-off competitions (these ginger molasses cookies are still a favorite and no one can tell you pumpkin bread is only for fall), we’re in with some guidelines on how to crown the ultimate food That Chocolate Flavor Come Store Dark Chocolate Bars.
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Ranking guard rails:
Since no baking was involved in this flavor, we kept things a little more cautious in the Avasthi household. All pralines were tasted at room temperature and served with pallet cleaners in between. We only stuck to the 70% (ish) candy bars that were available on the HEB candy aisle, although I was told the Valhrona Dark Chocolate bar is worth the hype, unfortunately it wasn’t readily available.
Since my brother is the connoisseur of dark chocolate, I asked him what he was looking for when classifying these bars:
- taste: To be honest, I didn’t expect any of our selected chocolate bars to taste different, so I was pleasantly surprised that the process resulted in significant differences in taste. For the three of us we were looking for a bar that had its own unique flavor without being too sweet or too fruity. We wanted a balance between the flavors and the cocoa. The real test: which bar do we return to for another square? (Let’s be clear, neither of us are professional chocolate tasters, so we just wanted chocolate that tasted good!)
- texture: We all agreed that our favorite chocolates are smooth on our tongue and not chalky or chunky. A properly tempered chocolate should have a nice snapshot, so we took that into account too.
- Aroma: I only added this to the leaderboard because my brother said it was important, but I think it’s self explanatory.
By the end of our tasting, I actually had a couple of new additions to my rotation, some that I will reserve for chopping up chocolate chip cookies and some that I will keep when purchasing the milk chocolate counterparts. So without further ado, here are the results of our dark chocolate taste test!
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# 6 Green and Black’s organic 70% dark chocolate
I am a Green and Black’s Milk Chocolate STAN. I live for it and top up when they go on sale at Whole Foods, so I was hoping this one ranks higher than the three of us. The taste was just ok, rather smoky and astringent according to my brother. The texture was just fine too, and we were hoping for a little more smoothness than we ate it. Overall, this place came in 6th because it was just that, just okay. However, I will continue to spice up the milk chocolate variety and keep this slab for the upcoming chocolate chip cookie baking.
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# 5 Ghiradelli 72% Twilight Delight
I live for the types filled with Ghiradelli milk and caramel. Log me in all day every day. This bar was fine. My brother noticed that the taste is actually smoky with an almost liquorice note. My dad also said it was a bit bitter with just a fruity aftertaste. My brother exclaimed that he did not enjoy the aroma of this bar and reminded him of roasted coffee. Feel free to DM him to discuss the importance of the flavor in chocolate. This bar is also nothing to write home about, but finds a nice home in a cookie dough.
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# 4 Chocolove 70% strong dark chocolate
In terms of taste, this bar of chocolate was okay. We all three agreed that the fruitiness of this bar was just mild enough to be pleasant. All three of us had concerns about texture. The chocolate didn’t melt smoothly over our tongues when we ate it. I wouldn’t call it quite chalky, but overall we just wanted more textural enjoyment from this bar. I haven’t tried the milk chocolate counterpart here, but will add it to the comparison list as I liked the taste of this model.
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# 3 Lindt 70% dark chocolate
We’re Lindt chocolate truffle fans in the Avasthi house, so I was thrilled to try this bar. The taste is definitely milder and sweeter, which I personally didn’t mind as a milk chocolate lover, but my brother called it a bit weaker than some of the other bars. The texture was great, nice and smooth with a nice print on the bar. We enjoyed this bar overall and came back once or twice for an extra square.
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# 2 Tony’s Chocolonely 70% dark chocolate
I’d never tried Tony’s chocolate before, although I’d seen it in the aisles of Trader Joe. This chocolate had the boldest, fruity taste of any bar we’ve tried. It had a light taste that my brother really enjoyed. Personally, as a milk chocolate person, it would have been a bit milder, but overall the taste was good for dark chocolate. The texture was smooth which we all liked too. We would like the rod to be a little thinner as the large pieces make it difficult to break a piece off.
This bar won on the package.
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# 1 Perugina 70% bittersweet chocolate
In all fairness this bar was the underdog of our group so all three of us were shocked that we enjoyed this bar the most. It was the only bar we ate in full during our tasting. What made this bar stand out was the taste. It has kind of nutty and coconut flavor notes while the texture is super rich and creamy. This bar wasn’t bitter at all, mild enough to transform any dark chocolate hater, and the perfect bar for reaching for chocolate cravings. I am shocked that I found a dark candy bar that I would actually buy again and that my brother liked it too. Lesson learned, never count the underdog.
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Overall, I think there is something for everyone! And I’ll even give my brother his “I told you” moment. When I got into the taste test I specifically said I don’t think I’ll notice a difference. And he said, “You don’t try enough different types of chocolates.” And he was right. Now that I’ve tried a few different ways, I can point out things that I liked and disliked about each and that keep me open to trying new ones.
While this is just the grocery store pick, I still have a few foodie choices that I love:
Fossa Chocolate Salted Egg Cereal (my all-time favorite)
Marou Tien Gian
Dandelion Piura White
Madhu Chocolate Dark Rose
Qantu goat milk
Compartes Chocolate (literally all of them)
What’s your must-have chocolate? Let us know below.