Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A sweet event - Chocolate Tasting Party!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day - and that means it's unofficially chocolate overdose season. Chocolate has exploded as an industry since I was a kid, when you had a choice between Hershey's kisses or Hershey's bars (I am from Pennsylvania). Happily, there's someone to help us sort through the mire of chocolate options today - my friend, Christine.

Christine has been hosting her Chocolate Tasting parties since 2007, and tracking the results here. This past weekend we gathered to indulge ourselves in 54 samples of local chocolate and compare them to the favorites from last year.

Each sample chocolate is given a bird pseudonym for the tasting 

What did we learn? 

  • Swiss chocolate is delicious, 
  • Trader Joe's brand is a good bet, and 
  • Local chocolate is can be delicious, sometimes.

The winners from this year?
  1. E. Wedel Milk Chocolate from Poland (imported)
  2. Lindt Excellence Milk (available at any grocery store)
  3. Freia Melkesjokolade, the national chocolate of Norway (imported)
  4. Trader Joe's Swiss Milk Chocolate (made in the Villars factory in Switzerland)
One we didn't taste-test that is my personal favorite, and very much like the Swiss winner is the TCHO Serious Milk "Classic" with caramel flavors.


  1. This sounds amazing! I'm definitely a dark chocolate girl, so I'm curious about the milk-heavy results - were you a milk chocolate-loving crowd, or did the milks really just stand out above the darks? Or was it a milk-chocolate-only tasting?

  2. This most recent tasting focused on small batch producers, and she added in the winners from the previous year. There were I think, only 8 milk chocolates in this years tasting.

    Most of the chocolates in the master list, available on Christine's blog (linked above), are dark or super-dark. Even some of the milk chocolates would normally fall into the dark chocolate category by my standards. Humorously, I recall Hershey's Dark chocolate contained milk and so little cocoa as to fall into Milk chocolate by Christine's rules.

    As for why people prefer milk chocolate? 2 possible reasons... 1) I think milk chocolate has more fat content which people respond favorably to. 2) I think last years winners were milk, and the results bore out that those winner were superior to any of the small batch, primarily local chocolates in this years tasting.

  3. Happy to know about this chocolate tasting party. Have never been to such party before but would love to be a part of it. Thinking of arranging chocolate party for my dear ones at one of Los Angeles venues. Will have tasty chocolate there.