The rich aroma, the robust flavor tingling on every taste bud, the tantalizing, satisfying feeling you get afterward. Nothing beats a high quality piece of chocolate, especially dark chocolate. Whether you’re enjoying it as a quick snack or diving into a decadent dessert, you know how important the right chocolate is. If you’re in pursuit of the finest dark chocolates, you have no further to go. Picking the finest in dark chocolate is like picking a fine wine, you need to research, study and know what separates quality from mediocrity. Let’s take a journey through Chocolate Land.
What makes dark chocolate so special? First of all, it is produced by adding fat and sugar to cocoa, using much less milk than milk chocolate or in some cases, no milk at all. This chocolate is more versatile where it can enjoyed by eating it on its own or savored in cooking for a richer, bolder flavor. Whether you call it dark chocolate, plain chocolate or black chocolate or whether you choose semisweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, you win not only in its fantastic flavor but its health benefits as well.
Simply put, dark chocolate is good for your heart. Since chocolate is derived from plants, you are absorbing the same benefits you would get if you ate dark vegetables but of course with a much better flavor. These health additions come from flavonoids (pigments in plants that reduce damage to your body) which act as antioxidants. These antioxidants in turn can block free radicals that lead to heart disease. In fact, dark chocolate contains nearly 8 times the number of antioxidants found in strawberries. These key ingredients can also help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and contains serotonin, an anti-depressant. Now that you know what dark chocolate is, what it’s made of and its health benefits, it’s time to find the perfect brand of chocolate.
Ghirardelli has been at the forefront when it comes to choosing a quality, dark chocolate. This powerhouse manufacturer has been around since 1852 and has one of the richest heritages among American chocolate companies. Ghirardelli stays with the cocoa bean from inception to birth going through bean selection, a unique roasting process, a refining method to get the ultimate velvety texture and conching to bring out the one-of-a-kind flavors. From this intense method is born the “Intense Dark” Chocolate line. These dark, deep luxurious chocolates are blended with other intense flavors to give your mouth a flavor rush. You can choose toffee, sea salt or hazelnut blends. You can even get varying percentages of dark chocolate such as “Evening Dream” with 60% Cacao or “Midnight Reverie” with 86% Cacao. You can truly indulge your dark side with a wide array of possibilities.
Astor Chocolate is known far and wide for being a premium dark chocolate. The family-owned business was established in New York in 1950. The company has always prided itself on creating superior quality chocolates. What makes Astor so special? All their products are made from Belgian chocolate, undisputedly the world’s best. This chocolate is all about passion and their products express that sentiment. Individual dark chocolate bars emblazoned with various U. S. cities are not only delicious but patriotic as well. Dark chocolate is also blended with exotic fruits like pomegranate giving you a delicate blend of rich chocolate and delicious fruit. With their unique packaging and world famous taste, Astor is always a good pick.
While in the pursuit of dark chocolate, care must be taken. It isn’t a task that should be taken lightly. Not all chocolates are created equal so take this journey fully, wholeheartedly and most importantly, tastily!