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    jmcintosh's Avatar
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    Confused about Chocolate

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    I was at whole Foods today, and trying to figure out what chocolate is good, and which isnt. I ended up buying some chips which contain no soy or dairy. The ingredients listed were evap. cane juice, non dairy cocoa butter, and choc. liquor. Are those ok, or did I screw up?

    Which chocolate is ok- dark, semi-sweet, baking choc, I havent a clue. Ontop of that, every other one contains soy lechtin, which I wont eat in any amount.

    So, could someone school me a little when it comes to good healthy chocolate, and suggest some brand names I can look for? Hopefully soy free. Thanks

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    Styrofoam Jones's Avatar
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    The darker the better. You're going to want 70% cocoa at the very least.

    Evaporated cane juice = sugar, and since it's the first ingredient, what you picked up is no good. I'd eat soy lecithin before I ate that much sugar. There are plenty of bars out there without the soy lecithin, but somebody else will have to help you with that.

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    Your best bet is to go for the highest % cocoa dark chocolate you can find.

    Lindt 85% is my current go-to, no soy lecithin. (nutritional info here: http://www.lindtusa.com/common/image...92851_nutr.pdf)

    They also sell a 90% and 99% cocoa dark chocolate but those are a little too bitter for me.

    I can't tell you whether you "screwed up" or not, without knowing the amounts of cane juice, etc, that are in the bars. Personally I don't care if there is dairy in the chocolate or not, the amount of dairy involved in making dark chocolate yummy is pretty minimal. Milk chocolate is a different ball of wax altogether, and I would say avoid that

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    The fewer the ingredients, the better. The more natural the ingredients, the better. Cacao, cacao butter, a little sugar. That's a half decent chocolate bar!

    I have grown to really enjoy Scharffen Berger's 99% cacao bar. It's cacao nibs & vanilla. That's it. It was very bitter at first, but the more I gnaw on it, the better it tastes.
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    I really like Welcome to Theo Chocolate. They have a 100% soy free factory and all their dark chocolates are dairy free ( except Bread and Chocolate, which is obviously very not Primal Approved). In addition, they are organic and Fair Trade for Life certified. You can also get nibs from them.

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    Whole foods also carries cacao nibs. which is basically the cocoa bean unprocessed and in in its purest form. it's 100%! Though very bitter by itself, it's awesome paired with the dried berry of your choice. The antioxidant levels are through the roof if you eat them this way. The only sugar contant comes naturally from the dried berry which of course is a primal thumbs up. An even better way to enjoy the berry/cacao combo is to mix it with dried organic coconut chips.. better yet.. add a dried seed like pumpkin and you have yourself a completely sustaining delicious trail mix. This is my daytime snack. A handful of this mix easily thwarts any hunger in between meals.

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    In the United States, federal laws dictate naming conventions for chocolate. Note that "semisweet" is not one of the official categories. Also notice that sugar content isn't specified—but it's pretty easy to see that it makes up the bulk of what's left after cacao solids/chocolate liquor (not alcoholic) and milk solids (if any).

    MTA: The current Wiki page on types of chocolate is quite helpful, too, and includes standards other than U.S. I've had or used all of the brands listed under the "couverture" bullet (except for Felchlin, which has an excellent reputation), and would recommend them for eating out of hand as well as cooking or baking.
    Last edited by inquisitiveone; 04-18-2011 at 03:04 PM. Reason: additional information
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    The explanation of "Hershey process" milk chocolate in that link did a great deal to explain to me why I so dislike Hershey's and similar chocolates. And couverture chocolate is pure chocolate bliss for me.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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    Ha! I hadn't even read that, because I've disliked Hershey's chocolate ever since I first had a taste of good chocolate. It tastes like the cacao is over-roasted.

    Looking at the Wiki article a little more closely, the "white chocolate" section explains why a lot of American white chocolate tastes like crap. The only ingredient providing any chocolate flavor in white chocolate is the cocoa butter; the more it's removed and vegetable oils or other fats replace it, the worse the chocolate will taste. Guittard makes the very best white chocolate I've ever tasted.

    And "compound chocolate" isn't fit for eating.
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    White 'chocolate' isn't. Without cocoa solids, it's not chocolate, just sweetened fat.
    "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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