Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chocolate Connoisseurs

Yes, finally a post about chocolate. You all know I love dark chocolate, but the odd thing is I can go for months without touching any. In one month, I must have eaten chocolate only 3 or 4 times. A cherry liqueur or two a couple of times, a Grand Marnier After Eight stick...

Selfridges no longer stocks Pierre Marcolini, which really is one of the best in Europe. Marcolini is Belgian and holds the official title of chocolatier with boutiques in Brussels, Paris, and Tokyo, but is based in London. Possibly some of you remember me going on about it last year. Actually, I can date the fall-off in chocolate consumption from then. If I ever get around to visiting the boutique on Kensington Church Street...

There is Rococo on Marylebone High Street, but you can find various selections of their chocolates at a few London stores now, such as Liberty and Waitrose. Valrhona is another good brand. I prefer it to Green & Black's, but it's not as widespread. I have found Valrhona at Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Waitrose, and even spotted some at our local Tesco today. Carte d'Or is also supposed to be good, but I haven't tried it yet even though I can find it at Waitrose too. I haven't looked at the chocolates at Harvey Nichols or Harrods 101 because I get carried away with other foods there!

Green & Black's Maya Gold versus Dove Organic Citrus Spice


1) 55% cocoa solids
2) bittersweet chocolate
3) self distributed brand from London
4) made in Italy
5) wrapped in gold foil


1) 61% cacao
2) semisweet chocolate
3) distributed by Masterfoods USA, a division of Mars, Inc
4) made in Italy
5) wrapped in gold foil

Dove smells like a spice market, giving an idea of cinammon, some clove, maybe even nutmeg. On the tongue it is silky smooth, round-edged, fast-melting, slightly bitter with no tartness, and has a delayed zingy bitterness with an exciting chili-like tang.

gives an immediate pleasant orange bouquet, but then feels more gooey, is more overwhelmingly bitter, has a rough texture, and leaves a bitter aftertaste and heavy coating on the tongue.

If only we could get Dove in the UK...


ML said...

Eating really good chocolate is a lovely experience! I am in awe that you can go so long without eating chocolate.

Dove is great stuff - just smooth and silky stuff. I do love chocolate...mmmmmm!

Selba said...

I love chocolate! I love dark chocolate! :)

Oh.. have you read about SilverQueen chocolate in my blog? My grandpa invented it :)


The Moody Minstrel said...

Now that I'm drooling all over my keyboard.....

What do you think of the different makers of chocolate truffles, such as Mary Smith, Whitman's, Godiva, etc.?

AmitL said...

Wow...quite a 'sweet' post,Olivia.:)I'm tempted to nibble on a chocolate,in spite of my current diet schedule.:)

MattJ said...

I dunno liv, as someone who likes bitter things I have to say i lvoe green & black's choclate. My favourite is G&B's dark chocolate with orange. I'm not a big chocolate guy, especially hot chocolate but G&B's hot chocolate is legend!

talking of chocolatier, you may have read that i found one in the most unlikely places - Hull. the guy is lovely was running the place single handed when i went there. he told us all about how chocolatier chocs don't last too long because there are no preservatives and various bits that i forget. As I say i am not a big choccy person but I my head nearly exploded with how good this guys stuff was (gave me a free sample after we bought a gift box for a friend).

pete said...

I must try said Dove! I love chocolate too, some days I've went as much as a few hours without getting any, but let me tell you they were hard times. You know though, you could be onto something not having so much, because once I had no money for chocolate for two weeks and that first bite after getting some was SHEER BLISS.

lunaliar said...

You can't get Dove chocolate in the UK??? You're going on and on, though, about brands of which I've never even heard, but Dove is an institution here.

I'm afraid if I say I'll try to find some for you, it'll end up like Matt's Carrot Cake cookies; eaten by Dave in a fit of hunger and then forgotten!

beenzzz said...

I am a chocolate fiend. I love the stuff!!! I must agree that Dove is a nice silky chocolate. It really is too bad that they don't sell it in the UK.

Olivia said...

ML - I guess I've never been a sweet eater, though I have a sweet tooth. I love cookies.


Selba - I did indeed read about it. Quite impressive. A scout for the Chocolate Society went around the world looking for chocolate, and when she got to Asia, there was little choice, but your SilverQueen may have been one of them.

Olivia said...

Woops, I hit publish...

Minstrel - Whitmans? It was a last resort when we ran out of European chocolates in the US.
I have never heard of Mary Smith.
Don't like Godiva and in my opinion it is over-rated, as is Guylian.

Now I find that, apart from Marcolini, the best truffles are to be found at Fortnum & Mason's own chocolate counter. They are better than Harrods.

Mind you, I still haven't yet tried any chocs from The Chocolate Society, about half a mile from F&M.


Amit - I suppose it is my humble contribution in honour of Valentine's Day...


Matt - well, to each his own. I can handle tart better than bitter. Which is why I don't like beer.

I must say, I do like G&B hot chocolate - actually bought a jar yesterday, having finished Twinings new luxury chocolate flakes.


One minute you're AMP the next you're Pete - well, at least I know who you are!
Someone on P27 told me that Dove is the same as Galaxy here, so just try some dark chocolate orange spice...?


Luna - oh don't worry! I just told Pete I could get Galaxy here, which is the same.
Or I could just stick to the others I like that you haven't heard of :P

What do you think of Ghirardelli?


Beenzzz - I wish I could eat it fiendishly! But as I said to your sister, my sweet tooth extends to cookies and cake, sometimes choc, and rarely sweets.

Anonymous said...

Give me your address, and I'll send you some Dove chocolates for V day hehe...seriously.

Con mucho amor,
tu amiga, Memoria

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I agree with you on the Godiva comment you made here. Ghirardelli chocolates are overrated as well (IMO).


Christopher said...

will you be my valentine?

Ricercar said...

"You all know I love dark chocolate, but the odd thing is I can go for months without touching any" ... me too!

Olivia said...

Memoria - I can't believe you don't have my address! Is yours the same?

Don't worry about sending any, though it's sweet (haha) of you. I have more than enough to choose from here, as you can see, muchas gracias mi amiga.


Christopher - of course lovvie! (Or is it just to get to my chocolate???)


Prerona - woot! So glad I'm not the only one :)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Overrated or not, I'm not complaining about the box of Godiva truffles my wife gave me for Valentine's Day! :-)

I find with Godiva I really like some types but don't care for others. I suppose you could say that about most brands, but they don't usually cost around $2 a chockie!

tooners said...

i love chocolate as well.... it's actually just sooo divine and a favorite thing to eat. i've been known to eat so much it makes me sick. ;)

but... i will say, you've tried some that i've never heard of. i'd love to try some of these you talk about.

there were some great places to buy chocolate in dallas. ummmm... the memories! :)

Anonymous said...

There's a poncified place near my office that sells Pierre Marcolini. I paid £8 for a 100g bar a few weeks back. Nice but I am not sure it's really worth it. Pop over to Bishopsgate and I can point you in the right direction...

Olivia said...

Tooners - ewwwwwwwwwww naughty you.


Anony - oh that's right, you're back in the City. But it's probably just as easy for me to go directly to the main shop on Kensington Church St.

fireflygal said...

I really love dark chocolate, especially After Eight, which has a nice minty flavor. I like other kinds too.