7th Street Confections Dark Chocolate Thins

7th Street Confections is a new line of “better for you” treats from the long established Pearson’s Candy Company. The line up of Dark Chocolate Thins include flavors such as Raspberry & Quinoa; Strawberry; Blueberry & Almond; and Pineapple & Toasted Coconut.

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M&M’s 49% Dark Chocolate Peanut

This past week was snacking on the new 49% dark chocolate peanut m&m's.

Naturally, I assumed that the “49%” advertised on the label indicated that there is now more chocolate in the recipe. I don’t really know for certain, since I haven't been able to find the cacao percentage for the original dark peanut m&m's.

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Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel

Ghirardelli recently introduced a new variety of chocolate square; Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, I think this is another example of “sounds better than it is”.

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CocoLove Raspberry Bouche Bar

Vacationing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming was amazing! The Tetons, the hiking, the biking, the chocolate! The chocolate?

Every vacation destination I make a point to hunt out a local chocolates shop and this was no different. We stayed with family living in Jackson, and they knew where to take me - CocoLove Dessert Boutique. It was full of beautiful creations by pastry chef Oscar Ortega.

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MilkBoy Swiss Alpine Milk Chocolate with Crunchy Caramel and Sea Salt

Milkboy is made in Switzerland and according to their website, www.milkboy.com, cows that graze the alpine meadows “produce some of the best-quality milk available, milk for which Switzerland is rightly famed.”

In addition to “best-quality milk,” the milk solids content is 24%. This is much higher than minimal levels required for milk chocolate in the U.S. (which is 12%). No wonder it’s uber-milky and creamy! Read more

Wild Ophelia Barbeque Potato Chip Chocolate Bar

I must say, there are some interesting flavored chocolate bars out there (I’m referring to what’s added to the chocolate, not the natural occurring terroir). And by “Interesting” I mean, raise an eyebrow and ask yourself, “who would think of such a thing?”

Today’s bar for example, honey and hickory barbeque potato chips with smoked paprika in 70% chocolate. Hmmm?

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Pascha 85% Chocolate Chips

Once upon a time, when I was working at a large chocolate manufacturer, I created chocolate chip formulas. Formulas are based on adding ingredients together until they total 100%. A semi-sweet chocolate chip has to contain a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor or cacao mass (by law) so a typical chocolate chip formula might look like this:

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Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Cherries

Chocolate and cherry have a long history together. Case in point, chocolate-covered cherry cordials. At least one brand, Cella’s, started making chocolate cherries in 1864 (although large scale production didn’t start until around 1929).

The bar I’m reviewing today is made by Endangered Species brand and is NOT a cherry cordial.  It does, however, have that same great taste combination. This is a 72% dark chocolate with bits of dried cherries.

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Maca Dark Chocolate by Simple Truth Organic

This chocolate bar is a 71% dark chocolate with maca added. The brand is Simple Truth Organic, and it’s found in Kroger stores and manufactured in Switzerland.

After tasting a number of milk chocolates for the Milk Chocolate Lover’s series, I’m happy to be back to the dark chocolate reviews. This chocolate welcomes me back wonderfully.

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5 Trends in the Chocolate Business

Business success comes from having an edge over your competitors. Though, in the global industry of the chocolate market, reportedly worth $98.3 billion or more, how does a chocolate business find opportunities to get ahead?

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