Which Do You Prefer, Drugstore or Gourmet Chocolate?

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With Valentine’s Day less than a month away, I’m curious what kind of chocolate you prefer?  This TODAY News article and video really got me thinking about which chocolate I would choose if forced to participate in a blind taste test.  First of all, I think I would most likely know the chocolate by its shape; they didn’t do a very good job of camouflaging the test chocolates.  Secondly, I tend to go for the more expensive chocolate, not because I’ve convinced myself that spending more money on chocolate makes it taste better, but because it is usually less sweet.  I love and crave sweets, but don’t like them to actually be super-sweet.  Dove Dark Chocolate Promises are among my favorite low-cost chocolates, but they are a bit too sweet for every day indulging.  If I had to choose a gourmet version of the same chocolate for Valentine’s Day, I think I would pick Lake Champlain Chocolates’ Dark Chocolate Hearts; and if I was really feeling glutinous, I would choose Sherri’s Berries Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

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TODAY News

“Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, and many Americans will be shopping for chocolate. It’s a $20 billion-a-year industry, from the cheaper brands that can be bought in a bag to expensive gourmet varieties sold in lavish packaging.

But telling the difference between the two may not be as easy as many think.

TODAY set up shop in New Jersey’s Menlo Park Mall for a blind taste test: generic milk chocolate that costs 16 cents per piece versus a gourmet milk chocolate five times more expensive, at 81 cents per piece. Tasters put on blindfolds and tested the cheaper chocolate, on a white napkin, versus the expensive chocolate on a red napkin. After each taste, everyone was given a palate cleanser: crackers and water.

Plenty of tasters chose the expensive brand. “I got the smoothness of it,” said one. “It has more creaminess,” said another.

However, many tasters who chose the cheaper chocolate cited the same reason. “It tasted creamier,” one said. “It was creamier, just had a little more flavor to it,” another agreed about the less expensive brand.

After a day of taste-testing involving dozens of people, the results came in: Nearly half said they like the cheaper chocolate better. “This one is better and has a sweeter taste to it,” one tester said of the cheaper brand. “When it comes to chocolate, you want it to be sweet.”

Wearing blindfolds, the TODAY anchors tackle the Rossen Reports chocolate taste test.

Watch the Full TODAY News Video HERE

Wearing blindfolds, the TODAY anchors tackle the Rossen Reports chocolate taste test.

In fact, cheaper chocolate is often sweeter. And chocolate expert Liz Gutman of Liddabit Sweets in Brooklyn, N.Y., said there’s a reason many prefer it.

“It’s got more sugar, it’s sweeter,” Gutman explained. “And it’s also what people are used to. That’s what they grew up eating.”

Gutman said expensive chocolates have finer ingredients and more cocoa. But as one taster put it, it doesn’t matter if it’s expensive; you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money on chocolate.”

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Your Local Chocolate Makers:

For those of you in the Northern Virginia area, mark your calendars; the Chocolate Lovers Festival will be held on February 1st and 2nd, in Fairfax, Virginia.

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ARTICLE SOURCE: ‘Sweeter’: Do You Actually Prefer Drugstore Chocolate to Gourmet? – TODAY News

Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

-Colleen




  • I LOVE good old Russell Stovers. I have been receiving them for Valentines Day for years. Consistently good. Not too sweet. I really don’t care for any other drugstore brands. On the fancy side, I find many of them too rich. However, there is a great chocolatier out of Washington state called Dilettante that are amazing. For fancy chocolate I would go with independent chocolatiers over expensive chain brands any day. Also, I would like to say for the record that I am firmly against “maps” that specify the type of chocolate. Unsporting. A good chocoholic should have a pretty good concept of the overall type of chocolate you are getting based upon its size and shape. Furthermore, smooshing in the bottoms of chocolates to see what is inside is a crime worthy of a good finger breaking!!!!

  • Just goes to show that everyone has their own opinion when it comes to chocolate. I find Russell Stovers to taste like chemicals, and find them super sweet. I’m not a fan of mutli-boxed chocolates…I don’t want to weed through the bad to get to those one or two pieces that I like. I do agree with the independent chocolatiers preference though. Always fun to try new things! Chocolate tastes best to me when the sweetness is balanced with a tiny bit of bitterness and salt.