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The Best Dark Chocolate in California!

Do you know which dark chocolate brands are worth your money?

Do you purchase, and just hope beyond hope that you might have picked a good one?

Well, let me save you some time and money!

Whilst on our 5 1/2 week road trip in California I took it upon my self to undertake the largest California Dark Chocolate Test yet to be conducted! I can say this with confidence, since having scoured the internet I didn’t find any others at all!


All I was looking for was great chocolate! How hard can it be?

Well, the search for great dark chocolate meant tasting quite a few duds on the way!


So for all those who go after me, in search of dark chocolate in California …Let me save you some time and money, pointing you straight to the best!

The chocolates reviewed were all readily available in respective supermarkets (price class 2-5 dollars).


Starting at the BOTTOM of the pile:


The Worst Dark Chocolate in CaliforniaTrader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar, Caramel with Black Sea Salt

Negative: It’s not caramel inside, it’s bread syrup, and the salt is in huge completely overpowering chunks.

Positive: If you happen to get a piece without a lump of salt in it, it’s almost edible!

Results: 1/10



Californian Dark Chocolate Test

Trader Joe’s Organic 72% cacao Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar

I was feeling very hopeful about this one when I bought it!

Positive: The initial flavour, balance of bitterness

Negative: The acidic, almost fermented taste at the end

Results: Sorry to say 2/10 – Almost inedible!





Green & Black

Green & Black’s Organic Dark 70% Chocolate

Positive: Erhm, slightly better than cooking choc!

Negative: No flavour, bitter, bad after taste!

Results: A shocking 2/10

Unfortunately one of those brands who appear to sell different qualities of chocolate in different countries! I tried this in UK a few years ago and remember having positive memories of the experience… What’s happened?





Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight 72% Cacao

Positive: No bitterness

Negative: No flavour or quality of the cacao

Results: 4/10






Californian Dark Chocolate TestPeet’s Sweets 72% Dark Chocolate

Positive: Good memories of the coffee I purchased at the same time!

Negative: bitter aftertaste, dry, coarse flavour!

Results: 4/10







Theo Sea Salt 70% Dark Chocolate

Positive: The choc is smooth & rich

Negative: Huge lumps of salt, totally overpowering. After taste: salt!

Results: 4/10 🙁






Californian Dark Chocolate TestEndangered Species Natural Dark Chocolate 72% Cocoa

Positive: Smooth consistent depth of flavour

Negative: Finishes unfortunately with a dry palette similar to having eaten cooking chocolate!

Results: 6/10

…Miss 6 loved it!






Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Smooth Dark Chocolate

Positive: Smooth intensity, good flavor

Negative: Carries a certain bitterness, though subtle.

Results: 7/10






At the top end of the spectrum, these three chocolate bars stood out:


The Best Dark Chocolate in CaliforniaThe Dark Chocolate Lovers Chocolate Bar, 85% Cacao, Trader Joe’s

Positive: If you’re looking for a dark bite & like cherry filled chocolates this is one for you! No cherries are mention on the list of ingredients, but there are clear undertones of cherry none the less. A fruity intensity that balances perfectly!

Extra positive with this one is that they’ve chosen to package as 2 thin blocks instead of one thick one.

Results: 8/10 (but you have to like cherry!)




The Best Dark Chocolate in California

Equal Exchange Chocolates Very Dark Chocolate, 71% Cacao, available at Whole Foods.

Positive: Not only organic and fair trade but a smooth, well rounded flavour, and fantastic balance. No bitterness on the after taste

Results: 8/10

…Oh so happy when I find a good one!





The Best Dark Chocolate in CaliforniaNewman’s Own Organics, Super Dark Chocolate, 70%, available at Whole Foods.

Positive: Fantastic flavour, almost a hint of orange. Smooth, balanced, great after taste

Results: 8/10 











Family Fever


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