Chocolate is not just a food; it is a religion. Specifically, there is the One True Chocolate--dark chocolate (the true faith). But there are dangers awaiting the unwary. Milk chocolate has true chocolate in it, but only in a diluted form that leads innocents away from the true faith (heresy). White chocolate just takes the name of chocolate, but is obviously not really chocolate (paganism). The real danger, though, is carob. It appears to be real chocolate, but upon tasting it, the truth is revealed and the taster's soul is corrupted beyond repair (satanism).

The best chocolates in the world are between 70% and 90% cacao. Any more than this and they become too bitter--and usually have an inferior texture as well. But to be perfect, a chocolate must be flavored with either chili pepper or sea salt, have a perfect texture, and be very dark.

The Perfect Chocolate

The best chocolate of any kind comes from Portland, Oregon: Woodblock Salt & Nibs (70%). It's made from scratch, starting with just the beans, has a fantastic texture, and has just the right amount of salt and cocoa nibs to give it an amazing flavor. They've got other types as well, but this is the best one. If you can find me a chocolate that I like more, I will give you $100 in cash.

The Best Chocolate

Must have at least a 2:1 ratio of cacao to sugar/flavorings in addition to truly great flavor and texture.

  • 88% Dolfin Dark Chocolate (almost too dark, but still has an amazing texture)
  • 85% Kallari (from indigenous farmers in the Ecuadorian Amazon)
  • 80% Salinae (from Sicily with Mothya salt and a unique "sandy" texture)
  • 75% Vosges Oaxaca (just dark enough, but wonderfully spicy)
  • 75% Republica Del Cacao (Ecuadorian chocolate with a hint of spice inherent in the cacao)
  • Poco Dolce Peanut Butter Bar (percentage unknown, tastes like a peanut butter cup made by angels)
  • Poco Dolce Mayan Chile Bar (percentage unknown, basically an Aztec Chile Tile without pumpkin seeds)

The best overall chocolate from this category:

  • Poco Dolce Aztec Chile Tiles (percentage unknown, dark spicy chocolate with cinnamon and sea salt, plus pumpkin seeds for an amazing texture)

Real Chocolate

Anything with more than a 2:1 ratio of cacao to sugar/flavorings. Respectable chocolate, but doesn't have truly great flavor and/or texture.

  • 85% Michel Cluizel Chocolat Grand Amer
  • 85% Bernard Castelain Chocolat Noir Extreme
  • 77% Cacao Sampaka Dark Chocolate
  • 70%-85% Lindt Dark Chocolate
  • 70% Valhrona Dark Chocolate
  • 70% Chocolove Dark Chocolate
  • 68% Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Chile Variado

The best overall chocolate from this category:

  • 70% Noi Sirius Pure Icelandic Chocolate (very good texture and flavor and it's even pretty cheap)

Technically Chocolate

Anything with less than a 2:1 ratio of cacao to sugar/flavorings. Will do in an emergency, but this is mass-market chocolate for the unenlightened.

  • Godiva Dark Chocolate
  • Hershey's Dark Chocolate
  • Any of the brands listed above but with 65% or less cacao.
  • Any chocolate that is 90% or more cacao--this is too much.
  • Almost any chocolate flavored with fruit, mint, etc.

Chocolate-Flavored Candy

Anything that is less than 50% cacao. Should be illegal to call it chocolate.

  • All milk chocolates.
  • "Dark" chocolates that are only in the 40-45% range.