My first stop in the Hunt for Decent Chocolate was Rocket Fizz, the candy store in the Glen Town Center. Its niche is specialty candy and sodas. I walked in the door and was greeted immediately. I replied with, “American chocolate is crap!”
“Yes it is,” a young man replied. “Follow me.”
On a table toward the back of the store, he showed me a collection of international brands. This included a Hershey bar that was made in Canada. Since I understood British Cadbury and American Cadbury to be different, I presumed the same was true of American Hershey and Canadian Hershey. I decided to try that, and something called “Magic Stars”. Then the young man pointed me to the corner with some higher end American chocolate, saying, “It really isn’t all crap.” So I grabbed one of those, too.
On the way to my book club that weekend, I bought a plain old Hershey bar and decided that we would all taste test it. We all agreed that the Canadian version was more chocolaty and less waxy than the Pennsylvania-made bar. At the same time, it was still milk chocolate, and I think I have finally outgrown milk chocolate.
A week or so later, I tried the Magic Stars. I liked that they came in a bag with small pieces. I might actually decide to eat less than an entire bag. And they were very tasty. But again, milk chocolate. Time to hit the dark stuff.
I was flying to I-forget-where one morning and I wandered by the Vosges store at O’Hare. Fancy-fancy stuff. But they did have bars of chocolate, including a dark chocolate with Hawaiian sea salt and caramel. Sold. For seven dollars.
Very tasty. It has just the right amount of salt and the chocolate was very smooth. The caramel was very tasty, but it was the liquid kind, as opposed to the chewy kind. There might be some gourmet reason why this kind of caramel is better, but I was travelling and trying to break off a square or two was..messy. And anyway, at seven dollars a bar it was more than I really wanted to pay. The search continued.