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Can Inexpensive Chocolate Be Good?

28 Jan
Moser Roth - chocolate from Aldi

Moser Roth – chocolate from Aldi (Photo credit: lightsight)

I visited an Aldi store that opened recently near my office, and of course, I had to find out if there was any chocolate on the shelves.

If you know anything about the Germany-based Aldi chain, you know it’s a discount grocery store that carries very little in comparison to most American supermarkets. No floral, photo, pharmacy, fresh bakery, salad bar or deli counter. Just the basic, mostly private-label choices of produce, prepackaged breads, dairy, fresh meats, frozen seafood, paper products and health and beauty goods.

I’ve written about the chain for another online publication, but not about their chocolate. I found two bars to try, and decided for the price (less than $3 for each eight-ounce bar), it was worth the risk. If they were awful, it proves that money can and does buy the best. If they were at least acceptable, it proves that quality can come at a favorable price.

The two bars I tried, Choceur Dark 45% and Moser Roth 70% were tasted at the same time of day (7 a.m., which is my normal tasting time) on two different days.The Choceur Dark is from Austria, and the best thing I could say is that it was pleasantly OK. The bar had shine, but no snap. The flavor was a little tangy, not as sweet as you would expect this percentage, but there just wasn’t much to distinguish it from any drugstore bar.

The Moser Roth was closer to what you’d expect from a high-end bar. Bitter, with a decently deep chocolate flavor, but nothing that would make you buy more of it, even for the price. It’s not bad, just not very satisfying.

Both bars contain vanillin, the artificially synthesized vanilla flavor, which certainly didn’t help the flavor profile. If you’ve eaten the highest-quality chocolate for a while, even a small amount of the poor or middle-of-the-road stuff is unpleasant to the palate. I understand the need for products like these. It’s an opportunity for people of limited financial means or those with a genuine lack of chocolate knowledge to obtain the best. Both are a step up from the mass-produced morass. Not a very strong step, but a step nonetheless.

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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2 responses to “Can Inexpensive Chocolate Be Good?

  1. Dee Minerva

    January 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Having the opportunity to explore Switzerland and taste chocolates there…don’t recall the various brands but they did not stick…then Belgium for the Leonidas chocolates….absolutely loved the white chocolate…and now I usually don’t have the opportunity to find a Leondias store with them being flown in fresh…so I have succumbed to the more available…always dark chocolate and now usually Dove almond dark chocolate…but still high on my mediocre taste buds sits the Aldi Choceur dark chocolate pieces…not a bar, but just a wonderfully treat at 45% cacao .. it may not be the absolute best but I prefer it to the Dove for sure. And unfortunatley being in Texas no Aldi here. My sweet husband travels back to Aldi -ville (Illinois) and brings them back to me. Affordable, tasty … meets my chocolate fetish … and now I am on my last 3 pieces! Spouse needs to go back to Illinois soon.
    Guess we all have different taste buds for products…my spouse does not like Choceur..oh well, I do.

     
    • nancymn

      January 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Dee. I think for me, the problem is that I’ve tried so many great bars (my famous “NYC 19” were what started this blog) that the Aldi duo did not quite measure up. Then again, I don’t think either is bad for the money. It’s a balance thing. I don’t thing any chocolate in this world needs to go away, because there is always a buyer at any price range. My goal is to get more folks to appreciate the high-end bars. Oh, and I definitely agree on the Dove. My mother loved the Dove chocolates; I never could understand why.

       

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