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Sep
24

Doug’s Chocolate Republic – Ratings Explained

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Picking the losers from the delicious winners

Every Chocolate Republic review follows a similar format. Like any functioning republic, you need rules.  Underneath the name of the bar are seven delicious pieces of information, providing you with a snapshot review of this piece of chocolate:

1.  A graphic of the bar being reviewed. A picture is worth between three hundred to one-thousand and twenty words or between 240 to 800 calories.  A good-looking or bad-looking picture will influence your decision to purchase and digest that number of calories.

2.  The manufacturer’s country of origin. Most of the time the chocolate bar is manufactured in the same country as the chocolate company’s headquarters, but this is not always the case.  For example, Green & Black’s bars are manufactured in Italy, although the company is from the United Kingdom, now owned by Cadbury. (Ignore the fact that American Kraft bought Cadbury.  Cadbury’s HQ is still in Britain).   For these cases, we define the bar’s ‘nationality’ as being the same as the company’s.  In other cases, like Cadbury and Nestle, where the company is a multinational corporation manufacturing in many countries and in which the chocolate may taste different depending on the locale, this field is set to the manufacturing country.  A Cadbury bar made in Malaysia would be defined as Malaysian, a Nestle bar made in Australia as Australian.

3.  Cocoa solid content. Cocoa solids are the low fat component of chocolate which gives the chocolate its color and flavor.  Milk chocolate typically has between 20-40% cocoa solids, bittersweet around 60%.  Extreme dark chocolates, very bitter in taste, exceed 70%.  Manufacturers play around with the words and can call one of their bars “dark” when it contains only 45% cocoa solids, such as Hershey’s Special Dark.   The Republic refrains from categorizing bars as milk, dark, bittersweet, semisweet, and lets the cocoa solid content do all the talking.  Sometimes, the Republic will need to estimate this figure, as the lower-end chocolates (which I will thankfully rarely review) tend to leave the cocoa solid content off their labels.

White chocolate contains no cocoa solids.  That’s why it’s color is not brown.   It contains cocoa butter and milk solids.  For white chocolate bars, this figure denotes the percent of cocoa butter present.  In the U.S., a white chocolate bar must have a minimum of 20% cocoa butter and 14% milk solids.  Soy milk doesn’t qualify.4.  Size, in grams. We were going to use ounces, but most Republics in the world today are on the metric system.  We followed suit.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this brilliant article.  Click here to do a search for chocolate reviews.]

Categories : Chocolate

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