Some thoughts on chocolate
I was reading a post by someone one on FoodBuzz and felt that my comment was worthy of publication in my own blog as almost stand alone.
This is my comment to here post about chocolate.
Indeed, you are just starting on this journey. The best Swiss chocolate comes from Felchlin. Max knew what he was doing with Milk and White. That's the chocolate we use at Life By Chocolate. (One can argue that Peters, the people who first made milk chocolate, have a great milk and white but then we're talking personal taste.) For dark, because we make so many vegan chocolates and confections, we use Granada Chocolate company chocolate because it is fair trade, organic and it is vegan. Belcolade makes excellent chocolate as well as does Valrhona and a few others in Europe. Here in the Americas, we have El Rey, Amano,E. Guittard and a few others.
The question single origin vs. a blended chocolate is a very hot topic. Personally, I liken chocolate to champagne or port rather than vintage Bordeaux or Burgundy. The art is in the blending. Even the Krugs knew that they had to give 1/2 the credit to God for their vintage champagne but not to their blended ones. The same with chocolate. Single origin and vintage chocolates are a fad. They may be a fad that lasts but still, the art of making chocolate is the blending. Of course, there are chocolatiers who blend multiple chocolates into one to produce the final blend. (Chocolatiers who make confections as opposed to people who make the chocolate itself.) The same can be said for raw cacao, which isn't chocolate.
Given all that, it's fun to sample all the different products out there. But, as a chocolatier, I find the art to be in making the confections and playing off between flavors of ingredients. The difference here is finding the best carrot and eating it raw, that would be eating chocolate straight, and making a meal that includes carrots and peas and beets and other veggies. That would be a confection.
In either case, the pleasure is in the eating. So enjoy. And no Lindt is not the top dog. Not by a long shot. There are so many better, artisan chocolatiers both here and abroad that I wouldn't bother with the more commercial brands.