I’m guessing there’s a bit of chocolate in your near future. With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, chocolate is almost guaranteed, whatever the shape. Squares, bars, balls, kisses—milk, dark, mint, cherry… it begs the question, what’s the best kind of chocolate? Of course, it depends on your taste, and what you’re hoping to get out of the experience—whether it’s a health thing or just pure enjoyment. In any case, let’s try to answer the age-old question.
We’ve posted previously about some of the health considerations around chocolate, noting how nutritionists do or do not like to consume it (they do). One of the main takeaways is that is if you stick to dark chocolate with around 70 to 80 percent cocoa, you’re getting all the chocolate flavor with little added sugar or fat that make it less “healthy.”
Here’s a breakdown of the types of chocolate to determine the absolute best kind ever.
To purists, white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate at all, because it’s not made from cocoa solids. It’s made from cocoa fats (also known as cocoa butter), which apparently don’t have much in the way of chocolate flavor. Milk products, sugar (often a lot of sugar) and flavorings are added to the cocoa fats to make white chocolate. Roll in some crumbled cookies with this stuff and you get a pretty tasty treat, even if it’s not really chocolate. There are good quality versions worth trying, and not all of them are sickly sweet.
Everyone knows milk chocolate. It’s the kind that most chocolate candy bars are coated with. It consists of chocolate liquor, which is made from ground cocoa nibs, blended with milk. The amount of milk used varies by producer and by region. And methods of production vary as well. The result is that milk chocolate flavor and quality varies widely, (many pages have been written about the differences between U.S. and English milk chocolate), which makes it hard to rank it universally as “the best.” But good milk chocolate that appeals to your sense of taste can really be a special treat.
Chocolate has been lauded as a food that can be good for our health, by organizations including the Mayo Clinic. Among its benefits include the ability to lower blood pressure, and its antioxidant effects, which can reduce damage to cells. Of course, the good news comes with some caveats, since chocolate is relatively high in calories, and sometimes fat and sugar, the idea is to enjoy it in moderation. The advantage of dark chocolate is that it generally has a high percentage of cocoa solids, and less added sugar than milk chocolate has. That puts it in the running for the best kind of chocolate.
Mint chocolate can be made from a milk or dark chocolate base. The combination of rich chocolate and bright mintyness makes mint chocolate the best kind of chocolate by quite a wide margin. It’s not even close, really.
Conclusion: Mint chocolate is the best kind of chocolate.
How much do you agree with our assessment of the best kind of chocolate? Let us know in the comments and over on Twitter at @luvoinc. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, Plated, to unlock a $2 coupon to use on your next Luvo purchase.