the Chocolate Lover's Diary

A diary concerning all kinds of chocolate. Here I'll comment on chocolate websites and post test protocolls as well as write about other subjects tied to my favourite pastime. I'll test chocolate of all varieties, from the cheap bars at the shop around the corner to the criollo pralines from Fortnum & Mason.

Location: Uppsala, Uppland, Sweden

Indoor gardener and christian chocolate lover with too many interests at hand. In my non digital life I spend most of my time playing in the SCA.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The guy with chocolate inside

In Sweden we have a small expression for the guy that's not only eye candy, but has everything including that little extra - ”grabben med choklad i” or for you english speakers all over the world; ”the guy with chocolate inside”. The fact that Johnny Depp not only plays Willy Wonka in Charley and the Chocolate Factory, but also has a leading role in ”Chocolate” might be a give away.

Vanessa Paradis, my warmest congratulations!

And since it's international talk like a pirates day, and Johnny Depp stars in Pirates of the Caribbean:

"The pirate speaks,"In Sweden we have a small expression for t' guy that's not only eye candy, but has everythin' includin' that little extra - ”grabben med choklad i” or for you english speakers all over t' world; ”t' guy with chocolate inside”. T' fact that Johnny Depp not only plays Willy Wonka in Charley and t' Chocolate Factory, but also has a leadin' role in ”Chocolate” might be a give away. Vanessa Paradis, me warmest congratulations!"

(Apparently the english to pirate translator couldn't do much with my english. I don't know if that's flattering or worrying.)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sheep milk chocolate

This is a bit embarrassing. The chocolate bar of this week was a bar of milk chocolate made from sheep milk. Eventhough we normaly eat dark chocolate I chose the milk variety to better be able to distinguish the difference between this one and 'normal' chocolate. I'd completely forgotten how munchable milk chocolate is. Before I even had a chance to think about the brown book, the bar had disappeared.

This is why you don't get a full test protocol on this one, but rather a small essay.


Whole Milk Chocolate

with Sheeps milk

at least 36%

I have to admit that I in one way expected the chocolate to taste like feta cheese with chocolate flavouring. It didn't. In fact it tasted som much like other milk chocolate that I had to by a Marabou Milk Chocolate bar (more or less the standard chocolate in Sweden) to have something to compare with. The comparison might be a bit unfair, since fudge are added to the Marabou chocolate to make it more rich. If any of the bars resembled chocolate seasoned feta it was the Marabou one, probably because of the fudge content.

The Choco-Lina bar was well worth it. It was sweet, of course, a sweetness with a pleasant tingle on the tongue. The pieces melted fast in the mouth without leaving any film (I hadn't noticed that milk chocolate can do that untill I made this test). The chocolate taste was perfect.
Plus: The wrapping succeeds in looking both luxurious and cute.

This is the bar you give as a present to a friend that like exotic food but doesn't like the idea of dark chocolate.

A comment worth answering

Siel made an comment on my last post, and I wanted to answer it. However the answer didn't really fit into this blog, so I created the GOD how stupid! blog for it. The answer took me several cups of hot cocoa to write (fairtrade cocoa this time - but I'm not allways that Good). Do take a look if you want. I'll will rant and ramble more on that blog. The next item here is sheeps milk milk chocolate, so stay tuned :-).

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Notes from the brown book; Fair Trade Chocolate

Oh yes, about two months ago I made an excursion and visited Globalen, a small shop in Uppsala specialising in being good. I'm not pretty fond of people trying to lecture, but I do think a fairtrade mark on my chocolate adds to the taste. Or perhaps it's the other way around; the glamour and fun with the chocolate would be spoiled if I got to know that the farmers growing the cocoa were underpaid and suffered. That's all there is to it, and I want to eat my chocolate without a lecture.

However, I bought four dark chocolate bars to see what the fairtrade section had to offer. Here's the test results

Oxfam fairtrade

Fondant Negro


Click: Crumbles eventhough it's warm (the test was made during a day with +30* C )
Bitterness: Vague
Sweetness: High
Mouth feeling: Smooth and nice
Hot chocolate: -
Allergic friendly: Probably

Commentaries: A nice presentation, a true "bar". Probably made for a hot climate (?). The test was made on an extremely hot day. Good as a goodies chocolate, good beginners dark chocolate. TASTES GOOD.
Minus: The wrapping looks like a small political manifesto - a happy african in ragged clothes...

Green and Black's


Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids

Click: Soft
Bitterness: Low, but a clearly distinguishable level of resin (furtree)
Sweetness: Low
Mouth feeling: Crumbly
Hot chocolate: -
Allergic friendly: No

Presentation: Comes in one big piece of 20g. You are probably supposed to chew it from one end to the other. Very soft (hot day). Sharp aroma. Doesn't work as [goodies]
Plus: Elegant wrapping


Extra dark

Amargo Extra


Click: Somewhat crumbly
Bitterness: Middle
Sweetness: Mild but distinguishable
Mouth feeling: Somewhat rough
Hot chocolate: Dissolves slowly on hot milk. Two piecies are too few for a cup.
Allergic friendly: No

Commentary: The chocolate bar looks excactly the same as Snack Eco [below]. Mostly sour. The higher percentage of cocoa do make a difference.
Plus: Elegant wrapping

Snack Eco


Dark chocolate

at least 55%

Click: Soft
Bitterness: More like smokey
Sweetness: Pretty high
Mouth feeling: Soft with rough afterfeeling
Hot chocolate: Works well in hot milk, but requires a high dosage
Allergic friendly: No

Presentation - good looking elegant bar. The taste is smokey, sour and of resin, but hardly of chocolate; do taste more of unrefined suger than of cocoa. Hardly worth it.
Minus: the wrapping looks like a small political manifesto. [The wrapping was covered with the fair trade badge, blown up to gigantic dimensions.]

To sum up: Oxfam is the true winner of the test but I do suggest that you tear off the paper wrapping as fast as you could (whatever the good intentions are behind putting workers on it the results are a chocolate that looks boring and that the chocolate in reality are sold on other peoples bad luck, ie. the cocoa workers that are not involved Oxfam programs).

Friday, September 02, 2005

Chocolate summer, chocolate Uppsala

Oh joy! I can eat chocolate again! Last week the medical authorities gave me green flag on this, and I've celebrated with a cup of cocoa each day ever since. I have to admit that I've not been able to stay entirely out of the habit before that, especially not since we spent the summer vacation in Paris.

As to Paris you can say that the belgians and the swiss people may make the best chocolate of the world, but the french are eating it. What I encountered in France was a chocolate culture I really liked. A french woman or man can start the day with special breakfast cookies flavoured with chocolate and/or filled with chocolate chips. Or she or he can exchange them for a pain du chocolate, which is baked on the same dough and with the same methods as a croissent, but is filled with (surprise) chocolate.

In Sweden, drinking hot chocolate is reserved for kids. The hard core hallmark on being adult is to drink coffee, with tea as an alternative. (It's possible to ask for chocolate, and in most cases you'll get a cup of hot water and instant cocoa powder.) In France hot chocolate shared the same status as the various sorts of tea and coffees you could order after your meal. My favourite is "chocolat viennois" ie. hot cocoa with whiped cream on top.

If you're going to France I can say that you'll have to work hard to find any bad chocolate, even the everyday brands are keeping a high level of quality. (We're talking about a country where you can find chocolatiers on the subway stations.) A more unusual souvernir would be the breakfast chocolate cookies. You don't have to eat them for breakfast, but they are tasty and really worth it.


I've had a comment on my blog again. Hal Works has been to Sweden to buy a Volvo (good choice*) and found Anneli K with help from my blog. I'm really happy to be of service and Anneli and her staff really enjoyed the visit - I talked to them some days ago.


The chocolate culture of Uppsala is improving. On the small note Anneli K has finally added the 88% chocolate bar of the Dolphin brand to her selection. This is my favourite for making hot cocoa and one of the few dark chocolate bars that have kind of a soft side flavour instead of the usual bitter.

On the big note a new cafe has opened; Chokladkaféet (the Chocolate Cafe). As in the case with Anneli K the owner is well educated and you can get anything with chocolate there. The downside is that you can't order anything more meallike - like a sandwich or a lunch. A small blessing for my wallet since I would have lived there if they did. Instead I had lunch on another place and went to Chokladkaféet for desert. You could probably order a Death By Chocolate there and have the best one ever, but be aware that almost everything in the range is death by chocolate anyhow. A chocolate lovers paradise.

My recommendations for chocolate lovers visiting Uppsala is to buy pralines and bars at Anneli K and to have an evening cocoa at Chokladkafeet. Don't miss any of them.


(* Ever since Volvo and SAAB started manufacturing cars in Sweden a neverending debate over which brand is best has been going on here. I'm on the Volvo side.)