Life’s too short for mediocre chocolate. Get expert tips on how to buy good chocolate for yourself or as the perfect gift. Be a savvy chocolate shopper!
How to Buy Good Chocolate
I am a chocolate snob.
There. I said it.
Somewhere along the line, I developed a taste for really good chocolate. There’s nothing more disappointing to the palate than biting into what looks like chocolate, but actually tastes like wax sweetened with vanilla air freshener.
I am here to save you from the bad chocolate and teach you how to find the good chocolate.
1. Good Chocolate Does Not Have Artificial Flavors
There are so many chocolatiers that make chocolate without artificial flavorings, so why waste your money on those who use dubious vanilla substitutes? Check the ingredient list for yourself or ask an employee to find out for sure.
On the other hand, I don’t have strong feelings about artificial colors, and here’s why. They’re virtually tasteless, so they don’t really affect the flavor the chocolate. For me, it’s all about the flavor. However, I give bonus points to chocolatiers who are able to use natural substances for coloring.
2. Good Chocolate Is Freshly Made
If your chocolate is full of preservatives, that means you expect it to sit around for a while. I don’t want chocolate that’s sat around for a while; I want chocolate made fresh within the last day or so, at most.
Ask your chocolatier when the chocolate was made. If the chocolate came from a far away factory and the seller really doesn’t know when it was made, hop in your car and move on to the next chocolate shop.
3. A Bite of Plain Chocolate Should Not Be Boring
I will often buy one piece of plain chocolate, if possible, before springing for a box of assorted chocolates. That way, if the the plain chocolate is not good, I can avoid buying a whole box of chocolate duds.
You can try milk or dark—whichever you prefer—without any fillings, flavorings, nuts, or crunchy bits. Let the chocolate dissolve slowly on your tongue. Is it rich and complex? Are you left with a feeling of satisfaction and mild exhilaration?
If the answer is yes, then you’ve found some good chocolate. If, instead, your lips twist into a frown from off flavors, grittiness, or waxiness, run straight back to your car and drive away.
4. Fancy Packaging Doesn’t Make Chocolate Taste Better
Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy sumptuously packed boxes that are stuffed with delicate tissues and wrapped in elegant bows. Beautiful boxes can make the enjoyment of chocolate into a reverent experience.
However, packaging can camouflage a multitude of sins.
When you open an elaborately wrapped chocolate box, you are psychologically influenced to view its contents as higher quality. If the contents are truly high quality, then you have no issue. On the other hand, if the contents of the box are not very good, you are left with the sinking feeling that you just paid a premium price for subpar chocolate.
Keep a level head and don’t make a purchase based on the trimmings alone.
Ready for more chocolate wisdom?
Good tips on buying chocolate. There is definitely a difference in quality! Also chocolate is great to bring on trips, you are right!
Robin Masshole Mommy
There is a mom & pop candy store near me and they have the BEST chocolate. Ever. We only get ours from there.
I absolutely laughed out loud when I read that you were a chocolate snob. I am one too! We have a local Joshy Early store near us, and their non-pareils are the best!
Christine | The Traveloguer
I love chocolate so much1 Luckily, living in Europe there’s no shortage of quality chocolate to feed my addiction!
I have a few people in my family that LOVE chocolate and none of them like what we have here. I think they are also chocolate snobs! Dutch chocolate is their favorite!
I am not a chocolate snob by any means but I can appreciate a good piece of chocolate. These are great tips for making sure your chocolate is good quality.
You have your affinity for chocolate down to a science. That isn’t my ministry at all but it totally is my sisters. She is a die hard chocolate fine and is really bougie about her chocolate selection.
These are good tips for buying quality chocolate. I am not a huge chocolate fan but can appreciate the amazing flavor of good chocolate. The good part is you don’t need a lot to be satisfied.
These are great tips, I am thinking my teen daughter would love this because she is all about her chocolate and buying it right!
These are great tips for buying good chocolate. It is important to check out all ingredients in the products you are buying I believe. The packaging to the chocolates doesn’t at all make a difference in how the chocolates taste. I prefer to buy chocolates from the candy stores who make them homemade. Thanks for sharing the tips.
I love that! chocolate snob.
I love chocolate, but never really think about “good” chocolate. This is awesome, and gives me lots to consider!
I love chocolate too! Over the years, I have found a few favorite places in Tulsa, Eureka Springs, and Santa Fe for example. I love the beautiful artisanal ones that almost look too good to eat!
I wish there were a lot of chocolate shops in my area! We have one or two somewhat nearby and I love to visit them around holiday time!
I love chocolate!! These are great tips for buying good chocolate..not gonna lie. Most of the time I stick with Hershey’s! LOL!
Carin Kilby Clark
I’m a die-hard chocolate fan! It’s literally my most favorite treat. This is such a great guide for buying good chocolate – definitely going to bookmark. 😉
Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen
Thanks for the tip!! Who doesn’t love good chocolate??? I agree with you that good packaging doesn’t always mean good chocolate and I’ve experienced being disappointed a number of times.
I intend to buy Vietnamese chocolate, How do you think about this kind of chocolate ?
Someone tell me that it is very quality and delicious
I loved when you talked about how good chocolate is made without artificial flavoring. It makes sense that in order to get the most natural quality you need to find a chocolate company that uses original and natural ingredients to achieve the best taste. My wife has been asking me to get her the “good kind of chocolate” for her birthday, so I’ll make sure to follow your tips in order to get the best.
Thanks for your valuable suggestions.
Im a sweet tooth, and I love eating chocolates. I found it fascinating reading your articles. There are different kinds of chocolates, and your tips give me an idea of what chocolates to buy. I like the topic of pure chocolate with no artificial flavorings, just pure chocolate. Quality chocolates are freshly made. Choosing from dark or white chocolate does not matter. Lastly would be packaging chocolates on a fancy box or canister add ups an enticing look for me.
I love eating chocolates.
I like the topic of pure chocolate with no artificial flavorings, just pure chocolate. Quality chocolates are freshly made. Choosing from dark or white chocolate does not matter. I found it fascinating reading your articles. There are different kinds of chocolates, and your tips give me an idea of what chocolates to buy.