Art of the Heart: The area’s top chocolates
Critiques may run the gamut but not a bite is wasted
We hardly ever met a dark chocolate we didn’t like. That idea was confirmed by several dozen Globe staffers who eagerly gathered to sample many boxes of little confections last week. Valentine’s Day is payday for chocolate shops and since the treats can set you back $30 or more a pound, we decided you need help with the research, and we would oblige. These handmade dark chocolates came from eight shops - not every one in the area, but enough to give us an idea of the variety available. All are the work of specialty shops and artisan confectioners, none are mass market, machine-made. Americans have been serious about dark chocolates only since the 1990s, according to “The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink.’’ That was the moment when chocolate makers started touting the provenance of their chocolate and the proportion of cocoa to other ingredients, writes Maricel Presilla. It was also the time when medical research, funded by the food conglomerate Mars, Presilla says, suggested that chocolate offers health benefits. The discussion of whether or not chocolate is good for you did not enter into our tasting. (But we did feel wonderful later!) We were judging the experience of buying the chocolates, the overall.