Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
In general I don't really get the fascination with chocolate. I mean it is good, but even the pricey stuff has never wowed me.
Far too detailed post about chocolate.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Chocolate is actually a very complex substance, both chemically and physically. The really good stuff is prepared so that it has a fairly low melting point. When you put it in your mouth, it starts to melt pretty quickly and it releases a series of volatile compounds as it does so. In other words, the flavor changes over time. It's like a party in your mouth.
Needless to say, these chocolates lack preservatives and other ingredients designed to give them a longer shelf life or make them tougher so that they can better survive shipping. They need to be eaten pretty quickly, within 48 hours is best, and kept refrigerated. If you keep them too long, they will lose a lot of the volatile compounds that make eating them such an extraordinary experience. They become, relatively speaking, kind of blah. Eventually, of course, they will go bad as they are made from fresh ingredients with no preservatives.
These chocolates are typically pralines (in the Belgian sense of the word) and, so, have centers containing various ingredients. There are, however, small pieces of pure chocolate prepared this way as well. Large chocolate bars, however, are seldom,. if ever prepared this way.
Chocolate bars are not meant to be instantly consumed and have a higher melting point and, often, other ingredients meant to make them more durable and to give them a longer shelf life. "Artisanal" chocolate, like that of the Mast brothers is no different. Chocolate bars, while perfectly fine in their own right, cannot be compared with a properly-prepared French/Belgian praline.
Having said that, a lot of companies, especially Belgian ones, export pralines around the world e.g., Godiva . . . OK, Godiva hasn't been Belgian for about 50 years but for a lot of people, it's supposed to be the ne plus ultra of Belgian chocolate so it's a good example. Sadly, these suffer from a lot of the same problems as do chocolate bars. Because they need to survive shipping and have a decent shelf life, they are a poor copy of the real thing. Even Leonidas, which ships around the world and claims that everything in every store is less than a week old has this problem. The export chocolates, while still pretty good, are noticeably different than the ones you buy fresh from a shop in Brussels.
TLDR version: Next time you are in Belgium or France, go find a good place that makes fresh chocolates.
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
Most of the pricey stuff is shit these days, that's why.
This is has always gone on but hipsters have the worst case of "authentitis" in decades. For people like this, whether something is "good" or not, depends on whether something is "authentic" and niche. The vast majority of these people wouldn't know good chocolate from shoe polish -- keep in mind that these people eat quinoa -- and judge everything by how obscure/authentic/edgy/intentionally ironic it is.
Of course, in reality, their quest is doomed since hipsters are addicted to social media and gauge how obscure/authentic/edgy/intentionally ironic something is based on how popular it is on Twitter and Facebook.