is a wonderful fantastic thing. Aside from all the health benefits, it’s just damn good. To get those fabled flavanoids, though, you have to get something with at least 70% cocoa, and only eat a little bit. I generally have a single square (1/10th of a regular bar) after dinner, stretching one bar out across more than a week that way. Don’t be concerned about the high calories listed—those are for a full 100g bar. Besides, you can get 600 calories in a single flavoured coffee from Starbucks and it’s not nearly as satisfying.

Grocery stores sometimes carry one or two kinds, whereas specialty stores can have dozens. In Montreal I go to Eden, the asian grocery store beside Boccacino’s in Galleries du Parc, but I’m sure there are plenty. Even Jean Coutu has a better selection than Provigo. Here are some bars I’ve tried and what I’ve thought of them, in vague order of preference. Keep in mind I’m not an expert by any means! Some of the things I like may be deplorable to a chocolate connoisseur, but I like them nonetheless.

Isis Luxury Belgian Dark Chocolate (70%)

Calories 575; Fat 47.5g; Fibre 10g; Sugars 27.5g; Protein 8g; $2.89

This is my favourite of the dark chocolate bars I’ve tried. It is noticably softer and smoother than many others, and even a little bit sweet despite the fact that it’s a little light on the sugar content relative to others. For all my Googling I didn’t find any pages about this particular bar, possibly because it’s imported, so it may be hard to find. I get it at Eden in Galleries du Parc. The only reason this one beats out Desir Noir is the price at less than three dollars.

Cemor Desir Noir (72%)

Calories 600; Fat 44g; Fibre < 1g; Sugars 32g; Protein 8g; ~$4 I'm not sure on the exact price of these ones but I remember them being at almost four dollars. The texture and flavour of this is almost as good as the Isis bar above, though not quite as creamy. Still a fantastic bar. The cocoa content is marginally higher at 72%, and if I remember correctly even the %85 in this brand is very palpable, hardly bitter at all. If you can't find Isis, this is a good second choice. I get it at Jean Cotou of all places.

Villars Dark Chocolate (72%)

Calories 550; Fat 45g; Fibre 12.5g; Sugars 25g; Protein 8g; $2.69

Though the package just says “Dark Chocolate”, this one actually has a light almond flavour to it. It caught me off guard so at first I thought the taste was just wrong, but once I realised what it was it was good. (I suppose the picture of almonds on the box should have tipped me off, eh?) I don’t like this one quite as much as the Isis or Cemor brands. The texture is only average, and if I really wanted that extra almond flavour I would have looked for a flavoured bar specifically, or one with whole almonds. I think it distracts from the flavour of the chocolate itself. I also found the design of the bar made it difficult to break into even pieces, which is quite annoying when you only want to eat one piece at a time. This tends to happen with the more bitter bars, though the flower pattern and shallow scoring certainly didn’t help.

Valor Dark Chocolate (70%)

Calories 570; Fat 36g; Fibre 15g; Sugars 30g; Protein 12g; $3.59

This was not a good bar and I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s flavour wasn’t as good as others, leaning a bit on the bitter side, and it was a bit brittle as well. This bar is divided into 12 pieces instead of the usual 10, making the nutrition information on the back for 4 squares (33.3g) seem less frightening than other bars where 4 squares is 40g, but it doesn’t make it taste any better.

Lindt Dark Chocolate (70%)

Despite Lindt’s great reputation, their 70% cocoa dark chocolate is the worst I’ve tasted. It was very brittle, making for more crunching than melting in the mouth, and the flavour was very bitter compared to other brands. While I would gladly try a 85% blend in either the Isis Luxury or Cemor Desir Noir brands, I won’t ever buy another Lindt Dark Chocolate.

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