No law or rule is mightier than understanding — Plato
There are only great bars; no great chocolate per se. Barsmiths (chocolate bar makers) face the daunting challenge of a 4-way interaction to orchestrating flavor development: a) genetics; b) terra; c) processing; & d) time (the last always & often patiently among the essential ingredients that bring it all together). It’s extremely difficult to fix any one of these factors let alone all of them simultaneously, thus ensuring that any evaluation remains perennially a prisoner of the moment. If the devil’s in the details, then God presides over their consistency.
Artisans approach this endeavor with a philosophy in mind, setting parameters of what to do, & utilizing techniques in how to do it, to establish a maker’s-mark or personal signature that brands their chocolate. Yet with so much variability – sometimes within the same batch – even the most accomplished concede it can come down or add up to techno-magic… that blend of alchemy, science, & art.
The fundamentals, however, always remain the same. A great barsmith can do very little with a bad seed; a mediocre bar-smith can ruin a truly good one. Hence, the 8th Law of Chocodynamics: Purity / Simplicity / Balance. Here are the very best of the craft – the top brands in alphabetical order on the navigation bar to the left. (For a more complete directory listing barsmiths of varying quality, consult the C-spot™ Census – home to the most ratings & reviews on the web.)
The Chocolate Grinder, Marcel Duchamp (1914)