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What if I don’t have an artisan chocolatier nearby, you ask? What if I live in the Wild West??  Not to worry, certain industrial chocolates are actually quite delectable. Chocolate is one of the products one can bring into the US with full blessings from US Customs. I take full advantage of this privilege by filling one of my suitcases with chocolate whenever I return from Europe. Here is a picture of some of the “tablettes de chocolat” I brought back two weeks ago:

In the interest of science, I will be conducting double-blind taste tests on myself to determine the exact degree of deliciousness of each one of these tablettes. I can’t wait to compare the different brands of 85% cocoa chocolates. Also, I want to study the effects of increasing the cocoa concentration on the human psyche (chocolate is, after all, a psychoactive substance!!) Did you notice the different concentrations of cocoa available in the Lindt Excellence Chocolat Noir?

70%: Noir Intense

85%: Noir Puissant

90%: Noir Prodigieux… goodness gracious! Could it possibly get more intense?

99%: Noir Absolu!!! Can you handle it?

Dear Goyavier blog reader, I need your help to make an important decision. In my taste tests, should I start with the 70% and work my way up to 99% or vice versa? Let me know what I should do!

Meanwhile, I bet you’d like to see a close-up. Here you go:

I have great news for you! The Lindt Excellence Noir collection is available in the US! Woohoo! For example, the 85% tablette is marketed in the US under the name “Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Bar“.

The essence of Lesson 2 is thus: “It is possible to find high quality chocolate in US grocery stores. Choose chocolate from reputable chocolatiers such as Lindt and then verify the ingredient list!” In Lesson 3, we will cover the delicate subject of ingredients in chocolate.

If you missed “How to eat chocolate: lesson 1”, catch it here.

(And no, the chocolate lineup above is not a photoshop gig. Yes, I lined them up on my table and lovingly photographed them.)