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February 9, 2012

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Sampling some yummy chocolates

WHO doesn't like chocolate? Well, there are some out there that don't get ravenous for chocolate, but most people enjoy good chocolate treats. Perhaps that's why they have become such popular gifts for Valentine's Day.

Chocolate is considered an aphrodisiac by some and studies have shown that it has health benefits, especially dark chocolate which has a higher percentage of cacao, if consumed in moderation.

With February 14 only days away, most supermarkets in Shanghai are displaying chocolate products in high traffic areas.

There is an array of fine brands of chocolate - one of few foods to melt at body temperature - both foreign and domestic. Chocolates come in many different shapes, sizes, textures and flavors.

High quality chocolate has a smooth texture, snaps crisply when broken and has a good balance of bitter, acidity and sweet flavors. A waxy taste indicates cacao butter has been replaced by cheaper vegetable oil.

Here are a few recommendations.

Bazaar at Xintiandi

? Meiji Macadamia

Origin: Japan

Price: 13.8 yuan/58g

Description: One of many quality products from Meiji. Macadamia is a creamy milk chocolate filled with a macadamia nut, which is known as the "king of nuts."

? Senz

Origin: Suzhou

Price: 55.8 yuan/234g

Description: Senz is a new and innovative chocolate brand giving free rein to the imagination. These chocolates are made in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, but are inspired by Belgian chocolates. Senz features a dynamic blend of fresh flavors, seductive aromas and sexy shapes.

? Baci Plain Chocolate with Hazelnut Filling

Origin: Italy

Price: 30 yuan/125g

Description: Baci means kiss in Italian. Baci chocolates come in a range of packaging, including heart-shaped boxes, alcohol bottles along with tubes and bags.

? Elit Special Dragee Selection

Origin: Turkey

Price: 48 yuan/200g

Description: This is a selection of fine nuts and fruits covered in milk, dark and white chocolate. The stylish and elegantly presented box includes generous amount of almonds, hazelnuts and juicy raisins.

City Shop

? Ghirardelli Chocolate Dark & Mint

Origin: US

Price: 45 yuan/100g

Description: Ghirardelli's dark chocolate delivers a luxuriously deep and velvety chocolate blended with sophisticated ingredients in a variety of flavors and cacao percentages. The delicately thin chocolate melts slowly in your mouth.

? Villars White Chocolate

Origin: Switzerland

Price: 24 yuan/100g

Description: This white chocolate has a milky taste. It's also smooth.


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