Just rediscovered this article from the past, but still seemingly quite relevant.
Source: New York Times Date: December 3, 2003
Finding this kind of nuance in the flavor of chocolate is irresistible entertainment for food lovers. Chocolate connoisseurship now seems as logical as the rise of dark-roast coffee and extra virgin olive oil.
Chantal Coady, a leading chocolatier in England, is the founder of the Campaign for Real Chocolate, which aims to enlighten British and American consumers about the differences between industrial chocolates like Cadbury, Hershey’s and Mars, and what she calls “real” chocolate, like Valrhona, Callebaut and Scharffen Berger.
The differences are apparent. All-natural chocolate is rich, smooth and complex; industrial chocolate contains additives that make it waxy, gritty and super-sweet.
And then there is the age-old question: milk or dark? Americans traditionally prefer milk chocolate, which is used in virtually all candy bars. But according to annual studies conducted by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, the percentage of Americans who prefer dark chocolate to milk has risen steadily, from 15 percent in 1991 to 27 percent in 2002. And among Americans 35 and over, the preference for dark chocolate has now risen to 37 percent.
Dark chocolate is by any measure a purer product than milk chocolate, which is mixed with dry or condensed milk and, often, more sugar. “It’s like the difference between a complex red wine and a light, sweet rosé,” Ms. Coady said.