Let's talk about chocolate chips today. I had not used a lot of them in the past because the grocery store brands are filled with artificial flavouring and too sugary sweet. And sometimes the no name brands are altogether not made of chocolate (watch out for some of the chocolate chips at bulk food stores, be sure you are buying real chocolate! i.e. real chocolate is made with real cocoa butter, not oil). So I am always on the lookout for high quality chocolate chips at a decent price. In my business, I normally use Camino organic chocolate chips because they have a high percentage of cocoa content, are organic and Fair Trade focused, and are all natural.
As for taste, they are smooth, sugary sweet like most chocolate chips are, and just taste like a normal chocolate chip. How do they hold up to the commercial grocery store brand? I tried some Chipits "pure" semi-sweet chocolate chips just after I tasted a Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chip, and the Chipits was less smooth, almost grittier and super sweet. And of course, what's in the Chipits chocolate? Sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, milk ingredients, soy lecithin and artificial flavour. Milk ingredients are not a problem, only that they are not needed in a semi-sweet chocolate chip, so why the heck are they there?
Guittard also makes a milk chocolate chip in a 326 g (11.5 oz) package. What they don't say on the packaging though is that they are jumbo-sized chocolate chips. They are about two- to three-times bigger than the Guittard semi-sweet chips. Overall, these are very tasty. They somehow taste like a Hershey's kiss, but have better ingredients and are all natural (ingredients include: sugar, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, soya lecithin and real vanilla). I have already used them in baking and I think these are fantastic.
So if you are looking to use fine chocolate in your baking, instead of the grocery store brand, I recommend that you try Guittard chocolate chips. In Canada, I bought mine at Homesense, but you can also order online! http://guittard-online.stores.yahoo.net/bakingproducts.html
If you are looking for an organic brand, check out the Camino products.
Quick Links: List of American Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers, List of Canadian Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers, List of UK Bean to Bar Chocolate Makers, The Raw Chocolate List, Organic & Fair Trade Chocolate List (U.S. & Canada), Soy-Free Chocolate List, Dark Milk Chocolate List, List of Specialty Chocolate Retailers, List of No Cane Sugar Chocolate, List of Cocoa Bean Suppliers, How to Temper Chocolate, Chocolate Recipes.