I just stumbled across this thread and was surprised there wasn't more talk! I would like to hear everyone's opinions. I have a hands down favorite but I come from a chef, chocolatier, and chocolate connoisseur background...I would like to hear everyone's thoughts.
Guittard is actually from San Francisco...so another local company. Both companies started around the same time in San Francisco. The only difference is that Guittard is still family owned by the Guittard's to this day.
One reason that many haven't heard of Guittard is because they supply to chefs, chocolatiers, bakers, and confectioners. They supply to the professional circuit mostly. In the past few years they started doing more in the retail side of the business.
Guittard is also a California chocolate, Callisto.
Comparing those two brands, definitely I prefer Guittard except for Ghirardelli's ground sweet chocolate. Guittard's chocolates come in a wide range of cocoa percentages, and the pastilles are very easy to use when melting chocolate. For my taste buds, there is really no comparison between the two. Guittard is geared much more for the professional kitchen than the home, tho.
My go-to chocolate is Peter's, Robert. Here's their web site. They sell in fairly large volume, tho, so probably not the best deal for home bakers. However, their Burgundy (Semi-Sweet) and Gibraltar (Bittersweet) imho cannot be beat. They are in the same category (for my taste buds) with Valrhona, but the price is oodles less.
Those not familiar with Guittard. This is where See's Candy and Baskin - Robbins get their chocolate. Guittard 85% of clients are business. Oreo is a mega giant buy a company called Hydrox was invented before Oreo and a better product. They were made by Sunshine were discontinued till like 10 yrs ago now involved in major class action against Oreo and products placement. Funny Oreo scared not saying this has squat Guittard v Ghirardelli. Guittard just not as famous and taste is a preference I like both. However I was a hydrox not a oreo guy. Any Hydrox fans I thought their product had better cocoa made with cane sugar and not corn syrup and maybe a hair more salt
High end, but really great - Castronovo Chocolate. I also love Ritter Sport. You can take the hazelnuts out, and both the milk, and dark chocolate flavors are great. Of course Lindor chocolate is exceptional as well.
Surprisingly. for making icings, and sauces, Brach's chocolate stars do admirally we,,, especially when malted milk powder is added. I believe ""Ghirardelli sells large blocks of chocolate, which is great for cutting, or shaving off however much you need. Its also a great treat for grandkids to watch you cut them a slice.
only uses cocoa butter, ni coconut oil, or other fat, and is great for candy making as well as it can be tempered. Hope this helps.
If you want the best, look for couverture chocolate, no matter the brand. It has richer flavor,