I just received 10 lbs. of chocolate in the mail today. I was able to get a deal when I bought the chocolate tempering machine, so I opted to buy five pounds each of milk and dark chocolate. It's from a Belgian chocolate company that has a factory in the US which is then distributed through the company where I purchased the tempering machine.
For my chocolates over Christmas I used a Belgian chocolate from a company called Callebaut, a world famous chocolate company. I would say it's the best milk chocolate I've ever tried and the dark is quite good too, though both are about twice as expensive as the chocolate I received today.
It's worth it. The chocolate that came today isn't as good as Callebaut. It's not bad--it's better than most domestic chocolates I've tried but not good enough to continue buying. I think chocolate making is just like everything else: the quality of your finished product is directly related to the quality of the ingredients that you start with. I want to use what's going to make these the best they can be. I'll use this chocolate to experiment with and it will be an affordable way to make samples for the charity auction. Now I'm just waiting for the tempering machine. I think when I get that I'll be like a kid in a candy store.
In more ways than one.