Friday, January 4, 2013

Gardini Bitter Chocolate and Gianduia with Sea Salt

Gardini Extra Fondente Gianduia SalataWhen I was shopping at The Meadow, a quirky store in New York City that sells carefully curated selection of three things (salt, bitters and chocolate), I asked what was the best bar for munching. The gal at the counter suggested Gardini Extra Fondente Gianduia Salata. The bar was pricey at $12 for 3.5 ounces, but I’d come all that way and we’d already talked quite a bit about the glory of Venezuelan beans, so I was ready to trust her. It certainly sounded good: Bitter Chocolate and Gianduia with Sweet Sea Salt.

I’ve become spoiled over the years, though I love hazelnut paste (gianduia), I don’t care for the sticky sweetness of some of the cheaper varieties. This bar boasted a robust 54% cacao chocolate shell with hazelnuts as a the next ingredient after the chocolate (not sugar or oil). There is no listing of the nutritional value on the package, but I’m going to guess that there’s lots of fat in there to make up for the lack of sugar.

The bar is made by Gardini Chocolato in Italy and has won a few awards. If I might tease the end of this review, they’re well earned.

Gianduia Salata

The bar is impressive and feels large and substantial. The segments are domed and shiny and even though the packaging is pretty much just a cellophane wrapper, it’s largely unmarred.

Each domed section is filled with a salted hazelnut paste. The paste, according to the ingredients, is made from ground hazelnuts, whole milk powder and sea salt.

Gianduia Salata

The dark chocolate is in the semi-sweet range, it’s not terrifically dark but still has a lot of oomph to it. The melt is smooth and creamy with its own woodsy profile and a light hint of figs or cherries. The hazelnut center is fascinating. It’s also buttery and very smooth without that sticky feeling that some gianduias can have. The salt provides little sparks of flavor as well. The roasted profile is perfect.

This is an incredible bar, very well made and presented with nothing fussy about it except for the price. I could see eating these regularly as it’s a great combination in the perfect ratios. I would like to try other bars in the Gardini range, but part of me wonders what else could be better than this?

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Name: Extra Fondente Gianduia Salata
Brand: Gardini Chocolato
Place Purchased: The Meadow (New York City)
Price: $12.00
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, Nuts, 9-Yummy, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:07 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateNuts9-YummyItaly

  1. You say what could be better than this but you only gave it a 9/10 so clearly something can be wink

    Comment by Leigh on 1/04/13 at 3:43 pm #
  2. I imagine she detracted a point for it being priced like it is made out of precious stones.

    Comment by Bradley on 1/04/13 at 5:59 pm #
  3. What could be better than this? Maybe Bessone’s Gianduia or Domori’s—both rated among the highest in the world. ANd for good reason: they make their own chocolate base which Gardini does not.

    Comment by Jason on 1/05/13 at 9:08 am #
  4. I’m also wondering what’s holding back the magical 10? Is it indeed the price?

    Comment by Lola on 1/09/13 at 7:39 am #
  5. Cybele's avatar

    The issues holding back the perfect 10 were indeed the price & scarcity. But there’s also the transparency of the sourcing of ingredients. I fully understand that a Hershey bar is not going to be ethically sourced and not use high grade cacao (so a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup can be a 10), but for something that’s nearly $55 a pound, I need to know more. They have a nice website in English but as far as I could tell, it had no information about the ingredients.

    Of course if I go to the corner gourmet store by the office and find them selling these for $10 with a Fair Trade/Rainforest Alliance sticker or maybe just information about the coops they source from ... I’d be happy to upgrade the rating.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/09/13 at 10:12 am #
  6. I strolled down to The Meadow and purchased this candy bar….since i am a fan of your blog…..This is a wonderful yummy bar that i would purchase again after i try all the other bars that tiny store has to offer YEA!!!!.As for the price the location has got to figure into the price..the rent they must pay for that tiny shop!!!

    Comment by Artemis on 1/25/13 at 12:50 pm #
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