Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt SoireeGhirardelli Chocolate is America’s second oldest chocolate company, making cacao products in the Bay Area of California since 1852.

The Ghirardelli family owned and ran the company until the 1960s when the company was sold to the Golden Grain Macaroni Company (makers of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat), then in the 1980s Golden Grain was swallowed up by Quaker Oats (the Pennsylvania treat). About 6 years later Quaker sold Ghiradelli off and it was once again an independent entity, if only for about six years when in 1998 it was bought up by Lindt and Spr√ľngli of Switzerland (which was making chocolate only seven years longer than Ghiradelli).

I mention all of this because there was something vaguely familiar about this bar called Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree when I picked it up and it took me a while to figure it out. A couple of years ago I reviewed Lindt Excellence Dark with a Touch of Sea Salt. While I found Lindt’s a good bar, it’s either the quality of the Ghirardelli chocolate or the addition of almonds that really make Ghirardelli’s bar special.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree

The bar’s mold is nicely designed. Each of the eight sections include the Ghirardelli eagle logo. The molding is overall good, though there are some voids and bubbles on the front of the bar, I didn’t notice anything else amiss when I snapped the bar in half or inspected the bottom of the bar.

I didn’t think it smelled particularly special, like brownies, which in itself is a tantalizing scent, but really didn’t do the rest of the bar justice.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree

The bar is called Intense Dark but I can’t find anything that says what the percentage of cacao is for the bar. The appearance is dark like coffee with a light reddish hue to it. The bar has a liberal sprinkling of crushed almonds in it and of course large flakes of sea salt.

The flavors of the chocolate are very mild, but a good blend of hot cocoa, coffee and woodsy tobacco. The almonds give a fresh crunch and the light sprinkling of salt doesn’t overwhelm any of the other elements.

It’s an extremely munchable bar, not too dark for a snack but still more sophisticated than a standard Dove or plain Ghirardelli bar. I didn’t expect to like the bar so much since it’s such a simple idea and construction, especially since I had the nut-less Lindt version before. The freshness of the elements and well executed format just come together so well here. I wish that Ghirardelli didn’t feel the need to use dairy (milk fat) in their dark chocolate though, it would make this a much more accessible bar. (It’s also made in a facility that processes peanuts as well.)

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s 70% Dark with Caramel and Black Sea Salt
  2. Equal Exchange Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt
  3. Lindt Excellence Dark with a touch of Sea Salt
  4. Marich Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews
  5. Ghirardelli Intense Dark

Name: Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree
Brand: Ghiradelli
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Ghirardelli, Chocolate, Kosher, Nuts, 9-Yummy, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:09 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewGhirardelliChocolateKosherNuts9-YummyUnited StatesTarget

  1. Sounds delicious - thanks for this review.

    Comment by theatrenut on 9/13/11 at 5:47 pm #
  2. Hiya Cybele!

    Long time for me to comment a post.

    Oh .... I just love when you give us candy history!! You are definitely a walking univac. Goodness gracious. No schools/universities teach this subject. (YOU SHOULD!!) Ha!

    This chocolate bar/tasting scored high. Wow. I am pleasantly surprised. Not often that I see a “yummy” or a “superb” rating here.

    Wish I could try this chocolate. You know .... for me, it is really maddening re all the salt in ridici food items today. Everywhere. What a sad trend for folks w/health (salt!) issues. Boo.

    I am trying to rid myself of the sodium monster. Not good for any of us really. I get severe headaches. Body parts can swell-up on countless folks. As it is, I (very often) get migraines from dark chocolate if I have more than a bite or two. Can’t eat any chocolate after a lunch hour. Yeah. I know .... awful.

    Overall .... I realize the (sales) gimick .... but, for many of us the salt/sugar thing is not doable.

    Love-love your posts .... UR1 of my 10 fav blogs! Keep up the sweet work Cybele! You really know how to work it brilliantly!

    Comment by Marcee on 9/14/11 at 10:24 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Marcee - I’m sorry to hear about dark choc causing headaches. As for the sodium, I should have mentioned that it’s really quite low - only 50 mg per serving (3 sections of the bar). I think the fact that they use the big sea salt crystals makes it more concentrated when you get a little bit.

    Comment by Cybele on 9/14/11 at 10:31 am #
  4. Hi, I am very allergic to dairy and as I was reading the ingredients of this bar, it said “may contain dairy products”. I decided it try it as I usually only eat a small amount at fist while eating the “possibly contaminated” products. I have to say, it was very good, but I didn’t notice the milk fat listed until after I had already eaten some. I waited and no reaction occurred. I had no trouble finishing the chocolate so I wanted to aware others that this bar is POSSIBLY dairy friendly.

    Comment by Summer on 12/27/13 at 10:15 am #
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