/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Ghirardelli Hazelnut Heaven
Ghirardelli Hazelnut Heaven
Posted: 6 November 2011
It's a tasty bar. If you like nuts in your bar and don't mind darkish chocolate, how wrong could you go with this?
Nuts and chocolate will always go well together, even if there aren't many nuts and the chocolate is overrated.
price/gram: USD 0.043
Cocoa %: 47*
* Estimated cocoa solid content
Ghirardelli has been scamming
us for several decades that their products are of the
highest quality, hiding behind their veneer as an American
institution and the second-oldest American chocolate
operator, although it's actually Swiss-owned now.
Ghirardelli's next bit of fiddling comes with this bar,
Between May 5 and June 30,
2010, Ghirardelli sponsored a Bring Your Dark To Light
contest. No, this wasn't an exhibition of Caucasian
men showing off their black girlfriends or a Michael Jackson
imitation contest. Ghirardelli was offering a prize to
whomever could devise Ghirardelli's new dark chocolate
flavor in its Intense Dark range. The prize wasn't a million dollars. Sorry.
It was a free-round trip to San Francisco, a tour of the
Ghirardelli facility, a weekend in Napa (at a Motel 6 or a
5-star resort, I don't know), and a $1,000 shopping spree.
Say the total grand prize's value came to less than $5,000.
The biggest payoff was that Ghirardelli would manufacture
"your" winning bar.
Madelyn Callender of Kettering, Ohio took the top honors
among nearly 14,000 entries with her Hazelnut Heaven and in
2011, Ghirardelli started manufacturing "her" bar.
This is a marketing gimmick,
plain and simple, not the pursuit of the best chocolate.
Entrants chose a flavor and an ingredient list. They
did not actually make the chocolate bar and submit taste
samples to the judges. Then, people
voted online to see which of the finalists won.
Did these online voters magically taste the bar by
downloading flavors over their internet connections?
I think I'm quite qualified
to tell you, as President-for-life of this Republic, that
two manufacturers' hazelnut chocolate bars, seemingly
containing the identical ingredient listings, can and will
taste completely different. How good is the chocolate? How fine are the hazelnuts and what
percentage are included?
This was a name-game contest,
who could come up with the catchiest name with a bare bones
listing of basic ingredients for online visitors to get a
(virtual) taste of the bar. It should've always been
understood that Ghirardelli would
manufacture the winning flavor with its typical 60% darkish
chocolate. The winner and the second placer, Cherry Bliss,
are not innovative flavor combinations. Most
manufacturers combine hazelnuts and/or fruits with dark
chocolate. Ghirardelli could've and would've come up with this one on their own without a contest.
It's a tasty bar. If
you like nuts in your bar and don't mind darkish chocolate,
how wrong could you go with this? Madelyn Callender
might have won an award of sorts for her winning name, but
this bar won't win any medals for best dark hazelnut
chocolate on the planet, any more than Hershey with Almonds
will be bestowed an honor any time soon for best almond
pairing with chocolate.
Nuts and chocolate will always
go well together, even if there aren't many nuts and the
chocolate is overrated. That's Ghirardelli in a nutshell.