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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree

     
Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree 
Posted: 7 November 2011    7.0 
Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree Ghirardelli isn't using high quality sea salt or they wouldn't have added the almonds. The delicate sea salt would do all talking. Here, the almonds do most of the speaking and once in awhile we hear the sea salt chattering in the background. This is not a great chocolate to begin with, so any chattering or muttering over this noise is going to warrant an improvement.    
Avg price/gram: USD 0.043   Cocoa %: 47*  Size: 100g   
       

* Estimated cocoa solid content


When I first tried a sea salt flavor chocolate bar, Lindt's, the parent of Ghirardelli, I thought I was biting into something revolutionary.  Overrated Lindt did a good job with that one.  Now everyone and his cousin is adding a sea salt flavor to their lineup, including Ghirardelli.    

Ghirardelli tells us, via their tasting notes, that "this slightly sweeter dark chocolate is blended with coarse crystals of sea salt, delivering savory peaks of saltiness.  Slow-roasted almonds add a familiar nutty texture, completing the symphony of salty and sweet flavors that come together as the perfect everyday indulgence." 

This is only the second sea salt flavored bar I've ever tried, but it's very interesting to compare this one to Ghirardelli's current foster parent.  Lindt doesn't hide the fact that their 'dark' is only 47%.  You know the old saying that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?  Ghirardelli relies on misinformation to get customers to think that some bars in the Intense "Dark" range are darker than they really are.  One sure sign of a dark bait-and-switch  is the addition of the milk fat in the formula.  This is supposed to be 'intense' and 'dark'.   Milk shouldn't be part of it -- unless you were trying to minimize cocoa solid content.  That's the whole reason milk chocolate was originally introduced.  We're supposed to think that since bars like the Evening Dream and Espresso Escape have 60% cocoa solids, then this expected as a floor for the rest of the Intense Dark range.  Yet if this Sea Salt Soiree really had 60%, Ghirardelli would've told us.   We think it's fair to assume that since the tree of Lindt is growing 47% darks (but admitting it) the apples near that tree are also pulling the 47% routine.  Or quite possibly less.    

Lindt uses only Fleur de Sel in their bar, and Lindt makes sure we know that.  Ghirardelli's sea salt must come from some unremarkable salty lake adjoining the seafront where local sewage is dumped.  If if it were some magical salt, again, we'd be sure to hear about it seven ways from Tuesday.  Ghirardelli pulls another sleight of hand with the addition of the slow-roasted almonds to this sea salt bar.  Nut lovers will be in ecstasy, but I, also a nut lover, know better.  The addition of the almonds is a cover up.  Nuts make even lousy chocolate taste better.  Ask Hershey about their Mr. Goodbar.  Peanuts suddenly make a Hershey Bar taste like a less repulsive Hershey Bar.     

Figure this out for yourself, Einstein.  Ghirardelli isn't using high quality sea salt or they wouldn't have added the almonds. The delicate sea salt would do all talking.  Here, the almonds do most of the speaking and once in awhile we hear the sea salt chattering in the background.  This is not a great chocolate to begin with, so any chattering or muttering over this noise is going to warrant an improvement.  

Don't even kid yourself this a is a real sea salt bar. It's an almond bar with some saltier tastes.  Leave it at that or just leave it on the shelf.

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews
 Cadbury Bourneville Hazelnut from India -- 44% cocoa solids
 Whittakers White from New Zealand -- 28% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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Innovative Internet Secrets

  chocolate that is intense and dark is Ghirardelli. It is American chocolate modeled after Lindt that is dark chocolate, so intense with its sea salt flavors