If you don’t recognize the name Ghirardelli, you haven’t been paying attention. They’ve been around as chocolatiers and candymakers since 1852, based in San Fransisco and are recognized as one of America’s premier candy makers.
The latest example of their craft to cross my desk is their “Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree.” It comes in a flat 3.5 oz (100g) bar divided into large squares. It also contains roasted almond bits (which has become a cliche in my estimation).
The texture is crisp — that’s the only word I can think of that fits — with, of course, a nice crunch provided by the almonds and sea salt crystals. The initial taste is of nice, rich chocolate, slightly sweet; the salt slides in under that to provide a nice foil to the sweetness.
Much as I am a purist where chocolate is concerned, I have to say I’m favorably impressed by this one — there’s a nice balance of flavor and texture, with the chocolate dominating, as is only right, and nicely underscored by the salt. The almonds add some nice texture and don’t distract from the taste. This one does Ghirardelli proud.