The Good: Tastes delicious, Smooth, Nothing truly bad in it.
The Bad: Not the most minty flavor, Not exactly nutritious.
The Basics: Creamy and delicious, Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark is a limited edition flavor of chocolate square worth trying!
For those who do not know me, I am something of a fanatic when it comes to chocolate mint. I love minty things and my wife knows that about me. So, it is no surprise that I would write about the Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark she bought me for the winter holiday. After all, I've reviewed the Ghirardelli Holiday Assortment she bought me last year (click here for that review)! As I come to the end of my bag of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark, I figure I better write about it lest I eat it all up before I do!
The Peppermint Bark is a mild chocolate mint from Ghirardelli and it makes for a nice bit of variety for those who traditionally like more robust mint flavors or more rich chocolate flavors. This, for me, is a bit of a detraction, but once a year, this makes for a decent diversion for my taste buds.
Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark chocolate squares are one and a half inch squares of chocolate that are about three-eighths inches thick. Each of the squares comes individually wrapped in a red, white and gold wrapper. It is worth noting that while I usually rail against the environmental impact of such things, it is hard to imagine Ghirardelli chocolate squares not wrapped. This keeps each one clean, unmelted and intact.
Each chocolate square is a seamless square that is essentially a chocolate patty which has milk chocolate on the bottom and white chocolate with peppermint in it on the upper two-thirds of the confection. In this form, the 9.3 oz. bag, the individually-wrapped chocolate squares are packaged together in a thick foil paper bag. This size has approximately twenty-four squares and the thick foil paper bag does little to protect the squares. The bag is not resealable, though this matters very little considering that the chocolate squares do not go bad as they are individually wrapped.
One of these bags, even with only ten squares, tends to run in the $5.00 range on sale or at discount stores.
Ease Of Preparation
These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the bag and then opening one of the plastic wrappers around the actual chocolate square one wishes to eat. There is no grand secret to eating Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark chocolate squares. I have, on occasion, garnished an ice cream sundae with one of these big, yummy squares, but that is hardly more complicated than sticking a chocolate into the softest section of a scoop of ice cream one can find!
There is a subtle bouquet to these Ghirardelli squares and arguably the surprise of the scent is that it only smells like smooth, milk chocolate. There is only the most faint scent of peppermint to the Peppermint Bark, which is surprising as well. The candy is soft, but not waxy, just firm enough to retain the shape, though unlike many of the Ghirardelli squares this snaps in pieces, as opposed to mashing when one tries to break it.
The Peppermint Bark is best described as "milky." While that might usually define a texture more than a taste, it is applicable under these circumstances as the Peppermint Bark has a very mild taste. When the chocolate is set on the tongue, it is a very generic, sweet milk chocolate taste that the consumer is given. As it melts, or one chews, the creamy white chocolate blends with the milk chocolate and the resulting taste is overwhelmingly sweet and subtle.
The peppermint taste is more of an aftertaste as the mint flavor of this Peppermint Bark is exceptionally mild. Still, the flavor is recognizable as peppermint and it does cut through the chocolate to reveal itself well enough.
Well, these are candy, so it is tough to look at these for something nutritious and then blame them for not being healthy. Ghirardelli chocolate squares are surprisingly good, though, which is probably why they are so expensive. The primary ingredients are sugar, cocoa butter and whole milk powder. Still, there is nothing unpronouncable in these candies and outside the red #40 lake coloring and the preservative defined only as "mixed tocopherols," everything in these could be readily identified by me.
A serving of the Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark chocolate squares is considered four squares. From four squares, one takes in 230 calories, 140 of those calories being from fat. There is a subtle amount (2% each) of cholesterol, sodium, Vitamin A and Iron. There is, surprisingly enough, 8% of one's daily calcium in four squares, so that is certainly a mild dietary advantage to this treat.
Honestly, these are candy and anyone looking to them for actual nutrition needs to get a reality check. These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they are produced on the same equipment that peanuts pass over. They are, however, kosher.
The bags of these Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark chocolate squares remain fresh for quite some time. I could not find any expiration date, but given that it is chocolate, one assumes that if they are kept in a cool, dry environment they will not melt or go bad. Given that they are individually wrapped in a very sealed package, it is hard to imagine just what it would take for these to go bad outside melting and refreezing.
As for cleanup, I applaud those who actually throw the wrappers away in socially appropriate places, as opposed to litter. Outside that, there is no real cleanup needed, unless one is eating them in a hot environment. In that case, it is likely one would need to wash their hands. If these chocolate squares melt into most fabrics, they will stain. Getting them to melt, though, is quite a task.
A very mild confection which is more sweet than minty, Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark makes for a nice treat when one wants a subtle mint. Better frozen!
For other candy, please check out my reviews of:
Russell Stover Private Reserve 70% Cacao Assortment
Blueberry Jelly Belly jelly beans
Lindt Dark Peppermint Lindor Truffles
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.