The Good: Great taste, Decent quantity, Generally natural ingredients
The Bad: Somewhat expensive
The Basics: Close enough to perfect, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate With White Mint Filling chocolate squares make for a great gift, dessert or sugary snack!
When one gets into a new relationship, often it takes a while before one is able to get their partner a truly perfect gift . . . usually. In the case of my wife, she figured out right away what to get me based on my well-professed love of all things chocolate mint. One of the earliest gifts she got me was a 5.32 oz. bag of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate With White Mint Filling chocolate squares. Considering she got the bag for me for our first winter solstice together (well, not as together as either of us would have liked) and I am only now getting to reviewing them, one can imagine my reviewing backlog and appreciate my restraint in rationing these confections. Indeed, somehow I managed to get the Peppermint Bark (reviewed here!) and Holiday Assortment (reviewed here!) posted before these Ghirardelli treats!
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate With White Mint Filling 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 green 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 envelope sealing in a white mint-flavored paste which is just delightful. In this form, the 5.32 oz. bag, the individually-wrapped chocolate squares are packaged together in a thick foil paper bag. This size has approximately eleven squares (though I have gotten a bad with only ten in it before) 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. These are not cheap candies!
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 Dark Chocolate With White Mint Filling 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 no bouquet to these Ghirardelli squares and the dark chocolate is dark, but not exceptionally dark. As a result, this has the consistency of milk chocolate and the taste of a medium dark (50% cocoa) chocolate. It is soft, but not waxy, just firm enough to retain the white mint filling.
But where the outer coating might be underwhelming to those who love dark chocolate, it contrasts perfectly with the milky, smooth center. The white mint filling is silky and flows over the tongue like syrup, with a powerful, mentholated peppermint taste. It is sweet and the contrast between the dry dark chocolate of the outer coating and the more fluid, sweet and minty center makes for a delightful confection. In fact, it is a delicious combination and neither flavor overbears the other. As a result, if one is more in the mood for sweet, they have to break the chocolate coating to get to that.
Conversely, for those who want the sweet flavor of the mint to be a "reward," this is a perfect confection in that regard. One may simply suck on the outside - if they can fit the whole thing in their mouth! - and let the chocolate slowly melt away. That allows the chocolate and mint to mix in the mouth in a way that enhances the consumers sense of anticipation. Given that most people will not be able to fit the entire candy in their mouth, I recommend splitting it in half and sucking on a half and letting that melt slowly in one's mouth. That will allow the chocolate to melt and ease the mint out so it merges together as opposed to simply chewing this chocolatey wonder and mixing it without any appreciation for the two elements that make it up.
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, unsweetened chocolate and high fructose corn syrup. Still, there is nothing unpronounable in these candies and outside the preservative potassium sorbate, everything in these could be readily identified by me.
A serving of the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate With White Mint Filling chocolate squares is considered three squares. From three squares, one takes in 210 calories, 110 of those calories being from fat. There is no cholesterol, no sodium, nor any vitamins in these chocolate squares, but honestly, what does one expect?! There is, surprisingly enough, 10% of one's daily iron and 2% of their daily calcium in three squares, so that is certainly a plus.
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 Dark Chocolate With White Mint Filling chocolate squares remain fresh for quite some time. I could not find any expiration date - unless the 013109 on the top was the expiration date, in which case the fact that there was no difference in freshness here in May when I had the last two in the bag seems to indicate Ghirardelli is paranoid about freshness - 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.
Despite how expensive Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate With White Mint Filling chocolate squares might initially appear, they are a great value for the cost. These make for a good fancy party dessert as opposed to a casual snack. But for those who like - and can afford - the nicer things in life, one supposes these are perfect to have on hand as a comfort food.
For other candy reviews of mine, please check out:
Russell Stover Urban Collection
Lindt Lindor Dark Peppermint Lindor truffles
Pina Colada Jelly Belly jelly beans
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.