Saturday, October 20, 2012

On The Border Of Good Taste: Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao Chocolate Squares.

The Good: Great taste, Decent quantity, Generally natural ingredients, Beautifully dark, A decent value.
The Bad: Anytime Ghirardelli wants to make them less expensive without compromising quality, I will be all over that!
The Basics: For only the most intense dark chocolate lovers, Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao chocolate squares live up to their promise of a potent, very black chocolate!

I think I have finally found my limit. I am a big fan of dark chocolate. Even so, I know from my experience with the Lindt 99% Cacao bar (reviewed here!) that 99% is far too dark even for me. For my birthday, my wife picked me up the Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao chocolate squares. Here, I might have found the threshold for how dark I enjoy my chocolate. That threshold seems to be right on the other side of the Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao chocolate squares. They are good, but the aftertaste lessens the experience for me.


Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao 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 pitch black 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 solid. In this form, the 4.12 oz. bag, the individually-wrapped chocolate squares are packaged together in a thick foil paper bag. This size has approximately ten 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 tends to run in the $5.00 range and they are competitively priced at that.

Ease Of Preparation

These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the bag and then opening one of the foil wrappers around the actual chocolate square one wishes to eat. There is no grand secret to eating Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao chocolate squares. This is a flavor that is good at room temperature or frozen; it has a delicious solid flavor to it that carries the taste in all temperatures.


The Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao smells rich and strong, exactly like what one expects from very dark chocolate. In fact, this smells virtually like barker’s chocolate, it is so rich on the aroma front.

In the mouth, this chocolate is bold and distinctly dark without being unpleasant for it. The Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao is thoroughly dry and the bitter flavor is softened by a sweet “middle” taste before the powerful bitter and almost sour aftertaste kicks in. The sweet portion of the cacao dissipates quickly with the dry, potent flavor of chocolate.

The dry aftertaste from this chocolate persists, making it somewhat unpleasant after the fact. I cannot recall a time before this a chocolate left my mouth puckering two or three minutes after consumption!


These are candy, so they are not healthy, but the Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao chocolate squares are not nearly as bad as they could be. The primary ingredients are bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and natural flavors. There is nothing unpronounable in these candies and everything in these could be readily identified by me.

A serving of the Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao chocolate squares is considered four squares. From four squares, one takes in 250 calories, including 25 grams of fat. There is no sodium, and 3 grams protein, but no vitamins in these chocolate squares. There is, surprisingly enough, 25% of one's daily iron in three squares, so that is a plus.

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 Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao chocolate squares remain fresh for quite some time. I could not find any expiration date on the bag. 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, though these squares do not easily melt. When these chocolate squares melt into most fabrics, they will stain.


Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao chocolate squares are a bit tough to shell out for given the exceptionally bitter aftertaste. Even so, they are good and worth trying.

For other Ghirardelli chocolate squares reviews, please check out:
60% Cacao Chocolate Squares
Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate with Caramel
Dark Chocolate And Raspberry chocolate squares


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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