Wednesday, February 11, 2015

More Average Than Impressive, Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel Bars Still Satisfy!

The Good: Good taste, Affordable, Generally natural ingredients.
The Bad: Weird serving size, Could always be less expensive
The Basics: Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars are very average in their flavor, which makes them feel a little overpriced.

Every once in a long while, a really good company produces something that ends up as a bit more mediocre than it ought to be, especially for its price. Ghiradelli, I have found, usually has pretty strong hits or misses, with very little in between. And yet, the Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars seem to be much more in the middle. They are good, but because they are more average, they seem a little closer to “overpriced,” as opposed to a value for their quality. Even so, they are good enough for me to be thrilled when I find them on sale.


Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars are one and a half inch squares of chocolate that are about one-quarter of an inch thick and connected side by side and in rows, to form a bar of eight segments. Each bar comes unified in a foil wrapper. The foil-wrapped chocolate bar is sealed in a cardboard package.

Each chocolate bar is sold in a way that it is easy to segment and control portions. In this form, the 3.5 oz. bar, the chocolate bar represents two and a half servings. Each bar has a dark chocolate base with a soft caramel center. Each bar segment is stamped with the Ghirardelli logo.

Ease Of Preparation

These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the cardboard and then opening the foil wrapper from around the actual chocolate. There is no grand secret to eating Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars.


The Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars smell fairly strongly of cocoa. The aroma is distinct, but not overwhelming. The result is an inviting foreshadowing of a chocolate that should be dark, but still sweet.

Fortunately, in the mouth, the Dark & Caramel bar lives up to the promise of its scent! The chocolate is dry and only has a hint of sweetness to it. The chocolate is not so dry and forceful to be at all offputting and it is certainly not sweet enough to be mistaken for milk chocolate. Still, the caramel then blends with the dry dark chocolate with an explosion of buttery sweetness. The result is a good blend of a true, dark chocolate and a caramel flavor that makes it very palatable (especially to those who are used to cheaper chocolates).

This chocolate bar leaves a mild, dry taste in the mouth that only lasts for about two or three minutes after the last piece is consumed.


These are candy, so they are not healthy, but the Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars are not nearly as bad as they could be. The primary ingredients are unsweetened chocolate, sugar, and corn syrup. There is nothing unpronounable in these candies and most of the ingredients could be readily identified by me.

A serving from the Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars is considered three squares, which is a ridiculous serving size for a bar that is segmented into eight pieces. From three squares, one takes in 180 calories, including 110 calories of fat. There are 30 mg of sodium and 2 grams protein, but almost no vitamins or minerals in these chocolate bars. There are negligible amounts of Calcium (2% RDA) and Iron (10% RDA), but not other major nutrients.

These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they contain trace amounts of hazelnuts (they are the second to last ingredient in these bars. They are, however, kosher.


The bars of these Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars remain fresh for quite some time, making them a decent treat to stock up on! One assumes that if they are kept in a cool, dry environment they will not melt or go bad. 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 bars do not melt as easily as less-expensive chocolates. When this chocolate melts into most fabrics, it will stain.


Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel chocolate bars are good, but they are a somewhat pricier alternative to a very basic chocolate and caramel bar. In other words, this is a good treat, but not a superlative one.

For other Ghirardelli Chocolate reviews, please check out:
Dark Chocolate With Truffle Filling Chocolate Squares
Cinnamon Crunch Chocolate Squares
Mocha Chocolate Squares


For other chocolate reviews, please visit my Chocolate Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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