Monday, April 13, 2015

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate With Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Squares Are An Interesting Diversion!

The Good: Flavorful, Reasonably priced, Decent ingredients
The Bad: Dark chocolate flavor does not assert itself right away, Bitter aftertaste
The Basics: Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel is all right, but not much to write home about!

After a few months of going through chocolates that my wife gave me for the winter holidays, I have hit the end of the collection she gave me! The last of the bunch is the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel flavor chocolate squares she gifted me. Sea Salt Caramel seems to be one of the more trendy flavors of late and unfortunately, Ghirardelli's blend of it with dark chocolate is not enough to truly bowl over those who love dark chocolate. Even so, the blend of the caramel and dark chocolate is enjoyable enough to be worth trying (if not stocking up on!).


Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel chocolate squares are one and 3/4” squares of chocolate that are 5/16” thick. Each of the squares comes individually wrapped in a metallic light blue foil wrapper. Despite the negative environmental impact of the individual wrappings, 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 a dark chocolate patty with the Ghirardelli symbol stamped into the top. 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 twelve 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 twelve squares, tends to run in the $5.00 range, which is an impressive deal.

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 Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel chocolate squares. That said, they do need to be kept comparatively cool or these squares will melt.


The Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel Ghirardelli squares smell buttery, like caramel. Despite being dark chocolate, the coating seems to bear only the scent from the inside of the square and not the chocolate. The dark chocolate aroma is without scent compared to the sea salt caramel from the inside of the square.

The Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel chocolate squares are surprisingly sweet. The chocolate tastes much more like dark chocolate until the square's surface is broken. The flavor is then overwhelmed by salt. The salty flavor of the caramel manages to bring out a hint of dark chocolate in the envelope that seals in the caramel. After the salt flavor passes, there is a buttery sweet flavor that asserts itself.

There is a very sweet aftertaste to the Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel chocolate squares that does not endure very long in the mouth before a bitter flavor from the dark chocolate takes over. The bitterness lasts for about two minutes after one is done consuming it.


The Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel chocolate squares are candy, so it is tough to look at these for something nutritious and then blame them for not being healthy. Ghirardelli chocolate squares have decent ingredients, though, which is probably why they are so expensive. The primary ingredients are sugar, unsweetened chocolate, and corn syrup. There is nothing unpronounceable, nor unrecognizable in these candies.

A serving of the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel chocolate squares is considered a single square now. From one square, one takes in 70 calories, 40 of those calories coming from fat. There is a subtle amount (1% RDA for the serving) of cholesterol and 30 mg (1% RDA) sodium, as well as trace amounts of Iron (4%) and a single gram of protein.

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. They are, however, kosher.


The bags of these Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel chocolate squares remain fresh for quite some time. Our bag, which I was given back in December, had a September 30, 2015 expiration date. Given that it is chocolate, 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. If these chocolate squares melt into most fabrics, they will stain.


Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel chocolate squares are an interesting new flavor of Ghirardelli squares, but they are not exceptional, just generally all right, which is unfortunate for such a great brand as Ghirardelli.

For other Ghirardelli chocolate squares reviews, please check out:
Cinnamon Crunch Chocolate Squares
Mocha Chocolate Squares
Intense Dark Cherry Tango Chocolate Squares


For other candy reviews, please visit my Candy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

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