Thursday, April 7, 2016

Not All We Hoped, Not Bad, Though: Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie Bars!

The Good
: Affordable, Generally natural ingredients, Does not taste bad
The Bad: Brownie center is not overly flavorful, Weird serving size, Could always be less expensive
The Basics: Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie chocolate bars are a slight disappointment, though they do not taste terrible.

I am a huge fan of dark chocolate and I like a lot of Ghirardelli's products. Every now and then, I encounter one with massive potential that just does not live up. The Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie chocolate bars are definitely in that category. As much as I love Ghirardelli's dark chocolate, the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie bar does not have a flavorful enough brownie center to be truly distinctive. The result is an unfortunately average chocolate bar.


Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie chocolate bars are one and a half inch squares of chocolate that are about three-eighths 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 3.45 oz. bar, the chocolate bar represents two and a half servings. Each bar has a dark chocolate base with a soft brownie center. Each bar 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 Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie chocolate bars.


The Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie bars smell just like fresh-baked brownies, chocolatey and thick. The aroma is distinct, strong and instantly evocative of chocolate, so it completely prepares the consumer for an amazing flavor experience.

On the tongue, the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie bars taste like rich dark chocolate. The chocolate is dry and pleasant, but the brownie center to the bar only breaks through the flavor front in the last moments of consuming them. These bars have an incredibly short half-life before the sweet, dry chocolate becomes salty and dry flavored. The brownie flavor is barely realized, but the sea salt flavor truly explodes from these bars when one masticates.

This chocolate bar is ultimately dry and that is the dominant sensation that lingers in the mouth for about five minutes after it is consumed. The aftertaste is not horrible, but it does not accent any truly good flavors.


These are candy, so they are not healthy, but the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie chocolate bars are not nearly as bad as they could be. The primary ingredients are sugar, unsweetened chocolate, and milk fat. There is nothing unpronounceable in these candies and all of the ingredients could be readily identified by me.

A serving from the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie chocolate bars is considered three squares from the overall bar, which is a ridiculous serving size for a bar that is segmented into eight pieces. From three squares, one takes in 190 calories, including 120 calories of fat. There are 25 mg of sodium and 2 grams protein, but almost no vitamins or minerals in these chocolate bars. There are negligible amounts of Vitamin A and Calcium (2% RDA, each) 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 hazelnuts and may have other tree nuts in them in trace quantities. They are, however, kosher.


The bars of these Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie chocolate bars remain fresh for quite some time. The bars we picked up during the holidays had an expiration date of October 31, 2016, had I not consumed them first! 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, just throw the packaging away in socially appropriate places, as opposed to litter and you're done! 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 Chocolate Sea Salt Brownie chocolate bars are good, but the more I had them, the more I found myself wishing Ghirardelli had made them with dark chocolate. That said, they are worth hunting down, clearance or not!

For other Ghirardelli Chocolate reviews, please check out:
Dark Chocolate With Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Squares
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares Intense Dark Cherry Tango
Sublime White Vanilla Dream White Chocolate With Vanilla Beans Chocolate Squares


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

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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