Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate pairings

You know the feeling... it's 2 PM, almost time for school pick up, and in the back of your mind that little chocolate thought begins to bop about your brain.  Try as you might to ignore it, that little thought grows into a big thought and before you know it you are plowing through the "we don't need any sweets because we are losing weight to go on vacation" pantry, searching for any left over pieces of chocolate which may be hiding in the back corners.  Unfortunately, your plan to not resupply the chocolate (because if it is there you will eat it) is driving you into a craving frenzy and you begin kicking yourself as the doorbell rings.

Trying to suppress that little (big) chocolate thought, you open the door to find a box with a notice from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker people that you have been selected to try Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolates.  Stunned, elation is the only word that comes to mind as you rip open the box to find two 3.5 oz dark chocolate bars and two bags of dark chocolate squares.  With names like Midnight Reverie, Sea Salt Soiree and Twilight Delight staring you in the face the world is once again a happy place.

Foodbuzz and Ghirardelli have asked that we try the chocolates with different drink pairing and suggest our favorites.  I have to admit that my first taste of the dark chocolate, which we all know is actually healthy for us in moderation, was not paired with anything but pure gratification and bliss.  With my world back in working order I proceeded with school pickup and the rest of my day was balanced and went well.

In a more balanced frame of mind the next morning (and for research purposes only...) I added a few squares of the Twilight Delight, 72% cacao, alongside my morning coffee.  A little coffee, a little chocolate.  A perfect pairing.  The individually wrapped squares make it easy to stop at a piece or two and any chocolate cravings are warded off and a balanced day is begun.

Even before I had read recent studies stating that scientists have come to the conclusion the a limited amount of dark chocolate and red wine consumed together may actually be good for the brain, enhancing its capacities of resolving complex matters, I had been enjoying the two paired together.  A small piece of Intensely Dark Midnight Reverie, 86% cacao, worked wonders as my husband and I relaxed after finishing up the dishes.  Once again, both in moderation can be a good thing.

Salted chocolates and grilled cheese... a perfect pairing!
The Sea Salt Soiree swung me for a bit of a loop though as I searched for a pairing.  Having my mom over for lunch, we finished our grilled cheese sandwiches with a square of the salted chocolate and truly enjoyed the saltiness after the flavors of the cheeses.  Again, a balanced way to finish our afternoon together.

It wasn't until I read the enclosed pairing guide though, that I had a bit of direction.  Ghirardelli's guide suggested an Añeho Tequila as a pairing with their Sea Salt Soiree and my immediate thought was, "Really?  Chocolate and Tequila?"  Well... yes, really!

The saltiness of the chocolate directly after a sip of quality, aged tequila really did hit the spot.  Again, as is much in life, moderation in both is indeed required.  But a little of each is enough to relax and satisfy your sweet tooth without using up too many calories.

Thank you to Ghirardelli and the Foodbuzz's Tastemaker Program for including us in your taste test.  You truly saved the the day when my chocolate cravings were at their strongest, and with a little piece here and little piece there I've kept a good balance in life. 


  1. Oh my gosh! I wish my doorbell was ringing with a box of Ghiradelli chocolates waiting on my porch. Dark chocolate is relatively lower in carbs and fat than most other chocolates, perfect for me. Thanks for doing the research and taste testing:)

  2. Grilled cheese, wine, chocolate and tequila? I want to hang out at your house!!

  3. Very interesting pairings! I would have never thought to pair grilled cheese or tequila with chocolate!!

  4. I love the idea of pairing with tequila...and a grilled cheese! Sounds like a party!

  5. What a fun tastemaker event. I love salted chocolate too. Awesome review!

  6. Yummy pairings. Haven't tried the salted chocolate, thanks for the introduction :)

  7. Salted chocolate and tequila?? I don't believe you...prove it! LOL! Jk, I do believe you but it would be more fun to try it and see what you would come up with after awhile! You are so talented and creative. I would have just paired Twilight Delight with my mouth and that's about it. :) Thank you for sharing this! I'm going to have to try these.

  8. Tequila, grilled cheese and a soiree? I hope you saved a round for me! I would love to help you with the taste testing!

  9. Wow! These look like the perfect pick me up :)

  10. I would if I dissolved one of these in my wine, hmmm. lol. I'm glad you are having a little fun with your chocolate. We are waiting on the rain at the moment, the weather changed really fast. Hope you have a great weekend.

  11. that is truly decadent chocolate, and I'm embarrassed to say I never knew how good it was until last year when I attended the foodbuzz festival in San Fran! What an eye opener!
    They certainly picked the right person in sending you the chocolate!
    Hope all is well as you prepare for Italy!


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