Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bartons - Milk Chocolate Toffee Sea Salt bar - May 17, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Bartons Confections
Milk Chocolate Toffee with Sea Salt bar
Weight: 2.5 oz. (71 g.) in total bar
Calories: 350 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $0.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate, Caramel and Toffee Theme Week.

This Milk Chocolate Toffee with Sea Salt bar was made by Bartons Confections (Allentown, PA).

The bar's gold toffee center had a uniform, soft crunchy texture. The buttery toffee core was covered in milk chocolate, and sprinkled with small crystals of sea salt. Sweet, but I liked the tiny bursts of salt, which helped to balance out all the sugar—the number one ingredient of many toffee and caramel chocolate confections.

As I say goodbye to salt in chocolates today, at least for awhile, I believe I'll be taking smaller bites of items this week's sweet line-up.

Unilever Magnum Gold?! ice cream bars - May 16, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Magnum Gold?! ice cream bars
Weight: 3.38 fl. oz. (86 g./100 mL) / 10.14 fl. oz. (300 mL) in box of 3 ice cream bars
Calories: 290 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $missing info
Purchased from: Safeway

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate, Caramel and Toffee Week, as I transition away from three weeks of chocolate items with salt.

We start this week with an echo from last week's salted caramel series, with today's Magnum Gold!? ice cream bar swathed in a bright, shiny gold wrapper.

Today's box of 3 Magnum frozen ice cream bars was from Unilever (Englewood Cliffs, NJ).

These almost amber-colored bars were described as "vanilla bean ice cream with sea salt caramel swirl, dipped in a golden chocolatey coating."

The (Belgian) chocolate,* the inner coating layer, was relegated to a colorful decorative accent color in these stylish bars.

Unilever's Magnum line includes several flavors. One of the first Magnum ice cream bars I had was a "Double Caramel" ice cream bars. The company also offers a Sea Salt Caramel ice cream bar.

*These bars were made with Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa and Vanilla.

Ghirardelli - Dark & Sea Salt Caramel squares - May 15, 2016

Chocolate of the Day:

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Dark and Sea Salt Caramel - Squares
Weight: .53 oz. (15 g.) / Net Wt.: 5.32 oz. (151 g.) total package/bag
Calories: 70 calories for 1 square
Cost: $0 (coupon for 1 free package); $5.29 for 1 package/bag of 10 squares
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Salted Caramel Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate, Caramel and Toffee Theme Week.

I thought I might have tried every flavor of individually-wrapped squares from Ghirardelli Chocolate Company (San Leandro, CA).

However, not today's Dark and Sea Salt Caramel. These squares were advertised as "rich, slow-melting dark chocolate and buttery caramel filling enhanced by a touch of sea salt."

Despite the soy lecithin, TBHQ - preservatives, and other extras, I believe this was my favorite flavor in the Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares line so far.

Coincidentally, I was able to share these squares with others at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a restored salt marsh area on the shores of San Francisco Bay. *

What I liked about the packaging is that even on a hot day, these were securely wrapped so that people didn't have melted chocolate and caramel everywhere later.

*When Ghirardelli first started making chocolate in the mid-1800s, there were dozens of active sea salt producers still left in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Like many industries that start out with many smaller operations, there was consolidation in salt. Now Cargill is the last company to operate a large-scale sea salt works on San Francisco Bay—one of only two such operations left in the U.S. I believe.

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