Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ghirardelli - Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Squares - Oct. 29, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Squares - Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 5.32 oz. (151 g.) in total package
Calories: 140 calories in 2 squares
Cost: $3.50 (sale price) for 1 package of 10 squares
Purchased from: Safeway, Albany, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate, Sugar and Spice Theme Week, and Day #1 of Trick or Treat Theme Week.

Today's Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares from Ghirardelli Chocolate Company (San Leandro, CA) were composed of sweet milk chocolate.

Take a bite and soft, golden-colored, pumpkin spice-flavored caramel will ooze out. On a hot day, when caramel loves to escape its bonds, you'll be glad these squares come individually wrapped in attractively shiny, sealed packaging, especially if you've forgotten one in your pocket.

Domingo Ghirardelli (1817-1894) was a successful San Francisco chocolatier. The view over the Bay Area from Domingo Ghirardelli's mausoleum up in the Oakland hills (at the Mountain View Cemetery) is beautiful.

As Halloween approaches, I wonder what the company founder might have thought of this modern chocolate world and Halloween trick or treaters* below this week.

*Halloween is celebrated in the U.S. with small children dressed up in costumes who visit neighbors, asking "trick or treat" when neighbors answer the door. Children are most often rewarded with treats—a handful of small candies or chocolates. 

Fun facts found on the Internet: Of the 600 million pounds of candy sold each year in the U.S., approximately 90 million pounds are chocolate items. Americans spend $1.9 billion on Halloween each year.

Note: These squares were the first chocolate item I've seen with a statement (on the packaging) that read: "Partially produced with genetic engineering." Transparency is good.

SOMA Chocolate - Ginger Dark Mini Bar - Oct. 28, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

SOMA Chocolate
Ginger Dark Chocolate Mini Bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) in total bar
Calories: 185 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $ missing info
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate, Sugar and Spice Theme Week.

Today's Ginger Dark Chocolate Mini Bar was from SOMA Chocolate (Toronto, Canada).

Over the years, SOMA has offered bean-to-bar and other chocolate items (bars, drinking chocolate, filled/flavored chocolates and inspired, high-quality novelties, such as their "twig" and/or "branch" chocolates).

I have fond memories of my first visit to the SOMA location nestled in a brick complex that used to house a distillery in Toronto, and buying and tasting items there.

In today's dark mini bar, ginger was the dominant flavor. The small hunks of candied ginger with a soft chew were flavorful, and had a very slight soapiness that ginger can sometimes have, that seemed to dissipate after the first chew.

The dark chocolate was smooth, and on one side was emblazoned with a downsized version of the same lovely botanical print found on larger SOMA bars.

The mini bar was a great size for a single serving, high-end chocolate dessert or snack.

This bar's ingredients: cocoa mass, sugar, ginger, cacao butter, natural vanilla, soy lecithin.

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