I’ve been devotedly bringing you all the latest and greatest in candy for a couple months now and I just can’t take it any longer, Candy Addicts. There’s something you should know about me and I think the time has come. I have a mistress and her name is dark chocolate. It’s true, and I’m sure many of you can understand: I like it dark. The darker the better. I almost never waste myself on sub 70% cocao count and I revel in a good 72, 80, and even 85%. So I’m sure you can imagine my thrill when I recently found not one but two 86% dark chocolate bars just sittin’ on the store shelves, callin’ out my name. And with it being an Olympic year and all, I’ve got competition on the brain, so what choice did I have, really, other than to have a dark chocolate face-off?
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie
Made from Ghirardelliâ€™s proprietary blend of cocoa beans, this intensely dark chocolate bar is described as having a â€œdeep, full bodied flavorâ€ that is â€œnoticeable upfront and evenly throughout with hints of dark cherries, dried plums and a roasted flavor from the high cacao content.â€
Cote d’Or Experiences Noir
From Belgiumâ€™s number one chocolate brand, this bar is made from a blend of roasted cacao beans from West Africa and Noble cacao beans from South America and is described as having a â€œsultry mocha like taste with a halo reminiscent of delicate earthy and flowery flavors.â€
Ghirardelli: Immediately, I was surprised by the gold foil wrapping hidden underneath the somber, serene box; I never pay much attention to the silver foil that encases most chocolate bars and this unexpected pop instantly imbued a feeling of regal, luxurious indulgence. The bar itself was shiny and a very dark, deep brown. It had a warm, roasted aroma and made a nice clean snap to reveal a smooth texture.
Cote d’Or: The dark, slightly matte bar made a very clean break with a strong snap. It smelled cold, if thatâ€™s possible, and earthy, conjuring images of trees and greenery.
Ghirardelli: The bite was slightly softer than I had expected, but the candy melted beautifully, creating a satiny chocolate blanket that enrobed my tongue.
Cote d’Or: A tough bite crumbled away to silk and a slow, thick melt.
Ghirardelli: The warm, fruity, slightly sweet flavor remained consistent until the final melting morsel when, for a brief moment, I would have sworn I was sucking on a dried cherry. I couldnâ€™t help but move it around on my tongue in an effort to coat all of my taste buds, and the lingering flavor had me literally sucking my cheeks in to join the party.
Cote d’Or: An initial flavor of mocha gradually transitioned to a very earthy taste, but both were overshadowed by the almost cloyingly thick texture that noticeably coated the back of my throat and ultimately left a slightly dry feeling in my mouth.
This was the first time I conducted a direct chocolate comparison and I was surprised at the subtleties my novice palate was able to detect. The Ghirardelli bar was consistently fruity and somewhat sweet and I easily imagined it being enjoyed with a glass of wine. The Cote dâ€™Or bar, on the other hand, astounded me with its palpable transition from a warm mocha to an earthy taste. It was a journey that began curled up next to an imaginary fire with a cup of coffee and somehow finished on a blanket of leaves in the woods â€“ reaching for a glass of water.
Of course, taste is a matter of personal preference but â€“ though I would kick neither confection out of bed (the ideal setting for chocolate consumption) â€“ in the throes of a dark chocolate craving, I would reach for the Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie bar. I like its subtle sweetness, its glossy texture, and the fact that it doesnâ€™t leave you looking for a map and compass. If you canâ€™t afford a fancy cruise this year, however, or just have taste buds that like to travel, Cote dâ€™Or Experiences Noir might be the chocolate for you.
Buy Ghirardelli Chocolate Online:
Buy Cote d’Or Chocolate Online:
- at Amazon.com