I wasn’t expecting the delicious fruit filling in these squares, and perhaps that is a part of the reason I was first so delighted with the Ghirardelli Dark Raspberry bar. However, even after the first surprise, these chocolate treats continue to deliver a quality flavor experience.
This bar is foil-wrapped (and then packaged in a cardboard sleeve) with eight sections. You really need to use the sections as servings, so that you don’t break through the middle and cause the filling to ooze out. Each square has a deep red, raspberry fruit filling that is not like candy, but very rich and flavorful. The label says this is made from freeze-dried raspberry powder, so I conclude that it’s not like organic fruit, but neither is it artificial flavor.
Raspberry and chocolate just seem to go together, with the tartness of the berry complementing the smooth richness of the chocolate. The chocolate is dark and velvety, but the percentage of cacao is not listed.
A serving is considered three squares at 170 calories, 10 g fat and 24 g carbohydrate, thus each square has about 63 calories, 3.3 g fat, and 8 g carbohydrates. The entire bar is 3.5 ounces with 8 squares.
The squares break apart cleanly, so this could be divided and served as part (or all) of a fancy dessert with good coffee.
Ghirardelli makes several other bars with filled squares. These include: caramel filling in both dark and milk chocolate, and mint filling in dark chocolate squares. Of course, they also offer dozens of other chocolate treats.
Despite the Italian name, Ghirardelli is an American company which has been in continuous operation since 1852. They control the entire manufacturing process and use a proprietary roasting process for the cocoa beans. The result is one of the most famous names in fine rich chocolates. From buying the best beans, to selecting the blend, roasting and refining, Ghirardelli has both experience and high standards. They claim that the velvety mouth-feel is due to the process of flaking the chocolate to a thickness of 19 microns (1/5 that of a human hair), resulting in no graininess to the finished product.
I have to say that for fruit-flavored chocolates, these, along with the Lindt Intense Orange Dark Chocolate, are my two favorites.
The regular price for this bar was $2.79. I never buy these special bars at full price, but pick them up at discounts. I got this bar for $1.50. It can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time, so I buy the specialty bars when I see them on sale, and save them for holiday use (if I can wait that long).
Made in the USA, San Leandro, California