Stalking the Waiter

Riffing on foods, flavors and methods, that would be telling.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New Gourmet Chocolates

Two premium, domestic chocolate makers, both in the San Francisco Bay Area (go us!), Ghirardelli and Scharffen Berger have announced chocolates with increased cocoa content for today's more demanding consumer.


Ghirardelli is coming out with new, dark baking chocolates - Bittersweet, Bittersweet Chips and Extra Bittersweet, which will have a higher percentage of cocoa, up to 70%, with the increased percentage to be shown on the package. "With an increasing number of chefs and recipes specifying the cocoa percentage of chocolate ingredients, Ghirardelli’s new packaging helps consumers accurately select precise levels of intensity of baking chocolate."

Popular with bakers and chefs for their easy melting properties and satiny smooth texture, Ghirardelli baking chocolates were named "Favorite Dark Chocolate" by Cook's Illustrated last year. The new, more potent chocolates will be available in Safeway, Albertson's and Kroger this Fall. No specific date given, so, they may be there already.

Calling all chocolate chefs: Ghirardelli and Ladies Home Journal are sponsoring a contest to find the "most intense chocolate dessert recipe." There are some very nice prizes, too, so start working on your recipes! It doesn't open until 15 October, and LHJ is being very anal, so that link won't work until Saturday, apparently. Think I'll enter this one, myself, although I'm not really a dessert person.

I'm a long time fan of Ghirardelli chocolate, having grown up with it being the ne plus ultra of chocolate. They've been in business for 150 years, making chocolate from the bean to the bar. My family lived in a flat a couple blocks up the hill from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, before it became Ghirardelli Square. My mom tells me the aroma of choclate could be maddening when you just had to have some, like in the middle of the night. So near, yet so far.

Their site hasn't been updated to reflect these new super chocolates, so, for more information, contact:
lhenry at baxtergroup dot biz
mtoteda at baxtergroup dot biz

Scharffen Berger

The Berkeley, California chocolate maker is releasing two new chocolate bars: "the Gianduja, a rich and dark chocolate bar with tones of roasted hazelnut, and El Carmen, an exceptional chocolate with red fruit flavors and a smooth, clean finish."

Gianduja is a classic hazelnut and dark chocolate combination. I Googled the name and found sources that said it originated in Switzerland and others which were equally adamant that it was of Italian origin. Who cares? This is Nutella for grownups.

El Carmen is a limited production chocolate, made from cocoa beans from a single Venezuelan farm. There's a word for that, but I'm having a brain fart and can't think of it. Anyone?

Both of these are available from the Scharffen Berger site and their shops.

Yes, even Tarzhay

Not to be left out of the increasing sales of upscale chocolates, Target is debuting a line of their very own boutique chocolates. The new line is called Choxie. Described as being made with the very best ingredients, including the highest quality cocoa, they will be in recognizable forms - barks, truffles, and so on, but the flavors will be anything but standard. Some combinations listed in the article I read are: Chile Limon Truffle Tiles, Toffee Almond Crunch and Chai Tea Truffle Temptations. Priced reasonably, from $1.80 to $12, they're definitely worth a try.

Who'd of thunk it? Target being the place to get your upscale chocolate fix.

Info: choxie at mbooth dot com


Post a Comment

<< Home