Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Cravings: Ghirardelli Chocolate

Part of me wishes Domingo Ghirardelli's name was Domingo wouldn't be quite as authentic, but it would be SO much easier to spell!  Oh my goodness...'s not.  And I suppose I'm okay with it.  And I better be okay with it considering the fact that Ghirardelli opened its first store in San Francisco in 1852, making the chances of them changing their name slim to none.  I think the whole 158 years in business thing trumps the fact that I'm having a very difficult time typing it out (I've literally had to re-type each attempt...embarrassing but true). 

Back to the story...after experimenting with coffee, mustard, spices, and alcoholic beverages in the early days, Ghirardelli decided to specialize on their best product (and what we've all come to know the company for), CHOCOLATE!!!  Additionally, in 1965, "San Francisco declared Ghirardelli Square (where many of the Ghirardelli buildings were constructed) an official city landmark." And since it became an official landmark, it also became what we locals like to call a "Tourist Trap."

Since Ghirardelli Square is one of the City's Tourist Traps, it's not very often that we (Travis and I) make it down there...but, we live within walking distance so when we decided it was time to get off the couch this afternoon, we strolled on down to Ghirardelli Square (I'm getting better at the spelling...) for a taste.  Here's our best "Tourist" picture from our excursion...

For those of you who don't know, the best part about visiting Ghirardelli Square is that if you go through their store, you get a free sample!  Totally worth it (as long as the line's not out the door).  Today's sample was Pumpkin Spice Caramel which made me a little nervous in concept but extremely happy once it melted in my mouth.  I'd highly recommend heading down there for a taste!

Then, unlike usual (and "usual" would be us enjoying the sample and heading straight for the exit), we saw something we just HAD to try..."Sea Salt Soiree" - Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Roasted Almonds.  And if you read my very first Sunday Cravings: Dark Chocolate Almonds, you know I'm a sucker for the combo of Dark Chocolate mixed with Almonds and Sea Salt...sooooo...we picked up the chocolate bar and headed for the cash register (where, of course, we saw something else we just had to try...Milk Chocolate and Peanut irresistible combination). 

$7.00 later (I said it was a Tourist Trap...), we walked out of there with 2 free samples and 2 over-priced candy bars.  I'm happy to report we also walked out with 3 big grins on our faces (1 of which belonged to Abby in my belly).  

Now that we're back in our apartment, finished with dinner, and done sampling our new chocolates, we've made the following conclusions:

- Sea Salt Soiree is pretty good
- Milk & Peanut Butter is better
- and $7.00 is way too much for 2 candy bars

But, it was the experience that made it all worth it.  

As I've said before, we live in a great City with so many things to offer...and if you live in San Francisco and feel like being a tourist for the day,  head on down to Ghirardelli Square for some free chocolate. 

I must be honest though...while our new candy bars are directly across from me, open and available for eating, I'm sitting here writing this with an open box of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almonds which is getting much more attention...I'm just saying...

Have you ever, as a local or a tourist, been to Ghirardelli Square?  If so, what are your thoughts?  Also, what's your favorite flavor???  I'm always looking for new chocolates to try...non-Ghirardelli options are welcome as well!

Stay tuned for next week's Sunday Cravings!


  1. I didn't know this brand started in San Francisco. I get them at the coffee shop once in a short while. The chocolates are very good. I have also used them for baking. Very tasty!

  2. Mmm...using the chocolate for baking sounds like a brilliant idea...maybe I'll be able to come up with a yummy recipe with Ghirardelli chocolates. :)

  3. I'm not a local but I'm not a tourist either. Having grown up in San Jose and visited the city at least once a month for some 18 years, I have to say I still have not been to the Ghirardelli Square. haha. Maybe I'll check it out sometime the next time I visit my parents! But, I have to say I miss See's Candies SO MUCH! Every single time, without fail, I will buy a box of See's Candies at the airport if I ever see a stand!

  4. the best, best, best thing at ghiradelli is the chocolate chip cookie!!! best thing ever. i hope i'm living in the Bay Area again when I get pregnant because i'm totally using it as an excuse to eat those cookies every day!!