Which chocolates taste better, Godiva or Ghirardelli? To some degree taste is a matter of, well, taste. It’s not a hard science. But if you’re passionate about chocolate and looking for the best, there are some pretty compelling reasons for Godiva’s superiority (both in my opinion and somewhat scientifically speaking). You in pursuit of chocolate perfection, read on!
THE MINDFUL CHOCOLATE ENTHUSIAST
It’s not the mere act of eating chocolate that’s spectacular – it’s the way you eat it. As one of your five senses, taste has a tremendous impact on your enjoyment – not only of food but of life itself. How do you make the most of those varied taste buds? By eating mindfully!
In a (very tasty) nutshell, mindfulness happens when you pay attention to the present moment intentionally, with kindness and curiosity.
In other words, with regards to the sense of taste – eat for the sheer enjoyment of flavor! Don’t evaluate, just experience. This focus on sensory awareness, minus distractions, produces a relaxing finish for your mind and nervous system.
So, while you’re eating chocolate:
- sit down and get comfy
- no calorie counting
- no texting (put down that phone)
FRESH FROM THE FRIDGE or MELTING IN YOUR HAND?
Temperature affects flavor.
In chocolate, this has a great deal to do with fat, but also aroma. Smell and taste blend so completely that neither sense can be experienced independently. In many ways they make up one very complex sensation.
So what temperature enlivens chocolate flavor and fragrance, creating the richest experience?
I’ve found a surprising amount of conversation on the topic. Some people really prefer their cold cocoa. Personally, I just can’t embrace the flavor of refrigerated chocolate. Cold chocolate “dies” on my tongue. There’s no dimension to the flavor. It’s flat and dull. And, science may back me up on this.
THE TEMPERATURE and FAT CONNECTION
Why does temperature matter? Because the softening cocoa and milk fat flavors release fully at room temperature. The chocolate exhales its aromatic complexity in warmer air. This has everything to do with fat, and fat is good, dear reader!
The science of taste, as it relates to fat, is quite fascinating (fats-inating?) ?. Fat has a major influence on taste perception, according to research conducted by FONA International (a producer of flavors for many of the largest food and beverage companies in the world). Described as the lipid-flavor interaction, fat plays a major role in mouth-feel, aroma, flavor duration and the perception of flavor intensity. These lipids (fats) also affect the release of sweetness in a product. A warmer temperature melts the fats, delivering all of these sensations.
GODIVA OR GHIRARDELLI — THE TASTE TEST TALLY
So now that you’re eating your chocolate at the right temperature and with the right attitude, you’re ready to judge fairly (or you can just trust my judgment). ?
Here are my findings, tasting Ghirardelli and Godiva chocolate bars with a mindful perspective and at room temperature:
- Ghirardelli’s Intense Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree Bar, (with roasted almonds, Pack of 6 bars): Smells good. It doesn’t melt in my mouth very quickly though. As I chew, the mouth-feel is waxy. The flavor is sort of dull, kind of like there’s a coating on my tongue (but there isn’t). It’s meh. Nothing extraordinary.
- Godiva’s 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar, blended with sea salt harvested in Guerande, France (known for its pure sea salt): Smells good. Begins to melt in my hand almost immediately. I pop it in my mouth and it starts to dissolve. It’s creamy and rich. The flavor comes alive, with the occasional sparkle of sea salt. Definitely my favorite. The dark chocolate is complex and deep without any harsh bitterness.
Lake Champlain Chocolates are definitely more expensive and rise higher into the gourmet stratosphere. There’s no doubt that their ingredients are superb and the production managed attentively. Truth be told, I had intended to write this post naming Lake Champlain’s Toffee Almond Crunch (57% dark, toffee, almonds, sea salt) as the ultimate winner, recalling how enthralled I was with their chocolate a few years ago. But I was disappointed after revisiting my former cocoa love last week. The complexity of flavor wasn’t there. The squares didn’t melt in my mouth as I’d remembered. However, this company is still worth mentioning, just not a match for Godiva’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt bar.
GODIVA OR GHIRARDELLI — CLOSING REMARKS
No matter your chocolate preference, enjoy it by giving yourself time and permission to savor the taste and smell sensations. Maintaining a mindful attitude while eating is what makes all the difference, whether it’s a Snickers mini or some hard-to-pronounce French masterpiece.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CHOCOLATE?
I want to know! What do you think of my reviews? Are there amazing chocolates out there that I haven’t even heard of? Tell me your favorites and leave your questions or comments below. Happy chocolate-tasting! ??