Whatever else the US may be famous for, it is certainly not chocolate. The only American chocolate brand that I have read about with any consistency over these months of chocolate blogging is Ghirardelli. And it is unsurprising because the company apparently has a Lindt & Sprungli connection 1. The brand is named after founder Domenico Ghirardelli, an Italian chocolatier. Having been established in 1852, it is America's second oldest brand (the oldest being Baker's Chocolate). It is also among the few brands in the world that control the bean-to-bar aspects of production.
I was naturally excited to find it at a specialty food store in Chembur, Mumbai. However, they had only a couple of variations and I had to bring back a milk chocolate bar. So my first Ghirardelli experience was to be with Gourmet Milk Coconut Rendezvous.
Once the card wrapper is opened, one sees a lovely light golden foil embossed with the Ghirardelli brand name. The chocolate bar is also branded with the Ghirardelli logo, that has a quintessentially American eagle in it. The chocolate bar has a sweet aroma and I was afraid it might be a little too sweet by the time it reached my palate. And right I was. The chocolate turned out to be disappointingly sweet; even for a milk chocolate. I might as well be drinking Milkmaid.
That said, the chocolate is exceptionally smooth and has a lovely, creamy texture. The coconut adds texture, but I found it dry and it did not do much for me in terms of flavour. For example, I'll think of Bounty first when someone says coconut chocolate and not Ghirardelli Coconut Rendezvous. Milk chocolate lovers may like it, but it isn't worth spending INR 490 for a 100 g bar.
I'm eager to try Ghirardelli's dark chocolate offerings, but I'm definitely never buying this again.