Ghirardelli – just the name conjures up pictures of wonderful creations. The company itself is now owned by Lindt and Sprüngli, from Switzerland, who acquired Ghirardelli Chocolate Company in 1998 as a wholly owned subsidiary of its holding company. Ghirardelli is one of the few chocolate companies in the United States to control every aspect of its chocolate manufacturing process, rejecting up to 40% of the cocoa seeds shipped in order to select what the company calls the “highest quality” seeds. The company then roasts the cocoa seeds in-house by removing the outer shell on the seed and roasting the inside of the seed, or the nibs. The chocolate is then ground and refined until the flakes are 19 micrometers in size.
Why am I such a Ghirardelli fan? Well – one reason is the incredible taste but another is that they make 100% Natural Chocolate – no GMO beans are ever used. (more about that later). They have a range products which you can check out for yourself by going to : http://www.ghirardelli.com/store/shop-products.html which is their official website product page, but I have noticed that there is one product that is not included on this page, and it is one that I use EVERY day. That is the super large 3 lb bag of Chocolate Chips (60% Dark Cocoa) available at – Sam’s Club for only $9.48. I use these for my “everyday” chocolate fix, while we savor the special Intense Dark or the Lindt 90% Dark bars as a special treat.
One of my favorite combinations is my own version of “Trail Mix” using Ghirardelli 60% Dark Chocolate Chips, plus some roasted / salted almonds, and some Natures Path Pumpkin Seed Granola (100% Gluten Free 100% Organic). YUM!!!!! The hardest part of this is to keep from eating way too much!!
And about GMO chocolate – if you are GMO aware – you might want to take a look at : http://naturalsociety.com/genetically-modified-chocolate-70-percent-cocoa-supply/ or simply Google the words “GMO Chocolate”. You will find that HERSHEY, NESTLE, and M&M Mars are all using GMO chocolate. Of course, they are quick to tell you that their products are safe for consumption . . . and that the GMO cocoa beans make their products more affordable. Of course the sugar, corn syrup, soy lecithin, etc. etc. that they use is also from GMO sources.
I have just submitted a request to the Non-GMO Project to see if Ghirardelli is still GMO free. I’ll up date you with their response as soon as I get it. If you have any questions about whether a product is GMO free or not, you can go to http://www.nongmoproject.org/ .