San Francisco: Ghirardelli Square

By Cubie - September 25, 2011

Dark Chocolate Sundae $4.62
I thought it is a little too sweet but my friend thinks it is just right. This is a little strange cos I'm the one having sweet tooth :p

Ghirardelli Square can be reached by foot, from Fisherman Wharf. More than a century ago, this square was orignally a chocolate factory, established by Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli. In the 1960's the chocolate manufacturing operation was sold and transferred to San Leandro.
(source: Ghirardelli Square website, you can refer there for full history)

This picture was actually taken a day after our visit to Ghirardelli Square, along the cycling path towards Golden Gate Bridge.

Ghirardelli Square is located at 900 North Point Street at the corner of Beach and Larkin Streets, west side of Fisherman's Wharf. It is near the Cable Car turnaround point at Beach and Hyde Streets. There's no way you can miss the Cable Car turnaround pointas there is a long queue to get on the Cable Car.

No more chocolate factory at this point, but you can enjoy chocolate desserts and stock up on chocolates from the shop.

As you can see, everybody seems to have the same idea as us, popping by for a dessert after dinner. You have to look for a seat yourself, hence you can see people hovering around tables like dim sum place.

A small section in the shop showing chocolate making process.

"Our candy makers will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the chocolate making process. They produce our hot fudge sauce and chocolate topping served at the soda fountain"

"1. Cocoa Bean Roasters - the outer shell of the of the bean is removed leaving beehind the kernel also called "nibs". These nibs are then roasted thus developing their unique flavor."

"2. Chocolate Mills - in three tiered mills a combination of grinding and frictional heat melt the cocoa nibs into a liquid called chocolate liquor or unsweetened chocolate as we know it today"

"3. Melanger - Granite rollers then mix the chocolate liquor with selected ingredients. These may include whole milk powder, sugar, vanilla and additional cocoa butter in varying amoutns, depending on the type of chocolate being made."

"4. Conche - conching is a final step in the chocolate making process. It smooth es and aerates the chocolate developing its falvor and texture. The chocolate is then tempered and deposited into various size models."

I've read review somewhere that it is more expensive to buy Ghirardelli chocolates at the square, and advisable to buy in Walgreens or what not. However we did check out the price in Walgreens prior and it was comparable. Also there are more choices sold at their outlet shop. I don't know if this varies from time to time or not though.

These are pretty good chocolate though. I haven't tried all yet but had the Dark Raspberry one, just nice. Not sweet but I'm bias towards dark chocolate, liking it bittersweet :P
Though the milk choc with caramel was very sweet = ="

Side note: I'm hungry but it's raining. Looks like going to pour the whole day making going out to buy lunch a bit painful... hm...

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