I love going to Trader Joe’s for chocolate! They have a nice variety of chocolates to choose from under their brand name. My favorites are their chunks of caramel covered in chocolate, chocolate covered cherries, blueberries and raisins, and their peanut butter cups 🙂
One day, I wandered into TJ’s (my way of referring to Trader Joe’s) and saw that they had their Christmas stock out…
That meant Christmasy themed chocolates to explore!!!!!!! XD
By the way, if you love Baci, I’ve found large boxes of them at TJ’s at this time of the year 😉
This 7-bar box of dark chocolate was a new item compared to last year’s Christmas stock, so I figured I should give it a try!
Side story: I remember a friend having something similar from TJ’s of a box containing multiple mini dark chocolate bars, each containing different add-ins. At the time, she had family over and when she brought the chocolate out, an impromptu chocolate tasting party happened 🙂 I just love it when you’re surrounded by fellow chocolate lovers and chocolate tasting just happens out of nowhere XD
I was visiting my boyfriend at the time of trying out these mini bars, so I had his help in tasting each of them 🙂 Since all of them are dark chocolate, I’m just going to list the add-ins or extra flavors.
Black sea salt caramel
First of all, goopy caramel. But it’s good! I do like goopy caramel, but sometimes it gets quite messy 😛 I liked this bar! I could see salt crystals on the backside of the chocolate bar and it tasted like an equal ratio of caramel to salt goodness.
Once taking the chocolate out of the wrapper, the smell of orange slapped me in the face. The texture on the first bite was immediately filled with crunchy bits. I tasted orange at first, followed by hibiscus. Unfortunately, I can’t say I was a huge fan of this bar. The hibiscus for me was a little overwhelming 😛 The bar overall tasted a bit “dry.”
Goopy caramel again. But this was one of my favorite bars, because the goopiness of the caramel mixed with the chewy texture of the coconut made for a fun combination! I just wished there was a little more coconut in it.
Chili and cinnamon
The smell was strong with this one of both cinnamon and chile. In my first bite, I mainly tasted dark chocolate, but over time the cinnamon flavors came through, followed by the growing warmth of the chili. Even when I was done eating the piece of chocolate, the spiciness from the chili kept looming in my mouth. I’m not a huge fan of spicy chocolate, but I could tolerate this one 🙂
This bar was also a favorite! Normally I’m not into chocolate with ginger because I don’t really like ginger and the bars I’ve tried in the past have had huge chunks of ginger in them 😦 But the ginger and almond bits were very small and gave a delicate crunch. It was very enjoyable to munch on! It kind of had a sweet and salty vibe and none of the flavors competed with the other in strength.
Salt and pepper potato chip
Just immediate crunchiness when this enters the mouth. The texture is definitely that of potato chips hiding in your chocolate. The pepper gave a nice unique flavor to this bar. There seemed to be an equal balance of all of the flavors, though there was a very peppery aftertaste. I’ve had salt and pepper potato chips before, and I think I would rather have those chips covered in a layer of dark chocolate rather than mashed up and sprinkled into a chocolate bar.
Coffee and cocoa nib
I just have to mention this. The eyes on that creature… I can’t tell if it’s cute or creepy. Or maybe it’s surprised? And I don’t think I’d stuff a tiny animal into my tea cup and then try to pour tea on top of it, or whatever that kettle is full of 😛
The bar itself I liked! Coffee flavors exploded in my mouth followed by the crunchiness and earthiness of cocoa nibs. There also seemed to be a balance in flavors. I would eat this chocolate while chilling on a lazy weekend 🙂
My boyfriend and I agreed that our top favorite was the caramel with coconut bar. We liked the unique combination of flavors and textures. Second place would go to ginger and almond because of the delicate flavors and texture. My boyfriend considered third place for the salt and pepper with potato chip because he liked the pepper flavor. Personally I liked the coffee and cocoa nib because of the earthiness of the bar.
Chances are I will pick up another Christmasy chocolate item from TJ’s next time I’m there 🙂