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All Natural

Monday, January 26, 2009

Niederegger Ginger Marzipan

Ginger Marzipan from NiedereggerAt the Fancy Food Show I stopped at the Niederegger importer’s booth. I love their flavored marzipans, though I only ever see them around Christmas at Cost Plus World Market.

The newest version is Bittersweet Chocolate filled with Ginger Marzipan (called Marzipan Ingwer on the package).

Though it wasn’t open and out on the counter for tasting, the fellows at the booth really thought this was a special bar and opened one up for me to try. After I confirmed that it was in fact, pretty darn tasty, they gave me the rest to take home. I had a hard time, even with all my other samples, not continuing to eat it before I got home to photograph it.

It’s a bittersweet chocolate shell filled with a rustic almond marzipan with chunks of candied ginger.

Ginger Marzipan from Niederegger

The bar was fresh and glossy, it has a woodsy and spicy scent. A little touch of bitter almond at the start along with the creamy and slightly bitter dark chocolate. This slowly gives way to the mellow almond paste flavors with less of the “amaretto” taste and into a warm ginger burn. It finishes again with the chocolate. 

I ate the whole bar.

I am definitely a fan of Niederegger, though I can’t stress this enough: it has to be fresh. They make a wide variety of products, including traditional loaves of plain marzipan, but they’ve found a new convert through their consistent flavor versions.

The chocolate contains milk products, so this is not a vegan product but it is all-natural.

Related Candies

  1. De la Rosa Mazapan
  2. All Candy Expo - Wednesday Noon Update
  3. Niederegger Marzipan Orange
  4. Soubeyran Array
  5. Charles Chocolates
  6. Halvah and Turkish Delight
  7. Niederegger Capuccino Marzipan
Name: Marzipan Ingwer (Ginger)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Niederegger
Place Purchased: sample from Fancy Food Show
Price: unknown
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 143
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, Ginger, Niederegger, Germany, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:15 am     Comments (5)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Coffee Rio

Coffee RioIt’s fun to wake up on a long holiday weekend, the air brisk and chilly, and have a cup of hot coffee.

It’s also fun to carry around a little candy in your pocket that emulates that feeling.

I’ve been eating Coffee Rio since I can remember developing a taste for coffee sometime around the age of ten or so.

I think the first time I had one, I thought they were coffee flavored Tootsie Rolls and was a little startled to find a hard caramel (much like Pearson’s Coffee Nips).

Coffee Rio are made by Adams & Brooks, which is based right here in my home city, Los Angeles, California. While they may be hard to find elsewhere in the country, I see them just about everywhere around here.

image

The candy is pretty simple. A hardened caramel flavored with real coffee. Though it contains quite a bit of milk products, it tastes more like black coffee with a bit of sugar than coffee & cream (which is what Pearson’s Nips are like - but they’re also Kosher and Coffee Rio isn’t).

The little rods are wrapped in a simple twisted mylar. I got this jumbo bag at Trader Joe’s for $2.69 for the bag, which I thought was a pretty good deal. They boast on the package that there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. (But there is some lightly hydrogenated soybean oil rather low on the list of ingredients.)

The texture is very smooth. They dissolve nicely and soften a bit as well (yes, you can chew them at some point, but also risk cementing your teeth together). The flavor is rich and like a mellow mocha java. At the start sometimes there’s a hint or charcoal and bitterness, but that fades away as the other woodsy coffee flavors come in.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Coffee Rio Kona Island BlendI have been to the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island) and toured some of the Kona Coast’s coffee roasters. The stuff was fabulous, but you know drinking a cup of coffee from beans that were just roasted is bound to be better than the stuff you get at home.

One of the things I noticed about Kona coffee was its extreme dark acidic punch, even when not given the Italian roast treatment.

As Kona coffee is extremely expensive, most is sold as a blend. In the case of the Kona Blend Coffee Rio it’s only 10% Kona coffee.

image

These seems to capture that molasses & tangy bite really well. It’s not as sweet but no more bitter than the original Coffee Rio.

I also noticed that these were a bit softer, so much so that I was able to chew them after warming them. I love that! Even better, I got the bag at the 99 Cent Only store for a buck.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Coffee Rio Chewy Coffee CaramelsWith my tendency to chew things, even if they’re not supposed to be chewed I was pretty excited to see that there is now a Coffee Rio Chew Coffee Caramel.

There’s pillowy cloud on the front of the package that reinforces that these are soft.

The ingredients, oddly enough, are identical to the other Coffee Rio, so it must be all in the process to create this softer version.

The package outside looks similar, but once I dumped out the pieces I realized that these are a bit different.

image

First, they’re bigger. They’re the same length, but have a greater girth than their hard brethren.

Second, they’re wrapped in foiled paper. I’m guessing this is to keep them well sealed from moisture.

They have a wonderful sweet & woodsy scent, less milky than the others.

The chew is very soft, softer than a Tootsie Roll, more like a chewy fudge. It’s a little bit grainy and I realized that this is a “short caramel” instead of being a “wet caramel.” Short caramel is slightly grainy, crystals have been allowed to form. It keeps its shape really well and provides an easy “bite”. A wet caramel is stringy and smooth and lacks the crystallization and can be very sticky and possibly runny.

I’d hoped this was a slightly softer Kona Blend.

The chew is soft and pleasant, but the light grain to it interrupted the creamy notes from the milk products. The coffee flavor was slightly acidic and tangy and lacking the coffee punch of the other hard varieties. I give it a pass.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Now I realize that I’d really like Tootsie to make Coffee Sugar Babies with chewy centers like the Kona Blend Coffee Rio.

I don’t know if these have caffeine in them or how much, but I suspect so, since they used to offer a decaf version. I can’t imagine it’s very much though. I sent an email to Adams-Brooks asking about it and I’ll update if I find out.

Related Candies

  1. Nips: Caramel & Dulce de Leche
  2. Cafe Select Chocolate Coffee Trios
  3. Werther’s Caramel Coffee Hard Candies
  4. Pocket Coffee
  5. Coffee Beat
  6. Bali’s Best Coffee & United Coffee Candy
Name: Coffee Rio (Original, Kona Blend & Chewy Coffee Caramel)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Adams & Brooks, Inc.
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's & 99 Cent Only
Price: $2.69 & $1.00
Size: 12 ounces, 6 ounces & 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Coffee, Caramel, United States, Adams-Brooks, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:47 am     Comments (13)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Askinosie White Chocolate (Plain, Nibble & Pistachio)

Askinosie White ChocolateI was converted to the “white side” by Green & Black’s White Chocolate several years ago and now I understand that the mix of milk, cocoa butter and vanilla can be a wonderful thing.

I was more than intrigued when Askinosie, a bean to bar, fair trade chocolate maker right here in the United States came out with their white chocolate, mostly because it’s made with goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk.

But the fascinating aspects don’t end there. It’s single origin, contains no soy lecithin or even any vanilla.

Askinosie White Chocolate with Pistachios

The Askinosie Soconusco White Chocolate Bar isn’t white. It’s the color of butterscotch pudding.

It smells a bit gamier than other white confections - kind of like erasers and marscapone.

I was expecting a texture of pure bliss, after all, this is un-deodorized cocoa butter, so it would have the texture of chocolate, the earthier hint of the cocoa solids that were once there and then the wonderful base of goat’s milk to boost it up and moderate the necessary sugar.

Instead it’s a bit grainy but it’s a sugary grain. It still has a wonderful mouthfeel and is rather cool on the tongue. But it wasn’t quite a buttery solid goat’s milk that I was hoping for.

While I say that intellectually, I ate about a third of the bar pondering these few paragraphs.

image

The other two bars are far more interesting:

White Chocolate Nibble Bar - I thoroughly enjoyed my first Askinosie Nibble bars which were based on the Jose del San Tambo beans. All of the white bars are Soconusco beans of the Trinitario variety from Mexico. (Not my favorite in the dark version either.)

Like the dark nibble bar, the cacao nibs aren’t mixed in with the chocolate. Instead they’re just tossed on the bottom as the bar is molded. Personally, I prefer integrated elements. This whole “topping” thing means that the nibs aren’t completely surrounded.

That said, the nibs are fun. They obviously carry a huge amount of chocolate flavor punch in them. In this case they have a bit of a smokey and woodsy flavor to them and it really balances out the sweetness of the white chocolate. The texture variation is also remarkable. The nibs are crunchy, the white chocolate cool and the graininess I complained about earlier is unnoticeable.

White Chocolate Pistachio Bar

This was the star, the perfect combination of the above texture and flavor profile.

The addition of some lightly toasted & sparingly salted pistachios provided some crunch but mostly a grassy brightness. It balanced out the twang of the goat’s milk without making it sweeter, instead it just made it more flavorful.

Askinosie has also just launched a dark milk chocolate which is 52% cacao of the same Soconusco single origin, fleur de sel and goat’s milk.

Many people who suffer from lactose intolerance can digest goat’s milk without difficulty, so this new line of goat’s milk products from Askinosie, as well as the fact that they don’t use soy may be just the ticket for those with food sensitivities.

My hesitation with them, besides the fact that I haven’t seen them in stores, is that they’re very expensive at $10.50 a bar. (The regular dark chocolate bars are $8.00 to $8.50.)

Related Candies

  1. Choceur Coffee & Cream
  2. Mitchell’s Candies
  3. Askinosie Chocolate
  4. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  5. Romanego Dragees, Cordials & Fondants
  6. KitKat Bitter & White
Name: Socunosco White Chocolate (Plain, Nibble & Pistachio)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Askinosie Chocolate
Place Purchased: Askinosie website
Price: $10.50
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 165
Categories: White Chocolate, Cacao Nibs, Nuts, United States, All Natural, Single Origin, Fair Trade

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:44 am     Comments (7)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Holiday Chocolate Figurines (Winnie the Pooh)

Winnie the Pooh Chocolate FigurinesI’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to entertainment tie-ins to candy products. I’ve found that most of them are sub-par. Mostly because good candy doesn’t need kitchy marketing synergy.

So I greeted these Disney Happy Holiday Chocolate Figurines in milk and white chocolate with a bit of an eye roll. However, I did look over the package pretty carefully before opting to pay the $1.99 and saw a few things that convinced me that these might be worth the premium royalties to the Disney company.

First, the ingredients are all natural. Second, they’re made in the United Kingdom, not China or Brazil. Third, they list the actual cocoa solid content on the back (30% for the milk chocolate). Fourth, the white chocolate is real, there’s no palm oil or coconut oil in here. Fifth, the product is nut free (and also says it’s suitable for vegetarians).

Kinnerton Nut Safety PromiseKinnerton goes so far in their Nut Safety Promise as to put this little info box on their products. Look at it!

They’re specific about the lengths that they go to and further, they give actual contact information for the company. Not some silly info email address, an actual person with a real email address and phone number (I didn’t try it though).

The box and little molded chocolate shapes reminded me of Advent calendars. When I browsed through the annoying but pretty complete Kinnerton website I found that they do make Advent calendars and most of their products are marketing tie ins with branded characters like The Simpsons, Barbie, Spiderman and Disney.

Winnie the Pooh Chocolate Figurines

The chocolate pieces came in three different designs:

Winnie the Pooh sits there looking kind of rolly polly. Eeyore with his little bow-tied tail looped over his leg with one paw up, he seemed kind of happy. And Piglet was holding a jar of huny.

The milk chocolate is smooth and tastes a lot like powdered milk. It’s super sweet but also has almost no grain to it, even though it’s pretty sticky it has an excellent mouthfeel and melt.

The white chocolate tastes like Easter, through and through. A bit on the grainier side, there’s a strong milk and fake vanilla flavor. The cocoa butter background does a good job of allowing the flavors (such as they are) to come through.

Overall, a little on the pricey side. However if you have a kid with food allergies, these have no other compromises. They’re cute, the piece size is excellent for little ones and the design of the tray & pieces is well done. However, the little icons aren’t exactly holiday themed, just the box that they come in.

The packaging also had Walgreen’s information on them, so I’m guessing these are packaged for sale in the US just for their chain. The Kinnerton website mentions Aldi as well as Toys R Us as distributors.

Related Candies

  1. Choceur Coffee & Cream
  2. See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelty
  3. Ratatouille Pocket Slider Lollipop
  4. Disney Branded Chocolate Candies
  5. Terry’s Chocolate Orange Confection
Name: Happy Holiday Chocolate Figurines
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Kinnerton
Place Purchased:
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.52 ounces
Calories per ounce: 158
Categories: Chocolate, White Chocolate, United Kingdom, All Natural, Christmas

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:36 am     Comments (4)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trader Joe’s Sweet Story

Trader Joe's Sweet Story BoxSome Christmas candy isn’t really particularly special for the holidays, it’s the packaging that sells it.

Long ago there were LifeSavers Sweet Story Books. They were just a folded box that looked like a book that had a bunch of LifeSavers rolls inside. They still make them, every few years the graphics and the rolls included inside change with fashion.

Trader Joe’s has their own house-branded version of this, called Trader Joe’s Sweet Story. There are six no-artificial-anything, vegan, kosher and gluten-free hard candy rolls inside.

The package design is pretty straight forward, it’s a box with a front flap that reveals a “story” on the inside, which is a little poem about the candies. (Probably not so fun for kids.)

Trader Joe's Sweet Story RollsI was pretty pleased to see the flavor array and that pineapple was on it. (The others are lemon, orange, cherry, pomegranate and raspberry.)

The box is well constructed (and is even printed on the inside). The rolls aren’t revealed inside the box flap though, you have to open it at the top to reveal them, all sealed together inside a cellophane bag.

Each roll is about the size of a LifeSavers product, 1.1 ounces. The rolls themselves are a bit more demure, a color-coded monochrome array.

Opening them was a disappointment and exercise in frustration.

Trader Joe's Sweet Story Sticky Packaging

Though it was not humid on Sunday when I bought these and photographed them, the paper-lined foil was stuck to the candies.

I resorted to picking the bits of foil off the candies before consuming (though still got a fair bit of paper in my mouth). Some rolls were better than others, but all had some degree of issues.

Trader Joe's Sweet Story CandiesLemon - one of the stickiest. Very tart, like a good lemon drop. Nice balance of zest, juice and sweet.

Cherry - Sucrets. Without the throat numbing properties.

Orange - really zesty, to the point of being slightly bitter at times. Sweet and tangy.

Pineapple - mild, more like those “low acid” pineapples these days that have a nice floral and strawberry cotton candy flavor but not that tart.

Raspberry - pretty much tasted like raspberry flavoring. A lot of sweet floral “flavor” and some tangy berry notes.

Pomegranate - a combination of raspberry and those winterberry scented candles. It’s trying too hard.

The package was $1.99, which breaks down to 33 cents a roll. Not really a bad price. And the flavor assortment was better than the current LifeSavers array. For those who need something that’s gluten free or all-natural, yeah, it’s a nice way to go. But I sure hope yours aren’t stuck to the wrapping like mine were, because that completely ruined it for me. And bumped my fiber intake.

Other remembrances of the LifeSavers Storybook: The Joy Of ..., Jason Liebig has an actual photo of an old one with the rolls still in it, Candy Critic, and of course The Imaginary World has some (I like this one).

Related Candies

  1. Hammond’s Pantry Candies
  2. LifeSavers
  3. Regennas Clear Toys
  4. Yummy Earth Organic Pops
  5. College Farm Organic Naturepops
  6. Goodbye Reed’s
Name: Sweet Story Candy Rolls
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Silverlake)
Price: $1.99
Size: 6.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Hard Candy, Mexico, Trader Joe's, Kosher, Christmas, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:04 pm     Comments (7)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Starbucks Chocolate: Eggnog Latte Truffles

Starbucks Chocolate Eggnog Latte TrufflesThe Hershey’s & Starbucks marriage has moved quietly out of the honeymoon stage. I see the products around quite a bit, though I haven’t been tempted to buy any again since I tried their launch line of items.

Then I saw their new holiday truffles. They have three new variesties that I spotted at both Rite Aid and Target.

The new truffles are: Peppermint Mocha Truffles, Gingerbread Latte Truffles and Eggnog Latte Flavored Truffles.

I stared and stared at the two packages for Gingerbread and Eggnog and I couldn’t figure out the difference. Gingerbread was going to be a little more on the cinnamon side and eggnog was going to be more on the nutmeg side. Both are milk chocolate.

Even though they were on sale, I opted for just the Eggnog ones. I think nutmeg is a hugely underrated spice and I love the combination of milk chocolate and nutmeg. (Frances bought all of them though.)

Starbucks Chocolate Eggnog Latte Truffles

First let me say that I’ve never had a Starbucks coffee drink before. I’ve had straight lattes and cappuccinos and tried their Chantico hot chocolate before, but I’ve never had any of their flavored drinks. Like my aversion to sodas, I just don’t care much for sweet drinks. So I can’t compare the experience of this truffle to one of their actual hot Eggnog Lattes.

The narrow domed pieces are very attractive. Nicely molded and aromatic. I got an immediate whiff of chocolate and nutmeg with a little hint of rum flavoring.

The chocolate shell is shiny and nicely tempered. The chocolate is sweet but has a slight pop of coffee flavors. The sugar, cream and palm oil ganache center is creamy with a few little bits of spice in it. There’s a very slight hint of coffee from time to time, but for the most part this is a chocolate piece about the egg nog flavors, not espresso.

Overall, as I’ve found with egg nog in the past, this is pretty sweet stuff. The piece is nice, but as I’ve noticed with the other truffle boxes, I kind of want a variety. I did see a gift box at Target that had a mix of Mocha, Peppermint Mocha and Gingerbread Latte Truffles, but at $10 for less than 6 ounces it was a worse deal ounce for ounce than the stand up boxes. So I think I’m just going to keep my eye on it and hope it’s still there after Christmas. Or go to a real chocolatier and get something that’ll really roll my eyes back in my head.

As drug store chocolates go, they are all natural and Starbucks makes a point of saying that their coffee and chocolate are sourced ethically and grown sustainably (doesn’t say anything about the palm oil though). They’re certainly better than most other mass-produced boxed chocolates in that respect. Kosher.

Related Candies

  1. Choceur Coffee & Cream
  2. Starbucks Truffles
  3. Starbucks Chocolate
  4. Trader Joe’s Fair Trade Chocolate Truffles
  5. Dove Jewels
  6. Chuao ChocoPods
  7. Pocket Coffee
Name: Starbucks Eggnog Latte Truffles
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Starbucks (and Hershey's)
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.99 on sale
Size: 4.23 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Chocolate, Coffee, United States, Hershey's, All Natural, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:57 am     Comments (5)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TCHO Fruity

TCHO just announced that they’ve opened a store in San Francisco. They’ve also expanded their “flavor” offerings to include Nutty, Fruity and Citrus along with the initial Chocolatey.

I got a hold of a later Beta of their Ghana (Chocolatey) as well as the Fruity through a friend who ordered it but didn’t like it.

Tcho Fruity

The Peru 0.11 M scent isn’t fruity. I expected berry notes or perhaps apples or pears. Instead it smells strongly of coffee and wood shavings. (Kind of like the break room at a sawmill!)

I have to say that I was impressed when I placed a square in my mouth this time. The melt is silky and creamy. The grain size is much smaller and a lot more consistent than the previous version I tried which was more like a variety ground on a stone wheel.

This is immediately tangy. The acidic notes are bright but very high pitched and puckery. I don’t get any real fruit flavors to go with it, just a tingly burst of the sourness and then the creamy background with some powdery green stick flavors. The balance of flavors was all off, like the whole thing was leaning to the left, about ready to tip over.

So while I appreciate the step forward in texture, the flavor was definitely a step back for me. It took several weeks for me to eat half a bar.

Tcho GhanaThe C Ghana D.99D is the Chocolatey variety that I tasted months ago in an earlier version. Now marked with the cacao percentage, this one is 70%.

As I’d hoped from the Fruity beta, this was much creamier and had a much more pleasing mouthfeel than the previous one I tried.

The immediate flavors I got though were absolutely different from the “Chocolatey” Ghana before. This was an overwhelming flavor of honey, cedar and a light tinge of herby balsam like rosemary or lavender.

The notes were confined to a very narrow spectrum. While the Fruity was high pitched with a couple of low resonant notes in the scent, Chocolatey was pure middle notes, like walking down a narrow hallway with the same pictures displayed over and over again on the walls. It felt repetitive and monotonous and had no finish to it ... it just abruptly came to a halt. (Though I admit I loved the initial honey flavor a lot.)

So while both have a much more pleasing texture than the previous test batch, and I can appreciate the differences in the beans without even looking at the labels ... I didn’t like either of these bars. I understand that they’re still in beta mode, I have to say that I’m glad that I didn’t pay for these samples.

Related Candies

  1. Askinosie Chocolate
  2. Stainer: Peru & Bianco
  3. Four 99%-100% Chocolate
  4. Friday’s San Francisco Candy Adventure
  5. Los Angeles may not be the best place for a Candy Blogger to live
  6. Treat Trip: Scharffen Berger Factory
Name: C Ghana 0.7 AH
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: TCHO
Place Purchased: gift
Price: gift
Size: 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, United States, All Natural, Fair Trade, Bay Area

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:00 pm     Comments (5)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate AlmondsChocolate covered almonds. Ho hum, how many different version of them could there be? I mean, they’re just almonds and in this case, some dark chocolate.

I think chocolate covered almonds but great and probably don’t need to be mucked around with. However, it’s 2008 and it’s not an innovative product unless it contains evaporated cane juice or sea salt. But wait, Trader Joe’s has it all wrapped up here with Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds made with Belgian chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar. Could they be more on top of trends? I think not!

What’s turbinado sugar? That’s the large crystal unfiltered stuff you’ve seen before, often sold as Sugar in the Raw or in the UK, it’s called demerara.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almonds

The effect of adding the two crystals to the chocolate coating is bumpiness. No more glossy ovules that look like olives. Instead they look like miniature Oak Galls.

They smell woodsy, a little astringent. I expected them to be messy like the cocoa rolled version of chocolate covered nuts, but these were mercifully neat, only bearing a scuffed appearance but not powdery residue.

Without the waxy glaze on the outside, the flavor and melt of the chocolate was readily accessible - and the chocolate was tasty and smooth.

The deep crunch of the nuts were balanced with the high pitched staccato interruptions of the salt and sugar crystals. Not knowing if that little nugget was going to be sweet or salty was kind of fun. But some nuts were extremely salty, to the point where the neighbors and I made faces from time to time. But it wasn’t so bad that we didn’t keep eating them.

I think I’ll probably stick to the plain ones from now on, the Russian Roulette is just to stressful, or if I need an additional salty pop, I’ll go for Sconza’s Toffee Almonds.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bites
  2. Short & Sweet: Fancy Food Bites
  3. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels
  4. Das French Salted Caramels
  5. Charles Chocolates
Name: Dark Chocolate Almonds
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Silverlake)
Price: unknown
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: Chocolate, Nuts, United States, Trader Joe's, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:18 pm     Comments (14)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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Choose one or more:

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Candy Cliches

• Seattle Chocolates Devil’s Delight Bar

• SweetWorks Celebration Candies - Bears

• Halloween Candy Spotting 2014

• Eat with your Eyes: Fruity Gumballs

 

 

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