Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted CaramelsThere’s a new term for what happens this time of year, it’s called Pumpkinundation: The proliferation of pumpkin and pumpkin spice products. (I discovered the term on Chowhound.)

Salted Caramels were also a trend, but apparently every trend either dies out or simply becomes an everyday item. So, it has happened with Salted Caramel and so now they must be trendalized with the newest flavors of the season. These are Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

Trader Joe’s makes a version of these for Christmas with white flake sea salt. They’re sold in the same box with a different design. They’re wildly popular, as they’re returned to shelves for more than six years in a row. Since Trader Joe’s will pretty much make a pumpkin spice version of every product they sell at some point, it was just the salted caramels’ turn. (I could list all of the items, but suffice to say that they’ve done tea, coffee, macaron, granola, ice cream, and actual pumpkin pie spice. Here’s a taste test from Serious Eats from a few years ago.)

They’re described on the box:

Dark Chocolate with a Smooth Pumpkin Spice Caramel Filling Sprinkled with Red Hawaiian Sea Salt

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

The ingredients are all natural, but insanely long. The chocolates are made in Ireland (I suspect by Lily O’Brien). The filling isn’t just caramel, according to their list, but actually Sticky Toffee Caramel. There’s no list of what the spices are for their pumpkin spice.

They’re lovely looking caramels, they do well in their package and emerge very shiny and with most of the salt still attached to the squiggle of milk chocolate on top of the 55% dark chocolate.

Though I often find sea salt to be a bit over-hyped, as it’s used in such small quantities that it’s hard to tell different salts apart. In this instance I could tell it was Hawaiian Sea Salt ...and I did not like it. I can’t quite put my finger on it, a friend called it Spaghetti-Os flavored, I thought it was more like carrot, but there’s definitely an additional note to this salt. It was notable enough that for some of the pieces that I ate, I actually scraped the salt off completely.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels

The spice smell is quite clove-heavy, even before I bit into it. The chocolate is earthy and sweet with a very good bitter note towards the end. It’s smooth and wonderfully tempered. There were no cracks or oozing spots on any of the caramels. The caramel has a light grain to it, which is probably the spice. There’s also a cereal sort of wheaty flavor to it as well. The other spice notes are earthy, with some ginger and black pepper notes and some cinnamon. Not really the best combination for me, if it were a pie, but it goes well with the chocolate.

In the end, this was not a great combination for me, I didn’t like the plain version of these that much and the addition of the spice doesn’t do much for me either. I’ll stick to the individually wrapped Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramels or the panned Butterscotch Caramels.

Related Candies

  1. Ovation Mint Filled & Pumpkin Spice Oranges
  2. Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie
  3. M&Ms Pumpkin Spice
  4. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles
  5. Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy Corn
  6. See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops
  7. Das French Salted Caramels

Name: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Park LaBrea)
Price: $6.99
Size: 6.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Halloween, Trader Joe's, Caramel, Chocolate, 6-Tempting, Ireland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:13 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewHalloweenTrader Joe'sCaramelChocolate6-TemptingIreland

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Next entry: Spangler Candy Corn Circus Peanuts

Previous entry: Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Cashew
















  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.


    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner






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





Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon


Candy Season Ends

-616 days

Read previous coverage



Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter




These candies will be reviewed shortly: