In the end, that's kinda how I feel about the Trader Joe's Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds. These have been so highly recommended over and over and over again by so many of our readers. Truthfully, I've never seen them before our aforementioned most recent trip, and so have never had them before Sunday. These have been so hyped up, and so highly recommended, that Sandy and I are the last people on earth to try these, probably.
Don't get me wrong, I like them. There's absolutely nothing in the world wrong with a big tasty roasted almond coated in smooth, rich, dark chocolate. Nothing at all. Add in a good healthy pinch of sea salt to punctuate each bite, and that makes them even better. I'll admit that before these, I've never heard of "turbinado sugar", which in case you're as uncool as I was, is natural brown sugar partially refined right from sugar cane. Look close enough at these nuts and you'll see the big ol' crystals of it, which do add a little extra sweetness here and there, but overall I don't see anythng too special about the sugar - it's like, hey, let's make up a fancy name for it. Really, though, I like these choco-almonds, especially the ones with just a bit more salt than the others.
In the end, though, they just don't blow me away. I mean, TJ's makes them sound all super-fancy, and these nuts apparently have a huge following, but to me, they're better than the the typical chocolate covered nut but not by all that much. I can happily just eat a couple of these and be done with them, which my wife is proud of me for. Maybe. As for her, well, let's use her own words here. As you can see on the picture there, we ripped these open before getting one of the necessary shots. "Just tell them that the pregnant lady couldn't wait long enough for you to fiddle with your camera to start munching on them," Sandy said. She's so cute when she's impatient. Yet she's not so up on them either. When I asked her what she thought about them, she gave me a "meh" while admitting she wanted to sneak some when she got home from work on Monday but didn't with it being Lent and all still. I'm thinking that between the two of us we'd give them a 3.5 or a 4 each, so let's go with one of each. Now may the odds be ever in your favor.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons
* The only slam dunk "movie that was better than the book" has to be The Princess Bride.
** Not my all-time favorite movie, but it was my all-time favorite "time going to a movie." It was a late night showing, with the theater maybe about half-full, but with everyone openly mocking it throughout the whole movie...man, it was awesome.