Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

Search This Blog

Monday, March 18, 2013

Trader Joe's Coconut Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar

Ah, that checkout counter at TJ's—the display is tailored to ensnare the strongest of men. And the strongest of women. Like my wife Sonia. She has an iron will.

She can place a chocolate bar on the counter in our kitchen and not touch it for weeks. And the thing is, she loves dark chocolate. She walks by it day after day, simply ignoring it. She manages to ignore all manner of goodies. Ice cream in the freezer. Butter cookies on the table. These incredible feats of self-discipline are routine for her.

Me? Not so much. I can usually muster up the willpower not to buy those tempting treats in the first place. But once they're in the kitchen, it's "game over." Sweets and treats in the house taunt me, break my concentration, crush my will, and leave me utterly defeated. Fat—and utterly defeated.

This chocolate bar was no exception to the rule. I knew from experience to expect deliciousness from Trader Joe's products featuring dark chocolate and caramel. In fact, TJ's seems to have mastered all of the dark arts—dark chocolate arts, that is: dark chocolate-covered fruit, dark chocolate-covered mints, dark chocolate-covered cookie butter. You name it, they've done it, and almost always have done it very well.

This bar follows in the footsteps of those other great products. If you're a fan of 70% cacao dark chocolate, caramel, and coconut, you will like this bar. The coconut adds a Mounds-esque tropical element to the confection, and it works pretty well. It looks like they're playing up that whole tropical theme on the wrapper with exotic flowers, flamingos, and such.

The sections of the bar are huge. Ideally, I would think they'd be a tad smaller. And yes, we included a pic of the product out of the wrapping. Just click here to see it.

The balance of flavors is good. The texture is pleasant, and the coconut makes everything a bit more interesting. They even threw some "black Hawaiian sea salt" in the mix. Even the salt has to stick with that tropical theme. Nice touch, TJ's. But I'm still pining for more white chocolate and milk chocolate options from that infamous Trader Joe's checkout display. I know, I know, it's not "good for you" like dark chocolate is, what with all the antioxidants and stuff. But let's go ahead and mix acai berries with white chocolate or something to add the goodness back in. Just an idea. But I guess they're on a roll with the dark chocolate caramel business. I can't really complain.

Sonia gives this candy bar 3.5 stars. I give it 4.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. I have one of these hidden from my husband... He bought it for me a couple of months ago, and threatened to eat it if I didn't. So, I had to hide it!