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?"

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trader Joe's Golden Spiced Milk Chocolate Bar

"Candy World! Dada, let's go play Candy World!"

Every night, right before bedtime, that's about all I hear from my four year old. She means CandyLand, of course. But Candy World sounds much more fun, doesn't it?

I think so. I think I'd like to live in an actual Candy World, like some Wonkified version of reality where everything, on a whim, could be candy. Sounds great. Love candy. Love chocolate. Love Trader Joe's, too. So if TJ's comes out with a chocolate bar, no matter how large, goofy, imitative of a classic, or potentially combustible, I gotta try it.

All that does not mean I have to love the new Trader Joe's Golden Spiced Milk Chocolate Bar.

This is not my first go-around with a TJ's spiced chocolate product. Admittedly, this new particular bar is a fair amount more successful than those caramels. But it shares some of the same pitfalls. Namely, ginger and chocolate are two flavors that need to be carefully combined for optimization. With this bar, toss in a healthy dose of cardamom, too. And I mean healthy. It's the first thing I smelled when I opened the wrapper, like Hershey-fied potpurri.

And honestly, it's kinda how it tasted, too.

The ginger and cardamom weren't overpowering per se, as I could still taste the milk chocolate enough to determine it was of fairly good quality. But the other spices - curry? Pepper? Heck, even the coconut? Nope, nada, none, except for a small bite I had that seemed particularly salty. None of that "warming" that the label speaks of on the front. The crisped quinoa did add a nice little gritty bite, a la crisped rice but a bit smaller, but in the end, I wasn't that happy with the bar.

Honestly, this chocolate bar may have been trying to do a little bit too much, but ended up not really excelling at anything in particular. It's okay, not great...perhaps I lack the proper sophistication to truly appreciate it and should stick to my Butterfingers like the plebe I am. Sandy enjoyed more than I did, noting her affinity for anything with cardamom. Still, even she could offer it only a lackluster three.

Eh well, just as I remind my four year old when we play Candy World, you can't win them all.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Golden Spiced Milk Chocolate Bar: 5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

4 comments:

  1. It does sound good. But the firecracker bar is better? I like the idea of adding quinoa in there

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  2. I tried it recently at TJ's after asking an employee for a sample. I agree with you; it was not that great. The quinoa should be bumped up more. More texture and spice

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  3. I love it! I could taste the cardamom immediately. Yum

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  4. We loved it! The chocolate is smooth and creamy. The delicate blend of spices was well balanced. You could taste all the spices and not one was overpowering the other. The quinoa crisp added a light crunchy texture. I'm addicted. This is my new favorite chocolate bar. Good job! Please don't stop making these!
    Lisa Peterson

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