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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trader Joe's Apple Cider Caramels

There's lots of great stuff you can do with cider besides drink it straight. You can turn it into jam or tea or make apple cider donuts...Trader Joe's, we're looking at you, here. Why have we not seen Trader Joe's Apple Cider Donuts yet?

Nevermind. You've blessed us with apple cider caramels. And we're grateful.

But really, packaged like this, it's more of a novelty purchase than anything else. Four caramels for $1.99. One serving in the whole pack. What a tease you are, Joe. 

It's very much a check-out line, afterthought, "I need a little pick-me-up because my blood sugar's low" kind of buy. I guess it would make a nice birthday present for that person at work that you're fond of but don't really know that well. Or, for you singles out there, it might work as a first-date "Hey look, I'm a thoughtful guy but I'm not super weird and overbearing and showing up with a dozen roses yet" kind of gift. Or better yet, for you married folks, it would be the perfect "Hey look, I still think about you when I'm out and about and yet I'm wise and practical and don't spend a ton of money to prove it" kind of gesture.

And then in each of those cases, not only will you get the "Oh, s/he is so thoughtful" points, but once the recipient tastes the caramels, s/he will adore you all the more, because once again, TJ's—or some mysterious third-party vendor, as the case may be—nailed the essence of fall with a delectable, sweet, spicy apple cider product.

The outside is thick, high-quality dark chocolate, with a little white chocolate swirl on top for decoration. The inside is a very sweet caramel that distinctly tastes like apple cider. It doesn't taste much like traditional caramel at all. Anyone with a decent set of taste buds would easily recognize the flavor in a blind taste test. Not just apple. Apple cider. Yumtastic. Applicious. Ciderrific.

The two flavors play against each other in the best way possible. The dark chocolate lends a hint of bitterness, and even this white chocolate-lover wouldn't want this product with any other kind of chocolate, because the cider caramel filling is perfectly sweet by itself and needs the dark chocolate to balance it out. There are just enough cider spices to make this product unique. The flavor is intense in a way, but not at all overbearing.

All we ask is for a family-size box next year, so everybody can try one. Trust me, you'll pine for more when the little box is finished.

Double fours here.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.


  1. GENIUS! I love the idea of combining apples into caramel. TJ's always does it right.

  2. Oh wow this sounds really unique. Perhaps I'll give this a try as a pick me up if I'm feeling down ~

    Also, you should totally get some of their butternut squash Mac and cheese. It's in the frozen area for $3, has a combo of 3 cheeses (Gouda, Gruyere, and something else I believe) and tastes like fall.. I am telling myself so hard I don't need it haha

  3. I can't wait to try these now. They sound awesome. I had passed them over for the pumpkin caramels which I thought I would like better. I love dark chocolate, I love pumpkin & I love caramel but for some reason these had a slightly odd taste to me. Not necessarily bad but just a little off.

  4. Maybe they kept the box small so people wary of it (after remembering the pumpkin spice caramel debacle) would risk buying it?

  5. I miss Let's Talk TJ's. Any chance you all will do another podcast?

  6. They opened a box for me at my Trader Joes so I could try them. I have to be honest I wasn't crazy about them. Chocolate was very bitter and I didn't like it with the apple caramel.

    1. Yeah the chocolate in ours wasn't bitter AT ALL. Blended PERFECTLY with apple cider caramel.

      More for us then!

  7. The contrasting flavors complimented each other so well. I really enjoyed these and I hope TJ's brings these back next season. They should make this into an apple shape, similar to the dark chocolate orange they carry.

  8. I love apple cider anything ... except for these. Milk chocolate would have been perfect, but the dark chocolate was too harsh.

  9. I TOTALLY agree with this review! Spot on! Wow, the dark chocolate and apple cider flavors worked PERFECTLY together!


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