Seems like TJ's has had chocolate covered pretzels on their shelves for years...like basically always. I can't remember a time they haven't been there. And yet, I don't think we've ever purchased them. Not the plain old milk chocolate covered ones, anyway.
But now, they're in a fancy new resealable bag, they're featured prominently on traderjoes.com under "What's New," and TJ's is begging us to taste them again...for the first time, or something like that.
So we did.
No cookie butter filling. No exotic foreign confectionery coating. No hazelnut sprinkles. Just pretzels and chocolate. And some newfangled packaging.
I've always liked chocolate covered pretzels, and these are no exception. They taste exactly as I remember them. Salty, sweet, bready. The chocolate is still smooth and the pretzels are still crunchy. They still dot your fingertips with little brown splotches if it's warm outside, and they're still just a tad too firm when it's cold out—or if you store them in the fridge rather than the pantry.
They're so run-of-the-mill, I'm really at a loss what to write about them. There's absolutely nothing new or innovative about these tasty tidbits, but it's also nice to know they didn't screw them up, either.
I have this memory from very early childhood. It was probably the first time I'd ever had a chocolate covered pretzel. It was evening and the sky was dark. There were two elderly ladies that babysat me frequently in those days, and I was in their apartment on Chocolate Avenue in Hershey, PA. No lie. There's a Chocolate Ave there. Cocoa Ave, too. Anyway, they had this little apartment in downtown Hershey, and I spent a lot of time there. At this point, I couldn't have been older than three or four years old. I remember eating a chocolate pretzel they gave me—my parents wouldn't allow me to have chocolate back in those days, but these two: Nana and Minnie—they'd let me live a little while in their care. The chocolate pretzel they gave me was so transcendently delicious, I remember being excited about life in a way that's very hard to capture now at nearly 40 years old. And then, as if the moment weren't special enough, I recall looking up into the night sky through their kitchen window and seeing a streak of light—I had no idea what it was at the time, but in retrospect, it must have been a shooting star. I don't think I've ever experienced a sense of awe greater than that instant, with the taste of chocolate pretzel dangling on my tongue.
I don't eat chocolate pretzels all that often these days, but that night in the early 80's comes to mind almost every time I do, and for that reason, there will always be a special place in my heart for these tasty morsels. $3.49 for the 12 oz bag.
Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.