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Monday, December 21, 2020

Trader Joe's Festive Chocolate Collection

In general, I try to look beyond the physical—beyond the surface, to discern what lies beneath a thing, a person, or an idea. But sometimes, sheer physical beauty is its own end. Take, for instance, a Christmas tree or Christmas lights or Christmas decorations in general. If you ask a dozen people what a Christmas tree means to them, you'll get a dozen different answers. But that doesn't take away from the fact that all 12 of said people will agree that it's a pretty thing—a lovely sight to behold.

Similarly, there's a breathtaking conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the southwestern skies just after sunset right now. I've already seen it the past two nights, although tonight will be their closest approach to one another. They'll appear to be touching each other in the sky, despite the fact they are actually 450 million miles apart. Some are calling it the Christmas Star, although I'm pretty sure the original Christmas Star was a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus...but this isn't an astronomy blog and I'm digressing a bit.

Anyway, it reminds me of what Sam tells Frodo at the end of LOTR: "There's light and beauty up there that no shadow can touch." So true.

I suppose I'm unnecessarily waxing poetic for what is essentially just a box of chocolate. We all know what chocolate tastes like. And Trader Joe's rarely tries to slip substandard chocolate by us...I mean, other than early iterations of their advent calendar. What I'm trying to say is that this particular product is more about presentation than anything else. I almost don't want to eat it, it's so festive and cute, but I'm hankering for a release of endorphins at the moment, being the darkest day of the year and all. But hey, from here on out, the sun gets higher in the sky every day. So let's all be happy and eat some chocolate wreaths, gifts, snowmen, and gingerbread men.

There's dark, milk, and white chocolate represented here, so there's a nice variety—something for everybody in terms of chocolate preference. There are seven pieces of chocolate total, some much larger than others. $3.99 is just a teensy weensy bit steep for what you're getting here, IMO. None of the chocolates are anything to write home about, but then there's nothing to complain about either. 

There are a few little surprises like various fillings. Some of the pieces are just simple slabs of decorative chocolate. Others contain "hazelnut paste," "dark chocolate couverture filling," "caramel filling," or "creme filling." It's a bit like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates in that you never know what you're gonna get. I'd try to match the filling up with its corresponding shape and let you know which is which, but I've indiscriminately shoveled a number of them down my hatch already, and I'm really not even sure which fillings I've had. Some are slightly tastier than others, but all in all, each piece has been satisfying and chocolatey. Sonia agrees.

There. I feel a bit of serotonin kicking in. I'm happy. It's Christmas week. Hope you're all joyous and healthy and have your house stocked with tasty foods. Get out there and check out the planetary conjunction. Very interesting things are about to happen. I can feel it. 

Happy holidays!

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.


  1. Yes, life is like a box of chocolates, unless it is a Whitman's Sampler. Then you know what you are going to get.


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