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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar

Even when I was a much younger rumblin' tumblin' typhoon of a kid, I always disliked the word "lover's" in the name of any food. Prime example: Pizza Hut's Meat Lover's Pizza. Now, I like pepperoni and sausage and beef and whatever other bits of carnation that get piled on top, but I think the simple act of saying the name was like a confession I wasn't willing to openly, unabashedly proclaim: "I love meat! Mmmmm meat!" Plus, let's face it, there's better, more verbally understated ways of celebrating one's appreciation of meat, like ordering a bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Or a turducken. Or, when given the opportunity like I have recently, unashamedly taking a thick cut of pepperoni and smearing a swath of buffalo chicken dip all up on it and savoring every last bit....ummm, I mean, dear, I totally didn't do that this past weekend at your cousin's kid's birthday party...I'm a terrible, terrible absolute hack of a vegetarian wannabe.

So, Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar. I'll skip over the long awkward name bit (e pluribus unum at TJ's) and focus on that word again: Lover's. Now, I like dark chocolate, but love? Can't go there. Sorry, dark chocolate, you've been friendzoned.

 If the "85% Cacao" label on there isn't indication enough, this is one seriously dark chocolate bar. Kinda like an early days/obscure b-sides album, it's not for everyone even if you're otherwise a fan. It's the darkest TJ's carries, and unlike so many of their other fine choco-creations, there's nothing else mixed in to break up the flavor. And honestly...I didn't expect it to be so sweet. Granted, it's more bittersweet than anything, but I'll confess to have eaten straight baker's chocolate squares before, and I kinda expected the same flat kind of flavor despite the "smooth and fruity" the labels proclaims these bars bring to the table. Nuh uh. Smooth and fruity, while bitter seems about right, plus there's this kinda alcohol-y bit to it, though of course they're booze-free. Is floral a word I can use to describe chocolate? I don't know, but I'm tempted to anyways. It's dark, it's strong, and it's unexpected...hard to adequately describe, but if you've tried you know what I mean.  This ain't no Hershey's.

For a $1.49 for two (!) bars, it's a small, risk-worthy pick-up. I thought Sandy and I would each plow our way thru our own piece. Oh no. It's chocolate worth nibblin' on and slowly enjoying, like a mature grown-up or something. I'll admit that my first impression wasn't so hot, but with each successive smidge I liked it a little more. One bar between the two of us was more than plenty for one night. Sandy enjoyed it a bit more than I did and goes with a four. It's a bit potent for me, but I don't think I'm quite the intended audience, so I'll be fair and say a three...nah, 3.5.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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