Monthly Archives: June 2011

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar — Caramel with Black Sea Salt

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While at my favorite grocery store a few weeks ago, I spotted a couple of fancy new bars.  I had to pick up one of each for review here.  The first bar is a 70% dark chocolate filled with black sea salt caramel.

The bar here is rather small at 3 oz. but the price was right ($2 if I remember correctly) and small is good in this case because the caramel filling is very fluid — completely leaking out when the first square is broken off.  It's a bar best eaten in one sitting.

The chocolate is a good quality — creamy and well tempered without any strong flavors.  The caramel tastes of cream and lightly caramelized sugar with a salty edge.  A little less flavorful than I usually like — more dulce de leche than burnt sugar.  A sprinkling of sea salt on the back of the bar gives a hint of crunch and enhances the flavor of the chocolate.

All in all, a very nice bar at a very good price. 

Romanicos Chocolate

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Romanicos Chocolate recently sent me some of their bars and confections to sample, which I was happy to do since they are very allergen aware and clearly label which of their products are gluten free.  They also included a personal note reiterating that the products they sent me were all gluten free, which I found very reassuring.

Everything I have tasted so far has been fresh, tasty and high quality.  I'll focus on the three large bars here since those are what I've enjoyed the most.

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Salted Almonds — This bar was a clear winner, as it was the first that I completely finished.  (This is rare for me, as I get quite a bit of chocolate and often don't finish an entire bar.)  The bar is composed of Venezuelan Chocolate (65% Cacao), Honey and Roasted Almonds.  I found the chocolate here to be smooth, flavorful and slightly sweet.  The bar was well tempered and each section was perfectly bite sized.  The almonds were fresh and crunchy and well complemented by the sweetness from the honey.

Salted Pistachio and Nutmeg — A great combination of salty, sweet and spicy.  The nutmeg gave a warming bite to the bar, but was subtle enough to let the chocolate and pistachio flavors shine through. 

Walnuts & Honey –An interesting bar in which the honey appears to be swirled into the chocolate, but left in pockets here and there.  I loved the combination of nuts and honey here and felt that the overall creaminess was offset nicely by the crunchy nuts.

If you'd like to try these bars, you can visit the Romanicos Chocolate website for more information.