Sunday, 17 August 2014

Trader Joe's Dark 70 Chocolate Bars

This is my very first American chocolate post! I was brought back these chocolates from Trader Joe's, a speciality grocery store, by my sister who travelled across the US. The artistic, vibrant water colouring packaging looked extremely attractive, and on the back it introduced each flavour, i.e "It's a little taste of tropical paradise" and  "Exotic Hawaiian Black Sea Salt hails from the Pacific seawater"

Each chocolate bar consisted of 70% cacao, sugar, vanilla, emulsifier, and then the eponymous extras. I liked the idea of each bar having caramel/toffee as that's a flavour I love

Coconut Caramel
A nice sheen. I snapped the chocolate and oh my, it was soft caramel! I've waited so long for a soft, runny caramel in my chocolate bar. The top layer of chocolate was thin and very delicate which was perfect, though made it rather messy and it wouldn't snap along the scoring. It tasted of coconut and lightly floral, creating an exotic taste, and within the caramel was desiccated coconut to add for a nice texture. Apparently there were cocoa nibs in the bar but I did not notice, oops!

Toffee with walnuts and pecans
You'd think, this being American, it would have been maple syrup paired with the pecan. But I was cool with it being toffee. At one end of my chocolate bar I could see that it had melted and reshaped with signs of bloom, though the taste was not impaired, it didn't look so good. The texture had a soft bite which was interesting, with its little crunches too making it feel like a biscuit. I couldn't quite taste walnut and pecan but there was something savoury along with a nice salted touch, tasting similiar to a nutty cereal bar. This chocolate's flavour wasn't as bold as the Coconut, but it was cool with its calm manner and the dark toffee coming in subtly but suavely. I think I enjoyed this bar the most 

Caramel with black sea salt
I thought: save the best 'til last! And had I? Although it was good, it wasn't my favourite out of the three. The salt would sometimes really overpower the caramel flavour. However, when the rich caramel sweetness would dominate it was magnificent. Again, I loved the delicacy of the bite, how easily the surface would snap and the viscous caramel to free flow

Although salt and chocolate is very popular, I think it's a difficult combination to pull off. I don't like it unless the salt is ever so delicate, and that to actually taste the salt you need just one granule on the tongue. The salt flakes on this bar seemed as if they would do just that - burst flavour - but salt was in the caramel too... seeming the likely culprit of the salted overkill. Though I much preferred the chocolate when I hadn't captured a flake in my bite...therefore just having the salt in the caramel would have been suffice

1 comment:

  1. The coconut one sounds lovely. I've always wanted to try a dark chocolate bar with runny caramel!