Chocolate Tasting

Am I the only one who stands in front of this display at the store, wanting to try every single one?

Even more so than "just chocolate", I love chocolate combinations. (I still want to try chocolate-dipped candied bacon!!!) So when I saw this chocolate tasting box at Trader Joe's, I pounced:
"Trader Joe's Takes Flight: A Dark Chocolate Tasting Odyssey" - 7 bars of 70% cacao dark chocolate, each studded with different flavor notes. The 2 oz. bars each break into 3 sections, so I really got 21 gourmet tastings (each ~100 calories) for less than $10! I wondered how intense &/or plentiful the add-ins would be...and I was not disappointed. :-)

Reviews to set your cravings into overdrive:

Black sea salt caramel - the caramel was fabulously light & thinner than I imagined (more liquidy, not stick-in-your-teeth) and the Hawaiian sea salt flakes were large & thin (no grains, great distribution)
Orange hibiscus - while I enjoy citrus when it's given to me, I would never pick it first. (I would choose anything else - berry, mint, nut flavor, etc.) But this was a delight! The orange wasn't overpowering, and the hibiscus was so bright & vibrant! I love floral notes!
Coconut caramel - this was the same liquid caramel paired with tropical coconut. I love coconut flavor but not texture, and I still gobbled this up. 
Chili & cinnamon - I'm a baby when it comes to spicy stuff, and this heat level (slight tingle) was perfect. It is the definition of *warm* - the most "melt in your mouth" bar.
Almond ginger - the crunch of the crushed almond pieces was nice, and the small chunks of crystallized ginger were the super star!
Salt & pepper potato chip - I was most intrigued by this one (salty/sweet is my favorite flavor profile!!!) and it did NOT disappoint! The small bits of chip throughout were still crunchy - amazing! Maybe my fave...if I had to choose one. ;-)
Coffee & cocoa nib - the crunch of the cocoa nibs was fantastic, and while I don't drink coffee (ever), it's an undeniable food fact that coffee elevates the flavor of chocolate to rich heights, which it did here.
You're welcome & I apologize at the same time for putting this in your brain now. ;-)
What are your favorite chocolate flavor combinations?


  1. Yes, you should apologize!! ;) That's something new I like to do when we travel, now - find a local chocolate shop and try some of their specialties!

  2. I *love* chocolate, but I am totally not adventurous at trying different flavors. I am perfectly happy with milk chocolate and white chocolate, and truffles (have you had Kilwin's before?). Yeah, I totally need to get out more. ;)

  3. I have to admit that my favorite chocolate is plain old milk chocolate. I know I'm so boring. John went to Belgium a few years ago and brought home some exotic chocolate, and honestly, I liked Hershey's better. Sad, huh?

  4. I like trying different flavors, but am pretty sure I prefer plain dark chocolate. Last weekend I went to Rachel Horak's wedding and they had a dessert reception the evening before. They had a bunch of chocolate bar pieces to try, so I could test flavors I would never have bought an entire bar of. I thought the cinnamon would be more of the sweet level (similar to a ghiradelli square I'd had) but it was hot like an atomic fireball-too overwhelming. The weirdest was the coconut curry.

  5. I have to say, I'm surprised that the majority of my friends seem to prefer pure over flavors! :-D Y'all can send me all of your funky chocolate combinations!
    (Ewww, except curry, Amy. Curry is not my friend. ;-))
    Heather - I have the BEST Kilwin's story EVER: when we lived up there before kids (2001) we used to go hang out with Lauren & Ashley up in Petoskey on the weekends. They had another friend who worked at Kilwin's, and one Sunday morning, she took us over and told us to take ANYTHING & AS MUCH as we wanted!!! It was quite literally a Willy Wonka moment in real life!!!

  6. OMG…non-stop Kilwin's!!!! <3 <3 <3


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