Have a hankering for chocolate from small, artisan producers? Check out the Chocolate & Candy category on Foodzie, a website that describes itself as “an online marketplace where you can discover and buy food directly from small passionate food producers and growers.” It works like this: browse an assortment of chocolates from chocolatiers across the U.S., place the chocolates you want in your shopping cart, check out, and your goodies ship directly from the producers. Convenient, local, and fresh, what more could a gourmet chocolate lover want?
Until then, here’s a substitute: Trader Joe’s Swiss Milk Chocolate with 30% Whole Hazelnuts. The milk chocolate is so smooth and the hazelnuts are so tasty it’s like eating crunchy Nutella. Seriously! If you’re a Nutella fan, you have got to try this and tell me if it isn’t so. And bonus—it’s more portable than Nutella because it doesn’t come in a jar.
Granted, $3.99 for a 7 oz. bar isn’t cheap. And those 7 ounces don’t go nearly as far as one might hope. I mean, the bar looks big enough, but with all that milk chocolate and hazelnut swirling around in your mouth it disappears fast. Really fast. Like one sitting fast. But then again that might just be me. I’m addicted to Nutella.
Trader Joe’s Fair Trade Swiss Milk Chocolate May 11, 2009
Yesterday I discovered a new chocolate bar at Trader Joe’s: Fair Trade Swiss Milk Chocolate. It’s a good sized bar (3.5 oz) for only $1.99. Plus, it’s Fair Trade! According to the wrapper, “Fair Trade chocolate helps contribute to a better way of life for farmers and their families. This method of buying cocoa beans and sugar offers small-scale growers a fair price for their harvest.”
So how does it taste? Quite nice, actually! The chocolate is extremely smooth, and it has a hint of caramel, which adds to the overall aroma. The ingredients are pure and simple: “cane sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, carmelized sugar, soy lecithin, vanilla extract”. Definitely worth a try next time you’re at Trader Joe’s!
Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14, 2009
Happy Valentine’s Day! May you receive many gifts of chocolate. And if you don’t, do not despair—tomorrow there will be much chocolate on sale!
How to taste chocolate February 1, 2009
Chocolate connoisseurs differ in how they taste chocolates, so I find it interesting when others describe their tasting process. David Bacco, of David Bacco Chocolats in Madison, Wis., describes his process in the February 2009 issue of Brava:
Take your time and taste your chocolates before a meal to maximize your sensory impressions … Warm the chocolate gently between your thumb and forefinger to release the aromas, particularly the bright upper notes. Let the truffle rest on your tongue and breathe through your nose to aerate the flavor panel and release the vivid sensations. Then roll the truffle to coat the mouth and let the different parts of the tongue experience the flavors prior to swallowing.
How about you? Do you have a special way of tasting chocolates?
The Art of Chocolate December 19, 2008
Looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer? Trader Joe’s has the perfect gift: “The Art of Chocolate”. Each 3.25″ square box contains nine miniature Belgian chocolates: a crisp hazelnutpaste praliné, a crisp chocolate truffle, a cream and vanilla truffle, a white and milk chocolate praliné, a milk chocolate praliné, a dark chocolate mocha praliné, a dark chocolate cream and pistachio truffle, a white chocolate praliné, and a white chocolate mocha praliné. They’re quite good, too. Perhaps not as smooth as higher-end gourmet chocolates, but tasty nonetheless. Plus, they look adorable in their tiny box. The best part, though? At $1.99 per box you can afford to buy one for every Christmas stocking in your home!
Lowering your cholesterol with chocolate October 26, 2008
Remember the study that showed that chocolate can help protect against heart disease? Now Mars, Inc. has a line of chocolates that can reduce your cholesterol, too. CocoaVia dark chocolate bars, milk chocolate bars, and chocolate covered almonds all contain plant sterols, the natural cholesterol-reducing agent popularized by Benecol and Promise. It’s not exactly gourmet chocolate, but the taste isn’t half bad. (The first bite always seems to have an unusual flavor, but after the first bite it goes away.) And bonus—each bar has less than 100 calories.
If you’d like to try CocoaVia chocolates, you can download a printable coupon for $1.00 off (valid until December 31, 2008). Let us know what you think!