Tag Archives: coconut and chocolate

Trader Joe’s 70% Dark Chocolate Bars with Caramel

What entrancing, lovely, fanatsy-like designs these boxes sport. I don’t know about you, but I get plenty of seriousness in a typical day, so whimsey goes a long way. These enchanting watercolors of planes with wings, and other trippy images seemed to set the stage for contemplating chocolate’s ability to transport me from the mundane into realms of gustatory nirvana.

I tried both of their dark caramel filled bars. The one with Black Sea Salt was infused with subtle smokey notes from the Hawaiian lava beds whence the salt is sourced. The 70% dark chocolate’s slightly fruity notes complemented the silky, runny caramel beautifully. Unfortunately, the bar is poorly designed, so when you try to break off one of its eight squares, caramel drips out. An unnecessary mess, as a better design would preclude this. I strongly advise eating every little bit, which requires a plate. Despite that problem, the confection was just marvelous. All the flavors and textures catalyzed each other producing an experience far larger than each on its own could possibly provide. The rendition with Coconut is equally delicious, but different, as it had chewy bits of coconut in every bite.

I have eaten a few of these caramel bars and still find them tantalizing. Considering their high luscious quotient, they have a fairly low sugar content: 13 grams per half bar, or 43 grams. Last but not least, they sell for $1.99.


Ombar Raw Chocolate

When I say “raw chocolate” what comes to mind? Something healthy and a bit tough to scarf down? Something grainy? Something you wouldn’t want to eat? Well, you might be surprised. Ombar, one of the latest companies making sustainably sourced raw chocolate bars has a truly heavenly 60% Coconut bar. First, you notice its fantastically creamy texture and deep chocolate flavor from Ecuadorian organic cacao. Enhanced with organic coconut sugar, organic coconut cream, and a soupçon of bio-live cultures, this bar is a real delight.

In addition to the addictive Coconut, I tried four others:

72% Dark which was more snappily tempered and very intense,
Cocomylk 58% was very gentle on the palate,
Acai and Bluberry 60% with freeze dried berry powders packed an added nutritional punch, and lent a wonderful almost citrus edge to the chocolate, and
Strawberries and Cream 60% with freeze dried strawberry powder and coconut cream, which held my interest with its intense berry notes and lovely texture.

Of the five flavors I sampled, I like the fruit infused bars and the Coconut 60% best. They managed to have three gustatory themes going on simultaneously: great texture, strong cacao presence, and perky flavors that really brought everything up a few notches.

At present, there are three other options in their line: Lemon & Green Tea, Cranberry & Mandarin, and Goji Berry.

Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee 47% & 20 gram Mini-bars

There is something rich and delicious about a dark milk bar, especially when you amp up the flavors with coconut and sea salt infused buttery toffee. If that’s not enough to spark your interest, just recall how the folks at Alter Eco make a mission of treating their farmers fairly and you will have all the incentive you need to try this incredibly satisfying chocolate.

Perhaps, you already love their Dark Velvet bar, this uses the same Ecuadorian Nacional beans as a base. If you have never had Nacional cacao expect to discover a delightful fruity flavor profile with malty undertones. The creamy texture is an excellent counterpoint to crunchy bits of toffee, and the salt perks up all the flavors.

Always trying to innovate, whether it’s creating new recipes, re-designing their wrappers, or educating the public about sustainable farming, Alter Eco just introduced their Dark Noir 60%, and Dark Velvet 47% in mini 20 gram bars, that are divided into two square sections. I love these little gems as they are great for movies, handbags, lunch boxes, desks drawers, briefcases, and helping with portion control.

I was happy to see they are now making their 200 gram bars thinner, which helps the chocolate reach body temperature more quickly and delivers the fullest flavor in record time.