Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark

Robert spied this bag at Trader Joe’s yesterday, and the words “Ruggedly Adventuresome” convinced me that I had to try it. That, and the words “dark chocolate”.

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This bag contained thick slabs of dark chocolate, with broken pieces of toffee, pretzels, oreo-like cookies, and peanut and almond bits spread over the top. It looked like someone had swept their snack aisle and poured it over some melted chocolate…but boy was it good! The dark chocolate was very rich, and it went well with all of the salty bits on top. I shared the bag at work, and everyone really liked it, and many people had seconds. Brian M. even heroically ate the crumbs from the bottom of the bag!

I’d say this was a hit.

Christopher Michael Aztec Spiced Bar

Along with the Sizzling Bacon Bar, my friend Tiff C. also gave me this Christopher Michael bar.

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This bar was good. The chocolate was very dark, and I could faintly taste the bright notes of the single-origin Venezuelan dark chocolate. I say faintly because the cinnamon and hot spices washed out most of the chocolate flavor, with the cinnamon coming on strong at the beginning and then the peppers heating up your mouth and throat after you swallowed. I am not saying I didn’t like this bar, but I am surprised that the chocolatier was take such a wonderful chocolate and mask most of its flavor notes with such strong spices.

True Bliss Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut

Someone left this bag of chocolate on the give-away counter at work, and there were still a couple of chocolate bites inside.

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These were pretty good. The dark chocolate was just OK (it was dry and crumbly), but the coconut was not shaved or shredded but instead in big solid chunks, and it was just lightly sweetened. It was quite tasty, but I really wished the chocolate had been a higher quality. These could have been fantastic.

Ghirardelli Dark & Truffle

I found this new Ghirardelli bar at Powell’s, and I knew I had to try it!

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This bar was delicious! The bar was formed of eight dark chocolate squares, each one filled with a creamy chocolate filling. It looked hard and solid, but the filling melted in your mouth like butter. And the chocolate taste was very dark and rich. Hmmm….fantastic.

This was probably one of my favorite Ghirardelli bars I have ever tasted. And you can search this blog and see that I have tasted a lot!

Alcove Dark Milk Chocolate With Fudge Brownie

I found this bar at Powell’s Candy Store in Aliso Viejo. It was a brand I had never heard of before.

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Wow, this bar really tasted like a brownie. Specifically, it tasted like a dark chocolate bar (even though it was dark milk chocolate) with bits of freeze-dried brownie embedded in it. The ingredients said it was chocolate cookie bits, but it tasted just like brownies! I loved it.

Alcove Chocolate looks like it is a local brand, made right here in Los Angeles. And there are a lot more varieties to try! Expect to see more posts about this new brand on this blog.

Snickers Bites

No, the title is not a commentary on Snickers, but an actual chocolate-oriented product that Robert bought at Target. I ate some to prove that I don’t just eat fancy chocolates.

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I ate two or three of these little cubes, and yeah, they are just like little Snickers. In fact, the chocolate to nougat ratio might be higher on these little guys than on a regular bar, but that’s not saying much. The milk chocolate on a Snickers is probably around 10% cacao, so these bites are more candy than chocolate.

They’re good and easy to find if you want to buy them. I’d still rather eat Lindt.

Vosges Super Dark Reishi Mushroom & Walnut

This was another Vosges bar that I found in Powell’s Candy Store in Aliso Viejo over Labor Day Weekend.

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Hmm. I didn’t hate this bar. In fact, I liked it. But as a Vosges bar, I expected to love it, so I felt disappointed. The chocolate was very dry and crumbly, and the walnuts and mushrooms were ground fine within it, contributing nothing more than an astringency and an earthy flavor. I expected crunchiness and creaminess, but I got neither. Overall, not a bad chocolate bar, but certainly not worth the almost ten dollar price tag.