I found this box of caramels on the new shelf at Trader Joe’s over the holidays.
Inside were sixteen very pretty caramels.
I really liked these caramels. Like their Irish Whiskey Caramels, these were made with 55% cacao from Belgium, but they were made in Ireland. However, they reminded me more of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar Caramels, because they were very soft and gooey and salty. In fact, these were too salty. My co-workers complained and removed some of the salt after the first bite, and several skipped seconds, saying they had eaten too much salt. I liked them, but on my second one I removed some of the salt and thought it was even better that way.
Happy New Year, dear readers, and welcome to 2018. I thought that some liquor filled chocolates would be a great way to ring in the new year.
This box contained eight fairly large truffles.
The chocolate seemed a little bloomed, despite my care at keeping them cool and out of the sun. They tasted good. Well, as good as I could expected at 55% cacao. And there was whiskey in it, around 3 proof worth, enough to give it flavor but no chance of intoxication. I put these out at a chocolate eating meeting at work, and a couple people passed on them, not liking the taste of whiskey. I liked them, but I doubt I would buy them again.
My friend Lucy generously gave me two of these ginger bars from Ireland, so I used them for one of my Large Bar Fridays chocolate meetings at work.
I thought this label said Large Chocolatier, and so did several of my co-workers. But after closer inspection, I looked it up and it is Lorge Chocolatier in Kenmare. Hehe.
This bar was very good. The chocolate was nice and dark, at 70% cacao, and the ginger was sweet and not overly strong. You could taste it, but it didn’t overwhelm the chocolate. I liked this bar, and so did my co-workers, who helped themselves to seconds and thirds.
My friend Lucy gave me another Skellig bar from her trip to Ireland.
This was an interesting bar. The peppercorn flavor was front and center, almost drowning out the chocolate flavor, which was fairly strong itself. The chili flavor was present as just a mild hot aftertaste, but that peppercorn flavor stayed with me for quite a while.
My friend Lucy H. brought me this bar from Ireland too.
This was an interesting bar. I could smell the whiskey very faintly when I opened the package, and when I tried a bite, the flavor was there too, as the palest of aftertastes. Interestingly, the bar was listed as 60% cacao but it tasted much lighter than that. I would have guessed 45 to 50% cacao, tops. Still, I liked this chocolate, and my co-workers liked the bar too, having seconds and even thirds.
My friend Lucy H. gave me this bar, which she picked up at the Guinness Brewery in Ireland.
OMG, this bar was sooooo good! When I opened the package, this delicious Guinness fragrance wafted out, and my co-workers commented on it when they entered my office. You could taste the beer flavor too, and it went so well with the chocolate. And the bar was only 52% cacao, but it tasted much darker, probably due to the butter oil they added. This was a seriously decadent bar, just like the label says.
I received this bar as a gift from my friend Lucy, who took a tour of Ireland with her son and his family.
This bar was made in a chocolate shop with an unusual pamphlet.
No, not this side….THIS side.
If you look closely, there is a Stormtrooper standing in the doorway of the chocolate shop! Why is that? Because this chocolate shop shares its name and its location in Kerry with the Skellig Islands, which is where the final scene of the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot. How cool is that?
And the chocolate was really good too! It looked and tasted much darker than 54% cacao, and it wasn’t too salty, so that the salt enhanced rather than hid the chocolate flavor. I really liked it, and so did my co-workers.