Dove bars

I bought this bar to eat on my flight home for Christmas in 1993.

I have no idea what all of the fuss over Dove chocolate is about. It’s really not that good. I mean, it’s dark chocolate so already it’s better than 99% of the milk chocolate out there, but it’s no better than the cheapest dark chocolate at Trader Joe’s, and it cannot hold a candle to the best imported stuff. Sometimes I am sad that good PR can trump good quality in the U.S.

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Chocolate and espresso

Chocolate and coffee go together very well, as any mocha drinker will tell you. I like mocha’s, but I had no idea how much I would love dark chocolate covered espresso beans.

These were crunchy and great tasting, with a generous amount of dark chocolate to counter the astringency of the roasted espresso bean. I shared them with co-workers, and they were gone in one day. I went back to Trader Joe’s the next weekend and discovered they sold them in bar form too!

I ate many of these delicious bars.

Mint Chocolate

I like mint and chocolate together. I cannot pass a Girl Scout booth outside of a local grocery store without stopping to buy some Thin Mint cookies. They are just too good to pass up. So when I saw this bar at Trader Joe’s, I had to buy it.

This bar was OK. By that, I mean it was dark chocolate and it had mint crisps, so I enjoyed it. But there was something missing, some “umph” that was lacking that made it a great chocolate bar. In the end, that disappointed me.

Trader Joe’s

Over the years, I have purchased a lot of chocolate from Trader Joe’s. I used to buy ten pound blocks of Ghirardelli dark chocolate to bake with, making chocolate chunk cookies or chocolate mousse every night. When I was buying my third block in as many months, the cashier asked me if I was buying them as gifts. “No, they’re for me”, I replied. I think she blanched a little.

This was one of my favorite chocolate bars from TJ’s.

I love Belgian chocolate, and any chocolate with almonds gets an added bonus. So eating them together was a sure win in my book. My “Chocolate I Have Known” book, that is.

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of chocolate. My name is Tim and I love chocolate, and I usually eat some every day. I like chocolate baked goods and desserts, even chocolate beer, but my real passion is chocolate bars. For almost twenty years I have been keeping the wrappers of new chocolates that I try. This blog is my attempt to immortalize that collection on the web, in a digital form that should outlast the dusty and fading wrappers that now fill half a dozen scrapbooks and total almost a thousand labels.

Let’s begin at the beginning, on October 19th of 1993, with these beautiful bars.

My roommate Larry was dating a woman from Italy, and she brought these back from a trip there. They were very good milk chocolate, smooth and creamy, but I must admit that I really enjoy dark chocolate more and I found this chocolate somewhat understated in its cacao flavor. But the wrappers were so nice looking that I didn’t want to throw them away, and Larry suggested keeping them in a photo album along with a note about where I got them and what I thought of them.

“Chocolate I Have Known, Volume 1” was born that very night.