Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Caramel With Black Sea Salt

Posted by in on September 21 2011 | Leave A Comment

During my most exciting excursions out to Trader Joe’s to buy produce and bread, I like also to buy something sweet. Perhaps some chocolate chip cookies or chocolate macaroons or the like. This last time, however, there was something dreadfully amiss–as I dragged my full basket of provisions to a register, the sweetest item in my possession was a handful of plums. I considered turning back around, then tried to tell my sweet tooth it would do just as well to lie dormant a while. And then I saw it.

It was tall and rectangular, sitting right at my eye level, covered in white and cream colors with splashes of blue and brown. It was silly and quirky and vintage, colorful without being bright. I blankly noted it to be a 70% dark chocolate bar with caramel and black sea salt. But all that really mattered was that it was pretty, evoking something out of a Jules Verne world. So the unanticipated object of my encounter journeyed on with me.

At home, I surveyed the card box further. The pictures on it are made to look like paper cut-outs that have been taped in place, and the color blue that accents the front and covers the sides and back is modeled after the sea, with just a hint of green in its tones. Inside the box lurks an eight-headed being, glossy-faced and resplendent in rich brown with no visible imperfections from its molding. Its back is set at intervals with shiny scales, called “stunning black sea salt… evaporated in above ground pools that form naturally from lava flows” in Hawaii.

As I began to break this monster from the depths into pieces, I noted that it is all too easy, due to the liquid inside, to break not quite along the lines that mark out the eight heads, resulting in a bit of a mess. But I bravely trudged on with my journey of discovery.

If I might make here a brief interlude, I would say that while there have been countless records of the caramel and salt species in the Chocablog logs, I myself do not come across it so often. Now, I observed that the placement of the salt crystals (or scales, as I have previously dubbed them) created a three-stage experience. In the first stage, the salt hits your tongue and makes its imprint of flavor. The second stage sees the releasing of the flowing caramel, and the third brings the chocolate to its state of melting, thereby unifying the three stages in a most proper and satisfactory manner.

Further notes on the three stages of the chocolate being wouldn’t be amiss. The salt crystals are of varying sizes, allowing for different experiences that are never overpowering. The caramel is rather dark in color, free-flowing as I mentioned, and rather rich, as well. That dark personality, the chocolate, may be the darkest of the three, but it doesn’t scare me. It leans toward a tender side, too, like the red tones of chocolate chips. It hasn’t the most complexity, nor the least.

And oh, dear. I find that what once had eight square heads now only has three left. My, my, this journey was more adventurous than I’d expected. What more can I say but this: for two dollars, it won’t literally take you to the setting of a novel, but if you put your imagination into it, you’ll get pretty close.

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Comments On This Post

  1. Simon

    Love the packaging. The contents look pretty good as well!

  2. christa

    I like this bar (for $2 too!) and its companion Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar – Toffee with Walnuts and Pecans. I don’t know which one I like better! And I usually prefer milk to dark chocolate.

  3. Benjamin

    As an avid chocolate lover – and not so avid Trader Joe’s shopper – I now have reason to visit the store. That chocolate bar looks amazing! Nice blog too, I’ll be back for more great info!

  4. Kara

    I believe this to be made by Vosges Haut Chocolat in Chicago, perhaps its Black Salt Caramel Bar that sells for about $7.50 or more. I find it a hard bar to eat and maybe Vosges did too but what a steal for a great bar of chocolate. Just need to rinse up afterwards.

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