The pros: A fun stocking stuffer or gift for the chocolate lover in your life.
The cons: Some flavors are unique. Others might call that uniqueness strange or gross.
The verdict: For $9.99, this is a very different gift set then say Trader Joe’s Chocolate Passport. Chocolate passport is chocolate of different origins. This on the other hand is different mix ins to each 70% dark cocoa chocolate. If you know someone who likes chocolate and caramel, this might be the better set to go.
If you know someone who only reaches for plain dark chocolate then reach for the Chocolate passport. They are the same price. I personally preferred the Passport over this. I got more chocolate nuances from that set. This on the other hand had some real hits and some real misses to it. I adored all the caramel chocolates. Other items that I thought I would enjoy are still sitting wrapped up with a bite missing from them. The chocolate passport there were no mystery flavors. Just plain old chocolate with subtle nuanced differences.
Here is the visual rundown of what you get if you purchase this item with commentary about each flavor:
The nutritional information (at least on average. Each one has a slightly different calorie count and ingredients.):
Salt & Pepper Potato Chip- Subtle potato chip chunks that pronounce the saltiness to you. The pepper comes up on the back end of the tasting process as there is a distinct and subtle heat from black pepper. Would I buy a bar of this if they sold it? Probably not, I didn't find it that addicting. I think the pepper kind of ruined it for me.
Orange Hibiscus-This had an unexpected texture to it. There was more than meets the eye on this one. It looked like a solid dark chocolate bar, but as it melted in my mouth there was a more complex texture here. It tasted like small pieces of fruit were crystallized and mixed into the chocolate. There is only the slightest bit of floralness to the taste.
Chili & Cinnamon-This bar started off pretty sweet. Then the intense cinnamon flavor kicks in. At the end there is a present mild heat that finishes off the taste.
Coconut Caramel- I don't like coconut so I wasn't looking forward to this at all. The caramel center on this really broke it up for me and made the very small amount of coconut in this very tolerable. I actually really enjoyed this bar. Smooth caramel with a hint of salt and a touch of the texture of coconut mixed into the caramel center.
Coffee and Cocoa Nib-This was very intense. This is a mocha flavor but much stronger. The coffee flavor is extremely pronounced. The cocoa nibs are really more there for texture. If you've ever had a Starbucks cafe mocha, this is what it would taste like in a solid form. It was intense enough that a full bite was more than sufficient.
Almond Ginger-Didn't remind me much of almond or ginger. The pieces of almond bordered on being called almond flour they were so finely ground. As far as the ginger flavoring, it was candied and subtle. No real heat from fresh ginger.
Black Sea Salt Caramel- This one was pretty awesome. Nice balance between salty and sweet. I couldn't taste a difference between regular sea salt and black sea salt but it was nice to have a creamy center.
Want to see more items I've tried at Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.