Sunday, November 29, 2015

Day 333 - Montezuma's Chocolate Truffle Collection

Every holiday season, especially around Hanukkah and Christmas, Trader Joe’s has new, unique products.  They seem to have an inordinate amount of them this year.  One such product is MONTEZUMA’S CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COLLECTION. 

I cannot be the only one who thinks this product name is a fail…  The one and only thing I think of when I hear “Montezuma’s” is…  Do I have to say it?  I mean, you are thinking it, too, right???  Ok, ok, ok – I think of MONTEZUMA’S REVENGE!!!

And it was because of that negative association with the name that I didn’t even want to taste any of these.  I was afraid one bite twould send me running to the bathroom.  So I let David eat them.  J

LOVELY truffles
This collection is billed as “innovative british chocolate” (all lowercase theirs, apparently spelling british without capitalizing it is innovative!).  The collection contains truffles that go by these lovely names:
·         Columbian Cappucino
·         American Idol
·         Sweet Summertime
·         Tiger Tiger
·         Eclipse
·         Secret Squirrel
·         Milking Maid

The box is gorgeous.  It has a lovely design, great colors, and is tied with a fat, black grosgrain ribbon.  Very classy!  All of the truffles are also beautiful and very well displayed.  And I love that they come with a little guide that has the names, descriptions, and photos of each truffle on it.

Here is what David, who normally adores chocolates, thought:  “I ate one that had white bits around the top and wasn’t too happy with it – it was too hard.  (I think he must have meant Columbian Cappuccino.)  They all seem too hard to me, they should be a bit more yielding.  This one (Tiger Tiger) has quite a nice truffle on the inside – a deep, dark, rich truffle.  This one is not so bad.  But they all could do with being a bit more yielding.  And a bit buttery-er would be nice.” 

(I asked him if he would give this item as a GIFT, as that is what it looks like it was intended for to me):  “It depends on who the gift recipient WAS and how I felt about them…  If they were the kind of person that loves pretty packages then I might give it to them and presume to think that because it looked so nice that they were enjoying the chocolates.  If it were someone who really appreciated chocolates I probably would not.”

Pretty cool logo, but the name....
I decided that I owed it to you, the readers, to taste one of these, even though I feared it might result in Montezuma’s Revenge…  So I ate a Columbian Cappuccino.  Surprisingly, I like these more than Mr. David Chocolate Lover!  The outside was hard, so when I bit it I lost a few bits.  Be warned – do not bite these over a white rug (especially if it is not your white rug!) cuz chocolate bits are going to falls.  But the truffle was nice.  And fancy.  Not to mention, pretty. 

I give bonus points to any truffles/chocolates that come with a KEY.
Seriously, it makes the whole experience so much more fun.
I checked out website of the chocolatier in the UK – company website here  I see you can buy the same box of truffles directly from them for 11.99 British, which when I convert it at today’s rates equals $18.22 US!!!  Yowsa, even after shipping these little chocolate balls to the USA, adding what must be a mark-up, and putting them on the shelves, Trader Joe’s STILL MANAGES to give us an amazing bargain at 8.99!!!!  Go Joe!!!

I did a bit of research to see how this all came down, and I see that this is Montezuma’s first foray into America.  They inked the deal in August 2015 with TJ’s and shipped 20,000 boxes of those truffles.  So if you want one, you best grab it soon.  article about Montezuma working with TJ's here

These truffles would make a fine gift.  But I really do think that they really should go back to the drawing board on the name. 

Dad holding me in 1966.  Neither of us look QUITE like this any more.  :)
Price – $8.99
Rating - 4


  1. Hi STG

    I am one of the founders of Montezuma's Chocolate so of course, I was intrigued to read your blog, thanks for your interesting review of our Truffle Collection.

    Firstly I understand your reservations about the name but actually it's a great historical connection that links chocolate to the unfortunately named tummy upset 'Montezuma's Revenge'. The Aztec Emperor Montezuma II introduced chocolate to the Europeans when the Spanish Conquistadors invaded (what is now) Mexico in the early 1500's. The Emperor greeted them with goblets of drinking chocolate and this was the first time Europeans had ever tasted chocolate - and they were hooked! But cocoa and the drink they created with it was a highly prized food which the Aztecs used for bartering and even for human sacrifical rituals so as a way of demonstrating his importance, the Emperor would regularly drink 50 goblets of chocolate every day. This had the unfortunate consequence of giving him an upset stomach. Soon after the Spanish invaded their land, the Emperor was stoned to death by his own people because he had made this terrible error in judgment - hence the term Montezuma's Revenge became a synonym for travellers visiting the old Aztec lands!

    When we started our business in the UK 15 years ago, we had some customers saying they felt weird about eating chocolate with the name of a stomach upset but as soon as they understood the history - and more importantly tried our chocolate - they didn't care. And no-one every forgets the name!

    So what is most important to us is the taste of our chocolate. I am glad that you warmed to them after your initial reservations and I would hope that you try more of them - if you haven't tasted American Idol yet, you have to give it a go, it's my personal favourite and we struggle to keep them in stock here. The chocolates should have a good thick chocolate shell but the truffle centre should be soft (but not runny, except the caramel in the A. Idol) so perhaps they were a bit cold when you tried them.

    We have been so happy that the TJ's customers have sent us a load of great feedback about the truffles, they appear to be very forthcoming with their praise which is a revelation when you're British!!

    Finally (if you're still reading!), I just wanted to say thanks for your time reviewing our truffles. I really hope you like them a little more now that you have the history behind the name!

    All the best from the cold and windy south coast of England,
    Helen Pattinson

    1. I really like the "100% coco solids dark chocolate absolute black with cocoa nibs". I was afraid that TJ will run out of it and never stock, so I bought around 10 from the TJs. I hope they keep restocking.

  2. Dearest Ms. Pattinson -
    WHAT AN HONOR! I am so thrilled that you read my review of your product and took the time to write! After learning the history of the name, I certainly agree that it is not only appropopriate, but it is FUN! And can I just say - 50 GOBLETS OF CHOCOLATE IN ONE DAY? That fellow needed more self control! :)

    I think you are correct that the truffles we ate were a bit chilly. I will make sure the next ones we gobble down are not, and the American Idol will be next on my list to try (we are going home, where the truffle box is, soon!).

    Thanks again for taking time to comment. Congratulations on your amazing deal with Trader Joe's. And HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON to you.

    - Susan

  3. Hi Susan
    I only just thought to check back on your blog to see if you had seen my comment so sorry for the delay. But thanks for your reply! I hope you have now tried a few more truffles and been able to enjoy them.
    All the best to you for a wonderful holiday.

  4. I was inside a Trader Joe's store looking around when I noticed Montezuma's CHOCOLATE Truffle Collection. I was drawn by the simple but elegant package of the product. I thought to myself, "Hm... this could be a nice Christmas gift for a chocolate lover like myself." So, I purchased one and already had someone in mind to give it to as a gift. Just two days ago I asked myself, "Why don't I first try how this truffle collection really tastes? If they were good, I would have a reason to buy another package or two to give to as gift(s)." So, I opened the package and the contents were truly delicious! Yes, the name of 'Montezuma' is a turn-off for me. However, the taste of the chocolate collection is truly fine one.

    1. I totally agree - the packaging is very attractive! Makes a swell gift.