Thursday, December 15, 2016

Chocolate Chai and Almond Bar

I snagged this product at the Annapolis, Maryland store.  I think it was made in Maryland – a kind Trader Joe’s employee was helping me hunt around the store to find some local products to try and, though the packaging doesn’t SAY this is made in the area, he thought he had been told it was.  So in my cart it went! 

The ingredients list a spice blend of cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom.  My take on it:  it is TOO BIG for what it is.  If it was 1/3 of the size it would be a better product.  It is TOO THICK – it is not a chocolate bar you could just sit down and munch on.  And trust me, we munch on some chocolate bars (big non-American ones – Lindt and the like), but this Chocolate Chai Almond Bar one just didn’t do it for me.  This puppy is bigger than a Ritter Sport bar!  It is more like a hunk of BAKING CHOCOLATE (David correctly my language here and said it is not a HUNK, but rather a SLAB). 

See, it LOOKS good, doesn't it??
The packaging says it is milk and dark chocolate – but sadly the dark chocolate functions more as a decoration than a taste.  The best part in my opinion are the almonds, which are big hunks (slabs?) of almonds – like half almonds, as opposed to other chocolates that put in slivers of nuts.  Overall – the bar is just TOO THICK.  The chai taste is also too strong, as is the cinnamon.  Everything is competing for my taste buds and nothing ends up winning with this product.  The outer packaging is cool – it is a funky looking recycled cardboard looking cover, but inside of that is just a simple plastic bag (with the slab o’ chocolate).  I think this is Trader Joe’s attempt at making a good, artisanal, fancy chocolate.  But sadly, the attempt does not succeed.  I would give this product a 2.5.

It's new, but it is not tasty
David:  “When I first bit into this it tasted a bit like a gingerbread boy cookie.  I agree with Susan’s review above  – all of the specifics she mentioned are precisely correct.  I would say that the chocolate tastes like really good quality chocolate, but the CONCEPT itself…  The chai-ness…  And it is a bit GRITTY in the chai-ness, which is not good.  The almonds are great, and like I said the chocolate itself seems to be good.  But I am not a fan.  I will give this a 2.0.”  (Editor’s note: this is a shockingly low score from David for a chocolate bar.  He loves most any chocolate, but apparently not this chocolate…)

Never have I seen David less excited about chocolate.  Never.
When you see this on the shelf, you think it is going to be something special.  It is new!  It looks like it should special!  You think, “Oh, this would be a nice stocking stuffer!” or, “This would be a sweet gift for Larry in Accounting!”.  But don’t.  Don’t gift it.  Or be like David, who says, “YES!  Give it to someone!  That way YOU don’t have to eat it!”.  It looks like something special, but it is not.  It is not worth the calories, let alone the price.  The serving size listed is a third of a bar, but you would have to be a big ass person to get through a 1/3 chunk of that slab!  Plus, you would have to not have a lot of taste buds…

Give presents, for goodness sake GIVE PRESENTS!  Just don't give
We do not take many things back to TJ’s, really we don’t.  But we took THIS one back.  I think more than getting your 3 bucks back, it is worth returning it to “vote” and let Trader Joe’s know that this one is not a winner.  I am glad the guy showed it to me, and I guess I am glad I tasted it, if only to let you know not to buy it for anyone on your holiday list.  (And if you have already bought it and wrapped it, well, I hope you don’t really like whoever you are giving it to…)

Price:  $2.99

Rating:  2.25

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