Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Trader Joe's Chili Chocolate Collection
I think that this is probably a seasonal Christmas item. There's nothing overtly Christmas-y about it, but TJ's tends to bring out a slew of products at Christmas that make good gifts, and they disappear soon after. I bought it shortly before Christmas, but didn't get around to sampling it until last week.
There are four different chocolates here, each repeated four times. In order of what the box says is the order from mildest to spiciest:
Milk chocolate guajillo
Habanero milk chocolate
But Nina and I found that the actual order of heat intensity bore no resemblance to this claim, and I confirmed that impression again just now with another run through the four. We found the hottest one by far to be the jalapeno ganache (with the green chili design). The burn is a bit too intense for my taste.
The real standout is the chili lime, though it's the mildest of the bunch. I would never have imagined that chili, chocolate, lime, and caramel would work well together, but they do! They ought to sell this one as a separate treat--maybe even make it into an ice cream or something.
The milk chocolate guajillo suffers from being a milk chocolate, which just doesn't work well with the chili. This is the only one of the four that is a solid chocolate, rather than filled.
The habanero is also a milk chocolate, but it's not as noticeably deficient as the guajillo because of the addition of a dark chocolate ganache.
Will I buy it again?
No--except maybe as a gift to somebody who I thought might enjoy the taste test. This is definitely in the "once is enough" category. But you really should try it that once. They're likely to be chocolates unlike any you've had before.