Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Nutty Bits: "Not too sweet," he said.

I knew as soon as he said it that I was in trouble.

“Yeah, they’re good – not too sweet,” the cashier at Trader Joe’s told me, as he dropped the bag of Dark Chocolate Nutty Bits into my Hawaiian grocery tote.

I cringed. Right. Not too sweet.

I’d bought the bag of Nutty Bits, made of crunchy nuts, dark chocolate and Fleur de Sel, on an impulse – hoping the new TJ’s product might be similar to the dark chocolate sea salt and turbinado sugar almonds that I’ve been gorging on lately.

How could I go wrong? I thought. Crunchy nuts – good. Dark chocolate – good. Fleur de Sel – like sunshine on a rainy day.

It seemed like a sure winner – a gem to be horded in my work desk drawer, to be hidden from my roommates, and to be devoured with reckless abandon behind closed doors.

Until, of course, he said the words, “not too sweet.”

I wanted to cry foul – “But that’s the point of dessert – to be sweet!” – and chuck the Nutty Bits across the store in a mini-tantrum.

Instead, I nodded politely, paid for my purchases and went home, grumbling the whole way.

“Dessert that’s not too sweet – hah! That’s like wanting peanut butter that’s not too nutty!” I chortled to no one in particular.

Despite my skepticism about my purchase, I still opted to give it the good ole “Diana Takes a Bite” try later that day. I’m an optimist like that. I like to give all chocolate a fair shake (except for generic brands – shudder!).

Just as I suspected, however, the Nutty Bits tasted more like snack food than sweet food. The crunchy nuts were indeed crunchy, but needed additional caramelization (or just caramel) to eradicate their more virtuous qualities. The 60% cacoa dark chocolate coating was fine, but I would have appreciated a thicker and more uniform application of that and the seemingly nonexistent Fleur de Sel.

Even so, I managed to polish off all 6 servings (serving size is 3 pieces for 190 calories and 14 grams of fat), over the course of the coming weeks by treating them like a semi-naughty snack rather than a dessert. Probably not the best idea since my last “snack” totaled up to 7 pieces.

Maybe 8…

(I lost count after 4.)

I’m considering it an important life lesson – stick to dessert items that provoke sugar coma, not reckless snacking.


Gastronomer said...

You can sorta kinda tell from the packaging that the insides will be snack-y. Stick to treats in plastic tubs and fancy boxes for ultimate sweets satisfaction ;-)

Anna A. said...

"I chortled to no one in particular" ... I do that sometime too, but never thought of it as chortling! Great dinner time vocabulary. I may have to bust it out with the Significant Mother this weekend.

Esi said...

LOL, you crack me up with your sweets. You must be at TJs all the time looking for their new goods. I haven't seen these, but this girl who prefers her sweets not too sweet would probably love them.

Jenn said...

It's hard to resist just one or maybe 4 sometimes. I would have done the same thing, if I had a bag of those. It really tempting right now as I live so close to TJ's.

Diana said...

Cathy - I know. I should have known. Gosh darn my faulty Trader Joe's instincts! Next time I'm going straight for the tubs. :)

Anna - Chortling is the best! I highly recommend it. Especially in the car.

Esi - I know, I'm ridiculous! My sweet tooth needs it's own zip code!

Jenn - Stay away!! Unless you have more self control than I do when it comes to nuts and chocolate in combination form!

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

why do you continue to introduce me to delicious addictive snacks! damn you diana my muffin top does not like you right now =). you are my go to goodie goddess

Laurie said...

dude, i love those sea salt/turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds. they're everything that's good and right about the world, bite-sized.

Food, she thought. said...


D said...

I'm online trying to find this product for purchase. There is NO Trade Joe's in the state I live in and this product is not available on-line. BooHOO!!!! I love this healthy snack food. LOve, love, healthy, healthy!!!!!!!!!
What to do???????????

Your WebGirl said...

These are so good. I just tried them, I was looking for a not so sweet snack and I want to eat the whole bag but I'm watchin my carbs. What else is good at TJ's for snacks?

Your WebGirl said...

D email me at mangoscloset at gmail dot com. I would be happy to ship you some out.

Daniel Axelrod said...

These are plenty sweet for me and great for a treat. I think these are exceptional and unfortunately very, very addictive.