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I bought this to have on hand as a gift in case of need… and never gave it. (It was delicious.) I have to avoid Trader Joe’s because the store is so full of treats I can’t resist. Like chocolate covered berries or chocolate covered raspberry jellies or chocolate covered pretzels. For the price, the quality of their sweets is incredibly good.


The “Chocolate Passport” was particularly irresistible to me because it’s shaped like a tiny library in a slipcase. I was a goner the minute I spotted it.


I’ve not developed the sort of chocolate palate that can detect “terroir,” but TJ’s makes a big production of comparing the chocolates to wines and suggesting beverage pairings. The Ecuadoran chocolate, for example, has a “deep aroma with floral and fruit notes” and the suggested pairing is Mocha. The Peruvian bar is “well rounded with subtle jasmine notes and a clean finish.” To drink, they recommend Cabernet Sauvignon.


I have never found chocolate and red wine to be a good match (they say Banyuls is good, but I’ve not tried it). The most I ever do as far as a beverage pairing with chocolate is Jameson’s or perhaps a drop of Rémy Martin VSOP. In terms of the chocolate itself, I was not able to detect fruits and flowers the way I can with wine, but I did enjoy the varying balance of sweetness and acidity in each bar, which is indeed reminiscent of wine.