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Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Bar Review

Ken Greer and Suzanne

April 21, 2014

As a confirmed chocoholic, I recently set about reading some chocolate bar reviews to see who made the cream of the crop. I was stunned to learn that among many independent reviews, that Trader Joe's own chocolate bars often beat the European brands with oft unpronounceable names. As a weekly Trader Joe's shopper, that was certainly a pleasant surprise. However, I decided to put TJ to the test and run my own review - this time reviewing all the chocolate bars that Trader Joe's sells.

As a Vegan, only dark (dairy free) chocolate bars were considered. But no self-respecting chocolate lover would ever even consider going near milk chocolate, anyway.

Armed with 7 bars and fellow choco-fiend, Suzanne, here are our results.

Disclaimer: Ratings are relative to only those TJ bars reviewed below, not all chocolate bars on the planet earth.

Rank Comments Bar Price * Rating

Smooth, velvety, and not overly sweet. It has a hint of fruitiness, although no fruit is listed on the package.

According to Suzanne, within this grouping, if this chocolate bar were an instrument, it would clearly be a Stradivarius Violin. Although this was both reviewers absolute favorite, unfortunately it's not Organic Fair Trade. So if that's an important criteria for you, as it is for us, proceed to #2. If we're going solely for flavor, this one is by far the best.

$1.49 A+
2 Sweeter than 1st place but very intense chocolate flavor. Surprised that a 72% would be #2. Awesome that it's Fair Trade and Organic. If your conscience or dietary consideration precludes #1, this is your bar. $1.99 A-
3 A good chocolate with an intense chocolate flavor. Organic, which is nice, and a little sweeter than #1 and #2. $1.99 B
4 Nice and smooth and good chocolate flavor. Surprisingly lower on the list for an 85% cacao. $2.99 B
5 If you like milk chocolate and want to branch out to dark, try me. I know I'd taste better if I were Organic. $2.29 C+
6 Big shocker. Usually Valrhona comes in higher on the food chain. Ranking among these other bars, our discerning tasters felt it lacked appeal. $2.99 C
7 A decent every day chocolate. Convenient small bars to pack in a lunch. You can eat an entire single bar without too much guilt. $1.79
(3 mini-bars)

* Retail price at Trader Joe's, Los Altos, California, April 19, 2014. All bars 3.5 oz. except items #7, a 3 mini-bar pack, which totals 5 oz.