Saturday, July 9, 2011


I love bittersweet chocolate! I'm not a big chocoholic, but I do love me some Hershey's Special Dark candy bars. When I do take candy in my grooming lunchbox, it's either M&Ms Peanut, Butterfinger Crisp, or Hershey's Special Dark bars.

A couple of summers back, I discovered a perfect dark chocolate snack at Trader Joe's. These were little graham cracker squares dipped in dark chocolate. The small, one inch by one inch grahams with the dark chocolate coat were perfect, nearly guilt-free snacks...until Trader Joe's didn't stock them anymore. Looking for a back-up plan, I found another favorite snack was also missing in action.

These yummies were orange or raspberry jellies dipped in dark chocolate. I inquired of the TJ's employee stocking the TJ's sweets: "Where's the Rasperry and Orange Chocolate Logs?" He replied that the latest price increase was more than TJ's could tolerate but "you could go to the website and comment" The chocolate covered jellies came back to TJ's about six months later...the grahams are still MIA.

As much as I miss those dark chocolate graham cracker snacks, I have found a suitable replacement. This spring, Trader Joe's introduced their Trader Joe's branded Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups!

Smaller but taller than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, these are sublimely delicious...but I still lament the loss of the Dark Chocolate Mini Grahams.

I have been lamenting another loss today...I guess it's a bittersweet moment...I intentionally did not view the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis this morning. The last manned spaceflight by NASA. I view it as an ending with a whimper not a bang. Not a happy day for a kid raised on the Space Race, and the Moon Shots. I'll refrain from going all political in this space.

To quote Forrest Gump: "and that's all I have to say about that".


  1. I went to Trader Joe's for the first time last Sunday. It was a very pleasant experience. Every upscale, middle aged, hot babe in town was sporting her summer finest, looking at each other and looking to be seen. Plenty of comely, good natured smiles in every direction.

    Oh yeah, I'll be going back.

    As for foodstuffs, Trader Joe's is packed with some outstanding delectables, but for a long time, in-the-bone persistent, second nature value shopper like me there wasn't much I was willing to fork over for. Way too pricey. Nevertheless, if you want to play you have to pay. At Trader Joe's or anywhere else.

    That said, there were a few outstanding values. Trader Joe's brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil for $5.49 a liter! I was told that is the regular price! No need to stock up! I have never paid less than $7.00 a liter for Extra Virgin, even the ubiquitous and bland Star brand or the occasional deal at the "Food Outlet".

    As you probably already know, olive oil is my one regular "extravagance". Except for occasionally using peanut oil, I cook with olive oil exclusively. Even fried chicken. People who tout high temperature oils are, as far as I am concerned, way over blown. Even for stir frying. (Sure, there is a use for them at times, but my heterodoxy comes from personal experience.) Lower the heat and olive oil works just fine, but you have to be careful. Too hot and the oil mutates into something quite horrid and foul tasting. Kinda like, burnt olive oil.

    I also scored some balsamic vinegar, unfiltered apple vinegar, and several bottles "Two Dollar Charlie" wine. The "Two Dollar Charlie" was not too bad in the glass, excellent for cooking, and just fine in a wine cooler.

    What's not to like?

  2. Sounds like your TJ's is a live one!

    Unfortunately, at the nearest Trader Joe's to the Ancestral digs, the smiling, comely babes of a certain age are MIA. As a matter of fact, SturgeUrge and I have dubbed the store "The Self-Absorption Hall Of Fame"!

    The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups still rock, though.

    I visited the CrackerTown TJ's this afternoon, much better, but still not a Mixer TJ's

    I'm a 2-oil guy, extra virgin and peanut. TJ's for the EVOO and COSTCO, Smart&Final, or Safeway on sale for the peanut.

    TJ's is really good on $3.99 chardonnays for the table.

    Did you know that 2BuckChuck is three bucks at Reno, NV's Trader Joe's? Gotta love those Sin Taxes!