My gym is directly next door to Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market, which is especially convenient when I’ve forgotten an ingredient I need for dinner. Although it doesn’t happen very often, it is nice to be able to just pop next door, especially since the grocery store right around the corner from my house has gone out of business.
The only downside to Fresh Thyme is that no matter what time of day I go in that building, there is always a line at the checkout and it moves exceedingly slowly. While it does make me uncomfortable, as I am usually still sweating a bit from my workout (and I hate being smelly in public), it also gives me more than enough time to check out all the impulse buys by the register.
On a recent trip to grab the cauliflower I’d forgotten at Kroger that same morning, I was stuck behind a family who only had a few items to scan, but a lot of questions for the cashier about the prices of their items. Luckily, a few pieces of brightly colored cellophane caught my eye: I spied chocolate.
In a tiny plastic container were individual treats from Sanders Candy. I’d never heard of this company before, so I figured my overly long wait was a sign from the cocoa gods that there was a possible treasure to be discovered. I grabbed one of each chocolate to take home.
First up was the Chocolate Pecan Tortie…in other words…a turtle. My step-mom used to be absolutely crazy about any brand of turtle. Yes, I realize that technically there is only one turtle brand of turtle, but it’s pretty much a universal term for anything chocolate, caramel and pecan that comes in a small, turtle-like shaped lump. In fact, when I was first learning to make my own chocolates, I learned how to make turtles just for her (they are amazingly simple). While everyone else in my family got a box of assorted truffles and filled candies I made, she got a box of nothing but turtles and was thrilled.
Sanders’ turtle is pretty much what you expect out of a turtle. Chocolaty, chewy and a bit crunchy. The pecans were actually fairly small, so there was just enough to get stuck in my teeth with the caramel, but not quite enough to really give it a truly nutty taste. It was a perfectly ok turtle, but nothing to write home about. Turtles have never really been one of my favorite chocolate treats, but I like them just fine. And I’d say that’s what this one was…just fine.
Next up was the Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel. Sea salt caramels are an absolute favorite of mine, which is why I saved this one for last. What can I say? I’m a save the best for last kind of gal. At first glance, I didn’t see any sea salt on this chocolate at all, which was rather annoying as the picture on the package shows a few dozen shiny pieces of salt on top of the candy. It was only after I took a bite that I saw a few grains. I generally like my sea salt caramel to have a heavier dose of salt. I don’t want it to be potato chip salty, but at least enough so that every bite has a bite to it and I truly get to experience the sweet and salty.
It was chocolaty and chewy and had just a tiny hint of sea salt, but once again, it was just fine. There is nothing wrong with fine chocolate. I’d take either one of these pieces over a plain ol’ Hershey bar any day. If a student gave them to me as a gift or I got them in my Christmas stocking, I’d eat them and be ok with them. I just wouldn’t seek either of them out again. They were too much like so many other company’s versions that nothing about them stood out.
Value: 4/10 (Each piece was about .75).