Tag Archives: Kroger

Chocolate Monday: Green & Black’s almond bar

Green & Black almondOnce again, my local Kroger had a coupon for chocolate. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it makes me blissfully happy. This time around, it was for Green & Black’s almond bar.

I’ve never tried any chocolate from Green & Black’s before, so this was a fun new venture for me.

The wrapper is nothing spectacular to look at and neither is the bar itself. They are sort of calm, sedated pieces that I probably would have glanced right over had I not had the coupon. Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for good packaging, especially if it includes pictures of the delicious fillings inside chocolate bars–specifically caramel or fruit. I love packaging for a cherry chocolate bar that has a bright ripe cherry on the front.

But, as George Michael reminded us, “sometimes the clothes do not make the man”–I may have just watched Pitch Perfect 3 this past week. And in this case, the “clothes” wrapper doesn’t speak for the chocolate itself.

The wrapper may be plain, but the chocolate is actually pretty good. The chocolate is nice and creamy without even a hint of bitterness to it. And, it is filled with giant almonds. We’re not talking about almond chips or sliced almonds, but full, big ol’ daddy almonds which add a satisfying crunch to the bar.

Green & Black almond close upIt’s not often that that I grab a chocolate bar with almonds because I generally like my chocolate a little more adventurous. Whenever I think of a chocolate bar with almonds, I get images of my grandmother eating her old standby: Hershey’s with almonds. And while they were fine when there was nothing else to munch on, I always wanted something with a bit more panache.

Green & Black’s bar is simple. It’s not fancy. There are no whistles or bells, but it’s still pretty tasty. And, it’s Fair Trade chocolate, which always makes me feel better about my impact on our world. While this bar is not something I’d buy every day, but when I need to get back to the basics, it’ll be worth another try.


Taste: 7/10
Appearance: 5/10
Value: 6/10 (at $3.25 a bar it’s a bit more expensive than a Hershey, but it’s organic and Fair Trade)


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Chocolate Monday: Hershey’s Gold Peanuts & Pretzels

Hershey's gold barWhile dropping off my daughter’s prescription at our local Kroger, I noticed a new candy display. It looked like a Hershey wrapper, but was a strange cream color I am not used to associating with Hershey’s. Low and behold, it was a brand new type: Hershey’s Gold. It claims to be a caramelized creme, which I’ve never really heard of, so I had to try it. Plus, it has peanuts in it, which is a big plus. Peanuts have always been one of my absolute favorite snack foods.

This bar also boasts pretzels and while I am not usually a huge fan of chocolate covered pretzels, when I was in college I worked at a knock off Hallmark store and we sold these amazing white chocolate pretzel candies that were very pointy and “cluster” looking, but that tasted like creamy dreamy heaven. Even though this bar claimed to be caramel and not white chocolate, I thought it might be similar, so I gave in.

Hershey's Gold pieceIf you’re looking for a strong caramel flavor, this isn’t the bar for you. It has caramel hints at best. And really, it just sort of has a milky, creamy, buttery flavor. It’s not really distinctly anything–except salty.

The salty, which comes mostly from the pretzels is not so overwhelming as to make it inedible, but it is strongly there. It kept catching me in the back of my mouth as I finished up each bite. The peanut bits combined with the pretzels add a nice crunch the bar, but not tons of peanuty flavor.

Aside from the pretzel (and again, the salt), none of the flavors really stand out. It’s just sort of a sweet and salty hodge podge. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised at the back touts that “sweet meets salty, creamy meets crunchy.” And really, that is the best way to describe the bar. A sort of nondescript sweet and salty flavor. It’s not bad, but I find it a bit unsettling that I can’t describe it any better.


Taste: 4/10
Appearance: 5/10 (I find the color a bit unsettling too)
Value: 4/10 (it was more expensive than its regular Hershey brethren, which I also find unsettling).

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Chocolate Monday: Reese’s Crunchy cups

Reese's crunchy tower.jpgLast weekend when I was at Kroger doing my weekly grocery shopping, I happened down the candy aisle. This is nothing new. I always go down each and every aisle in the grocery store, in part to make sure I don’t forget anything, but also because I kind of enjoy grocery shopping. I pop in my headphones, listen to an audiobook and slowly meander down the aisles, taking time to ensure that I not only get everything off my list, but that I check out all the new items that might turn into great finds.

My most recent great find was in the candy aisle, which I usually just skim over. Sure, as I’m making my way through the aisle I am always careful to scan the fancy chocolate bar section to see if there is anything new and exciting I want to try (there always is), but I very rarely actually grab anything and put it in my cart. I usually have a chocolate backlog, so grabbing something off the Kroger shelf is never a priority. However, as my eyes were glancing over some of my childhood favorites, a bright yellow wrapper caught my eye.

I have always loved all things peanuty. As a kid, whenever my mom would take me to the grocery store, I would beg her for peanuts. If I was really lucky, she’s let me get a huge scoop of peanuts ,still in the shell, from the giant barrel in the produce department. As soon as we’d get home, I’d dump some in a bowl and hurry to my room to devour them as I read a book or played with my dolls. I would slowly suck all the salt off of the shell, then crack it open to reveal those two (or sometimes three) glorious little nubs of heaven!

It is no wonder that I have always preferred crunchy peanut butter. To this day, one of my absolute favorite treats is a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter. I don’t want bread mucking up the flavor. All I need is a spoon and a jar to make me happy.

About the only way to improve the taste of crunchy peanut butter is to combine it with chocolate. Which is exactly what my beloved Reese’s used to do. When I was a kid, I remember finding Reese’s Crunchy Cups everywhere. Then, all of a sudden, they disappeared.

Last Thanksgiving, when my husband and I were visiting the Hershey’s Chocolate World in Vegas, I was amazed to find my crunchy cups again…at least in miniatures. Not that it mattered to me. I grabbed a gift bag and filled it full of the precious golden nuggets. Sadly, even though I did my utmost to eat them slowly, they were quickly gone.

Reese's crunchy bag.jpgThen on Sunday, like some bit of Halloween magic, I looked on the shelf at Kroger, and there they were: an entire bag full of Reese’s miniature crunchy cups. I snatched those off the shelf.

The miniature cups are not as good as the full-sized cups. I feel this way about the regular Reese’s cups too. As much as I love chocolate, when it comes to peanut butter and chocolate, I always want more peanut butter flavor than chocolate flavor. Unfortunately in the mini cups, the chocolate is a bit overpowering. However, the added crunch of the bits of real peanuts in the cups, does help compensate for the extra chocolate. If you love crunchy peanut butter and you haven’t tried these, they are a must.

When I found these, I took a gander at the Reese’s website and it does appear they are bringing back the regular sized crunchy cups, so next time I go to the grocery store, my hope is I will find them at the check out line. My fear is that this will be like the honey peanut butter cups they brought back over the summer…here for a very limited engagement. I am not yet holding my breath, but as they are listed on the first page of the product website, I hope this means a permanent slot on the Reese’s main line up. They are certainly better than the dark or white chocolate varieties.


Taste: 8/10
Appearance: 6/10
Value: 8/10

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Chocolate Monday: Tcho orange + toffee

Tcho orange toffee packageI am a sucker for toffee, pretty much in any form it takes. I’m also a big fan of chocolate and orange fusions. In fact one of the few ways I truly enjoy dark chocolate is if it is paired with orange or raspberry.┬áSo, when I was shopping at World Market and saw Tcho’s orange + toffee bar, I knew I had to try it.

A few years ago while thumbing through a magazine at my dentist’s office, I saw an article about Tcho chocolate. The flavors sounded amazing and I was heavy into my chocolate Monday blogs, so I pulled out my phone, used my notepad function (why I didn’t just take a picture of the magazine page still perplexes me) and wrote down the company name with the intention of finding their chocolate bars and reviewing them. For some reason, I did not follow through.

Recently I’ve noticed Tcho chocolate bars at my local Kroger. I thought about picking some up, but I already had several chocolate bars waiting to be reviewed at home, so each time I’d go down the candy aisle, I’d look wistfully at them and keep on pushing my cart. When I was at World Market though, the bright, shiny orange wrapper really grabbed my attention and caused me to pause and rethink the purchase. It wasn’t just the packaging I fell for though, the lure of toffee was just too strong.

tcho full barActually, I’m not sure if it was the pull of toffee so much as it was the giant question mark that appeared in my head when I tried to imagine why anyone would pair toffee and orange together. Toffee and chocolate I totally get. Orange and chocolate I also completely understand. But toffee, orange and chocolate? This seemed like some sort of sorcery to me. I had to try it.

My very first bite had me pleasantly surprised. Despite being a dark chocolate bar, it was not overly bitter, which is my universal complaint against most forms of dark chocolate. As I let the first bite melt onto my tongue (which it did), my mouth was flooded with the bright burst of citrus. This is definitely an orange chocolate bar. The toffee flavor is much more subtle. Actually, it’s almost non-existent. To me the only real contribution the toffee gives this bar is a tiny crunch. Still, it’s a nice crunch. It’s not overly crunchy or Pop-rocky as toffee can be when it is thrown in rather gratuitously. When I manage to separate out the toffee, I notice it has a slight buttery taste to it, which I think just balances the bitterness of the chocolate and tames the citrus just a tad.

This is definitely a bar I prefer to savor by letting it slowly dissolve on my tongue. The flavors are just brighter and more pleasurable when they melt than when they are chewed. This bar is a great introduction to Tcho and has me wanting to try more from them. I know that on Sunday when I head to Kroger to get my groceries, I’ll be adding another Tcho bar to my cart. Probably the mint chocolate one.


Appearance: 8/10
Taste: 8/10
Value: 8/10


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