while i was in california, i noticed an abundance of stores called “trader joe’s“. we do not have any of these stores around here, but i had heard of them from The Best Candy Blog on the Intarwebz™, Candy Blog. candy blog has reviewed countless millions (well, i’m sure one could count, but i’m not going to) of candy products produced by trader joe’s, and with each new review, i have gotten more and more pissed that i don’t have access to these candies. so i jumped at the chance to sample their goods.

trader joe’s is basically a super-yuppie, hipster, green, organic, fight-the-man-or-at-least-look-cool-thinking-you-are type grocery store. kinda like whole foods or fresh market. i felt a little douchey being there, but i also felt like i was hot shit. and maybe i was, just for that day. maybe i was.

anyway, they make a good deal of their own products, which is pretty awesome, and a lot of the cool stuff they make is candy. chocolates, specifically. they have a whole bunch of different types of chocolate covered crap, chocolate infused shit, and edible chocolate feces. it was exciting walking down their “some chocolate stuff” aisle, and trying to decide just what i would try. after all, this is likely to be the last time for a long time i get anything from trader joe’s (their business model supports child slavery*, and i can only fund that so much before i start to feel awful about myself). so i just grabbed a couple items i thought sounded tasty, purchased them from an overly-chatty cashier, and headed out.

trader joe candies

behold! my treasures. this is what i ended up getting: dark chocolate covered mint creams, and “s’mashing s’mores”. so exciting! i got in the car and immediately tried them (no cell phones allowed while driving in california, but i’ll be damned if they take away my right to eat rather than pay attention to the road!).

dark chocolate mint creams

the dark chocolate mints were up first. the chocolate itself was quite nice; a little more rich than the standard dark chocolate you might get from lesser companies who don’t care about you, and thick enough around the insides that it was not just a shell, but a big part of of the candy experience. the mint inside was good, but not quite what i was hoping for. honestly, based on the size alone, i was expecting something almost liquid, along the lines of a junior mint (really, like “cream” might imply). instead, as you can see, the insides were more like what you’d get inside a york peppermint patty. it had a solid mint flavor, but was nothing too spectacular. honestly, i prefer the generic taste you get with either the york or the junior mints, but that’s probably because i’m so used to them. these weren’t bad, but i probably wouldn’t buy them again (instead picking up something else covered in chocolate).

s'mashing s'mores

but these… the s’mashing s’mores… my god. after my first bite of these, i pulled the car off the side of the busy freeway (causing a traffic jam within the traffic jam i was already in) and just wept. i wept, for in that moment i knew there was a god, and his name was joe. these chocolates were magnificent! the perfect amount of marshmallow to graham cracker to chocolate ratio. it was like biting into a s’more nostalgia bomb. the marshmallow was perfect, and i love marshmallow. it was fluffy and light, with a bit of pull. the graham cracker was everything it needed to be without being overpowering. not the greatest graham cracker i’ve ever had, but it did what it was supposed to. the chocolate was decadent. trader joe’s knows chocolate. it was like something you’d find at an independent chocolatier. i’m surprised that i’ve never had anything quite like this before… it seems like a simple enough idea. anyway, if i ever had it from some other source, i doubt it would measure up. this was perfect.

as an added bonus, the packaging recommends “for a traditional s’more treat, place s’mores in microwave for 4 to 6 seconds.” this seemed stupid to me, guessing the chocolate would get all melty and ruin everything, but i decided to try it out anyway, and i was delighted to find that not only was it not long enough for the chocolate to start to melt at all, but it was the perfect amount of time for the marshmallow to get all excited and puffy. in fact, it had started to escape out a small hole in the chocolate, like a little balloon blowing its way out of a box. the marshmallow was just warm enough that as i ate it, the chocolate started to melt in my mouth. it was seriously like eating a s’more. i would have done it more if i hadn’t already eaten the rest of the little treats.

you can’t order trader joe’s products online, you have to go directly to their stores, so this is a rare treat. but if you find yourself near one, stop by and pick up these s’more things. they are almost worth the trip to athens, georgia.

*trader joe’s does not support child slavery in any way. that i know of…