Fireworks Chocolate Bar - Trader Joe's
For the record, I hate Katy Perry, but I love JonTron, so here's your obligatory Fireworks reference. Now that we've got that out of the way...
The first time I grabbed this chocolate bar was back when we were recording our Trader Joe's themed episode of Candyology 101 with the awesome foodies from What's Good at Trader Joe's. I did a lot of "homework" for that episode, which meant buying a TON of Trader Joe's sweets to eat and discuss, but I may have gone a little overboard... I bought way too much and I needed to consume it faster than I could blog about it! Some of those candies were good enough to warrant repurchase and their own write-ups, so I grabbed this today because it seems oh-so appropriate for the upcoming Valentine's Day season. (Dammit, now I have Firework stuck in my head. At least Jon does it better.)
The packaging for this candy bar is simple, functional, and really well done. (I'm complimenting another packaging design from Trader Joe's? What's happening? Did hell freeze over?) Seriously, I've spent the last two years picking on their oddly anachronistic designs, but this Trader Joe's design works. It's made of heat-sealed plastic and it features a bold red backdrop with a vintage illustration and silver accents. Looking at this makes me irrationally happy for some reason, and I like that they didn't go for an obvious firework-y design on the front of the packaging and stuck with the stars instead. (The back has a vintage illustration with a firework-like sparkler, and I feel like that looks kind of cheesy and unnecessary when compared to the design on the front.) We've got fun imagery, bold colors, and modern typefaces, but the candy bar itself is pretty interesting too.
This bar gets it's name from the popping candy and chili powder that's been mixed into the dark chocolate. Now, I'm a fan of spicy chocolate, because I feel like it adds a lot to the overall flavoring and creates an entirely new experience, but popping candy? That's just a gimmick, right?
The chocolate has a great snap and it starts melting in your mouth right away, and even though it's a little sweeter than I like my dark chocolate, the chili powder's heat starts building up to quickly to balance that sweetness out. Then the popping candy kicks in and intensifies the overall spiciness while adding a fun novelty "firework" mouth-feel. I love this! It's incredibly satisfying. I get sweet, spicy, crunchy, and creamy all at once!
Trader Joe's Fireworks bar is made with quality ingredients and it goes above and beyond it's novelty aspect to deliver a truly unique and satisfying snacking experience. However, this bar might not be for everyone. It has some medium-level heat that hits the back of your throat and the sides of your tongue, which I love, but those of you who can't tolerate any type of spicy food (like my mother) would likely hate this bar. (Even though I would say this is mild-to-medium-level heat at most.) If you're looking for something different to give to your spice-loving-sweetheart next month, this is it!