Dark Chocolate Honey Mints - Trader Joe's
More stuff leftover from my Trader Joe's podcast haul? Yup, but I'm 99% sure this is the very last item! (Okay, maybe I'm only 75% sure, but that's because I didn't feel like digging through my giant food hoarding pile to double check.)
It took me a few months to get here, but you know what? Pretty much every product I reviewed was a winner, so it was totally worth it. These mints combine three of my favorite things, so I figured this should be a really good note to end on. (But you never know!)
This design seems a little off to me, but it's still pretty nice for a Trader Joe's product. Color-wise it plays off the three simple ingredients used to make the candy, brown = chocolate, blue = mint, and yellow = honey. The simplicity reflects the product, and the minty blue color contrasts nicely with the warmer shades to create more visual interest. I also like the little bee-themed illustrations, but these typefaces really bother me for some reason. The scripty font on the back looks generic and it's a little too thick which makes it harder to read than it should be. On the other hand, I actually like the the typefaces on the front of the bag. This is all me being nit-picky. It's really not a bad overall design and for a Trader Joe's product, it looks pretty good.
Inside the bag are little hockey-puck mint patties individually wrapped in a lovely blue foil. Foil wrapped sweets are hard to come by these days, so when you get one it feels extra special and nostalgic.
Unwrapped, the dark chocolate is incredibly shiny! Almost as if they were made of plastic! How did they get them to look so freaking perfect looking? York Peppermint Patties are made using a soft, but solid, mint patty core that gets coated in chocolate. These Trader Joe's mint's aren't made that way. These are molded, so I'm guessing the center inside isn't a crumbly flavored fondant, like York, these might be more runny, like a cherry cordial.
I took a bite, and yup! They're runny alright! (But thankfully not runny enough to make my photo set-up a complete mess from this bite-shot.) The consistency of the inner mint-honey filling is like a really really soft caramel. It's stiff enough to give you a little pull when you bite it, but it's incredibly soft and melts quickly in your mouth, and it tastes amazing! The filling is sweet, with a strong peppermint tingle. I think these are a bit more intense and minty than your usual peppermint chocolate, but it's not Altoids-level strong. After I ate one or two my mouth felt really refreshed and clean, almost like I had eaten a breath mint. Which was awesome. I absolutely love the filling, but the chocolate outside is very dark, bitter, and I'm pretty sure it's completely unsweetened. I love bitter dark chocolate, but this coating was more intense than what I'm used to. (And that's saying something! I usually go for 70% or above!) When you eat the patty in one bite, the sweet filling helps to balance out the bitter coating, and it works very nicely as a candy. So my sister, who eats her candy like a normal human being, really loved these. Me? I'm a nibbler, so I usually like to nibble the outside and then eat the core portion of the chocolate last, and this coating just didn't work with my usual-unusual eating habit. I still liked these, but I was no where near as crazy about them as my sister.
If you love minty sweets, and you're looking for a simple candy with very few ingredients, this is really awesome stuff. The only hangup is that you need to love dark chocolate, since I don't think Trader Joe's offers these in a milk-variety. Still, this was another awesome candy from this cult favorite grocery store, and (other than the jelly beans) I think I would repurchase every single items I reviewed for the podcast recording!