Trader Joe’s recently released two new chocolate products that left a lot of people scratching their heads. What kind of chocolate product is in a round container? What was it? pieces of chocolate? Was it sticks of chocolate? People were confused until they opened up the tube and started pulling them out. Rondos? It’s a play on words for Round and as far as I know, has nothing to do with soccer or music.
Once you opened the tube, the mystery was solved. They are discs of chocolate, separated by round pieces of paper so they don’t stick together. In the case of the dark chocolate ones with the dried fruit, it keeps the fruit topping from falling off. A very ingenious packing solution for these chocolates.
This review is dealing with two products at once:
- Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Rondos Sprinkled with Raspberry & Strawberry & Tart Cherry
- Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Rondos with Caramelized Pecan Crunch
Trader Joe’s went kind of retro ec0-friendly with the packaging. The tube containers look like it’s 100% press cardboard type paper so I think you can throw the whole thing in the recycling bin and not worry about plastics. The muted colors have an earthy vibe. The dark chocolate Rondos have a red/black scheme on a brown paper background, while the milk chocolate Rondos have an orange/dark brown on brown paper. I applaud Trader Joe’s for using less plastic.
If you didn’t realize, the chocolate comes in a disc shape, and in the tube, they are separated by white pieces of ribbed paper.
Let me split the two products and write about each separately:
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Rondos Sprinkled with Raspberry & Strawberry & Tart Cherry
I am a sucker for dark chocolate and dried fruit. I think it’s a match made in heaven. When I was growing up we lived in Germany when I was a teenager (my father was working for the military) and we would take frequent trips to other countries. Not that Germany doesn’t have a long and deep chocolate history, but Belgium is next level. We were on a day trip to Brussels and I just remember the chocolate shops in downtown. I think it was the first time I had some real high quality dark chocolate. It was mind blowing.
For this product, they took a very interesting path. They sprinkled the dried fruit, that has been crushed up into tiny bits, on one side of the chocolate disk. It makes for a very stunning visual presentation. Also, I found out later is if you put the fruit side down on your tongue, you get an instant burst of the tart dried fruit flavors and it quickly melds with the dark chocolate as you chew. I a hooked for life!
Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Rondos with Caramelized Pecan Crunch
I am a chocolate lover no matter what and this product is made out of milk chocolate. This one has a little different take on the product. While they are in the same disk shape as the dark chocolate Rondos, they don’t have that sprinkling of yumminess on one side. The caramelized pecan crunch is in the Rondo chocolate and in my opinion gets lost. Eating them, you do hit the crunch in the Rondo but it’s not very interesting. If they could’ve put the pecan crunch on the outside surface, like the dark chocolate Rondos. The milk chocolate, while high quality, is just milk chocolate and with all milk chocolate, it’s a step down in flavor from the dark chocolate ones.
I am a dark chocolate lover, so it’s probably no surprise that I would pick the dark chocolate over the milk chocolate. It was a surprising treat to have the dried fruit on the outside awakening your taste buds as you eat it. I was disappointed in the milk chocolate Rondos in that compared to the dark chocolate ones, they really lacked flavor. Each disk has about 110 calories each and there are 10 in each container.
- I am going to give the Trade Joe’s Dark Chocolate Rondos Sprinkled with Raspberry & Strawberry & Tart Cherry 9 out of 10 Bells!
- I am going to give the Trade Joe’s Milk Chocolate Rondos with Caramelized Pecan Crunch 7 out of 10 Bells!
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Rondos Sprinkled with Raspberry & Strawberry & Tart Cherry
- DARK CHOCOLATE (UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE, SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR)
- FREEZE DRIED TART CHERRIES
- FREEZE DRIED RASPBERRIES
- FREEZE DRIED STRAWBERRIES
- MAY CONTAIN MILK, SOY, ALMOND, CASHEW, HAZELNUT, PECAN, PISTACHIO.
Ingredients Milk Chocolate Rondos with Caramelized Pecan Crunch
- MILK CHOCOLATE (CANE SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, MILK POWDER, UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN [EMULSIFIER] NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR)
- CARAMELIZED SUGAR (GLUCOSE SYRUP [WHEAT], SUGAR, BAKING SODA).
- CONTAINS MILK, WHEAT, PECAN.
- MAY CONTAIN SOY, ALMOND, CASHEW, HAZELNUT, PISTACHIO.