March 19, 2012 - Fearlessly Archived - Still a fun read, price & availability may have changed.
The venerable almond is a force to be reckoned with, no matter how it’s presented. Whether raw or roasted, bare or salted, the almond scores points for flavor, texture and even nutritional excellence.
Perhaps, then, it is hubris to assume we can improve on the amazing almond. But assume we did, and achieve we have. Trader Joe’s Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds start as California-grown dry roasted almonds. We drench them in luxurious dark chocolate, and then gild the lily – just a bit – by dusting the chocolate with turbinado sugar (often called “raw” sugar, turbinado crystals are larger and darker than white sugar) and coarse sea salt produced from the natural evaporation of San Francisco Bay seawater. The almonds are crunchy; the chocolate is creamy; and the sugar and the salt add tantalizing coarseness that tickles the tongue. Each almond is bite-sized, and each bite is an explosion of flavor and texture in your mouth. A single serving is 13 almonds for 210 calories, giving you plenty of opportunity to indulge, without really being too indulgent. And our price isn’t indulgent at all. We’re selling each 10 ounce tub (about seven servings) for $3.99.
Culinary Curiosity: There are several types of large-crystal, “raw” sugars that are less processed than refined “white” sugar. We use Turbinado here. Its name comes from the centrifuges, or turbines, in which the evaporated sugar cane “juice” is spun to dry.
The Candy Dish: It’s believed that almonds were a favorite of the Romans, and that their sugared almonds may have been among the first sweetmeats in history!