Chris Tuthill Review: Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate
and Ghirardelli’s Peppermint Bark

Review by Chris Tuthill: I’d never had sipping chocolate before trying this tin from Trader Joe’s. To my ears, even the name — ‘sipping chocolate’– sounded amusing and a bit decadent. It’s nothing like the chocolate drinks most Americans like me grew up with— it’s sweet but not nearly as sweet as the hot chocolate or Bosco syrup you might find in the grocery store. Mix a scoop of this with hot milk, and you feel almost like you’re drinking a smooth, melted bar of dark chocolate. It’s not bitter the way some dark chocolates can be, but creamy and a bit heavy, though you could also mix it with water to make the effect more like hot chocolate. It’s a rich indulgence, but for a cold winter’s night this is the perfect remedy. Add a little anisette to your cup and you’ll soon banish the chill of winter.

Ghirardelli makes delicious chocolate, with something for every palate in their many flavors. The Dark Twilight Delight 72% cacao bar, is smooth, dark, and just sweet enough for me without overpowering the cocoa. This makes for a really nice after dinner treat that to me tasted slightly of espresso. It doesn’t leave you feeling too guilty, as three squares of the bar is two hundred calories.

I also tried the peppermint bark, a holiday treat of a whole different kind. My young children love the sweetness and the mix of peppermint and milk chocolate. It isn’t exactly subtle the way some of Ghirardelli’s dark chocolates are, but it’s quite good, especially if you have a sweet tooth and enjoy peppermint. Unless you’re really craving sugar, for most of us these will be best enjoyed in moderation. These bars had been a seasonal offering, but Ghirardelli now seems to be selling them year-round.

You can’t go wrong with any of the Ghirardelli bars. Even if you buy one and decide it isn’t to your taste, you’re sure to find a friend or family member who will happily finish it for you.

Chris Tuthill’s work has recently appeared in The Mythic Circle, A Companion to JRR Tolkien, and Dark Tales From Elder Regions, among other venues. Chris is a librarian who lives in Poughkeepsie, New York with his wife and two children.