As my coworkers can attest, I am a big fan of Trader Joe’s cocoa-covered almonds. So, on a recent trip to the store, I decided to branch out into their other chocolate/almond combinations, and bought a package of chocolate-almond clusters and a package of almonds covered with chocolate, sugar, and salt.

The former were quite yummy, in a relatively uncomplicated way. The latter, though, were different in a somewhat interesting way, but not really what I wanted to snack on for dessert.

After a few weeks, though, it turns out that I was taking the wrong approach to the latter. You see, we keep the Trader Joe’s plastic containers of chocolate (as opposed to the bars of chocolate) in the shelf on the cabinet where the garlic lives. So whenever we cook a meal involving garlic (in other words, whenever we cook a meal), we temporarily put the chocolate on the counter. (Digression: have I mentioned here my notion that any food goes well with either chocolate or garlic? And a quiz for my readers, what foods go well with both?) At which point we, of course, snack on the chocolate.

Which works well with a wide range of chocolates (including the cocoa-covered almonds that started this all off; a great time for Milk Pail dutch mints, too!), but in particular the chocolate-sugar-salt covered almonds turn out to be just the thing to snack on while, say, preparing some sort of garlic-laden pasta dish. The salt is just the thing to tie the chocolate to the other aromas that are wafting through the kitchen, to balance against the other bits of ingredients that you’re nibbling on while cooking.

I’m still waiting to find the right time for their chocolate-covered crystallized ginger, though. I think it might actually work fine as a dessert for some people, I just don’t like crystallized ginger enough…

(Hmm, have I posted the recipe for ginger chicken from the Elephant Walk? I should do so. But does anybody read those recipe posts? Not that that normally stops me…)

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