Thursday, March 3, 2011

Review: Trader Joe's Fair Trade Swiss Dark Chocolate

Lindy's Rating: 5.0 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 5.0 (previously **)

chocolate maker(unknown)
barSwiss Dark
cacao trees(unknown)
size100g ~ 3.5oz
cocoa solids71%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$1.99

colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth with lines and scoring
aromasweet (brown sugar, caramel), roast (cocoa), earthy, hint of berry
tastesweet, fruit (pear), roast
finishslightly sour
Trader Joe's Fair Trade Swiss Dark Chocolate is made from 71% cocoa solids. The vanilla flavoring comes from vanilla bean pods. The wrapper has an Equitable Trade ("Fair Trade and Beyond") label on the back, but is not certified fair trade. The Equitable Trade website ( is not active. The 100 gram bar came wrapped in silver foil and was scored into pieces. The remainder of this bar (as photographed above) was given to me by my friend Phillip (thank you!)

Swiss Dark had a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color and a hard snap. The chocolate gave off aromas of sweetness in scents of brown sugar and caramel, roast in the scent of cocoa, and earthiness. There was also a hint of fruit that I think was some sort of berry.

The taste of Swiss Dark was quite sweet with a fruit flavor that we identified as pear. I also noticed a roast flavor. The chocolate melted smoothly, and when it was gone, the flavor lasted 10-15 seconds (a short length). The final aftertaste was not bitter, leaving only a slight sourness as a finish.

Lindy and I both rated this bar **. At $1.99, Trader Joe's Swiss Dark Chocolate is a bargain at the lowest price per ounce ($0.56) of all the bars we both rated ** (in contrast with the Amedei Toscano Black 70 we reviewed yesterday, which is the most expensive ** bar at $3.69 per ounce). You can see all of our chocolate ratings and relative prices on our Best Chocolate Values page.

For reference, the Swiss Dark bar reviewed here had a best before date of June 30, 2012.


  1. Ah, sadly it is not to be had anymore. :(

  2. Please do not discontinue this wonderful product. I will be glad when you get it back on the shelf!

  3. Off the shelf since Sept. in the SF Bay Area, and still off the shelf.

  4. I contacted Trader Joe's and they replied: "We have discontinued our Fair Trade Swiss Dark Chocolate due to slow sales. We have already sold through all existing inventory and at this time there are no plans to bring this item back."