Alas Poor Ginger, Wherefore Art Thou: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger

IMG_1828I’m very fond of crystallized ginger, and accordingly I am substantially less fond of the Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger, whose ginger to “rich dark chocolate” ratio is weighted in chocolate’s favor to the point that the ginger is nigh imperceptible.

The ingredients promise Australian crystalized ginger, and I do appreciate that Trader Joe’s, the J. Peterman of foodstuffs, has resisted the urge to embroider the tale with “harvested by koalas” or a story about backpacking across the outback while noshing on these or anything of that nature. But what’s given us instead of tasty, delicious ginger is waxy and overly sweet dark chocolate that is unappealing and which hosts a poverty of taste that is far from the promised richness.

The label makes no mention of fair trade or ethically sourced chocolate, which is honest, at least, and not the sort of “3% of our cacao beans are ethically sourced” shenanigans that some companies engage in. The smallish bag holds eight servings of what they claim is a 1/4 cup each, but these are apparently servings where the bits of chocolate repel each other, thereby taking up twice as much space in a measuring cup than normal.

All in all, a disappointing snack best suited to eating 3 am in an international airport, killing a few hours at a deserted gate while waiting for a lengthy flight, already sunk in ennui and listening to the echoes of the janitor’s footsteps as they mop a nearby lobby.

About Cat Rambo

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the first two books of the Tabat Quartet, Beasts of Tabat and Hearts of Tabat. She is an Endeavour, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee. Among her nonfiction works are a travel guide to Baltimore, a cookbook, highly opinionated essays, and the book Creating an Online Presence for Writers. She once won a hula contest judged by Neil Gaiman. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see here.