On Tuesday, a coworker showed up at my door with a box of chocolates. Trader Joe’s 70% Cacao Belgian Dark Chocolate Seashells, to be precise. Now this dude has given me treats before—homemade trail mix at Christmas, and some kind of blondie-toffee bar that I gave to Red because it wasn’t vegan. My choice to be vegan is, I think, somewhat of a puzzlement to him, but he is very respectful about it and seems to enjoy the challenge of figuring out what I eat.
As it turns out, someone had given his mother the chocolates, and she doesn’t like dark chocolate. She gave them to him, but he’s trying to watch what he eats, so he understandably wanted them gone. We had established months ago that I can, in fact, eat chocolate, and that dark chocolate is my cacao product of choice. He ever-so-thoughtfully brightened my Tuesday morning with a box of dark chocolate deliciousness. As you can imagine, I thanked him profusely.
My printer, complete with the Evil Monkey.
But are they vegan? I wondered after he left. Dark chocolate almost always is, but I’ve been conditioned to check first. Trader Joe’s had slapped the kosher and gluten-free logos on the front of the box, but no magic V. I checked their list—not there either. I scrutinized the ingredients—no dairy of any kind. What gives, Trader Joe’s? The best I can figure is that since the chocolates are made on equipment shared with milk, Trader Joe’s won’t label them as vegan. Makes sense. If someone has a hellacious dairy allergy, they might want to stay away from these puppies.
And they are delicious, too. My coworker tried one once I opened the box, and now he’s kicking himself for giving them away. I’ve been limiting myself to one a day, though this is by no means a guarantee that I haven’t also enjoyed other chocolate during the day. They have some kind of fudgy dark chocolate filling, so they are more like truffles. Aren’t they cute?
Now, if you'll excuse me, my one-a-day truffle is calling.