Monday, October 26, 2009

Salty Sweet Bliss

I think we've definitely got a little Trader Joe's Mania here in the Princeton area. I read a really cute article in U.S. 1 this past week that raved about the unique gourmet items and the amazing prices. She listed a few of her favorite items and one of the things she mentioned was sea salt brownies. Sea. Salt. Brownies.

I was absolutely consumed with a feverish desire to get my hands on some of these bad boys as soon as possible!!! I am not joking when I say that I thought about them all week! I had a small list of things I needed to pick up from TJ's and so I was able to justify a visit on Sunday night. My husband and kidlet accompanied me. I was afraid Chris would see right through my plan but the absolute pleasure we had in wandering up and down the aisles overshadowed everything. I picked up the items on my list and even scored one of the reusable shopping bags I'd been eyeing on several people throughout town. We went home and I heated up some hot water for tea. It was time...

The clan was ready to dig into these. Chris seemed much more satisfied with them than I did. I'm not saying they weren't good. They just weren't great. It was a good plan, the texture of the brownie was just not right. A bit too dry (in my humble opinion). It took a little while to recover from the slight let down. I have been so excited about the rise of salted sweets and I really hadn't experienced it to what I thought was the full potential. I had some salted chocolate covered caramels from a candy store in Georgia this summer and they were also a let down. I am still reeling from not being able to experience Henri Le Roux's CBS caramels while I was in Paris! The shopkeeper that carries them was on vacation! I was beginning to truly believe that the caramel curse would continue to haunt me!


I was cleaning some stuff off of my dining room table. I went to a baby shower yesterday while my husband took Molly to hang out at Silver Forge Farm for brunch. They were kind enough to bring me home some eggs and the reusable grocery bag that they brought it home in was still draped across the table. I picked it up and I noticed there was still something in it. I reached inside and pulled out a gold box.
I gasped! I knew exactly what it was!!! We were out with Shannon and Eliezer earlier this month in Princeton. We ate dessert at Bent Spoon (another story for another time) and afterwards, we were walking back to the cars. We passed by Thomas Sweet which is a few doors down on Palmer Square. This location sells chocolate while the Nassau Street location focuses more on ice cream. I was curious to see if they had any salted caramel offerings but they were closed. We started to walk away and the girl who was working came and unlocked the door and asked if we had any questions. I mentioned my quest and she invited me in to see their case. The did, indeed, offer dark chocolate covered caramels glistening with sea salt. I told her I would come back and purchase some when they were open. Shannon beat me to it. I was so excited! However, I'd already met my chocolate quota for the night so I decided to wait until today.

Once I got settled in from work this afternoon, I walked into the kitchen and picked up the shiny box. I slowly removed the lid and pushed aside the protective layer of tissue paper. The chocolates almost seemed to greet me and I smiled back. I plucked one of those gems right out and took a deep breath. The moment had arrived.
For a second, I thought I actually felt the earth move but it could have just been me swooning ever so slightly as I sunk my teeth through the chocolate shell and into the caramel. To my delight, the buttery sweetness was punctuated by flecks of salt. It was amazing. I don't know how I managed to eat only one. I am also quite proud of myself for sharing some with Chris.

For now, my search is over. Tommy has agreed to an open relationship so that I am able to experience the salty sweet seduction of others but I really cannot imagine it getting much better than this for now. I haven't really had the chance to explore NYC so we shall see. The holiday season is upon us and I've recently learned that Henri La Roux does mail order so I can actually purchase some CBS without airfare to France. I think I know what I am asking Santa to bring me for Christmas this year.

Thomas Sweet Chocolate
29 Palmer Square
Princeton, NJ 08542

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