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You usually don't find chocolate at the end of an aisle while you're grocery shopping; it's usually in the candy section, am I wrong? But

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Sweet Freak: A Chocolate Find at Safeway

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You usually don't find chocolate at the end of an aisle while you're grocery shopping; it's usually in the candy section, am I wrong? But that's just where I discovered some interesting chocolate last week while shopping at my local Safeway in West Seattle (the one in Jefferson Square, to be exact). Looking completely out of place next to some detergent were several boxes of Safeway Select chocolate (that's supermarket code for "extra fancy"). Most of them were your typical dark and milk chocolate, but two of them stood out from the pack: Dark Chocolate with Lemon & Pepper and White Chocolate Blueberry. They were two for $4, so I bought both of them. One promises to dance on your palate, while the other promotes a flavor that will linger on your tongue. One certainly lived up to its word. The other is sitting in my trash can.

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Let's start with the Dark Chocolate with Lemon & Pepper. The chocolate is nice. I was expecting a bitter taste, but the chocolate is only 55% cacao, so not really dark chocolate in my book. Either way, the taste was creamy, if not a little too crisp. The bar could have been a skosh smoother with less of a "snap" sound after biting into it. There's a nice lemon undertone to this chocolate, sort of like a lemon cupcake. The pepper is in there somewhere, I think. The folks at Safeway Select could have left the word pepper off of the box entirely and nobody would be the wiser. The back of the box, however, has a different opinion, telling me that "a hint of black pepper dances on your palate." Someone alert the broken iPod on my tongue, because my palate is not moving. My tastebuds and I are not convinced lemon and dark/milk chocolate is a good combination.

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Now, the White Chocolate Blueberry. Wow. It's truly delicious. You can smell a rush of blueberries before you even finish unwrapping the foil. The creamy chocolate has a definite blueberries and cream flavor, and it certainly does linger on my tongue with sweet delight, just as the box describes. The blueberries also give the chocolate a bit of a crackle and pop sensation. I looked on the back of the box to see what the deal was and found "blueberry granules" listed as the only blueberry ingredient, which explains the crunchiness.

This is a chocolate bar I will certainly be buying again, as long as it's on sale. Two bucks for a Safeway chocolate bar is a bit steep, but I'd like to support more Safeway Select products like this. Safeway's on the right track with their line of gourmet candy -- they just need to figure out the whole product placement thing. Putting chocolate this good in the candy aisle where people could find it would be a good first step.

 
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