Sunday, January 08, 2006
Is It Chocolate? Is It Moxie? No, It's Choxie!
I wasn't sure if I had suddenly beamed up to some hip European metropolis or not.
I was minding my own business watching Food TV one day, and next thing you know, I'm surrounded by leggy models dressed in modern, monochromatic fashions. Mod artwork flashes before me--circles, squares, circles in squares--to the beat of Euro-synthesizer pop. I see visions of chocolates and candy, but are my eyes deceiving me? Could it be perhaps the art is truly an optical illusion, or could it be perhaps that I should have said no to that extra hit that night way back when? Every so the music is interrupted by the peppy, but feminine sound of "Cha-Cha-Cha-Choxie!" OK, I must know...who is this Choxie? Take me to your leader! He or she must be the one who magically transported me to this land of chocolate on acid. Did Austin Powers and Dr. Evil play a trick on me?
Then in a split second, it all became clear to me. Like a gang flashing their sign, my television flashed a big red bullseye which made the answer crystal clear. It wasn't some evil mad scientist. It was Target.
Yes, my friends, Target is now in the gourmet chocolate business with their proprietary Choxie line, making it possible for one to purchase artsy-fartsy and more sophisticated chocolates and truffles along with one's dishwashing and laundry detergent.
And all of this makes Pam very, very happy because she just happens to looooove Target. 'Cause seriously, where else can you go to buy toilet paper and Q-tips and maybe pick up a cute but inexpensive top, hip wrapping paper, a sequined toss pillow and the latest DVD releases all at the same time? And with this new Choxie thing, the merchandising geniuses at Tar-zhay have found yet another way to add impulse items to my cart. I think I may be in trouble.
After having seen those oh-so-alluring TV ads for their hip new candies, I actually went in search of them on one of my routine Target shopping trips. I found them on two end-caps of the candy and snack aisle where you'd normally find bags of Snicker's minatures and Sour Patch Kids. On these end caps, though, were brightly colored packages of Chocolate Truffle Bars, Truffle Meltaways, Truffle Temptations, and the product I decided to walk away with that day, an oblong plastic box of graphicly designed Artisan Truffle Tiles. Five bucks for a box of eight pieces...eh, what the heck.
At home, I arranged them neatly on a plate, sat down at my dining table and had my very own taste test. Is this truly the chocolate with moxie? (For those of you who don't know what the word "moxie" means, don't worry; I had to look it up myself. It means "energy" or "pep" in this case) I bit into my first one, a Chili-Limon truffle tile, decorated in orange and red wavy lines. The first thing I noticed was its texture, that it wasn't quite the melt-in-your-mouth smoothness that you'd normally expect from a truffle. These were more like pretty versions of those thin Ghiradelli chocolate squares, filled in the center with a little something-something. The something-something in this particular truffle tile tasted decent, however. As its name implies, it had a subtle kick of chili and a teeny-tiny tang of lime...enough to at least make it a little un-boring.
Next up was a grid of sky and turquoise blue circles atop a chocolate square, all composing the Jasmine Tea truffle tile. A faint hint of fragrant jasmine flower was present, but not enough to blow me away. Number three was a orange dotted Orange Mango tile, in which I tasted a little mango upon first bite and then more orange as I devoured it further. It, too, was OK, nothing to write home about.
White chocolate starred in tile number four, a Key Lime truffle tile dressed up in an ivory and lime green bubble pattern. I liked this one, not only because it was cute, but also because I liked the combination of the white chocolate with the tart lime flavor.
If I hadn't been told by the box that the next tile, the one that just said "Choxie," was a Lemon Rose flavored tile, I'd have never known that it was. No hints of lemon or rose anywhere to be found. Just a square of chocolate in my book. I did, however, quite enjoy the bumble-bee colors of the Apple Pie tile as well as its delicate flavors of apples and cinnamon.
Number seven, a Cafe Latte tile, looked like the Jasmine Tea tile, only in ivory and brown. White chocolate and a "latte" filling were supposed to give this one its character, only it didn't particularly taste like a latte to me. Coffee grounds maybe. Latte, no. In fact, the last truffle tile--Cinnamon Praline--painted in girly pink--was much better tasted more like a fancy coffee drink than did its predecessor. This one had a nice creamy, cinnamony and nutty flavor, like one of those holiday lattes you'd order at your favorite coffee chain.
For a massive superstore, perhaps these Choxie's do have some moxie; at least Target tried to create something that would appeal to their more finicky, trendier customer. The range of flavors is certainly eye-catching, as is their hip artwork and packaging. But for truffles and chocolates in general, eh, I'm not all that impressed. I'd rather save my five bucks for a piece of better quality truffle, or maybe bottle of shampoo or a cute picture frame.