Princeton students most readily associate the U-Store with garish florescent lighting, bulky metal shelves and microwaveable meals. These qualities certainly don’t scream “gourmet”, and so Princeton students find themselves wandering the aisles for stress junk food rather than a classy snack. The good news is that despite its first impression, the Princton U-Store actually has some very fantastic chocolate options that can take your study snack game to the next level. There are five brands that shine the brightest out of the many options available– and after you escape the dreaded U-store ambience (or lack thereof), you can have yourself a fancy treat or an excellent gift, without having to make the trek to Nassau Street.
TCHO claims to be the “New American Chocolate” – and if this is true, the future of America future looks very promising. TCHO goes beyond merely good chocolate, and beyond considerations of cocoa content and origins of the beans. It focuses its bars on the pure flavor profiles of the cacao, on the caramel undertones behind the milk chocolate process, or anything from floral to nutty flavors of cacao in dark chocolate. This brilliant approach to taste is partnered with the company’s commitment to supporting cacao producers; not only do they fairly pay their producers, but they also train them in making chocolate themselves.
The only downside is the price. Simple flavors are a reasonable $5.45, but more unique flavors such as dark chocolate mint gelato or milk chocolate hazelnut butter and sea salt are over $8.
Some people stay away from high-end chocolate because a plain 60% dark chocolate bar, regardless of how deliciously decadent it claims to, is still only dark chocolate and dulls in comparison to its caramel-nut-salt-cookie-candy-filled cheaper counterparts. Chocolove, a small chocolate company from Boulder, Colorado, has solved this classic predicament. The bars aren’t just good chocolate, but they’re also fun, with flavors ranging from salted pretzel in milk chocolate to crystalized ginger in dark chocolate.
Chocolove only becomes a more enticing option when you discover that these fairly large bars of chocolate are less than $4, and each wrapper has a classic love poem on the inside, perfect for a unique gift either for yourself or for someone else!
American brands of chocolate have held their own in this list so far, but here come some of our classic European favorites. Everyone knows and loves Lindt, but what most students don’t realize is that the Princeon U-Store has more than bulk bags of Lindor truffles. Comparable in price to Chocolove bars the U-Store has countless types of this well-loved brand: everything from a new pistachio crème to classic caramel and salt.
Another European classic and in the same price range as the other bars, Ritter Sport combines good chocolate with even better fillings. What sets Ritter apart from Lindt or Chocolove is that the chocolate serves as coating for the decadent fillings inside. Some may find this chocolate too rich for an everyday snack, but no one will ever be bored by this chocolate’s flavor. The U-Store doesn’t have many of Ritter’s zanier new flavors, but sticks to the classics, with yogurt, marzipan, and other flavors.
These classic triangle chunks are an underrated study snack. White, milk, or dark chocolate mixes with the distinctive honey nougat crunch we all know and love. Also under $4, these bars are a fifth delicious U-Store option.
These five brands are all different in flavors in textures, but what they have in common is their quality. These chocolates prove that it is possible to stay classy during a U-Store shopping trip. Take these treats into the crisp fall air you’ll see that it’s not necessary to step off campus to be a bit gourmet!