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Friday, July 19, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative


When I was a kid, my mother was nuts about nuts. She was also a little nutty. She passed her love of nuts on to me, as well as her nuttiness.

Cashews were always among her favorite, so I too developed an affinity for the oddly-shaped tree-borne seeds at an early age.

Significantly thicker than cashew milk and significantly thinner than cashew butter, we find ourselves looking at cashew yogurt. There's a substantial amount of innate cashew flavor here, so I would think an appreciation for, or at least tolerance of, cashews will be in order for this product.

Thinking about what I know of cashew butter, I assumed I'd like the vanilla bean flavor more. Call it confirmation bias, but my instincts were correct. Think of cool, runny cashew butter mixed with real vanilla flavor. It works, at least in my book.


Sonia liked the strawberry flavor a little more. I felt as if vanilla and cashew complemented one another while strawberry and cashew competed, if that makes sense. Sonia just appreciated the fruitiness of the latter and felt that there was a stronger overall flavor. I certainly didn't hate it, but I've never had a craving for a cashew butter and strawberry jelly sandwich ever in my life, and similarly, I doubt I'll ever get it in my mind to seek out strawberry cashew yogurt in the future, but who knows?

$1.69 per cup. This could be a bigger deal for lactose-intolerant people, vegans, or folks that have an aversion to almond or coconut milk yogurts than it is for us. But neither flavor is bad by any means. I'd pick up the vanilla flavor as a snack in the future. Sonia would consider a re-purchase of strawberry. I'll go a half star or so higher on vanilla bean, while Sonia will follow suit on the berry variety, so our scores will offset one another, yielding the same overall mark for both flavors.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Trader Joe's Turmeric Ginger Coconut Beverage

Remember a few summers ago when it was Mango Mania at TJ's?

We sure as heck do. Mango this, that, Mango here, mango there, mango mango everywhere. Move aside and let the mango through and all that. Every new item was mango-fied. So many mangoes. I was sick of them by the end of summer.

This summer is much less thematic and far more sporadic as far as new offerings...which is how Sandy and I end up buying things like Trader Joe's Turmeric Ginger Coconut Beverage. It's at least kinda mango colored, isn't it?

This product is a true rarity in our household. Sandy's made very similar beverages in the past to drink either hot or cold, and was downright joyous when she saw it on the shelf for about $3. I wasn't along and don't have the receipt handy so I'm guessing, feel free to correct me. I've never tried such drinks but am pretty open-minded and was excited enough to give it a try.

It's a strikeout for both of us. Big time.

For my wife, far more the expert here than me, it's the composition. For her, the beverage is far too thin. When she's made it, she's used a thicker variety of coconut milk which she prefers, I guess. But it's bugging her how thin this stuff is.

For me, it's more the flavor. It's a bit odd. With turmeric and ginger and coconut, I feel more like I'm drinking some sort of curry broth. Which isn't a bad thing, but then my mind switches into "curry mode" and my taste buds start looking for spices and complexity and whatnot that just isn't here. There's a little dash of black pepper, and the turmeric and ginger add more flavor "warmth" than anything. On a whim, I tried some straight out of the fridge, and also some with ice in it. When super chilled, some of the sweeter elements come out more - namely, coconut and honey - but when just sipped, everything seems pretty muted, with the aftertaste kinda lingering around like all the super orangey residue in your glass.

Apparently beverages like these are popular in India and called "golden milk." I'm not completely turned off by the idea - I really think drinks like this have huge potential to be extremely tasty - but I'm just not fond of this particular version. Neither is my lovely bride. Our four year old is, though, so there's that.

Not much more to say. I'd take mango anything over this any day. Sandy gives it a stunningly low one spoon, and while I think it deserves better, it doesn't by much. I'll be kind with a two.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Turmeric Ginger Coconut Beverage: 3 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Monday, July 15, 2019

Trader Joe's French Crêpe Wafer Cookies


More. Freaking. Cookies. 

I'm baffled as to why Trader Joe's makes so many different kinds of cookies, and I'm even more confused about why we bother reviewing them so religiously.

At least I was confused...before I shoveled a bunch of these delightful, crispy, buttery, flavorful, snacky sweet, angular edibles into my mouth—all the lightness and deliciousness of crepes in wafer cookie form. Now these could be one of my "desert island cookies." As of right now, they're definitely on Sonia's short list, too. 


They're tasty by themselves or slathered with cookie butter or served with ice cream...and I'm sure most of you readers have come up with dozens of ridiculously wondrous things to do with them that never occurred to me. I'll admit I was so enamored with them that I gobbled up most of my share plain before I tried putting any fixins on them. Sonia was the one that got creative with cookie butter and ice cream. 


Looks like traderjoes.com is suggesting we serve them with banana slices and chocolate syrup. That could work, as well, and it's probably more authentically crepey. 

$2.49 for a box with two separate little plastic trays covered in cellophane. Packaging overkill? Perhaps. But I'm sure it's there in hopes of preserving the outstanding buttery flavor of these wafers a little longer. There's also a delicate, multi-layered crispness that's hard to describe.

3.5 servings? Seems like a very random number to me, but whatever you say, Trader Joe.

The isosceles triangle is relatively unexplored territory in the world of geometrically-inspired snacking. I guess tortilla chips are isosceles, at least some of the time, too—and they are also quite tasty. They should offer isosceles triangle-shaped pancakes and pyramid-shaped cakes and pies and see if it makes them more delicious. 

Four and a half stars from Sonia once again. And another four from me.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.