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Friday, March 15, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus


If pluots and tangelos are things, why aren't chilicados? I don't care if it's half jalapeno or poblano or whatever. This is something that needs to happen: half avocado, half...any kind of chili pepper hybrids. I'm sure there's some sort of scientific reason it can't be done, or perhaps, less likely, some overly-moralistic vegetable farmer discovered the formula but decided that it wasn't his place to "play God." Well, my faithful friend, I would argue that God gave you those brains and farming skills for a reason, and that no harm could possibly come from crossing spicy chilis and avocados. They'd make delicious salsa, guacamole, sandwich-toppers, and...yes, even hummus. C'mon, Monsanto, what could help your public image more than inventing chilicados?

But until that fateful day arrives, thankfully, we have products like this one to tide us over. It begs comparison to the recently-released Buffalo style variety, but alas, we didn't try that one. We'll just have to take the Shelly family's word for it. I'm a much bigger fan of avocado than I am of Buffalo sauce...so that all worked out quite well.


And it's not just avocado here. It's "spicy avocado." If there's one thing I like more than avocados, it's chilicados—which, of course, don't actually exist yet. But the combo of avocado with jalapeno, cayenne, and black pepper, along with garlic and cumin = win.

Now, on the other hand, if you're looking for spicy guacamole, you're looking in the wrong place. The texture is very smooth and hummussy. It's smoother even, perhaps, than ordinary hummus. It also tastes a great deal like ordinary garbanzo-based hummus, but simply flavored with "avocado pulp" and the aforementioned peppers. That's my only complaint. I love garbanzo beans and traditional hummus, but what makes this product unique is its avocadoiness and spiciness. I wouldn't have minded more avocado and less hummus in the flavor department, but that's a minor complaint. It's an excellent product, so long as you like hummus and spicy avocado.


It works great with toasted pita bread, and it's excellent as a chip dip. Sonia is an avocado enthusiast, and she loves her spice, as well. This product is right up her alley. She, too, wouldn't have complained if there were a little more avocado present, but as is, she's a big fan. She likes that it's organic and that there aren't many ingredients. It'll be her second four and a half star score in a row. I'll throw out four.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Green Kombucha

Holy snakes....it's St Patty's Day already this weekend? Wow. Kinda snuck up on us here.

So, hate to disappoint as usual, but there just might be a certain dearth of St Patty's day themed reviews. There's some back in the archives though - Irish bangers and the puntastic Blarney scone come to mind - so click on around back there.

Best I can do is a green drink review. Won't be our first. And I've written before about my affinity for kombucha...but have you tried Trader Joe's Organic Green Kombucha?

No?

Seriously, go for it.

I can get the hesitation for picking up this beverage. It's a bit intimidating looking in some ways. I mean, I see the bewilderment in my coworkers' eyes when I have just a regular mango kombucha on my desk at work - but a green one? With this spirulina and chlorella stuff, whatever that is? That's just kinda weird, it seems, for most people.

Not me. I love the green kombucha. I go back and forth between different companies, different flavors, etc...but I always come back to this one. I'll admit the first time I bought it, it was with low expectations, which were wrong.

Like other greenish drinks, the prevailing flavor here is actually apple. But not green apple, it's more a general apple apple. That's a good call - sour, acidic green apple taste with an already sour fermented base drink would likely be a little much. So instead of adding to the sour bite, the applem flavor actually balances and enhances it somewhat, making for a smooth, relatively mellow flavor.

And like any good kombucha, there's a bit of ginger in there too. Gotta love that ginger bite. It definitely plays second fiddle to the apple but it's undoubtedly there.

Plus: spirulina. It's good for you.  And chlorella too. Who cares it's seaweed? I certainly don't.

Really, I have nothing bad to say about this kombucha whatsoever. Fantastic stuff. And at $2.69 a bottle, it's pretty reasonably priced for a quality organic kombucha - it certainly won't set you back a pot of gold. If you haven't tried it go for it, it's almost perfect.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Green Kombucha: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Monday, March 11, 2019

Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cakes


It's well-documented that couples begin to look alike after being married for many years. They tend to mimic one another's facial expressions and develop lines in similar locations on the face. Many couples have similar diets and exercise habits, rendering similar body types. They also begin to think alike and develop similar affinities and dislikes, as far as entertainment, leisure activities, and foods.

Nine and a half years of marriage have begun to produce such results in Sonia and I. I think they've manifested themselves on this blog in the form of matching scores over and over and over again. "Double fours," for example, has been an extremely common result from this nomadic couple, as well as our Pittsburghian counterparts. I think more often than not, Sonia and I have been within half a star of one another, particularly in the past year or so.

Not so with these muffins.


This is the biggest disagreement we've had on a Trader Joe's food item in quite a while. I mean, it's not like it's a thang, like it might have been in years past. We're very happy to agree to disagree here. Quite frankly, it's a breath of fresh air to be reminded of our individuality once in a while. But I'll just say Sonia loves these muffins, and I find them highly forgettable.

I immediately compared them to the Greek Yogurt Lemon Muffins, reviewed three years back, and found the apple cinnamon variety slightly wanting. I just feel like lemon lends itself to the tanginess of Greek yogurt more than apple cinnamon. 

I did complain that I wanted even more lemon flavor in those other muffins, but there's an even greater dearth of appliciousness here in my opinion. There are indeed apple bits in these muffins, and we both enjoyed those quite a bit—I would just request a great lot more of them. Sonia wouldn't have minded more, but is happy with them the way they are. There's some cinnamon flavor present, too, in the manner of a traditional coffee cake. Again, I would have preferred a great deal more cinnamon, though. There's a nice bready flavor, and of course some Greek yogurt tang, but I feel like all the flavors don't enhance each other very much.


The muffins are nice and soft, with a crumbly coffee cake crown. They never felt or tasted stale, but I don't think they surpassed a run-of-the-mill bakery in that department, either. Sonia thought the texture was on point, by virtue of the yogurt, and said she'd choose these over a typical coffee shop pastry any day of the week. Also—and this may have been the ultimate deciding factor—they do pair well with coffee. Although I'm learning to appreciate coffee more and more, it's still not my beverage of choice in the mornings, so the fact they go well with java won't entirely redeem them for me. The dunk-factor will solidify these as a big thumbs up from Sonia and a big "meh" from me. 

Four and a half stars from the wife, but only three from this guy.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.