"Mélange" is also a French word, which I would have guessed just from the look of it. So, shouldn't it be part of the Trader Jacques line? Sonia actually says she thinks this dish is Italian. If that were the case, shouldn't it be presented by Trader Giotto?
But no, we get an Italian dish with a French name served up by an American. A hodgepodge of origins. That's fine. I suppose you all want to know how it tastes...
When it comes right down to it, I can go either way with zucchini and eggplant. I'm a big fan of baba ghanoush, which is a mashed eggplant topping that goes well with pita and middle-eastern foods. Haven't tried TJ's version of it yet. I also like fried zucchini and zucchini bread. It's one of those foods that's really good dressed up, but by itself, it usually leaves a little to be desired.
All in all, this dish is better than zucchini or eggplant served plain by themselves. There's a tomatoey sort of sauce and some bits of mozzarella (which I didn't even notice while eating the dish, to be honest with you) and some bits of tomato...and maybe some other mysterious things...It tasted like what you'd expect. It's stewed vegetables in a sauce. Not bad at all.
My only complaints are that the pieces of eggplant were too big, and they were a little chewy. I think eggplant has an underrated taste, but it really has to be cooked a certain way or chopped up into tiny little bits and pieces for the texture not to ruin the experience.
We noticed that there's a strange gelatinous residue left over in the pot after we cook this pasta. This wasn't the first time we made it, and it left this film in the pot each time. Weird.
So let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? The mélange has a fancy name, a decent taste, and enormous slabs of semi-rubbery eggplant. Sonia gives it a 4. I give it a 3.
Trader Joe's Grilled Eggplant & Zucchini Mélange. Bottom line: 7 out of 10.
The pasta leaves a funky film, but satisfies the tummy. Sonia gives it a 4. Me too.
Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti Pasta. Bottom line: 8 out of 10.