Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trader Joe's Veggie Sticks Potato Snacks

When I hear the term "veggie sticks," I think of narrow little slivers of carrots and celery arranged on a circular platter around a pool of creamy ranch dipping sauce. That's not what these are, if you couldn't tell from the pic. These are crunchable doodle-puffs of snack-tastic potato-matter.

From the first bite, they seemed familiar somehow...like a long-lost friend who had just returned from adventures abroad...like a wayward relative that came back to his father's house with a strange foreign accent, a prodigal son of the pantry if you will...there was just a certain 'je ne sais quoi' about them...who are you, veggie sticks? Haven't I met you before? In another life perhaps...on a distant shoreline, did I partake of your salty goodness under a Pacific sunset marked by the sound of crashing waves and the crispy-crunches of your bite-sized bits?

No. No, you are new to me...but you remind me of someone...you remind me of...who is it now? OH! YOU TOTALLY remind me of the unmistakable flavor of McDonald's French fries...with the texture of cheese-puffs. Seriously. McDonald's fries. It's gotta be the sunflower/safflower oil.

When I told Sonia about my McDonald's French fry epiphany, she went "Oh! Really? You think they taste like that?" Then I had her try one again, and told her to think about McDonald's French fries. Then she went, "Eh, I guess I can see what you're talking about..."

So apparently I'm more or less alone in my assessment that they taste just like McDonald's French fries. Mind you, the texture is much different. The texture is that of a generic, yet not necessarily low-quality cheese-puff/cheese-doodle/cheesy-poof thing.

I tried hard to tell if there was a difference among the three varieties; orangish-red, yellowish-white, and green. I thought maybe they were tomato-flavored, potato-flavored, and spinach-flavored, respectively, however, I was unable to discern any variation in taste. Just three different colors of McDonald's fries.

We tried them with a little lemon juice. Good. And they would have been KILLER with some Trader Joe's Jalapeño Pepper Hot Sauce, but alas, we did not have any. I almost tried them with a little packet of McDonald's fancy ketchup, but then I thought that might be a bit weird. I docked a point because we were kind of wanting to dress them up a bit, however, we polished off the bag within 24 hours of getting it back from TJ's. That usually indicates a successful product. Sonia agrees.

Sonia and I both give them a 4. Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

5 comments:

  1. Nathan, no, you're not alone in your assessment. Definitely like zombified Mickey D fries. That's meant as a compliment because both Sandy and I like these fellas too.

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  2. Definitely one of those snacks where if you don't pay attention, the entire bag will be gone in ten minutes. You won't feel it at first, but after about 15 minutes you'll get that sinking feeling in your stomach ...

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  3. I've been addicted to these veggie sticks for years and have been comparing them to McDonald's fries for just as long...glad to see others have the same opinion too.

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  4. They are so good I am trying to find out if they are really nutritious, or just another potato product? Anybody have the nutrition scoop on this item? Is spinach POWDER of any health benefit? I sure hope so! Joan

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  5. I actually prefer their flatter cousins, the Veggie Chips. Same addictive taste, but the texture works better in chip form.

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