Interestingly to me at least, potatoes aren't considered either fruits or vegetables, but instead some sort of plant classification called a "tuber." That kinda sounds like a vague seventh grade insult, to call something a tuber. It all has to do with some hoity-toity botanical hairsplitting which really, I don't get. All I know is, potatoes count as produce, and in general they sure are tasty, and that's good enough for me to consider this our first produce review on this blog.
If you like potatoes, you'll like these. If you don't, well, you probably wouldn't buy them anyways. TJ's Teeny Tiny Potatoes are just that - a one pound mesh bag of dozens of little potato runts. Nothing wrong with them, they're just small. I tried to see if these are a mini potato breed or just dug up at a real young age, but couldn't seem to find any definitive answers, and with over 5,000 types of potatoes in the world, I didn't want to sort through each type. It seems a little less tragic to think of them as just a small potato as opposed to being harvested and eaten before it had a chance to live and thrive as a full-blown Russet, so I'm going with that, a sub-race of rooted goodness if you will.
One of our favorite ways to cook them up is in a foil pack with some butter, herbs and spices right on the grill. There's two major advantages that the Teeny Tiny Potatoes have here over their much larger cousins. First, you don't have to chop them all up - just pocket them in and let them sizzle for a while. Each is small enough to be able to soak in the butter that with enough fire time, each get cooked through easily. And for me, one of the parts of the potatoes that I like the best is the outer skin, and with these, each bite is surrounded by tasty potato epidermis. Mmmm. Granted, with all the skin intact, these potato munchkins tend to inwardly insulate pretty darn well, so as a word of caution that I grant from much experience, give these a few minutes to cool down before you sink your chompers into them. Your tongue will thank you. I've also used these for simple tasty homefries by quickly chopping them in half. Short of doing anything too ridiculous like trying to slice them into mini fries or wrapping each in foil for uber small baked potatoes to top with itsy bitsy bacon slices, I'd imagine that pretty much any way you like a potato, these would work well as substitute for a regular sized spud. It's tough to exactly tell, but they seem to be more of a golden variety, which is more than alright by us.
Both Sandy and I enjoy them quite a bit. In fact, with me recently working on (and nearly completing) a small raised vegetable bed for our front yard, we're hopeful that a few of the remaining ones will spawn the next generation of dwarflings if we toss them in the dirt and let nature go at it. And I can say with absolute certainty that this is the one TJ's produce product that has never let me down, whether in overall quality or shelf life. Other than that, we just like us some potatoes. "Mmm carbs! I love carbs!" as Sandy eloquently exclaimed when I asked for her opinion. She gave them a five, and I figure that includes some extra credit for these being so cute and adorable. For me, I like them just fine, and don't have too many of the same qualms as I have with other miniature foods, but in the end I don't know how much credit I can give Trader Joe's for not screwing up a small sack of spuds ... eh, 3.5? Sure, why not?
Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons