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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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Chips

TJ's track record with sweet potato products is pretty stellar. Probably because it's pretty hard to screw up the sweet potato. Fry it, mash it, bake it...it's aaall goood. So far Sonia and I have checked out the Sweet Potato Pie Bites, and Russ and Sandy tried the Sweet Potato Frites. These products garnered scores of 8.5 and 9, respectively. Not bad. We're tough graders. Now, I'm not exactly sure where the term "frites" came from. I would have assumed it's some British nonsense, but I know that they generally call their fries "chips," and they call their chips "crisps." Well anyway, these are "chips" in the American sense of the word. Ridge cut chips, a la Ruffles brand.

These have a lot of good sweet potato flavor. They're nice and crunchable. Yes, "crunchable." As in "crunchable chipses." As in, that's what Gollum would call them. As in, I wish it were December already so I could watch the new Hobbit movie. But alas, I'm off on one of my notorious rabbit-trails.

Sonia says these chips are a good alternative to regular chips. If you're a chip kind of person, these do break up the monotony of regular old potato chips. And they're not super-sweet. If TJ's had decided to add some kind of brown sugar or mapley flavoring to boost the sweetness level, these would have been much more dessert-like and confection-ish. In my opinion, that would not have been a terrible idea—but I do have a bigger sweet tooth than the average bear. Sonia likes them just the way they are. There's just a hint of salt. When I think of them in my mind, though, I think of them as being more salty than they actually are. Not sure why. They're just... so... chip-ish, and chips tend to be salty.

My only complaint would be that they're not super sweet, and they're not super salty. They do taste natural, which is good. But for me, when I crave a snack, I'm usually looking for a sweet snack like a cookie, or a salty snack like regular chips. These kind of get lost in the middle somehow, and I don't find myself actually craving them ever, although they're absolutely snacktastic if you're down for something slightly salty, slightly sweet. I give them a 3. Sonia gives them a 3.5. If you're on the fence about trying them, and this review didn't sway you either way, I'd say that if you like sweet potatoes or sweet potato products at all, these are absolutely worth a try.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.


  1. "Frites" is French for "French fries."

  2. i bought them once, but didn't love them enough to get them again. i do dig the tortilla chip version, though!

  3. A bit more expensive that their other ships, at least at my local TJ's, but worth it.

  4. French fries originated in Belgium, where they're known as pommes frites.

  5. I LOVE these chips. Bought them yesterday, started eating them this morning...almost finished the whole bag...

  6. They are really great with the caramelized onion dip!

  7. These chips are the bomb. They taste practically homemade (some bendiness and some crispiness all in one chip, like homemade sweet potato chips often are). I LOVE that they are neither super salty nor super sweet. Because so so many "snack" options are high in either one or both of these qualities, it's really nice to have an alternative that is neither...but still so snack-worthy. Never change these TJ's! :)