Sometimes, I'll admit, I get a little tired of some of Trader Joe's offerings. Take, for example, these pretzels. I definitely think they're good and all, but I feel like I pick them up every week for work lunches along with some of the same Mexi-knockoff fare. A big part of it is, I just don't see a great alternative most of the time, so I go to what I know what I can rely on. But still, I want to try something new if TJ's could just be bothered to go put something new on the shelves. By in large, I've felt the same about a lot of their chip and dip offerings. Granted, some combos are great, but when a few months go by and it's still the same old same old, well, I begin to get antsy for something new.
Sandy and I found ourselves in this boat on our most recent trip. We had plans to have some friends and family over for some homemade calzones later that night, so dangit, we needed a great, easy appetizer. The Falafel Chips (which we've had and chomped down before we thought about snapping a decent picture of them) were out of stock yet again* so we were down one tasty (and out of consideration for one guest, gluten-free) alternative. It wasn't looking good until...
Boom! Trader Joe's Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips practically rose from the dusty bin like some cheesy glowing sitcom deus ex machina. Okay, well, not quite, but you get what I mean. It wasn't even a question, especially when considering some past tremendous experiences with some other bean-and-grain chips. Man, these chips are amazing. Each chip is thick and crunchy like any good stoneground corn tortilla chip should be, but have the added texture of quinoa coating sprinkled on each "bean-wah" chip (as I've caught myself calling them). Every bite definitely delivered not only that, but also a full tasty flavor coming from the beans with just the right amount of garlic and onion salt. Some might say they're a little salty, but to me, they're just right, as each chip is fully flavored on its own, but the taste won't interfere with your dip of choice. These were a great option with some leftover chipotle hummus we had from the week before, as well as...
...some Trader Joe's Edamame Hummus we picked up at the same time. Granted, this hummus isn't exactly a new product as we've seen it a few times, but haven't really tried it out, so let's just call it "new for us," mmmkay? Kinda like our recent vehicle purchase in that regard. Anyways, as we try to coach our two-and-a-half year old nephew to say, "hummus is yummus" and this one is no exception. Edamame is the rare veggie for Sandy in that it's acceptable in pretty much any fashon at any time. To call this a "hummus" seems a little off to me. Sure, it has all the good ingredients like tahini and garlic, etc, in it, but texture-wise it seems closer to a smooth guacamole rather than the usual smushed semi-grainy chickpea-ness of typical hummus. I'd say that it doesn't have an overly strong flavor - a little garlic, a little pepper, and a little, well, edamame - but paired together with these chips, I think it was perfect. Literally. No complaints at all.
I'll switch it up and do my ratings first this time. I might just be a little excited about some new flavors, but the quinoa/black bean chips are a rock solid perfect 5, while the edamame hummus...oh, what the heck, a 5 as well. Put the two together, and it's a personal pantheon level snack. While I didn't poll our dinner guests, judging by how everyone was scrambling for the chips and digging into the hummus, I'd say they weren't far behind. Sandy, though? Maybe she's returning the favor of me keeping these ridiculously good cookies from getting perfect marks, because I know she really liked them but she won't go with full fives. "Oh, something like a four for the beany chips, and something good for the humus, like a 3 or 3.5 or something," she said. I wanted to ask for a fuller explanation but she gave me a look that indicated that wouldn't be the best of ideas, so let's leave it at that. Eh well, For me personally, I can't wait to get tired of this snackalicious combo.
Trader Joe's Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons
Trader Joe's Edamame Hummus: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons
* Yet another First World Problem.