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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Monday, November 12, 2012

Trader Joe's Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds

Sometimes I don't really know how to start a review. This is one of those times. I asked Sandy how I should as she sits beside me making a Pittsburgh Steelers-themed tutu for lil Baby M, and she said, "Awwwwww nuts." So, boom, there we go.

Anyways, Trader Joe's Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds. The best way I can think of to describe these is, imagine Sam Elliot personally shaking out his mustache over each and every bag of roasted almonds, and that approximates how these taste. Minus the whiskers, of course. That'd be a pretty big Golden Spoon deduction. These are some pretty intense nuts as far as flavor goes. I'll be honest, I'm not able to identify all the different spices that each almond is liberally dusted with, because it's literally everywhere. You know that one Cheeto in the bottom of the bag that has all the extra Cheeto dust? Each and every nut is kinda like that - my tastebuds are literally overwhelmed by the bombardment of spices and flavors, but all of them definitely flow along the line of "mesquite" and "smoked". And salty. I mean, real salty. Seasoned salt has to be one of the big ingredients, and literally after a small handful or two, I find myself pretty darn thirsty, maybe for some more of that good sarsaparilla. Thanks, Sam Elliot.They're flavorful and dust-coated enough that I'd actually recommend sticking to eating them more or less by themselves - put them in some trail mix or Chex Mix or something, and they'd probably overpower everything else.

They're about 5 bucks for the pounder bag, which isn't bad for a bag of nuts these days. I probably ate about 90%  of the package, which is okay with Sandy as she kept herself busy with her sackful of pumpkin seeds. She liked them well enough, though. "They're very mesquite-y, and super crunchy," she said. "Like, you know how sometimes almonds aren't crunchy and they're kinda, like, soggy instead?" Soggy almonds? No dear, I don't know what you mean. Sometimes almonds are crunchier than other times, but I've never once had something that I'd describe as a "soggy" almond. Perhaps you have, though, and my wife wants to assure you that will not be the case here. She'll give them a three, saying the nuts can be a bit too much after just a small handful or two. I agree they could take a small step back and actually stand to gain from that. Other than that, I like the crunch and I like that just a handful or two will keep the stomach grumbles away for a good spell. Something around a four seems right.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons    

4 comments:

  1. I recently started buying these and for me, they're hard to put down.

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  2. It's funny, I found your blog one evening on a whim and I love it! I recently moved to Pitt from Atlanta, and I'm so happy that we have a TJ's here! Of course I wish we could buy 2 buck chuck here, but beggars can't be choosers! My husband and I are still trying to adjust to Pittsburgh and were so happy to see that we have TJ's. And holy hell, Market District is also incredible!

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  3. Oh this sounds really good,I would like to try those,however i have found some good raw almonds and have tried also its just yummy, here the site http://www.radiantrawsuperfoods.com where i got, you may like to refer as they provide organic food stuff.

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  4. Way too salty to eat alone, but when I was out of cashews and was ready to make some Kale chips these not only worked in a pinch but made the most AMAZING BBQ Kale chips EVER with just a little added honey, apple, apple cider vinegar and jalapeno. I doubt they will last long because the saltiness is over the top and most people will buy them to snack as is, so Ive stocked up just for the kale chips.

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