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, July 9, 2013

Trader Joe's Cheddar & Horseradish Flavored Potato Chips

There's a few simple joys in life that I truly love: Cuddling a sleepy baby for a lazy Sunday afternoon nap. Licking off the beaters or wooden spoon while making a cake or homemade cookies. Getting just in front of that dirtbag who doesn't want to let you merge and winning that mutual battle of wills to get to your cubicle 2.3 nanoseconds sooner. These are all great things.

Another I'd add to the list would be when your bag of chips gets down to last itty bitty shards of chippiness, with all the flavor dustings smushed down in and concentrated in a small pocket in the corner of the bag, and simply lifting the bag and pouring straight into your mouth because to reach your hand in would only result in dusty digits turning to sludge that your wife will give you the stinkeye for wiping off on your jeans.

Unfortunately for Trader Joe's Cheddar & Horseradish Flavored Potato Chips, this was an experience I could not enjoy one bit when I indulged the other day after Sandy and I more or less ravaged the rest of the bag throughout the day. The back of the bag says something to the effect of "cheddary with a touch of horseradish." The scribe who penned those words must have done so with a touch of horse....uh, nevermind, family-friendly, SFW website we run here. Every chip I crunched in all its otherwise kettlechip glory I tasted nothing but the horseradish through and through, with all the compulsion of its bitter might. I literally could not taste anything else except a slight smidge of cheddar here and there when my tastebuds pleaded for mercy. "Delightfully flavored" is not the way I'd describe these, unless horseradish is really, and I mean really your thing.  The kicker was that last little refuge of snacktime crumbles - it took me two tries and a large glass of water in the middle to make it happen. Yes, it owned me.  

That might all sound like a negative. I actually don't quite mean it that way. In a sense, I can kinda relate these to salt-and-vinegar chips, not because of flavor similarities (because there's not much) but because of flavor potency. I don't eat chips often but when I do I prefer either regular or barbeque or sour cream and onion or something along that line. There's a time and place for salt-and-vinegar chips, though, for me to occasionally poke at and munch a few then put away. These very horseradishy/not very cheddary guys fit much of that same mold.

I mentioned somewhere up there that these were opened and demolished within a day. Yes, I helped, but Sandy sure did too, and she loved these chips as she's gone around the house humming about them occasionally. Then again, she really likes salt-and-vinegar chips, so maybe there's something to that comparision. She's also made fun of me a couple times for my reaction when polishing off the bag. "Ahhhhhhh! Oooooh! Aaaaaaaaaaaa!" she'll grimace as she stumbles around like a dizzy wide-eyed t-rex in search of liquid salvation. That's fairly spot on, actually, wifey, so good work, keep it up. She's going with a four, while I'll chime in a little lower.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Cheddar & Horseradish Flavored Potato Chips: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

3 comments:

  1. I love horseradish...the straight stuff, none of that wimpy sauce that they try, at times, to serve you with prime rib. If it does not clear your sinuses, it does not qualify! That said, I thought these chips were awesome! I agree that it should be called "Horseradish With A Touch Of Cheddar".

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  2. I have to say I loved these too. I was staring at them one day, and one of the TJ's guys comes by and says I HAVE to buy them. I wasn't disappointed. They are strong, and I probably wouldn't like them all the time, but for something new and different they sure hit the spot!

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  3. These chips were awesome and I don't even like horeradish that much. Also sold out in a day or so, so I couldn't get more!

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