Those, in rough chronological order, are the baseball stadiums I've been to. And yes, you're reading that right - I've been to a Montreal Expos home game. Can't do that anymore. No other place, except perhaps my grandparents' cabin, says summer to me like heading out to the ballpark to catch a game. Eventually I want to make my way to every park, except maybe that dreary prison (I didn't know you could move a stadium from Montreal to Tampa) or crazy neon funhouse down in Florida. I mean, seriously, ugh. Whatever. From catching the tail end of Mike Schmidt's career to seeing Mike Trout in the very early stages of his, all in person, there's little that beats a night at the ol' ballgame.
So, you need some snacks for that, right? Right. And if they not only keep kids happy but also go well with crappy, overpriced beer? Even better. That's why Cracker Jack is so popular. So, with venturing out with some Trader Joe's Grand Slam, TJ's is just maybe poking the bear a little. There's some classics, like Rollie Fingers' moustache, that you just don't mess with.
And while the thought of adding almonds, cashews and pecans to the tried-and-true peanuts seem like a very intriguingly good idea, the byproduct is almost worthy of it's own blooper reel. Think about it. Of course all those nuts will be chopped up into little itty-bitty bits, then slatered in sticky caramel goop and hardened...so of course they're gonna form a nutty conglomeration worthy of only the sturdiest of molars to undertake. And of course based on weight and settling and shuffling and what not, the nut clusters will all sink to the bottom of the bag (you know, like, all four of them), so one must dig through all the poofy popcorn to get some nuts then risk an unscheduled dentist trip to enjoy them. Well, good thing they taste pretty good - it's caramel covered nuts, what did you expect?
I think the bag cost somewhere around $3, and while it's a tasty enough of snack...well, call me a traditionalist (I hate instant replay!!!!) but I gotta go for Cracker Jack instead - better caramel and no nutty nutbombs. Plus you get that awesome sticker or temporary tattoo inside. Not a bad attempt TJ's, but sometimes, less is more, and when you're going against a legend, you gotta bring your A game. It says something that Sandy, a much more fervent fan of caramel popcorn than I can ever aspire to be, was a little displeased as well, for much of the reasons above. This "grand slam" seems more of a fly out to the warning track - might still bring something home, but in the end, it's still a sacrifice.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Grand Slam: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons