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, January 12, 2015

Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky

Combine my last product review of 2014 with my first of 2015 and voila! It's like I knew this was gonna happen.

Actually, truthfully, I first became aware of the existence of Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky through our good buddy Marvo at The Impulsive Buy. How he, on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean enjoying 70-plus degree weather, can be first tipped off about it before I can is amazing. Must be all the time I spend grooming the icicles out of my beard here in the 'burgh. No matter, once I had the good news proclaimed unto me, I immediately became like the dogs in the Beggin' Strips commercials - "Bacon! Baconbaconbaconbacon! Bacon!" - complete with the deep doggy snuffs and all, and as soon as my master, I mean my wife, allowed me to go to TJ's to procure some, I came home with two fresh sacks.

Sandy I just devoured our third. Yes, I made another trip to TJ's just to get a couple more packs, all under the guise of "refamiliarizing myself with the taste before writing my review." The things we have to tell ourselves....truth be told, it's just that darn good. Be aware, you gotta like spicy - really like spicy a lot - to have a chance of ingesting this jerky. This sriracha's coming atcha' and is not playing any games. It's fully, peppery, fermented heat that will warm your insides through and through. Yet there's an initial sweetness that, although shortlived, is enough to ever-so-slightly play off that heat for a little nuance and character that will help convince your brain that your body isn't trying to digest straight napalm.

All of that is in the thicky, sticky, litte-bit-goopy glaze that coats all of the glorious, thickcut bacon. It's meaty, with only a little fat here and there, and is easily chewable - much more like bacon bacon and not actual jerky. The doneness straddles a good line between floppy and crispy, with a little bit of both here and there, like any good bacon should be. Fortunately, even with all the spicy sriracha all over the place, the taste of the meat pokes through as well, which really kind of binds the whole product together.

This is gooooood. Really really good. But, as jerky tends to be, kinda pricey. Most TJ's jerkies are in the $6 range for about 3.5 or 4 ounces. This bacon jerky? $5.49...for a measly two ounces. I mean, really, for that price you can't put in a couple more slices? There's some print on the bag stating "best if consumed within three days after opening." That's silly, TJ's - try making this last three minutes, let alone three days.

I guess, though, judging by my purchasing habits of the past couple days, my price complaint is only pretty minor. Other than that, this bacon jerky is something I feel is made especially just for me. Sandy loves it as well - she prefers her bacon to be cooked to be crispier than these slices were, but she loves that the bites aren't as chewy or stringy as most jerky is, and how this easily could have been. I'm pretty hesitant to start off the New Year with two straight pantheon reviews - that is an honor that's neither taken lightly nor given out often - but sometimes, you just gotta call it as you see it.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky: 9.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons  

7 comments:

  1. I'm salivating. But.... 2 ounces? hmmmmm...

    Uncured bacon--check.
    Bottle of Sriracha--check.
    Food dehydrator--check.

    Time to experiment!

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    1. i like the way you think. i expect a full report on your results. :)

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  2. Used it as a topping for a wedge salad I made using TJ's new chunky blue cheese dressing/dip (in the refrigerated section)... so good!

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. My husband loves this stuff! Especially cooked up with some scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese :)

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  6. This stuff is crack. It's almost like meat candy. Good thing it's so expensive so I don't eat five bags in one sitting.

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