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, March 23, 2015

Trader Joe's Baconesque White Cheddar Popcorn


Here's a recent realization: Trader Joe's is as bad as Target. You know what I mean. You go to Target for some toiletries, some cleaning stuff, and maybe a snack, and instead you walk out with an extra hundred dollars worth of stuff you never intended to buy - that cute kids outfit, the clearance rack finds, the hey-look-this-is-on-sale junk. Happens to us over and over again. There's so no such thing as going to Target for just one or two things, there's at least a couple extra things that will somehow sneak into your cart.

Same way with TJ's. Case in point: I made a quick stop there on Thursday morning last week to simply get some cheesecake bites for my wife's work function that night, and a bag of apples for me. That's it, I said, nothing else. When our shopping list at TJ's is the shortest is when we tend to get the most stuff, somehow, and I was going to stick just those two things, but wait a second....

How can I pass up Trader Joe's Baconesque White Cheddar Popcorn? Look at that awesome packaging! And it contains bacon! Or at least bacon-like substance! And it's popcorn! If Sandy knew I passed this up, boy oh boy, would I be in trouble, right? Fortunately, at $1.99, it's a pretty mild splurge.

And darn it, is it one worthwhile one. Sandy and I cracked this open in the car, and in the less than 10 minutes we spent in transit between TJ's and her work, early in the morning, we ate half the dang bag. No lie. It was kinda strange, though - when we first ripped the bag open and gave it a whiff, hoping to partake in a deep olfactory experience of all that is "baconesque" - we were met with little to nothing. Instead it smelled just like regular white cheddar popcorn, which is a yummy smell, however, by definition is baconly barren. But once we popped in our mouths, that's where the bacon experience began. Granted, it didn't taste exactly like some bacon right off the griddle (it's impossible to replicate that), but it had a lot of the same essence - the smokiness, the saltiness, a little mesquite. Combine that with the white cheddar (typical of the genre) and it makes an intoxicatingly good flavor combo that's balanced out. I for one really enjoyed how the smokiness cut through the cheesiness and added depth to the flavor profile. Although a serving contains a lot of salt, I'm kind of surprised each bite didn't taste saltier than it did, as it didn't taste like sodium overloadium. Each kernel was appropriately fluffy and firm, without too many (if any) widows.

My goodness. This is such a brilliant snack idea - why did this take so long? And it's easy too. About the only better idea than bacon popcorn would be something like popcorn bacon - hey, they have popcorn shrimp and popcorn chicken, why not an easily assessable and mobile munchable bacon? I suppose bacon jerky could fill that void, which if you can stand the heat, TJ's has a ridiculously delicious one. Hmm...maybe if there's a way to get actual bacon in here...I digress.

The bacon flavoring does one heckuva bang up job. And the bonus is - the deeper into the bag you get, the more baconlicious it gets. Trust me, the last handful I dumped straight from the bag into my mouth was close to pure heaven, and it'd be worth all sorts of domestic unrest for me to get it. If a Partially Popped Popcorn version comes out, hypertension, here I come. The Baconesque will be one of those danger purchases for us regardless - it'd take a miracle for a bag to last more than few hours around here, and to put that in perspective, we've had those cookie butter cheesecake bites haf finished in our freezer for over a week now. This is some seriously good, borderline Pantheon-worthy popcorn. Proceed at you own risk.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Baconesque White Cheddar Popcorn: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons

13 comments:

  1. Funny, I go into Target, hardly ever find what I want or prices I like, and never walk out with anything half the time. Now, Costco is another story.

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    1. Haha, we just joined there not too long ago...we kinda know we're in for it there, too!

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    1. nope - i've actually lost quite a bit of weight recently. why are you asking?

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    2. Cuz I could never eat the things you do, like chocolate Babka cake and not be huge. How do you do it?

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    3. Lots of veggies and healthy stuff the rest of the time, portion control, and run every other morning. Note: Portion control did not apply to Baconesque White Cheddar Popcorn - was too good! :)

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    4. This response makes me love you guys all the more! :-) You keep WGATJ such a happy place! It's just a safe place filled with laughter and snacks and ridiculously funny narratives.LOL

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    5. Also, I bought two bags of this the other day. I love it. My son, not so much! Which is crazy because he's the meat eater, not me. That boy ain't right.

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    6. Thankss for the love, tigalilee! Too much bad food and animosity out there, we try to avoid it all (or at least tell you to) here. :) As for your son, well...there's always hope, right? :)

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    7. I've been looking for this for weeks now at the stores around me in California. No luck; even the employees don't know when/if it will come. Enjoy it, People Who Live in Places That Trader Joe's Likes!

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