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?"

Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Trader Joe's Sour Gummies T's & J's

Ah, Sour Patch Kids. The American standard for tooth-rotting, roof-of-mouth-irritating, zero nutritional value, sugary, soury sweetness—an institution nearly as deeply-rooted in our junk food culture as Coke or McDonald's. As a boy, I'd go through a box of them during the course of a two hour movie at the theater. (Needless to say the local dentist made a fortune off of me). I remember my mouth watering as I'd tear open the packaging. Sour Patch Kids—the paradigm of sour gummy candy on Earth. Until now.

Sweetened with cane sugar and natural fruit flavors, Trader Joe's has offered us these "T's" and "J's" as their answer to the classic sour gummy candy. And it's a stellar effort, in my humble opinion. TJ's has done gummy candy before, and we've reviewed it here at least twice. But this product is truly my favorite. I don't just mean from TJ's...and I don't just mean sour gummy candy. I think this is the best gummy candy I've ever had. Strong words, indeed.

Let's start with the texture. The candy is nice and soft. If anything, I'd say it's just a hint softer and more pliable than your traditional Sour Patch Kid or sour gummy worm. Each piece is coated in the familiar "sour sugar" that graces the exterior of most classic sour gummies. It falls off just as easily—and it still irritates the roof of my mouth, although maybe not quite as much as other sour gummies...? That might just be because I didn't eat the whole bag in one sitting as I did in years past. The letters are nice and flexible, long and thin. If you're so inclined to suck on the candy and get that super tart start and then a sweet finish, I swear that since there's a bit of increased surface area on each gummy, that they dissolve faster and deliver more taste than your traditional Sour Patch Kids, which are basically just oblong slabs vaguely molded to resemble weird little zombie children. All that to say that I think these candies are optimized for maximum flavor-delivery from a geometry standpoint...amiright? Russ isn't convinced.

Flavor-wise, they taste more natural than most sour gummies. That might not be saying much, but there was always a weird glaze and aftertaste that would hang around in my mouth long after the box of Sour Patch was gone.  Also, TJ's choice of flavors is a bit more refined than your average pack of sour gummies: tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, and lime. It took me a while to figure out which flavor matched with which color. I figured out that the deep reddish color must be grapefruit. I think they were going for a ruby red vibe. The orange-ish color is tangerine. The colors of the lemon and lime flavors are nearly indistinguishable from one another, but I think one has a delicate green hue you can detect in certain light.

I really have no complaints about this candy. Sonia loved them too. There's even a resealable bag to keep them fresh (which does help one avoid the temptation to consume the entire bag all at once). If I were comparing this to Cookie Butter Ice Cream or Chicken Tikka Masala, I might not hold them in such high esteem. But I'm comparing them to every other gummy candy I've ever had, so I can't deny them a near-perfect score. Sonia agrees. 4.5 stars from each of us.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

8 comments:

  1. I agree that they're good but they're not sour enough for me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could see that. I kinda thought they were on par with SPKs in terms of sourness, but I know there are sourer candies out there like sour warheads, etc...

      Delete
  2. But on the bright side they are natural flavored. Plus it is perfect that they use citrus based flavors like "refreshing".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do you remember if these contained gelatin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to the ingredients, they do not contain gelatin.

      Delete
  4. The label says they are kosher (pareve) so definitely NO gelatin

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear God, these are addictive. If they added a sour cherry flavored letter to the batch, I'd mow through bags of these.

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are my new favorite! I have never been a fan of sour gummies but these are inn a class by themselves. Love the citrus flavors. They are not mouth puckering although lemon did cause me to squint. I seriously can not put these down. One after the other.

    ReplyDelete