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, August 12, 2015

Trader Joe's Popcorn in a Pickle

In an upcoming podcast episode, you'll find out that Russ and I have taken opposing positions on two of TJ's newest and most-talked-about, most-posted/pinned/tweeted/instagrammed products: this pickle popcorn and the Key Lime Tea Cookies. I was originally going to review the tea cookies first since I tried them first, but now that we've talked about it a little and I know where each of us stands, I think it would be better if I started off this new batch of products with a positive review. Negative reviews have their place and are sometimes necessary, but there's plenty of negativity in the world currently, don't you think? 

So let's be positive for a minute...and maybe just a bit silly.

Ahem. This product is the answer to that age-old question: "What the dilly, yo?"

Yes. This stuff. This popcorn is the dilly, and it is indeed very dilly. It's cooked in dill oil, and although that's the last ingredient on the list, you can sure taste it. I personally don't think they overdid it with the dill flavor. Any less and you might not know they were going for pickle popcorn. But as it is, it's unmistakably flavored like a dill pickle. It's that salty, vinegary, dilly flavor you've come to know and love as a pickle—yet it's popcorn. Unlike a popcorn we looked at long ago, you can't see any of the spices or flavors on the exterior of this popcorn. Looks-wise, they appear to be normal, average, everyday, unassuming, non-pickle type corn kernels. Looks can be deceiving.

Texture-wise, it's similar to what we've seen before from TJ's flavored popcorns: nice fluffy, white, fully-popped corn kernels with a nice crunch and firmness, with very few "widows" or unpopped kernels. If you like the smell of a dill pickle, but could never get into the whole cucumber-soaked-in-vinegar type mouthfeel, you might want to give this product a whirl. It's like eating a dill pickle taste-wise, but with a brand new texture. 

I must admit that I can't completely binge on it. A handful or two can be very satisfying, but more than that and it feels like I'm overdoing it. It's almost like the dill oil builds up in my system and doesn't leave it very quickly. Maybe Sonia's body processes the dill faster than mine, but she's entirely happy to binge away. Overall, though, I think it's a very unique popcorn flavor executed quite nicely. I give it four stars. Sonia sees my four and raises me half a star.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

17 comments:

  1. Wonder if its as strong in flavour as canadian snacks. We like it nostril burning, puckering pickly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a few snacks while I was visiting Canada, but none of them were pickle-flavored, so unfortunately I couldn't tell you, sylvia...

      Delete
    2. Did you try dill pickle wheat thins in the states last year? They were about 50% as prickly as Canadian brands.

      Delete
    3. No, never heard of them. But I'd try them if I saw them :)

      Delete
    4. I had a sample today. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. There was barely any dill pickle flavour in these, maybe a 3/10 pickliness for me. Oh well. The Wheat Thins were a limited edition and they were about a 7/10 pickliness. I did try some bacon popcorn at Trader Joes and that was good!

      Delete
  2. I love this stuff. I'm like you, though, in that a handful or two is all I can handle before it becomes too much. That's probably a good a way to help me cut back on snacking.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As someone who's mostly had to give up pickles (vinegar=acid, more acid=stomach contents making a break for it), this stuff is great. Enough dill and vinegar flavor to taste pretty darn close to a pickle, without being overwhelming (as some salt & vinegar chips can be).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my gosh I can't wait to try this. I wish it were creamy dill pickle popcorn. I remember having creamy dill pickle potato chips in Canada that I became addicted to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those crazy Canucks and their pickle flavor...

      Delete
    2. I bought it tonight and it is fantastic Nathan. I agree you can't eat too much at one sitting, you get sort of brine out. I figure if I want to make it a creamy dill I can just sprinkle in some dehydrated powdered sour cream.

      Delete
  5. Now if I only could get dill pickle ice cream... Had it at a test outlet store back in the late 1960s and it was really good. I used to get one scoop dill pickle and one scoop black licorice ice cream.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I picked this up after seeing this post and unfortunately I'm not a fan. It tastes like I'm eating solid pickle juice. As soon as as first kernel hit my tongue I said "whoa that's strong." I ate a few before I had to stop. Looks like my husband will be finishing the bag on his own.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this popcorn! So goooood for a salty craving

    ReplyDelete