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, February 29, 2016

Trader Joe's Dried Baby Bananas

Zombie fingers. That's how the TJ's employee described these to Sonia when she bought them. And he's not wrong, as you can clearly see from the picture below.

Each banana is about the size of my pinky finger—on average, anyway. They're sweet, chewy, and they taste surprisingly like actual bananas. They have the sweetness and flavor of a dark, overripe specimen—you know, the banana that's been sitting on the counter too long—but without the nasty mush that comes with it. 

Texture-wise, they're very similar to other dried fruits, not crunchy like banana chips. They're fairly firm, and for lack of a better term, I'd say they're slightly "leathery," although not in a bad way.

There's one ingredient: dried bananas. Amazing. I'm not sure if "baby bananas" are just young bananas or if they're a different strain of miniature banana altogether, but they're extraordinarily snackable in my opinion. I also can't tell if they just leave the peel on the banana or if they take it off. I would think they'd have to take it off, but then again, perhaps baby banana skins aren't particularly tough like grown-up banana peels. Furthermore, the drying process may counteract any toughness that one might encounter.

Health-wise, they're pretty much like big bananas. Any sugars present are completely natural. Plus, there's protein and lots of fiber and potassium. I've often felt like just a little bit of banana, but didn't want to commit to a whole big piece of fruit. My prayers have been answered. They come in a handy, resealable bag, too, so there's no pressure to eat the whole package. The convenience factor on these little, natural treats is very, very high.

If you're into the taste of super-ripe bananas and like the texture of dried apricots, figs, or prunes, then these will be right up your alley. Perfect snack for a long hike or camping trip. Double fours on this one.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

23 comments:

  1. They taste like banana bread!!!

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    1. Yeah I guess they do kinda taste like banana bread...

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  2. http://m.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-baby-banana.htm

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  3. If these would stick around for halloween they would make fun factor on top of cupcakes for scary effect. Banana cupcakes would be fitting for these. I haven't tried it and since it seemed to state that they taste like banana bread so it is ideal gluten/vegan sub for those wanting a sweet treat

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  4. I want it so bad! I'd love a banana I can pack for lunch without worrying about it getting squished.

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  5. Price? Just curious because regular bananas are so cheap!

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    1. But baby bananas are more expensive than regular -- at my supermarket, $2/lb vs 49c/lb. (It's a different cultivar; the baby-bans are creamier and have a more intense flavor -- raw ones are h e a v e n , and I'm eager to try TJ's dried baby-bans.)

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  6. So excited these are back! They used to carry them several years ago and I always drew raised eyebrows when I would buy multiple bags. I find their texture/chew factor more enjoyable than the flattened banana slices. Hope they stick around this time.

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    1. Interesting! Didn't realize these were around before.

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  7. I just bought these today and am loving them right now.

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  8. omg that is the grossest looking thing! I think I'm actually afraid of it! LOL

    But you can't beat that potassium punch and someone above brought up the anti-squish factor....

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  9. Bought these last night.. the clerk was raving about them too.. They are delicious. I want to dip it in chocolate and nuts - :D

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  10. I purchased them this evening and dipped a couple into Nutella! Yum!

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  11. These are soooooo good! I'm having a hard time not eating the whole bag in one sitting.

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  12. Trader Joe's manager said they are seasonal. Do banana's have a season?

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    1. I didn't think there is. I see babanas at costco all year round... Com'on they have dried strawberries all year long..I would think strawberries are seasonal fruit.

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