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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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trader Joe's Bollywood Popcorn

I wish I had something intelligent to say about Indian cinema and all the Bollywood classics that I'm sure exist. I simply don't. Closest I come is being able to say I was in the same room once or twice when Sandy was watching "Bend It Like Beckham" (I was probably writing a half-witted review, much like this one). And how representative that particular movie is of most Bollywood fare...I have no idea, because I don't know any better.

And I won't admit to knowing much about Indian cuisine, either. Most (okay, all) of my exposure has been either at Indian restaurants or the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe's, and how authentic that experience really is...I don't know, either.

But I can say I've eaten a lot of popcorn, and that whenever I've had any version of tikka masala I've loved it. Finally, those two classics have come together in Trader Joe's Bollywood Popcorn.

Ripping open our bag took some persistence and care. It probably didn't help we were pretty eager to chomp some down for a night of Olympics watching...but this was a tough bag to crack, to balance the force necessary without causing a popcorn micro-supernova. The payoff, though, was amazing - a big, aromatic cloud of cloves and cumin and garam masala, which quickly laid to rest how potent the seasoning might be on a simple popcorn base.

Potent is an understatement. My goodness. The best way I can explain it is a "happy heat." If you're a tikka masala fan at all, you know what I mean - it builds slowly but surely, with a lot of warmth, and it just lingers on and on, but it's never overbearing. I'm kind of amazed it comes from popcorn and not an actual dish with chicken or paneer and rice.

Combine all that with perfectly munchable popcorn kernels - solid, fluffy, crunchy, well popped, without many (if any) widows. It's a perfect snack. And it's been a long, long time since we've done this, but Sandy and I housed the entire bag in about an hour's time - that's what we get for keeping it within reach on the couch. And for once I can claim we were equally guilty.

To be honest, I'm trying really hard to think of anything even remotely critical to say about this popcorn, and I'm coming up empty. No deductions at all from these two American judges. And only $1.99. Perfect 10.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Bollywood Popcorn: 10 out of 10 Golden Spoons  

11 comments:

  1. It's really tasty, I just wish they used mushroom popcorn. I always wish that tho, I can't even imagine how good the Grand Slam Carmel corn would be with mushroom popcorn.

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  2. They need to sell the tikka masala seasoning in a jar! That would be a game changer!!!

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  3. Oh my gosh I can't wait to get some of this. I live in Seattle and we have some of the best Indian food here. How do you think it would be heated up in the microwave for a few seconds with a tiny drizzle of butter?

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  4. Agree, this stuff is the bomb! Hard not to finish the bag once it's opened...

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  5. Oh, my. I'm happy to see this. Elsewhere, I've seen everything from pita crisps to potato chips with tikka masala flavor, and they're all amazing. I second the idea of tikka masala seasoning sold in a jar. But if I had that, I'd never have to buy a bag of these because I'd make my own popcorn with it.

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  6. Ok Folks...I bought this tonight. I put a good amount of it into a big bowl & popped it into the microwave for 20 seconds. I had already melted a tablespoon of whipped butter. I drizzled the butter over the warm popcorn. Yum yum. This stuff is awesome.

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  7. I knew I was a lightweight but even this is too spicy for me!

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  8. The bag incorrectly states it contains 5 servings....hmmm I dare someone not to eat the entire bag in one sitting. Dangerously good!

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  9. Delicious, but warning it does turn your fingernails yellow!!

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  10. Ate one half of the bag driving home from the store. Brilliant! For those sensitive to spice-- it does have a bit of a bite-- it may not work for you. Otherwise, indulge!

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  11. So we picked up a few bags of these for a party we just had with about 15 people. Unfortunately, you're review of this popcorn did not fare well with the attendees. Most folks thought this was the most disgusting popcorn they have ever tasted including us. The know the herd mentality of folks that follow this blog, but this time I think the advice was off. Would not give this one more than 3 out of 10.

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