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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Friday, December 16, 2016

Trader Joe's Sponge Candy

Candy. It's everywhere, at all times, but especially this time of year. Parties. Stuck inside cookies, which are also everywhere. As small, easy to give gifts. In little thematic ceramic dishes with elves and penguins on them, and if you're lucky, that elf is riding a penguin. Just earlier today, as an unexpected gift, I got a one pound box of chocolates thumped on my desk. "Merry Christmas" it said, courtesy of one of my company's field reps. Could be worse: she's wasn't the one who dropped the remnants of a 4.4 pound monstrosity off at the company table (umm, that'd be me). It's always within reach, it's the holidays, you're supposed to indulge...

...and I'm getting tired of it. Candied out. That's not to say I won't eat more, because I know I will, but man, the end needs to be in sight. Please tell me it is.

So, to be honest, I wasn't exactly anxious to try out Trader Joe's Sponge Candy. Yes, it's a thing, although I've never heard of it before. Don't judge me, I'm just sheltered. But the name kinda conjures up a kitchen sponge covered in chocolate....no thanks. Now a name like honeycomb toffee, I could go with that.

Regardless, does this TJ's candied sponge variant belong in your holiday candy plans?

Ehhhhh....maybe. I took a couple bites, and maybe I'm candyworn and jaded, but it's not that great. Not bad either. Inside the box there's a plastic baggie all filled with various sized chunks ranging from a mousey morsel to a two or three biter. Inside, they're all much the same: a thin coat of reasonably decent milk chocolate, and a light, airy, crispy yet rigid chunk of toffee-like substance. The sponge candy. It's an apt name, seeing as all the little air pockets and layers do visually resemble a sponge. The texture is kinda interesting - think maltball mixed with a wafer, except much lighter - but it's neither compelling nor offputting. The taste itself is, as I said, fairly toffee-esque except a little scaled back. It does make a neat little bite, but after one or two, I've had enough.


Both Sandy and I aren't swayed much one way or another. At least I can say I've eaten sponge candy and no, it has nothing to with Spongebob. A couple bites, and a shrug each. Cost only $3.49 for the package, so seems reasonable enough, in case you really actually needed any more candy. You probably don't. But there's a chance you'll like this stuff anyways.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Sponge Candy: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

12 comments:

  1. You need to get real sponge candy from Fowler's in Buffalo where it was invented! It's amazing!

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    1. I was just about to comment the same thing!! As a Buffalo expat, I was tempted to try out TJ's sponge candy when I saw it on the shelves. But after seeing the picture above, I think I'd rather just wait for the real thing.

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    2. Agreed! I'm from Buffalo too! I bought it because I was so excited, but it's definitely a subpar version of the Buffalo original. Also the milk chocolate is too sweet for the sponge. I much prefer it with dark.

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  2. Fowlers is wonderful - but I don't think they invented it. It's a long tradition in the U.K.
    Cadbury Crunchie bars are sponge candy.

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    1. Apparently Britain did have a version around for awhile, but it's different than the Buffalo version, which is what the Trader Joe's one seems to be emulating.

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  3. I have always known this candy as Seafoam.

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  4. Sea foam, honey comb, sponge candy, cinder toffee - all the same thing. Trader Joe's version is like most versions, and I wouldn't say it's trying to be like Fowlers. I've eaten a lot of this type of candy in the US and U.K. and I would say Trader Joe's version is pretty standard .... it is an excellent price in comparison to others.

    Fowlers does have a unique texture.

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  5. I LOVE this! I ate the whole package in one sitting.

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  6. I'm a Violet Crumble fanatic--wonder if this compares well?

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  7. Very similar to a violet crumble (or a crunchie)

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  8. Watsons in Buffalo is my favorite sponge candy, followed by Parkside.......yum.

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  9. Tried this and it taste like straight up butterfinger candy bars to me. Overpriced. Not impressed.

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