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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Trader Joe's Hand Twisted Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Remember Karen, one of our favorite Trader Joe's employee at our family's usual McCandless Crossing location located just a touch north of Pittsburgh, PA?

Obviously, there's little that's consistently the same these days. It's just an odd, confusing world out there right now. There's a few things that help me through, and one of them is finding the little, small things that were the same as before to give me something to hold on to.

Grocery shopping certainly isn't the same these days...but Karen is. Really, pretty much the entire crew there is. But Karen, with the way she continually greets either my lovely bride or I and asks how we're all doing, by name, and points out new products and "must trys" no matter how busy she is, will always stand out.

So when she tells me we have to try out the new Trader Joe's Hand Twisted Cinnamon Sugar Bread while she tosses it in the cart for me, I'll listen. Yes ma'am.

Judging by the complete lack of yeast and flour pretty much anywhere these days, most of you must be enjoying some homemade bread on the regular. We've had some on occasion. And I'll hold that homemade is almost always better than store bought if given the option.

That being said, this cinnamon bread is downright delish. It's an absolute treat.

The outside of the loaf is coated over with a sticky cinnamon sugar glaze like what you'd find inside a cinnamon bun. Unlike most of my home paint jobs, there's not a spot missed anywhere. 100% coverage. Off to a terrific start.

Inside as you can see there's a swirl of that same glaze permeating the entire bread. It's tucked in nice and sweetly under some heavy bready blankets - you can tell just by looking it's that thick, dense, crumbly type that exudes comfort with every bite. It does well to balance all of the sugar and spice and everything nice to keep it more on the side of viable bread than dessert, but man, that line gets straddled. Tastes awesome.

My one complaint: I wish it came presliced. Now, I recognize the arguments and advantages of slicing your own: portion control. Some like it thick, some like it thin, some like to Goldilocks it right in the middle. I get that. But the hand-twisted nature of this bread dictates that unless done with expert care it's pretty tough to make a precise slice that's 100% intact. I'm not a bread-slicing machine. We ended up enjoying too much of the bread more as narrow slice/chunk hybrids that would wouldn't preclude the load from being turned into scrumptious French toast, but kinda makes something like a sandwich hard.

Other than that, as always before, karen was right. This is some pretty fantastic bread. As someone who's taken up cooking and food prep these days as a stay-at-home hobby of sorts, I'd still opt for a homemade version of the cinnasugar loaf from TJ's, but this could fool me, almost. The perfect glaze job on the outside gives it away. Yummy stuff, my kids loved it and loved making a mess with it even more. Double fours.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Hand Twisted Cinnamon Sugar Loaf: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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