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Monday, June 29, 2020

Trader Joe's Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Dip


The heat of the summer is definitely not a favorite time of the year for Sonia and me. Don't get me wrong, I like wearing shorts and t-shirts rather than 18 layers of flannel and heavy outer garments, and taking a dip at the local pool is always fun—although, I don't even know if public pools are open this year. Are we swimming with masks on now? Does snorkel gear count as a mask? Darn you, 2020.

Eating ice cream and popsicles makes more practical sense when the weather's warm, so there's that. Also, cold, dairy-based dips and crisp veggies are good snacks for these higher temps. And here's a fun fact: spicy foods like jalapeno are helpful when it comes to staying cool and beating the summer heat. Apparently the spice makes you sweat without moving around a lot, and the moisture helps keep your body temperature low. Just think about it: most cultures that consume a lot of hot, spicy foods are found in warmer climates. See: Mexican food, Indian food, Thai food. Yum. Makes me sweaty just thinking about it. But that's kinda gross, so never mind.


Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on how you look at it—this dip isn't jalapeno-ey enough to make me sweat. It just flat out needs more spice if they're going to include "jalapeno" in the title of this product. There's just enough to provide a vague background warmth after consuming numerous bites of the condiment. There's very little kick up front.

The dip is quite creamy, however, and the cauliflower actually adds to said creaminess rather than detracting from it. It also lends an earthy, rich flavor that dairy alone might lack. Texture-wise, the dairy elements are very smooth, and the cauliflower must be pureed into oblivion, because there's hardly anything cauliflower-esque about the texture. There's just a hint of gritty coarseness.


All in all, it's not a far cry from any other cream cheese-based dip I've ever had. As much as the cauliflower flavor enhances this dip, I still think it could have worked with more cauliflower and less dairy flavor. If I were re-formulating version 2.0, I'd magnify the jalapeno presence nearly tenfold. There might be microscopic little bits of jalapeno in this version. I'd add substantial jalapeno pieces. Maybe not big slices like you'd find on a stack of nachos, but quarters of slices, perhaps.

Don't think this will be a repeat purchase. It's a neat idea, but it's just not memorable or flavorful enough, and there are way too many amazing dips already available at Trader Joe's. Three and a half stars from Sonia. Three stars from yours truly.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

2 comments:

  1. I think you are so wrong about this dip. I bought it today and am already obsessed! Yes, the jalapeno could be bumped up quite a bit. However, the texture, flavor, and addictive-ness of this dip on carrots, pita crackers, whatever! has me hitting myself over the fact that I didn't get two, and will have to go back for more real soon. 8/10 for me!

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  2. This dip is delicious! I give it a 9.5/10

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