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Monday, May 23, 2022

Trader Joe's The Spice Market

Lucky me. Three fifths of this review is already written. Here are the relevant links:

Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Trader Joe's Chile Lime Seasoning Blend

Trader Joe's Everything but the Elote Seasoning Blend

Apparently the other two spices from this multi-pack are exclusive to this product. They are Trader Joe's Cocoa Cinnamon Sugar Blend and Trader Joe's Spicy Italian Style Sprinkle. Let's take a look at both.

First up, the cocoa cinnamon sugar dealie. I like it. It makes a killer cinnamon toast with a twist. Just add butter to plain toasted bread and a generous dusting of this stuff. Cinnamon toast with a bit of a chocolate flair. Beautiful. Sprinkle on plain oatmeal for a sweet breakfast treat. The kids wanted Death By Chocolate brand cereal but you've only got the plain stuff? Trader Joe's Cocoa Cinnamon Sugar Blend to the rescue.

Next, the Italian sprinkles. The base is really just salt and pepper. Pretty safe. But it would also be pretty boring if it stopped there. The medley of garlic, paprika, rosemary, and fennel, among others, really takes this stuff to the next level. It can turn any ordinary savory dish into an authentic Italian cuisine experience. I just had some with a cheesy spinach and onion omelette, and it was decidedly tasty. The spices added more than I expected them to.

$9.99 for three very popular Trader Joe's spices and two that you can't buy outside of this pack. The spices are $1.99 each when purchased individually, so you're not really saving money, but you're not losing any either. The presentation is pretty sweet, and this product would make an outstanding gift, particularly for anyone who cooks a lot but doesn't have regular access to a Trader Joe's store. If scoring the two exclusive blends individually, they'd get 7.5 stars and 8 stars, respectively. If you average out all the scores for all five spice blends, they're a solid 8 stars at least. So...that's it for Trader Joe's The Spice Market Set of Curated Unique Blends.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Trader Joe's Strawberry Lemonade Joe-Joe's


Somewhat disappointingly, no, it's not a first. 

For a hot minute I thought that the Trader Joe's Strawberry Lemonade Joe-Joe's were the first non-chocolate Joe-Joe's. There's been numerous variations over the years, but they all had chocolate, right? or so I thought before consulting the Google machine. Apparently there's been all-vanilla Joe-Joe's, but let's be honest, how would those be memorable? And a little over five years ago (which seems several lifetimes) there was a matcha variation reviewed right here on this very blog. That sounds....odd. Thanks Nathan for taking on that one.

Huh. Well, okay, let's re-spin this about the first Joe-Joe that I'd be eager to try that doesn't incorporate any chocolate? Unless there's some other type out there from over the years...anyways...

Strawberries and lemonade, a classic pairing. Sweet and tangy, it's a flavor combo that screams summer. Granted, that's usually in a tall icy glass, but here it's the classic sandwich crème cookie form. And not surprisingly, it works well.

Off the bat, the most prevalent flavor by far is the strawberry creme. It's rich and sugary and sweet, just like a good creme for a cookie should be. There could be a little more actual strawberry to it IMHO, but what's there works well. The "lemonade" is all from the cookies. At first bite, it's not all that present and is more overwhelmed by the strawberry, but about midway through first bite is when it begins to really kick in and offer more balance. The end result is a tasty, tangy, sweet little offering of a a delicios drink, but in familiar, comfortable cookie form. Deeeelish. 

No real complaints, except I want to eat more than just two of them, to just enjoy a little bit more of that final taste combo. My lovely bride and I plan to hide the box out of sight and reach from our little never-ending wild pack of little munchers who'd surely ravage the entire box if given the chance...that sounds cruel of us to do. We'll enjoy that, or just grab them another pack for the $2.99 next time we go. 

Summer fun in cookie form. Double fours. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Strawberry Lemonade Joe-Joe's: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Trader Joe's Pinks & Whites Dark Chocolate Bar

To the tune of Michael Jackson's Black or White: 

I gave my baby a big chocolate bar
It came from TJ's
I drove there in my car

And I do believe in miracles
Even though one didn't happen tonight


But if you're thinkin' bout' my candy
It don't matter if it's pink or white

They put my review in the Saturday Sun
I wrote my thoughts down, yeah, but it wasn't fun

And it's only an opinion
It's not like one is wrong or one's right

But if you're thinkin' 'bout my candy
Well I don't like this one pink or white

(uh hee hee)

And I think the clerk agreed with me
when this checkout gimmick entered his sight

He said, "The thing about this candy
is it ain't great, it's just pink and white"

It's pinks, it's whites
It's tough to say it's a good buy
Yeah, yeah, yeah

It's pinks, it's whites
It's tough to say it's a great thing
Yeah, yeah, yeah

That's all I got. I didn't write all the lyrics for that segue in the middle of the song where Macaulay Culkin raps on the stoop in the hood. If anybody feels inspired, please drop a few lines in the comments.

It's a very run-of-the-mill 54% dark chocolate base. There's shortbread and sprinkles fused onto the surface of the bar. It's very pretty and springy. I'll give it that.

That's about the longest ingredients list I've ever seen on a Trader Joe's brand product. $2.99 for the 3 oz bar. I believe it has already been discontinued. This is one I won't be heartbroken over.

Two and a half stars from me for Trader Joe's Pinks & Whites Dark Chocolate Bar. Three and a half from Sonia, who seems oddly impressed with the bites that include a lot of cookie.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.