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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Trader Joe's Maple Streusel Bread

Pumpkin spice? Where we're going, we don't need pumpkin spice.

*flips down sunglasses*

Yes, yes, I know...it's that time of year. As sure as the turning of leaves and late summer into early fall, here come all the social media posts about pumpkin spice this and that and everything else conceivable. I see them all over the TJ's fan pages. I don't blame you...but I just can't join you. Not that huge a fan.

Give me maple all day every day instead. And if you can, give it to me as the new Trader Joe's Maple Streusel Bread. 

Oh. Mah. Goodness.

Let's not deceive ourselves here. There's nothing healthy about this. Even I cringed a bit looking at the nutritional stats the first time, and I'm no prude. Nor is maple truly an autumnal flavoring - mapling season runs late winter into early spring.

But still. Everything about this maple bread evokes fall. Warm up a slice and taste for yourself. Warm gooey maple ribbons, brown sugar swirls, maple glaze with buttery streusel around the perimeter, densely decadent dough with a hint of mild maple...oh man. Sensory overload. It's like every slice is a syrup-logged piece of French toast, except of being soggy and limp, it's dry bread. It's amazing.

And so, so rich. The first slice was so amazing I had to go back for more. About halfway thru the second, I questioned my judgement. Literally, this stuff sits like a brick in your gut. For a quick and easy breakfast-y kinda deal, I truly appreciate that to keep me going. Pick it up and you'll feel it - the loaf feels way more chunky than it looks.

I mentioned French toast. This streusel bread would probably also make awesome French toast, but man, it tastes so good as is I didn't try that yet. But I will. Ohhhhh I will.

No complaints from me. None. There's almost even a homemade quality to it that I'd love to try and pass off as my own. Your unscrupulous Aunt Millie just might. Sandy loved it as well, though she noted she wished it had even more maple. She's a mapleholic though on the level of Buddy the Elf.

It's $3.99 a loaf which strikes me as a very fair deal. And like squirrels readying themselves for winter, you better bet we'll be stocking up for a long winter ahead. Y'all stick to your pumpkin spice, we'll be quite happy, thank ya.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Maple Streusel Bread: 9.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Pita Chips with Sea Salt

There are instances in life when classic potato chips just won't cut it. Likewise, there's a time and place for tortilla chips...and a time and place to refrain from the consumption of tortilla chips. To everything, turn, turn.

Enter: the pita chip. Thicker, denser, more rigid than its commonplace counterparts, the pita chip has long been a friend of middle eastern condiments like hummus, tzatziki, and zhoug, as the back of this packaging suggests. 

But if there was ever an All-American pita chip, this is it. Made with wheat flour, these pita chips are thick, strong, and crunchy. They'd go great with dense cheddar cheese dips, onion dips, or, as Sonia and I can personally attest, spinach dips.


And yes, in case you were wondering, the product picture in the middle of this review is actually the exact same picture we used for the spinach dip review, although each is cropped differently, as you might have noticed.

We did also try these chips with some non-Trader Joe's hummus. Sonia has been purchasing little single serving packages of Sabra hummus as of late, and they go great with that stuff, too. I just feel like they were born to be paired with that spinach dip for some reason.

There's a fair amount of sodium in these bad boys. But hey, it's sea salt, right? Sea salt doesn't raise your blood pressure, does it? Actually it does. 

And that might be my biggest complaint about these chips. There's too much salt, and I'm not sure it helps the taste all that much. That rich bready flavor and big dramatic crunch are the reasons we'd possibly purchase this offering again. There's not many ingredients, and a thick and rigid texture. 

$2.29 for six ounces of snacky satisfaction. Not a bad value, either. Double fours here.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Trader Joe's Super Sour Scandinavian Swimmers

Coming late summer...to a Trader Joe's near you...from the same geniuses who brought you Scandinavian Swimmers comes a new gummy snack that...will...blow...you...away!

Pucker up...it's Trader Joe's Super Sour Scandinavian Swimmers!

It's time to dive in!

Okay, that was kinda lame intro, but try reading it in the movie trailer voice, so a little deep, booming, and dramatic, and think of this new yummy gummy offering as yet another summer sequel or remake of a classic

And yes, I still chuckle at the name too.

But yeah, if you're familiar with the regular swimmers and are looking for a slightly sour twist, these are the snack for you, no doubt.

Notice I didn't say "super sour," unlike the product name. Slightly sour. Mildly sour. Like, not really all that sour. For reals.

Perhaps Sour Patch Kids aren't the be-all-end-all of sour candies, but they're a good benchmark. These Scandy swimmers are nowhere close. You know how your mouth will hurt and lips sting once too many SPKs have passed them by? That's an impossibility here - the fishies just aren't potent enough.

Like SPKs, the TJ's sour swimmies use crystallized citric acid as the souring agent on the outside. The granules here aren't nearly as big and aren't quite as densely populated. The end result is a rather mild sour effect - it almost ventures more towards tangy than sour. Oh well.

Aside from that, there's a lot to like here. The gummies are soft and inviting, a little chewy, and definitely not stiff. The flavors are kinda fun, though I had to look them up - redberry starfish, (which taste like any red candy) huckleberry dolphins (I would've guessed blue raspberry), orange tangfish (spot on), and strawberry clam shells (a red berry that is different from a redberry, apparently). Yummy and gummy, just how I like my candies. And as always, added bonus of no weird chemicals and artificial colors - just fruit and veggies. Regrettably, also palm oil though. Nothing's perfect.

So in short, there's definitely blockbuster potential here, but like many summer movies, the end product just might not live completely up to the hype. Still enjoyable though. And for $2.99, definitely a good buy. Maybe sneak them into the movies. Paying full retail at the concession stand would definitely be the sourest experience of all.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Super Sour Scandinavian Swimmers: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons