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Friday, December 2, 2022

Trader Joe's Mini Peppermint Meringues


I've admitted before on this blog that I'm not big into the texture of meringues. I think it was in a review of the
Vienna Coffee Meringues that I likened the texture of Trader Joe's meringue cookies to chalk. These are really no different. So why try them at all you ask?

Because sometimes Trader Joe's surprises me. And even more frequently than that, I surprise myself. Somehow, peppermint lends itself to crunchy, sugary stuff more than most flavors. I guess I'm thinking of candy canes. I'd always be too impatient to suck the thing slowly, and I'd just snap a big piece off and start crunching away, much to the chagrin of my parents and childhood dentist.

Anyway, if I could chew hard candy peppermint as a kid, I guess I can give these airy, crunchy peppermint dealies a try. At least these are meant to be crunched rather than sucked, so there's that. However, I can't imagine they're much better for your teeth than a candy cane.


The flavor is fine. It's candy cane-esque, with sugar and egg white mixed in there. I still can't fully get past the texture, though. I'm fine chomping on one or two at a time, but I could never really see myself craving these sweets over any other type of cookies or candy.

I guess one reason people like them is the zero fat content and low calorie count. If not for the sugar content, these might be considered keto-friendly. In fact, the serving suggestion says 11 "cookies" are only 80 calories. I had to see what other folks were saying about these meringues around the web and stumbled across a review that summed up my feelings on the subject nearly exactly: "I'm convinced that eating 11 of these would put you in the hospital, needing an IV insulin drip."


He's right. Eating 11 of these in one sitting should be called the Trader Joe's Mini Peppermint Meringues Challenge and should be regarded with the same contempt that sane folks have for things like swallowing an entire Carolina reaper pepper or a whole shaker of cinnamon while filming oneself on TikTok.

$2.99 for the tub of ~38 mini meringues isn't a bad value. I definitely wouldn't buy them again. Predictably, Sonia tolerated them a bit better than I did, but she's not down for a repeat buy either. I think we're looking at about three stars each on Trader Joe's Mini Peppermint Meringues.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Trader Joe's O' Nog

History repeats itself. After trying Trader Joe's O' Nog for the first time, I think Sonia said verbatim the same thing she said after tasting Trader Joe's Almond Nog.

"I like this better than regular egg nog."

Blasphemy. Culinary heresy, pure and simple. Vegans and lactose intolerants, you guys get a free pass. But the beautiful wifey is neither of those.

I'm just kidding. She's free to think silly things like that. And I'm free to think that traditional egg nog will never be surpassed by anything non-dairy.

But comparing this to full calorie, milk-based, egg-laden nog is unfair in some ways. So let's look at it for what it is: it's an oat-based beverage that very nearly approximates the flavor of traditional egg nog. It got the sweetness level right. It got the spice blend right. And it came very close to getting the creaminess right.


The texture, like the almond nog, is noticeably more watery than the real stuff. And while the almond nog was predictably nutty, this oat beverage is predictably grainy in a similar sense, flavor-wise.

This drink reminds Sonia of atole, or atole blanco, a traditional corn-based Mexican beverage usually served hot. So, logically, Sonia tried Trader Joe's O' Nog warmed up and she absolutely loved it. I must agree it works as a hot beverage, possibly even better than it does when served cold.

I can verify it works well when mixed with bourbon. I'd assume, like egg nog or almond nog, that it would go great with rum, brandy, J├Ągermeister, or any number of alcoholic additives, too.

It's not just dairy-free, but also vegan, soy free, gluten free, and lactose free. The only ingredients not in the "2% or less" category are water, hydrolyzed oats, and cane sugar.

$2.99 for the quart. Sonia will go with four stars again. I'll go with a solid three for the noble effort on Trader Joe's O' Nog Non-Dairy Oat Beverage.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Trader Joe's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Advent Calendar


Goodness gracious, Trader Joe. Talk about self-promotion. There's so much advertising for your own stuff on this advent calendar, you should pay us to take one!

But, alas, I did pay the whopping 99¢ for 24 pieces of chocolate. Let's see if they're as bad as Trader Joe's Old Advent Calendar.

Actually, nope. These are fresher somehow. Maybe it's because this one is wrapped in cellophane. I feel like the ones many years ago were just cardboard. I could be wrong, though. It's been 11 years.


Nevertheless, these chocolates are nothing to write home about. They're just plain sweet milk chocolate with no gimmicks, no surprises. I'd never buy them if not for the 24 interactive countdown windows. Advent calendars are fun even if the chocolate is yucky. Also, this one has a handy dandy checklist on the back with all your favorite Christmas items. They're the same ones featured on the artwork on the front.

Coincidentally, we've reviewed just about all those products on the advent calendar. Two can play at that shameless self-promotion game, Trader Joe's.

In the top left, we've got a big tin of Trader Joe's Jingle Jangle.

In the bottom left, I see a bag of Trader Joe's Scandinavian Tidings.

On the top right, there's a bottle of Trader Joe's Winter Wassail.

Also, on the right, I spy with my little eye: a carton of Trader Joe's Almond Nog.

And there's some Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's down there, too.

Last but certainly not least, there's a jar of Trader Joe's Cookie Butter.


What can I say? It's fun and cheap. And the chocolate doesn't taste like glue or cardboard. Three and a half stars a piece from Sonia and me for Trader Joe's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Advent Calendar. That's fair, right?

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.