Search This Blog

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Trader Joe's An Assortment of Boozy Little Chocolate Truffles

Overall, Pennsylvania is a pretty good state to live in. Respectable weather more times than not, decent economy, reasonable cost of living (especially around Pittsburgh), good schools, two major cities with plenty enough culture and opportunities between them, lots of mountains and lakes, lots of cool, interesting towns. I've lived in three different parts of the state and have loved them all.

But not to say we're perfect. Biggest thing: Our so-called "blue laws." Although not really enforced, in some places it's technically illegal to play pool on Sundays. One law that is: can't buy cars on Sundays still. And most pertinent to this review: can't buy alcohol at grocery stores or gas stations, at least without jumping through some hoops.

So, yeah, while most of you enjoy the glory of TJ's with some sort of alcohol at them, we don't. So when superfans of our blog like Elaine from California offer to send us stuff like Trader Joe's An Assortment of Boozy Little Chocolate Truffles (can't buy 'em here!) we're all on board. Thanks Elaine!

Yup, at no more than 2.2% alcohol, these truffles are too boozed and infused to be on the shelves here. Though, let's be honest, at such a low percentage you're more likely to get buzzed from all the sugar instead of any of the spirits.

As you can see, there's four types of truffles here. Each kind is distinctly marked, roughly marble-sized, and packaged as nine pieces, so there are 36 truffles altogether. All have a soft chocolate shell with a oozy boozy caramelly center. Let's break down each, in order of preference.

Prosecco: Enrobed in white chocolate. Delish. These are easily the sweetest of the bunch. The sweetness of the white chocolate and prosecco play very well off each other, and is quite a pleasant experience. Sandy's favorite, and my second.

Scotch whiskey: Dark chocolate. Definitely the other end of the spectrum from the prosecco ones. Perhaps the most decadent of the bunch? I'd definiterly say the most rich. But the dark chocolate really is a good framework for the earthy goodness of the whiskey to shine through. My favorite, Sandy's second.

Navy rum: Navy rum? Never heard of navy rum. I blame my Puritancal upbringing. These are milk chocolate with a dark chocolate drizzle. Not terribly notable, a good solid truffle, and one can definitely taste the rum, but they are definitely the least distinct of the bunch.

London gin: Probably love or hate, depending on how much you like gin. There's definitely a certain sweet pine-y gin flavor poking thru the regular chocolate. I liked my second more than my first, but still, not the best here. Not awful. Sandy's not huge on them, making them the lowest on the totem pole here.

So there ya have it. Candy with booze for all the grownups for your holiday get-together. I'd say slip a few to the kiddos to make them crash, but that's irresponsible and would probably backfire anyways - much more sugar than spirits here.

Each box runs $6.99 which seems pretty reasonable all things considered. Must be 21 and not in Pennsylvania to buy. We like 'em just fine.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's An Assortment of Boozy Little Chocolate Truffles: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Trader Joe's Hold the Corn! Appetizers

Hold the corn! That must be a pun on "Hold the phone!" But wait, that doesn't rhyme—not even close. Ah, Trader Joe's must be making a play on "Hold the cone!" which is, in turn, a pun on "Hold the phone!" I guess TJ's is making fun of themselves. Unless this is somehow a play on "Hold the horns!" you you "hold the bull by the horns," buuut that's a stretch.

The inspiration behind the title of this product means nothing if the product doesn't taste good. Fortunately, it does. Oh how it does.

The rice wrapper here is crispy, dry. The veggie-based filling is moist and fairly rich, but not overpowering in any way. The primary flavors are sweet corn (imagine that) along with some onion, the rice from the shell, and juuust a hint of spice from the red chili powder, green peppercorns, and garlic.

I could have sworn I detected the taste and texture of quinoa up in the mix, but alas, there is none listed on the ingredients. They aren't excessively greasy or oily. The nutrition info here is very reasonable, considering how utterly delectable these things are.

There's also the slightest suggestion that these are somehow veggie spring rolls that want to be dipped in a sweet and sour sauce of some kind. I might have tried that pairing if we'd had any packets laying around. Most people might not have that inclination—Sonia certainly didn't—but I'm big into condiments, and I always want to dip my appetizers in something—maybe an avocado salsa or chipotle sauce would have worked here...? I would have even slathered them with melted cheese of some kind—not that they really needed it. They didn't last long enough to be experimented upon. Perhaps we'll try them with dips upon the next purchase—and there will be a next purchase.

Served as appetizers, these will certainly make your guests ready to eat more food. The only problem I can foresee is that the only thing they'll want to eat is more of these delicious cones of corn. Each one is like a mini cornucopia, perfect for Thanksgiving...or any other time for that matter. $3.99 for 12, found in the frozen section. Two big thumbs up and a very high recommendation from this nomadic half of WG@TJ's. Four and a half stars from me. Five stars from Sonia.

Bottom line: 9.5 out of 10.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Trader Joe's Rose Fingerling Potato Chips

Ooooh la la. Don't these sound fancy now? They're not just Trader Joe's Rose Fingerling Potato Chips, they have French Grey Guerande Sea Salt sprinkled on them! Never heard of that? Me neither! But sounds so fancy!

And look at them! They're called rose for a reason - they're pink! Well, they have pinkish swirls in them, at least. As the only male inhabitant of my household, I can attest to the fact that this only adds to the excitement of the purchase for most of my crowd, particularly the younger constituents.

Sound fancy, look they taste fancy?


In a blind taste test, I don't think I could tell these apart from any other crunchy kettle cooked chip. There's really nothing overly special here that I can detect. Crunchy, earthy, a little greasy, salty - yep, a good chip, for sure, but really not anything more than that.

Couple points though. First, either my local store's shipment had a particularly harrowing journey or these must be very fragile chips. I say this because the bag we bought was only about half-full, with lots of spud shards at the bottom. This seemed more than the norm. It's a good thing my girls and I like the little crumbies in our tummies because there were ample to go around.

Also: the price. It's not too horrible at $2.99, but that's more than the average bag at TJ's. It's also much smaller. Portion-wise, you're not getting as much bang for the buck as you could with other chips, which would be fine if the fingerlingers were a little more unique.

It's possible that maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough to fully appreciate the divine nature of these chippies, but neither would be my lovely bride, who is usually more attuned to those type of things. She took a bite or two and promptly labelled them as mediocre then let me and the kiddos squabble over the rest. 

We're unlikely to repurchase, as we don't buy chips too often anyways, and these were just meh at best.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Rose Fingerling Potato Chips: 5.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons