Google Tag

Search This Blog

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Trader Joe's Peaches & Cream and Mango & Cream Yogurt Cups

Many moons ago, we took a look at Trader Joe's Blueberries & Cream and Vanilla & Cream yogurts. They were both deemed delicious, thick, and among the best-tasting yogurt products that we've ever tried from TJ's. This other yogurt duo has some things in common with the blueberry and vanilla, and a few differences.

Let's start with the commonalities. They're both beautifully-packaged, they're both ultra-thick and creamy, and they both have the word "and" mentioned three times in their product titles, though two out of the three are cleverly disguised as ampersands. They both come in small cups, but are still very filling.

But unlike the blueberry and vanilla combo, this one features two flavors that wind up being a little too similar. Mango really shouldn't taste that much like peach. But in this case, Sonia and I both felt that it did. It's not that we couldn't tell the difference between the two flavors, because we could...but the mango flavor seemed, well, just a little peachy. Also both flavors look the same, too. They're just slightly different variations on this pastel shade of orange...I guess it's tangerine? Or coral? Saffron maybe? Anyway, that's beside the point I guess...the point is, you almost have to look at the picture on the cup to figure out which yogurt you're eating.

Also beside the point is why "peaches" is plural and "mango" is singular. Is it because they used multiple peaches per cup but only one mango? My guess is that they went with "mango," singular, because they didn't know whether to spell the plural with an "e" or not: "mangos" or "mangoes." That zany mango presents quite a conundrum. 

And certainly, mango is the riskier of the two flavors. Peaches and cream is what started the whole "fruit and cream" craze. It's a classic. If you actually get the yogurt to taste vaguely of peaches and/or cream, you pretty much can't go wrong, and they nailed it. It's delicious. But in our opinion, the mango flavor tastes a bit like peaches and cream too. It's not like Trader Joe's doesn't know how to do mango. They've done mango gummiesmango juicesmango chocolates, and mango cereal, among other things. Just type in the keyword "mango" in the search box below the intro to our blog and four pages of mango-related products will pop up. And good or bad, virtually all of those products tasted like mango. But for once, Sonia and I actually wanted more mango flavor. And that's our biggest complaint.

But still, this is a great product overall. If you're looking for a thick, sweet, dessert-like yogurt, look no further. You don't even really have to like mango. You just have to like peaches and cream. Sonia gives this product 4 stars. I give it 3.5.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.
*Since the nutrition information is a little hard to see, here are some of the stats you might be missing: Total Carbs 20g, Fiber 0g, Sugars 17g, Protein 4g.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar

Even when I was a much younger rumblin' tumblin' typhoon of a kid, I always disliked the word "lover's" in the name of any food. Prime example: Pizza Hut's Meat Lover's Pizza. Now, I like pepperoni and sausage and beef and whatever other bits of carnation that get piled on top, but I think the simple act of saying the name was like a confession I wasn't willing to openly, unabashedly proclaim: "I love meat! Mmmmm meat!" Plus, let's face it, there's better, more verbally understated ways of celebrating one's appreciation of meat, like ordering a bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Or a turducken. Or, when given the opportunity like I have recently, unashamedly taking a thick cut of pepperoni and smearing a swath of buffalo chicken dip all up on it and savoring every last bit....ummm, I mean, dear, I totally didn't do that this past weekend at your cousin's kid's birthday party...I'm a terrible, terrible absolute hack of a vegetarian wannabe.

So, Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar. I'll skip over the long awkward name bit (e pluribus unum at TJ's) and focus on that word again: Lover's. Now, I like dark chocolate, but love? Can't go there. Sorry, dark chocolate, you've been friendzoned.

 If the "85% Cacao" label on there isn't indication enough, this is one seriously dark chocolate bar. Kinda like an early days/obscure b-sides album, it's not for everyone even if you're otherwise a fan. It's the darkest TJ's carries, and unlike so many of their other fine choco-creations, there's nothing else mixed in to break up the flavor. And honestly...I didn't expect it to be so sweet. Granted, it's more bittersweet than anything, but I'll confess to have eaten straight baker's chocolate squares before, and I kinda expected the same flat kind of flavor despite the "smooth and fruity" the labels proclaims these bars bring to the table. Nuh uh. Smooth and fruity, while bitter seems about right, plus there's this kinda alcohol-y bit to it, though of course they're booze-free. Is floral a word I can use to describe chocolate? I don't know, but I'm tempted to anyways. It's dark, it's strong, and it's unexpected...hard to adequately describe, but if you've tried you know what I mean.  This ain't no Hershey's.

For a $1.49 for two (!) bars, it's a small, risk-worthy pick-up. I thought Sandy and I would each plow our way thru our own piece. Oh no. It's chocolate worth nibblin' on and slowly enjoying, like a mature grown-up or something. I'll admit that my first impression wasn't so hot, but with each successive smidge I liked it a little more. One bar between the two of us was more than plenty for one night. Sandy enjoyed it a bit more than I did and goes with a four. It's a bit potent for me, but I don't think I'm quite the intended audience, so I'll be fair and say a three...nah, 3.5.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons