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Friday, November 5, 2021

Trader Joe's Indian Style Garlic Achaar Sauce

Why is Indian food so delicious? I don't think I've ever had an Indian dish I didn't like. My hypothesis: it's the spices and sauces.

This tasty new Trader Joe's brand condiment lends credence to that theory. It's piquant, potent, and fabulously flavorsome. However, I have to share the following: while re-familiarizing myself with achaar sauce via internet search, I came across another popular jarred garlic achaar sauce: Brooklyn Delhi. First of all, that's a freaking brilliant play on words—not a Brooklyn deli like a delicatessen, but Delhi like the city in India. Ha! I love it.

Anyway, I mused for a moment about whether Brooklyn Delhi could possibly be Trader Joe's third party supplier of their own achaar. No sooner had the thought entered my mind when I stumbled across a tweet from the founder of Brooklyn Delhi calling Trader Joe's offering a "cheap, watered-down knock-off" of her version. 

All I have to say is DANG, girl, if this stuff is watered-down, then your roasted garlic achaar sauce must be absolutely life-changing and I must try it as soon as I can get my hands on some.


Because "watered-down" was the phrase farthest from my mind when I first tried this product. It's so rich and flavorful. It's super garlicky, but there are also hot chili spices and a deep, earthy bite that's so unique. We put it on naan bread with some eggs and garlic-flavored goat cheese. Fan-freaking-tastic. It's honestly quite noshable with nothing but bread—the eggs and cheese just made it a complete meal.

This would go great with chicken, fish, shrimp, fries, appetizers...honestly it's probably easier to list things it wouldn't go with than things it potentially could. I wouldn't try it with desserts, I guess. It would ruin ice cream or cake, I suppose.


I'm excited to experiment with it. $2.69 for the jar. It's not a huge jar, but a little goes a long way. Four and a half stars from Sonia. Four from me.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Trader Joe's Caramel Coffee Almonds

Something amazing happened this past Monday. Perhaps the first time in the history of the world. 

There I was, alone at home, working. Wife at work, kids at schoool. Had the house to just me and the cats. Day after Halloween, the candy bucket is near overflowing with trick-or-treat booty...all the peanut butter cups and KitKats ant whatever else I could possibly ever want to eat, with no one to stop me...

...and I didn't touch a piece. Collected absolutely no dad tax. None. Zip. Zero.

Probably helps I had a bag of Trader Joe's Caramel Coffee Almonds nearby for a sugary snacky, with a bonus buzzy benefit. 

By probably I mean absolutely. Those Reese Pieces wouldn't had a chance. 

Do the coffee nuts seem familiar? It's because they are just like the TJ's Caramel Coffee Cashews except, well, the nut type used. 


Same sticky sweet coating of caramel and coffee grounds. It's more coffee forward / caramel on the backend whick works well with the roasty earthy goodness of the almonds. The caramel isn't too sweet or coying, nor is the coffee too bitter and joyless. If an actual coffee drink were amde that'd taste just like this, I'd probably opt for it over black drip or Americano. 

A quick little handful will do and give a quick, short acting buzz, which is nice to help get throu the early afternoon lulls without overcaffeinating with yet another cup of coffee. Good nuts. I like 'em as does the wifey.

Does anyone actually prefer an almond over a cashew though? I kinda doubt it, and I can't grade higher than their predecessors based on that...but we'll come close.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Caramel Coffee Almonds: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Trader Joe's Mashed Sweet Potatoes


A very long time ago at a county fair in central Pennsylvania, I had some sweet potato fries from a random vendor. They served them dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar, and then poured some maple syrup over them. They were absolutely dessertastic.

Although I've recreated the recipe at home a few times since then, I've come across quite a few other restaurants and eateries that serve sweet potato fries, and in every instance they bring them out with ketchup or tartar sauce or some other condiment that I consider an abomination to pair with sweet potato fries. I never got that.


That would be like making sweet potato casserole with mayo and relish or tomato sauce or something like that. Nobody ever does that...because it would be disgusting. You put sweet stuff like marshmallows on your sweet potato casserole. And with this convenient, Thanksgivingy Trader Joe's offering, I decided to add cinnamon, maple syrup, and a dab of whipped cream to emulate a mushy version of those delicious fries.

And it was awesome. Sonia thought so, too. The product on its own is fine, as well. There's only one ingredient: sweet potatoes. So you know what it's gonna taste like, right? The bag contains approximately 35 pellets of frozen sweet potato. I guess about 10 pellets equals one serving. So you throw the desired amount plus a little water into a sauce pan. They melt right down into a smooth mush in about 6 minutes. There's not a lot of lumpiness in the equation. The product has a very nice even consistency, and it seems to be as flavorful as any non-frozen mashed sweet potatoes I've ever had.

If you want to get fancy and make a marshmallow glaze with chopped pecans and whatever else, this would work. Or if you want to take the lazy man's route and just dump a few tablespoons of maple syrup in the mix, top with a couple teaspoons of cinnamon and a dab of whipped cream, I can verify that tastes great that way, too—very much worthy of Thanksgiving Day dessert status in my opinion.

$2.49 for three and a half servings—could stretch it to four if you're serving with a big Turkey Day meal or anything like that. Four stars from Sonia. Three and a half from me.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.