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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Trader Joe's Spring Gummies

The tulips in the backyard really want to come out. But just when we think they're about to go full-bloom, they get pummeled with cold north winds and snow flurries and they just stay tucked away—a few tufts of green leaflets poking out of the partially-thawed ground. One of these days soon they'll present their pretty petals, but for now it's a bit too chilly still.

Nevertheless, it is indeed springtime and Easter's not very far away. Nothing's more vernal than blooming flowers, playful butterflies, and cute chirpy birds. Even the convenient resealable bag boasts gorgeous green grass and beautiful blue skies.

The colors of the candies themselves are pastel pink, green, and yellow. As far as I could tell, however, there was no difference in flavors. They all had the same vaguely sweet, mostly forgettable taste. 

It's just cane sugar and a bunch of supporting ingredients that give the candies their color and texture. Fortunately, there's no pork gelatin. Hooray for kosher gummies. Also, they're gluten free.

So these would be fine for a kid's Easter basket or just a mid-day blood sugar booster. We've seen some disappointing gummy candy from Trader Joe's throughout the years and we've also seen some amazingly delicious offerings. These fall exactly in between the two extremes flavor-wise. But since they're presented so nicely, we'll be kind when we score them.

$2.99 for the bag. I think they were new as of last year, and they're making their second seasonal appearance right now. Three stars from Sonia. Three from me for Trader Joe's Spring Gummies.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars

You ever see or hear or taste something "new" and immediately think, hey' I've experienced this before, but can't figure out where, when, or what it was?

That's 100% the case here with the new Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars. 

I swear I've had them before. Naturally, TJ's doesn't make these, or any of their products, so there's a chance I've had the brand name equivalent. 

Or maybe not. Let' be honest - how unique and different and everything can you get with a peanut butter granola bar? There's only so many ways to invent a wheel. 

Everything that can reasonably expected, and everything promised in photos and packaging is present. The bars are of sufficiently good quality with tier rolled oats and rice crisps and whatnot, which makes for a not too soft, not too hard bite with just the right amount of chew. They're neither floppy and flailing nor suitable for small construction projects. There's that peanut butter shellacking on the bottom side (that'd be the coat) with some extra kinda hanging around haphazardly atop (that'd be the drizzle). It's a small, perfect sized snack, plenty portable, filling enough for what it is, and no real complaints...

...but also absolutely nothing descript or unique or anything to set it apart from the crowd in any tangible way I can discern. Granted, I've barely had the brainpower to somewhat manage everything else I have in life recently, much less to categorically and definitively compare and contrast my nearly 40 years' experience of eating peanut butter granola bars to this particular TJ's brand. It's a big catalogue, and not well notated. All that to say, chime in if you got something, cuz I'm drawing a blank here. 

Nothing wrong, will rebuy, kids love them, nothing overly right, but hey, it's a decent snack. Not bad at all for what it is.  

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Friday, March 25, 2022

Trader Joe's Organic Date Syrup

Ah, the Deglet Noor date. So much deglettier than regular dates. They provide so much noorishment, those fancy DNDs. I'm being facetious, of course. I don't know much about dates, but you can click that link in the first line if you want to read a post that demonstrates at least a passing knowledge of a couple date species, as well as a brief review of a previous Trader Joe's date product.

I'm not sure why I was thinking the syrup would be clear and thin, similar to agave, but it's quite dark and somewhat thicker than I assumed. It looks very much like chocolate syrup or balsamic reduction.

The flavor is super sweet, but it's distinctly different than most sweeteners. To me, it's not a completely neutral flavor. It really tastes like dates. So it's fruity in that sense. But it's also a "dark" sweetness, more similar to molasses in a way than plain old sugar or something like Karo. Neither Sonia nor I particularly like molasses, but we both like this. It's like...what we always wished molasses would taste like...if that makes sense.

It worked great as a sweetener in our smoothies. We've been putting a bit of honey in them as of late, but this functions pretty much in the same manner. There is that deep, dark, almost caramel-like flavor to the date syrup, so it enhances the taste of the fruits and juices even more.

I won't say it's a replacement for good old maple syrup. I don't think there's anything you could put on a pancake or waffle that's hands down better than real maple. But if you wanna mix things up a little, this stuff sure isn't bad in that regard. The pic up above is Trader Joe's Organic Date Syrup on a piece of French toast. It was pretty tasty. Not better than maple syrup. Just different. I'm always down for a bit of novelty, but I think I'll return to the old standby for my next stack of flapjacks.

$3.49 for a 6.09 oz squeeze bottle. There's nothing but organic Deglet Noor dates in there. Pretty impressive product. Trader Joe's Organic Date Syrup gets four stars a piece from Sonia and me.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.