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Friday, July 8, 2022

Trader Joe's Chili Pineapple Kettle Popcorn

Another week, another shopping trip, another time TJ's is upping the summer snack game. Salsa verde chips? So delicious...but so last week. 

This week: Trader Joe's Chili Pineapple Kettle Popcorn. I 

Spice and pineapple aren't new bedpartners by any stretch. Just at TJ's they've had spiced dry pineapple and pineapple BBQ sauce around for a while, though maybe the sauce has been DCed? Anyways, this isn't exactly a new innovation, except that now, it's in popcorn form. 

There's a lot going on here, and it's hard to wrap the tastebuds around it all. First off, make no mistake: this is some seriously sugary stuff. Glancing at the label and doing some easy math, this popcorn is literally half straight up added sugar...and that tastes like an understatement. I swear I could almost see Wilfred Brimley packing up a box for me, it's so sugary. There's no getting around that. But then all the other flavors begin coming up - some heat from paprika, a hefty dose of tangy lime, a little faint pineapple, another hefty swoon of suagr and little salt to boot too. I've read some other reviews that liken the overall flavor to being a spicy Froot Loop - I don't entirely agree but I can see where that assessment is coming from. There's certainly enough sugar for that claim, but not quite enough overall froot, er, fruit, and the spice, while present, isn't exactly overpowering. It's sugar and lime more than anything else.

Every bite is perfectly munchable though. The popcorn is liberally coated with the dusting of all those flavors, and is slightly crunchy with all that suagr. Underneath, the poofed-up kernels are soft and pillowy and inviting. It's a fun texture, which more than anything else kinda makes me want to eag the whole bag...well, that, and still trying to figure out all the flavors...

That's the thing, though. There's not really enough pineapple to really tout its presence as a titular ingredient, not when there's so much lime and sugar and everything else when pineapple is fith highest, at most, on the flavor profile. At the same time, I'm glad not even more sugar was added to try to amp up the pineapple, but I just wish it had more pineapple to it, even if everything else had to be taken down a slight notch. 

Regardless, this will be a summer snackin' fave, I'm sure of it. Unless something else comes to a strong start here this summer, TJ's, keep it coming. Double fours. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chili Pineapple Kettle Popcorn: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Trader Joe's Salsa de Cacahuate

The other day I was thinking about how much I loved delicious, spicy salsas and how lucky I was to have married a woman that can make hot southern Mexican dishes for me once in a while. Then my thoughts wandered to peanut butter. There's nothing more American than a good, old-fashioned jar of peanut butter, I mused.

Then I thought...if only I lived in a world where some culinary genius had mixed spicy Mexican salsa with peanut butter. I mentioned my silly daydream to the beautiful wifey, and she informed me that not only did such a substance exist, but that we had actually picked some up on our last Trader Joe's run and there was a jar of it sitting right in our pantry.

I was overjoyed. I asked, "Why didn't you tell me this stuff had peanut butter in it?" She replied, "I thought you knew."

The salsa base is made with guajillo chile peppers. We recently looked at Trader Joe's Guajillo Salsa, and it was a definite thumbs up. I, personally, like this salsa even more. Have I mentioned there's peanut butter in it??

We heated up some shredded chicken and onions on the stove top, added a few spoonfuls of this salsa, and tasted it. Magic. I found myself dumping even more of the salsa on my portion of the chicken. 

It was very similar to a chicken mole dish, but with a brighter, fruitier flavor. There's tomato puree and tomato paste in this salsa and even some lime juice. The spice level is comparable to the above-mentioned guajillo salsa, medium-hot, but it's tempered slightly by the peanut butter.

Sonia definitely enjoyed it, but I think she's a bit more of a guajillo purist than I am. Four stars from her. This peanut butter aficionado gives it a perfect 5 stars, although I should mention it's not the type of salsa I'd gravitate toward for simple chip dipping. Would definitely buy again to cook with shrimp or chicken.

$2.99 for 12 oz.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Trader Joe's Salsa Verde Flavored Corn Tortilla Chips

 It's July...time to spice it up with your summer snackin', don't you think?

Chips and salsa are a classic staple, but if the heat's making you too lazy to dip (been there), but you still want all the flavor, look no further than Trader Joe's Salsa Verde Flavored Corn Tortilla Chips.

Seriously, these chips. Amazing. Imagine all the good, vibrant flavors of a good salsa verde. A little onion, a little garlic, some fresh tomatillo, a good dose of lime, a little heat of pepper...if that doesn't make your math water, there's something wrong with you. But instead of a chip and salsa, it's just a chip. Nothing more, nothing less. 

That's exactly how these new salsafied tortilla chips are. Super firm, a little thick, incredibly crunchy, and oiberally coated every square micrometer with salsa verde in dusty form, these chips pack a snack punch that I haven't had in quite some time. It's almost transcendent. I love them, and as any good flavored chip, the more you eat, the more the flavor intensifies. I don't think I've ever had a chip that's held any more flavor, ever, of any kind, than these. Chip technology is being pushed to the cutting edge, it seems. 

Really, I have no real complaints, at all, except that maybe there's a splash too much vinegar here that amps up the sour acidity just a wee bit much. A lime can really do that on its own, or at least not seem as forced. It's not overly distracting, but it does stray towards a bit much. As do i here by trying to find a fault. 

Delicious chips. We bought them less than 24 hours ago and they're nearly gone. The flavor intensity is just so inviting and delicious, and not offputting at all - heck, my kids who are normally kinda wusses when it comes to these kinda things can chow them down like a boss. 

No dips needed to enjoy - that honestly may distract from the real flavor here. But you could convince me to try a little sour cream or guacamole here. If you really want tastebud overload, pair a handful of these chippies with a glassful of the mango jalapeno lemonade. That'll get your knees knocking. 

Love 'em, no complaints from anyone here. Absolute repeat buy. Can't stop til I get enough. Perfect fives. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Salsa Verde Flavored Corn Tortilla Chips: 10 out of 10 Golden Spoons