Fortunately, though, Mother Nature cut us some slack this past weekend - sunny, clear skies. Temps in the 60s. Downright springlike, anyone reasonable would say. One of the best things about spring in Pittsburgh is the plethora of Greek food festivals around (lots of Greek Orthodox churches), so the warm weather started me thinking about them. Anything to give you hope, I guess.
with other Hellenic delicacies. But "settle" seems to be about right for these stuffed snackies. There's a lot that's good about them - the leaves are right; while a bit oilier than I'm used to, the texture's also about right - but, I don't know, they lack a little something. Particularly, it's a little lamb. Perhaps I'm a bit spoiled, but I'm used to having lamb meat in my stuffed grape leaves, and these have none. Interestingly, though, the package isn't marked "vegetarian", yet the ingredient rundown lists no meat product, except for potentially in the very vague "spices", which I presume means something like chicken broth in this case. It's an okay attempt - the rice tastes fine, with the right flavorings, albeit without pine nuts - but the word "okay" is about where I start and end.
I could offer Sandy a million drachmas, and she still wouldn't eat one of these, ever. The cold grape leaf wrapper just gets to her and she can't get past it. I hate doing the solo judge schtick, but she'd just give these a zero, and that's not even remotely fair. So, sorry, this is all on me. I'd buy them again for the $3 or so they cost for the teeny bucket of eight, as they taste alright enough and make a decent enough little snack that's relatively healthy enough. They certainly are filling for the two bites you get from each. But, in the end, they just make me a teensy-weensy bit more anxious for spring to arrive with all of its food festival glory. Something like a three sounds about right to me.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Dolmas: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons