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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trader Joe's Chicken Parmesan Lollipops

What's the deal with meat on sticks?

Sorry, that was me channeling my inner Jerry Seinfeld.

But really, what's the deal? I have a theory: Our ancestors used to have to run around and club animals with sticks then roast them over a fire to eat. But no, not our modern selves. Nowadays, we put meat on a stick for fancy occasions (say, hors d' ouevres at a wedding) or at mass gatherings of civilizations (like county fairs) or in the case of these Trader Joe's Chicken Parmesan Lollipops...well, I'm not sure why there's a stick in them. I guess it's just to remind of us of how far we've come. We're ahead. We're advanced. We're the first mammals to wear pants.

Sorry, that was me channeling my inner Eddie Vedder.

Let's talk about these inner chicken on a stick thingies. I'll try to be careful about how I refer to them, because calling them certain things sound a little, um, phallic. Use your imagination if you so choose.

Channeling my inner Abraham Lincoln, I'm going to be straight out honest with you, to perhaps a fault: I have not been this sorely disappointed by a Trader Joe's product in a long, long time. The best way I can think of to describe them is, imagine you're eating some breaded chicken parm, and some of the breading slips off and gets all mixed in with the sauce and cheese, with maybe an itty bitty teeny weeny bit of chicken in it. Taste good? Yeah, sorta. Would you pay $5 for a box of 10 McNugget sized pieces of that? No? I sure wouldn't....except I did when I bought these. I'm almost tempted to tag these as vegetarian, because I truthfully cannot verify if any actual chicken is used in these, because whatever was included was so scant it was pathetic. As one of the very few "meat cheats" I make as a roughly 85% vegetarian, it's even more disappointing, and honestly I'm feeling a little bit ripped off and cheated..

Sandy was even more enthusiastic initially about them then I was, and as I pulled them out of the oven, she excitedly ran to the fridge, curiously yanked out her self-proclaimed "favorite condiment" and then as she picked up her first chicken stick, dejectedly exclaimed "Ugh! Why's there red stuff in it?" I was very confused about this sequence of events until I realized she transposed the words "chicken" and "parmesan" and was expecting slightly cheesy chicken nuggets ideal for dipping into mustard, not infantile quasi-Olive Garden knockoffs. She harrumphed the rest of the night away. "They'd be okay for appetizers but that's about it," she said. She also noted the complete absence of discernible clucky parts, so it wasn't just me. Sandy's giving them a two, graciously, I think. Me? When the best thing you can say about a product is that it comes with it's own toothpick, that's not really a ringing endorsement. Perhaps I'm just unreasonably grumpy about the whole thing, but I'm channeling my inner Richard Dawson. Survey says....

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chicken Parmesan Lollipops: 2 out of 10 Golden Spoons     


  1. I have to agree with you on these. I wasn't impressed at all.

  2. Maybe my fiance and i were just really hungry when we tried these... but we thought they were good. Againt, probably because we were ravenous after just coming back from the gym. We cooked these up along with the sun dried tomato/basil chicken meatballs and dipped them into TJ's no salt added pasta sauce.

  3. My thoughts were with Sandy's. I now feel dirty having eaten these. I can't imagine these being carried for very long in the store.

  4. I liked them. Your taste and mine don't coincide very well.

  5. Agree! They were such a disappointment! Chicken McNuggets taste more like chicken than these duds. I'd cry fowl, only there wasn't any. What WAS that chopped up mushy stuff anyways? The family does a traditional junk-food Christmas Eve every year. Looking for junk food with class, we got everything at Trader Joe's. Herbed Brie Dip? Check (only get it while it's hot otherwise you are eating wallpaper paste). Unexpected Cheddar? As good as the $16 a pound stuff. Multigrain Pita Bite Crackers? Yum yum. But Chicken Parmesan Lollipops? No way.

  6. Maybe it's because we had a sample of these in the store before we bought them and knew what to expect, but we liked them. I usually will not eat ground up & fried meat of any kind, and I thought these were pretty good. We will probably purchase them again, but I do think they make a better appetizer than a meal.

  7. Horrible...absolutely horrible. Arguably one of the worst frozen foods I've ever had from a store of this stature. A bagel bite stuck on a toothpick would have more flavor. I can't comprehend how this got past the typically-selective TJ's food tasters. Do not, I repeat do not serve this to guests unless you're all absolutely stoned at 2am in the morning when even the pizza box tastes great. Did I mention that this was absolutely horrible and a complete waste of money ?

  8. The sweet and spicy mustard is my favorite condiment too! I won't be tainting my mustard with these chicken pops, thank you very much.

  9. Hahaha. I was thoroughly entertained by this. And yes I did try them and my interpretation is similar and goes a little like this... Imagine chicken Parmesan that is chicken and breading and cheese and sauce that someone chewed up, spit into a ball, stuck a stick in it and then you ate it. The end.


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