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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Trader Joe's Cheesy Trees

It's funny how snacks marketed for children often use animal shapes: Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, and of course, classic animal crackers like Barnum's Animals...

And I'm not saying you couldn't pull it off, but if you were throwing some fine holiday soiree, it would be a little weird to put giraffe and elephant-shaped crackers out to enjoy with wine and fruit, for example. However, if said crackers were shaped like evergreen trees, nobody would bat an eyelid.

And if there was any doubt that these trees are alluding to Christmas trees in particular, there's a spiel on the packaging that starts with "O Tannenbaum." 

Furthermore, this product flaunts a particularly wintry theme on its packaging, including a fox with a scarf and a rabbit wearing gloves. There's evidence of snow on the ground, and even the songbirds are bundled up with earmuffs and knit caps.

I'm not sure why cheese-flavored tree crackers are particularly seasonal, wintry, or Christmassy, but it works somehow. And indeed they do pair well with a nice Cab. They boast a strong, sharp cheddar flavor, but their texture is relatively thin and delicate. They're buttery to the touch—completely covered in real cheese. They necessitate napkins. And as you can see in the photo above, the depiction of the crackers on the box is pretty close to their actual size.

Unfortunately, about half of our trees were broken at the time of consumption, which might be a bummer if we were concerned with presentation or were attempting to impress guests. But luckily for us, it was just Sonia and I gobbling up the crackers by ourselves after a nice hike with our poorly-behaved pets.

After wolfing down a good portion of the bag, a bright lightbulb appeared over Sonia's head. 

"What is it!?" I exclaimed.

"Tomato soup!" she replied.

She scrambled over to the pantry and parted a row of chicken noodle and lentil and produced a lone can of Progresso Tomato Soup. She held it high above her head and The Hallelujah Chorus mysteriously poured out of each corner of the room as a brilliant, pure white light filled our house, its source unknown.

She proceeded to heat the soup and served it up in two bowls, which were swimming with tree-halves just moments later. And it was heavenly.

Sonia was enthusiastic about the trees from her first bite to her last. She gives them four and a half Christmas stars. I liked them just fine, although I don't think I'd snack on them just by themselves on a regular basis...but I'd never discourage Sonia from keeping some on hand, just in case I get a hankering for a bowl of tomato soup again. Three and a half Christmas stars from me.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.


  1. 1)Sonia is a genius.
    2) all crackers should come in whimsical shapes (i have both pretzel goldfish and saltine goldfish in my cupboard, yes they taste better, no i don't have kids)
    3) broken cracker calories don't count



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