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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Trader Joe's Hasselback Potatoes

Now for something completely exciting...potatoes.

When packing a lunch for school for our kindergartner M, either Sandy or I like to draw her a little note for her to see at lunch time. A little something to make her laugh or think is cute or whatever to let her know we're thinking about her. And by either Sandy or I, I usually mean Sandy, because I can't draw worth a crap. Recently, we've been on a Thanksgiving theme kick, and just so happened that I had to do one for her last week on a particularly busy morning...

I drew her a potato.

I mean, kinda cute one, maybe...or at least recognizable as potato, with haphazard Kawaii style eyes, a smile, with the words MASH ME. M at least said she liked it and smiled when I asked her, but yeah, she was not too excited about her potato.

We're not all that excited about these Trader Joe's Hasselback Potatoes, either.

It's not that it's a bad potato. It's....just a potato. I don't get it. I don't understand what the deal is. Maybe I'm unenlightened and all that...but seriously, these hback taters seem to be nothing more than a spud half-slashed by Wolverine and stuck in a box and frozen. Sure, a little butter and salt, but the outcome tastes not unlike a regular baked potato that you may or may not want to dress up a little more yourself.

Unlike other prepared veggie side dishes, you can't even really make a convenience argument here. Here's how to make your own for a fraction of the cost. That...doesn't really look complicated at all. Granted, these TJ taters take about half the time, so they must be at least partially baked before getting iced over...which reminds me. If you do buy these, bake for a little longer than the instructed 30 minutes. My spuds had some ice-cold nether regions on them still after half an hour. No bueno.

Kids liked them, we liked them...we're partially Irish, of course we're gonna like potatoes. But there's nothing special or cool or Trader Joe's-y or anything about these taters. Not even like a funky/cool spice blend. They're just partially baked/partially sliced potatoes, in a freezer box, and I'll be darned if their existence didn't make me try to think of potato/David Hasselhoff puns for at least half an hour and I can't think of a single one. Do you understand how frustrating that is? There's got to be at least one. Please. Help me.

Not a complete failure, but far from a success. Between all of us here, can't muster any excitement or a higher score. Matching 2s.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Hasselback Potatoes: 4 out of 10 Golden Spoons 


  1. I think it’s for the knife challenged or the ones who are way lazy

  2. I have found that most TJ’s products need more time in the oven than indicated on the package. That is one of the few things I find annoying about TJ’s. That and their horrible paper bags that break easily.

  3. How much was it? It should be offered with loaded choice like bacon & cheese. I can knock a big batch easily and saving money.

  4. I have made hasselback potatoes (and carrots, and zucchini) on a number of occasions and they are fiddly and take some knife skills but when baked should have a crispy chip like texture at the top and a more tender texture towards the bottom. Sounds like the freezing and reheating didn't execute well here though. I saw them but was skeptical, sounds like that was valid.

  5. I've made hasselback potatoes at home and love them. Bought these today and made them for dinner and YIKES. Baked mine for longer than suggested to get the edges slightly crispy but they were so horrible. Mealy, mushy, dry, powdery, just weird texture from the potatoes themselves. The only way I was able to choke them down was smothering them in TJ's new truffle dip. Definitely wasn't a fan of these potatoes.

    1. I think that they will pull the plug on these. Short lived product

  6. I used to make these all the time. Wash and slice a spud, put butter and a bit of minced garlic in the crevices, and bake. Comes out great, and not inconvenient to make at all.

  7. I dunno - even I can make a baked potato and I'm as kitchen-challenged as they come. As a matter of fact, a fresh-baked potato tastes so good to me that I often eat most of it without anything on it before it's officially part of a meal. I even throw caution to the winds and eat the skin.


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