So what we have here are essentially Belgian Danishes. How exactly does that work? Mightn't the Danes be offended that the Belgians have been ripping off their signature multilayered puff pastries with fruit filling? Are the Belgians no longer content just being known for waffles and cookie butter? Could such an offense start an international conflict of sorts? Even a war?
Probably not. The Danes and the Belgians seem like relatively peaceful folk to me. Northern Europeans have left their ancient Viking ways behind them. If there were a conflict between the two nations in question, it would most likely be settled on the football pitch—er, sorry, "soccer" for all you Yanks. Both squads, particularly Belgium, were looking like pretty good contenders for the World Cup—right up until this past week or so. But hey, there's always Qatar 2022.
Back to the food review. The picture on the packaging clearly depicts round Danishes—I mean pastries. But when we opened our bag, we found little frozen squares. After baking, they were more like squares with rounded edges. Our pastries required a little more time in the oven than the instructions called for (20 min.) but the first batch was still on the undercooked side. After removing them from the oven, they stuck tenaciously to the foil that lined our baking sheet.
Sonia says the pastries are "very buttery." I'd call them "oily" or "greasy," but I guess that's basically the same thing but with a slightly more negative connotation. The breading is soft and flavorful, and the raspberry filling is plentiful, sweet, and full of real raspberry. The fruity taste of the filling tends to overshadow the bready flavor of the actual pastry. I like fruit filling just fine, but I think these could have had just a tad more bread and a tad less fruit. Didn't think I'd ever have to make that request, yet there it is. I'm sure plenty of people would be more than okay with the amount of fruit here. It's just the carbivore in me craving more bread.
Eight pastries in the bag for $3.99. Eight servings in the bag. Serving size one pastry? I guess that's not quite as ridiculous as "half a cookie," but these Belgian Danishes aren't even as big as normal cookies. Most people aren't going to stop at one unless they're sampling other desserts or turned off by the oiliness. Also, the name: 8 Mini Raspberry Pastries? Lame. I think they should have played up the Belgian Danish angle and called them Trader Joe's BelDanes or something catchy and quirky like that. I know, I must have missed my true calling as a marketing guru. Such is life.
Four stars from Sonia. Three stars from me.
Bottom line: 7 out of 10.