Friday, December 14, 2018

Trader Joe's Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Grady the Grotesque Reindeer
Had a mouth full of corn,
And if you ever saw him
You'd also note the peppermint horns.

All of the other reindeer
Thought he was ugly and rough.
They never let poor Grady
Grace the bags of Trader Joe's stuff.

Then one crusty Christmas month
Big Joe came to say,
"Grady with your mouth so gross,
Won't you show your face the most?"

Then how the customers questioned him
As they shouted with disgust,
"Grady the Grotesque Reindeer,
We'll tolerate you if we must."

And that, boys and girls, is how this packaging came to be. The candy on the inside of the bag is another story altogether. You can see them there in Grady's mouth. They're just popcorn pieces covered in chocolate and peppermint. They're not bad. I recommend shoveling only one at a time into your mouth. Otherwise, as Grady can attest, they're quite a mouthful. And you'll feel, quite unfortunately, the way Grady looks.

What else can be said about these snacky spheres? The "caramel corn" layer doesn't particularly taste or feel fresh, but that doesn't matter a whole lot since the peppermint and chocolate flavors blend so nicely with the saltiness of the popcorn. If there were some magical way to make the popcorn seem fresh-popped, we might have a real winner here.

If you like peppermint bark and ever wanted it to be more salty, then this is the Yuletide snack for you. There's both dark and white chocolate in here, and that makes the overall flavor a bit more complex, since most peppermint bark I've seen is just white chocolate with peppermint bits. Also, there aren't really candy cane pieces in this blend. I think the peppermint just comes from the "peppermint bits" and peppermint oil. They're much finer grains of peppermint than I'm used to. Slightly more pleasant than biting down on sharp shards of candy cane, IMO.

Sonia thinks they're "super pepperminty," and not in a good way, apparently. She doesn't think the popcorn flavor is prevalent enough. I agree it doesn't taste as much like "popcorn" as any of the other elements, but do think the corn provides a significant saltiness. I think if they had used regular popcorn and not caramel corn, it might have worked a little better.

Sonia will be today's Grinch and bestow Grady's grains with three stars. I'll be slightly more generous with three and a half.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.


  1. Sorry, but have to disagree again. Something about your peppermint items here. The brownies aren’t peppermint enough and these are too much? Maybe you aren’t peppermint fans. As a huge peppermint fan, I REALLY like these. Just grab a couple and pop them in. They aren’t like popcorn where you’ll need a bunch to snack on. With these 2-3 is plenty as a little treat. Also saying you don’t taste the popcorn is odd to me...people don’t eat popcorn to taste it. Not many people want dry unsalted air popped popcorn, we want salted, buttered, cheesy, Carmel popcorn. Popcorn is a carrier that adds texture, as it does here. Of course I wish they were straight dark chocolate, since white chocolate is a liar and just terrible, but with that punch of peppermint I can let the white (not) chocolate slide. (And I understand the look of the white chocolate makes them more fun like little snowballs.) I’d give them 8.5/10 just shy of pantheon status, they are really fun(as the awesome bag advertises), textural explosions of peppermint goodness. Love ‘em 🙂🙃🙂🙃

  2. Trader joe’s lost me here- i know I don’t want peppermint involved in my popcorn. Peppermint and chocolate? Sure. In my toothpaste? Yes. And that’s about it.

  3. Likely a misplaced comment....haven't tried these. But I did pick up the Baked lemon ricotta. IT IS THE BEST THING EVER. Complete 10/10 in my book. I haven't loved a product this much since....I don't know. I wish I knew how to stockpile it. It's just heavenly.

  4. No one commented on your amazing poem so I'll be the was hilarious! The popcorn looked a little weird/gross so I'll pass but enjoyed your review all the same.