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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Trader Joe's Ketchup Flavored Spud Crunchies

"But what if I don't like ketchup?"

Whoomp there it is.

That question hung in the air, pregnantly. Even I, who spoke it, couldn't believe it left my mouth. Karen, who is our family's favorite local TJ's employees, was experiencing some minor shock. I mean, there she was, working the sample station, giving my kids animal crackers, and telling what new and fun things I needed to try...and I laid that on her. I, Russ, who lives in Pittsburgh, within easy walking distance of where Heinz Ketchup was originally both created and manufactured, as a full red blooded American, admitted that I don't like ketchup. Never have, not even as a kid.

"Ummm...welll...I don't know how to answer that. But you oughtta try them, I guess. They're excellent," Karen finally said. "I don't know how to not like ketchup though."

Of course all of this was in reference to Trader Joe's Ketchup Flavored Spud Crunchies. Who better than me, lifelong ketchup skeptic, to review, right?

I don't know why I don't like ketchup, and after having about half the bag of these stick shape snacks, I still couldn't tell you. These are great. Each spud stick is liberally coated with a dusting of ketchup flavoring, and there's no mistaking it when it hits the taste buds. Initially, it's a touch tomato-ey sweet before moving on to other various flavors, like vinegar, onion and garlic. It's all very well balanced and ends with a touch of mild spice. In some ways the flavor is almost ultra-mild barbecue sauce....which is just another way of saying ketchup, I suppose. I like barbecue sauce though. Through it all, there's definitely the potato flavor coming through too, so overall the flavor impression of the spud crunchies is probably pretty close to eating some fries with ketchup, just in dry form.

Love the fry shape too. For whatever reason, potato sticks are more fun that potato chips, and they definitely give a different crunch. Remember Andy Capp Fries? I ate way too many of them in my formative years. These TJ's crunchers are fairly similar, except maybe a touch softer and not quite as "stale" feeling. Of course, my frame of reference is the snack bags from my middle school vending machine, so take that as you will. The sticks are easily snackable, poppable and portable. Yum.

I like them, I really do. I may not like ketchup (as reconfirmed recently on our family vacation) but apparently I like ketchup flavor, so there's that. Make out of that as you will. Each four serving bag is $1.99 which seems a reasonable enough price. I'll give 'em four spoons, and while Sandy actually hasn't had enough of them to warrant much opinion, our four year old wants to give them "100 golden spoons cuz they so yummy!" I'll take that as perfect score from her.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Ketchup Flavored Spud Crunchies: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. I don't like ketchup either! Guess I will give these a try then...

  2. Ketchup flavoured snacks are as similar to real ketchup flavour as banana or watermelon candy/taffy is to the raw fruit! It’s nothing like the real thing, but all fake ketchup is pretty similar. So Canadianly classically good!

    1. So kethcup flavor is *not* the flavor of ketchup because Canada? Sounds like a conspiracy.

    2. Ha! This is about as sinister us as Canadians get! I will leave it up to you to spread the word and debunk the myth in hopes of "ketchup" flavoured snack being accepted by the masses!

  3. As a Canadian I'm all about the ketchup chips, but I don't really like ketchup either.

  4. Went into Trader Joe's yesterday to buy some more of these and found out they are seasonal! What the heck! Ketchup isn't seasonal, man. So bummed.

  5. That's cause they're not "Pumpkin Ketchup" flavoured, Katie! (I kid, I kid. I'm sorry you missed out).


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