Cornbread bites feel Thanksgivingy enough. I mean, we had some with our Turkey Day meal, and they were hearty enough, heavy enough to pair up with Turkey-Less Turkey and stuffing—indulgent enough to be one of my favorite elements of the entire meal.
Sonia's parents, my in-laws or "mi suegros" en español, generally don't celebrate major holidays like Christmas and Easter since their roots are considered pagan. It's a pentecostal thing. They make an exception for Thanksgiving, though, since it's about giving thanks. How appropriate that these appetizers bring traditional American delights like cornbread together with serrano chiles, native to Mexico. It's a great match, in my opinion.
Trader Joe's Cornbread Bites are super cheesy, full of delicious pepper jack. There's a moderate amount of heat, as well as a moderate amount of sweetness.
Southern cornbread purists might be a little disappointed. I've known Southerners to go on rants about how tea has to always be sweet and cornbread must never be so. Fortunately, I'm a Yankee boy and we had our Thanksgiving in the northern midwest this year, so we didn't hear much in the way of dissenting opinions about this particular sweetened cornbread.
Truth be told, the cornbread isn't really the main attraction here. The shells are a little thinner than I would have assumed. Many bites have more cheese and pepper than cornbread by my estimation, although that does vary from piece to piece, as some of the bites had more cheese leak out than others.
That might be my biggest complaint. The appetizers were all frumpy looking when they came out of the oven, cheese piled outside the apps. They looked nothing like the pic on the box, and they weren't particularly crispy when baked for exactly 15 minutes at 400°.
It's a minor complaint, though. They still tasted great. Cornbread + cheese + peppers = scrumptious. Twelve bites for $3.99. Almost everyone at our Thanksgiving feast agreed, these are a thumbs up—probably in the ballpark of four stars a piece out of five for Trader Joe's Cornbread Bites with Pepper Jack Cheese and Serrano Chile Peppers from this guy.
Sonia was slightly less enthused, stating "I don't really like cornbread that much." I think it's because she waited too long to try her bites, and she had to nuke them to make them warm again. I tried a bit of her microwave-reheated ones, and they weren't even close to as good as the ones straight from the oven. She wanted to give them only three stars, but the rest of us think that's a bit too low—so three and a half, I guess.
Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.