Friday, March 27, 2020

Trader Joe's Chile & Garlic Cashews

Cashews have never been cheap. I grew up in a home full of nuts. And I mean that as a double entendre. All three of us in the home were nuts, and likewise, we frequently consumed nuts. All manner of nuts: pecans, pistachios, almonds, macadamias, and of course, cashews were very often our go-to snacks. 

I can recall, sometime in the middle of college, or perhaps shortly after graduating, getting a craving for cashews rather out of the blue. I walked into a convenience store in downtown State College, PA and tracked down a little bag of cashews. I don't remember exactly how much they were, but it was enough that I immediately dismissed the cashew craving and opted for a fifty cent bag of peanuts instead. My parents weren't wealthy people. Not sure how we afforded things like macadamia nuts and cashews on the regular. No wonder my dad had trouble paying the mortgage throughout my childhood.

But regardless of financial status, you've gotta splurge once in a while. These particular cashews are a good choice in our opinions. Six bucks for the bag is a little steep, but they are oh-so-tasty.

On top of the classic flavor of salted cashews, the blend of chile powder, garlic powder, and onion powder makes them even more savory, flavorful, and full of a spicy kick. It tingles the tongue and warms the back of the throat and begs to be chased by a cold beverage. These cashews will definitely make you thirsty. Sonia and I both absolutely love their flavor. 

They're roasted to perfection, pleasantly crunchy, and not too salty. There's a decent amount of sodium and fat, but you'll find that with many nut mixes. It's mostly "good fat" or so I'm told. 

I'd complain about them being imported all the way from India, but apparently there are very few places in the United States with a warm enough climate for cashew farming, so "buy American" can't really apply here. That's probably the main reason for the hefty price tags.

Sonia's going to try adding these to a stir fry. I'm sure they'll blend in seamlessly. We'll report back if anybody's interested...

Four and a half stars from Sonia. Four from me.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.


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  2. Your childhood story about nuts warms my heart. I, too, grew up eating a lot of mixed nuts.
    I found the chile and garlic cashews the other day and I'm hooked. They've replaced my old favorite nut flavor at Trader Joe's- the olive and herbs mixed nuts.
    When I bought the bag I thought the name was a typo so I googled it. Turns out there's a difference between chile powder and chili powder. Chile powder contains only chili pepper, and chili powder contains chili pepper plus other spices. Interesting! Also, a little backwards!