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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Trader Joe's Honey Mustard & Onion Seasoned Pretzel Pieces

This is not meant as any undue attack or unforward critique of one of the all time classics...but there is a serious need of innovation here.

Yes, we are talking about Trader Joe's Honey Mustard & Onion Seasoned Pretzel Pieces. If anyone could have magically pulled this off, I would have counted on TJ's to Wonka-fy it into existence. They didn't. I can't really be disappointed, because it just might be impossible, but still...I had hopes, only to be in vain.

You see, there is a fundamental issue with many snack food items, and honey mustard onion pretzel pieces are probably the best, clearest example. It's such a strong flavor, right? You know it when you taste it. The sweetness and bite of vinegar, the saltiness of the onion, the goodness of whatever other odd spices are sprinkled know what I speak of. If you've ever had a honey mustard onion pretzel, you'll know exactly what this taste like.

That's not precisely the issue, of course.

Instead, it's this question: how many bites of a perfectly balanced flavored snack do you actually get, per bag? It can be frustratingly few.

Alas, there's no exception here.

The first few portions out of the top of the bag are surprisingly bland. Like, they look like they should taste like something, and they kinda do...but not really. All that flavor dust went south for the winter and never came back.

Work towards the equator and there's a couple great bites in there, that taste like a little bit of everything and not too much of anything. Snack time bliss, that's what that is. Yum.

But then there's the bottom third or more. It's where everything settled. A little bit is good, but then for such a strong flavor like honey mustard and onion, it gets way too powerful way too quick. It's hard to have too much, unless you're really hungry.

I was really hopeful for some sort of innovative solution that TJ's would bring forth to the masses here. Maybe it'd be a scientific break though, in that some sort of edible, tasty glue or adhesive would hold on more tightly to the flavor crystals, so all would arrive in factory perfected form. Or that the delivery driver would bring them in a rented out concrete truck, tumbling the packages all the way from distribution center to retail. How about a paint-shaker type contraption in the stockroom? Or, like, maybe like the stockperson would give them an expertly vigorous shake before putting on the shelf, with the cashier giving an instructional DVD to purchasers to ensure even flavor distribution and snack food satisfaction all the way to the point of the consumption, so that if a consumer didn't fully love a balanced, even, delicious morsel of honey mustard onion pretzel that'd be squarely on them as some sort of societal outcast worthy of weeping and gnashing of teeth? It's not like TJ's employees are doing anything else these days.

I kid, of course, but alas, it was not to be. Here we go instead from predictable palatal progression from mediocre to delicious to "a bit much." Sigh.

But apparently I like them, enough to have devoured more or less the whole package myself with a few bites spared for the kiddos. It took a few days to be sure. My lovely bride didn't even try them - she's not opposed, she technically had opportunity, but in her opinion the window of time afforded her was too short -  so I'm flying solo here, which is dangerous. So, spoons? Sure. Need a breakthrough to get to that next level.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Honey Mustard & Onion Seasoned Pretzel Pieces: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. Why didn't you shake the bag or invert the bag to distribute the dust more?

  2. I was going to say stuff like that I always open the bag from the bottom.


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