Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Trader Joe's Pickled Fermented Jalapeño Slices
For me, to help keep myself from going mad, I've gotten a little bit into pickling and fermenting. So for it's been a blast, figuratively speaking and thankfully not literally, yet. I've seen enough explosion videos from home fermenters to know it's a thing. Like Robert Plant once sang, my time is gonna come.
But yeah, I've done a couple things. Sauerkraut, green beans and other assorted veggies, honey garlic, a ginger bug, even some mangoes for my very own amba sauce as well as my own hot sauce. It's been pretty fun, and it gives me something to look forward to, whether it's looking for little bubbles or feasting down.
So, I'm not an expert yet (watch out, Brad Leone) but I know enough to know that pickling and fermenting, while both are delicious processes and have a little overlap, are not the same thing. Here's some more info on all that.
So, naturally, a product like Trader Joe's Pickled Fermented Jalapeño Slices will catch our eye right now.
Opening the jar is a pleasant, spicy aroma - it's not overly funky or smelly. Good so far. Don't think of the standard mushy green circle you get with your stadium nachos, these peppers are fresher with a lot more snap to them. That's an even better step in the right direction.
And as far as taste - yep, it seems on point. A little initial sweetness is followed quickly by a little dive towards sour before finishing up with the heat. There's an overall saltiness at play, in a nod towards fermenting, while the total effect seems accentuated with vinegar, which of course would be the pickling. The heat does linger for a bit after but isn't unpleasant, unless you don't really like jalapeños and therefore wouldn't be in the target audience here. Visially, it looks like maybe about half the seeds were removed from the peppers, which might be the right way to balance out heat without too much bitterness.
Nothing wrong with these peppers, and of course I'm gonna do my own soon now, but for a commercial batch, Sandy and i would sign off on them with a 4 each.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Pickled Fermented Jalapeño Slices: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons