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Friday, January 22, 2021

Trader Joe's Cuban Style Citrusy Garlic Seasoning Blend

There's no other way to say it, except that 2020 was very much a mixed bag for us. In retrospect, and even now, it's apparent how fortunate my family and I were amidst everything going on, as we remained pretty much at home, pretty much safe. It was definitely not an easy time to be parents of young kids, as my lovely bride and I are, with the myriad of challenges presented, with little outlet. The pool we swam at every day last summer? Not open. Vacations and trips to our favorite amusement park? Not happening. Heck, even going and getting ice cream presents some challenges. 

One good thing I'll take from last year is the revelation that not only I can cook, but it's actually pretty easy and I enjoy it. Lots of time at home gave a lot of time for smoking, grilling, fermenting, baking. Got a lot of new kitchen goodies, too, and finally figured out how to effectively use the cast iron. 

It's January now, of course, and a new year and quite a bit colder out, with some of the same challenges in place. But we still need to eat, and I still like cooking, and it gives me a lot of joy when I have a new inspiration to work with. Sounds cheesy but true, and it's what I got. 

So when there's something like Trader Joe's Cuban Style Citrusy Garlic Seasoning Blend debuting, I'm all in. And that's a good thing...

...'cause man, this stuff is legit. I don't mean legit as in 100% authentic to Cuban cuisine, because I'll be honest and admit I haven't ever had the real deal. Hope that changes someday soon. 

Back to the seasoning. Just open it up and waft some of the aroma on over. It's vibrant and bright and alluring, with a little depth that makes it clear it can back up its promises. I sprinkled some on my hand to take an unadulterated taste and it tastes like all of that  - so much lime and orange, and garlic, and with some cumin and black pepper to add just a little bit of spice. Other herbs like bay leaf and cilantro add a bit of body without trying to steal the show. it's a bit complex, but vibrant and delicious, without too much spices and scarcely any salt. See, I told you - it's legit. 

Made a "Cuban-style bowl" the other night that you can see - chicken thighs, avocado, fried plantains, black beans, spinach and rice. My lovely bride mixed in a hearty dose of the TJ Cuban spice with the rice, and then I added a good dose atop with some fresh squeezed lime. Oh man. Easy and delicious. And that's just our first foray with the spice - I can imagine more chicken, rice, fish and pork dishes I can make with the spice. I don't think the experience would translate as well to red meat, but I'm willing to be wrong if you know for sure otherwise. 

"It tastes like sunshine," says my lovely bride. Not sure I could say it better myself, and thankful for every aspect of that sentence and sentiment and source on a cold January day. And heck, even our kiddos liked it. Go on out and give it a try for $1.99. Sure to have no regrets. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Cuban Style Citrusy Garlic Seasoning Blend: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. I got some and am trying it on pork rib tonight!!

  2. sounds good. I'm also anti-cilantro, but I don't mind it in things if it's a minor aspect.

  3. This stuff is so good on popcorn!


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