Just a quick hit today, really. Take a look at the new Trader Joe's Ajika Georgian Seasoning Blend. It's all orangey and reddish and dusty looking, right? Looks spicy. Now, if you could, open it up and take a waft - smells spicy too, right? But that's not it - got some garlic in there, a little fenugreek, some coriander, heck, maybe if I'd stop to smell the flowers I'd pick up a little marigold too. Smells goood with more than just spice going for it. Shake out a little in your hand now and look - little dusty clumps. Good, good. And wet a fingertip and take a small taste...bam! Spice, spice, baby. Chile spice, garlic, coriander, that fenugreek again...lots going on here interplaying with one another. There's a lot going on when taken on by itself...
Which makes it so weird it all disappears when placed on, like, actual food.
My first encounter with the TJ's ajika was not the encounter discussed up top. Nah, i just went for sprinkling some on some leftover chicken for lunch. Didn't know how to take it, so I proceeded with caution...and tasted nothing. Put on more, and there still wasn't much flavor. A little more and there was the beginning of something, but by then my meal looked nearly encrusted in spice, and still all I got was a little subtle spicy savory taste. Subsequent tastings with food - veggies, on eggs - were much the same. Just nah.
Which made my most recent encounter, prior to writing this, that much more surprising given my first impression, and gives me a little future hope for further implementation. Maybe I'm using this wrong and you can help me out here? I'm thinking that perhaps using it in the cooking process - perhaps on some meat before smoking or veggies before grilling or some stew before, well, stewing - rather than a last minute add on. Good things take time, right?
For now, it's a not bad mix, with some potential, and to be clear, is of Georgia of the former Soviet bloc and not the Georgia that's in the southeastern US. Just be clear...though maybe it'd work on peaches? Hrmmm. Will give a seven for now.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Ajika Georgian Seasoning Blend: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons.