Friday, June 10, 2022

Trader Joe's Hula Cruncha

 Not too get too "real world"-y here, as usually we're more of a break from it than anything else, but there's no denying there's shortages of all sorts of stuff these days. And for a few minutes, in the absolutely most benignly and unimportant of ways, I thought those shortages had reached their way right into my bag of the new Trader Joe's Hula Cruncha. 

Namely...all this popcorn...but where's the rice crackers?!?!?!?!

Fortunately, after some mining and creative digging, finally I hit the rice cracker paydirt. All these various sized sticks and chunks and orbs had somehow all settled their way to the bottom. So, mental note for next time, give a sealed bag a good shake to make it all a little more even. 

And there definitely will be a next time. 

It's an interesting snack mix, this Hula Cruncha. Quite honestly I can say I've never had anything quite like it. The closest I can relate it to is another TJ's product, the Synergistically Seasoned Popcorn. Even that's not quite right, as it's a different flavor profile, but it's similar in that each bite seems to hit a little differently, with accentuating a different spice or taste combo. There's a soft, somewhat muted sweetness that's absolutely more soy derived than sugary. Also, a healthy dose of vinegar adds a pretty decent tang quotient. But then...I mean...just look at all the spices and everything listed in the ingredients. Some bites there's all of them, some only a few, some heavier on the cayenne or pepper or rosemary. And last but not least, there's plenty of nori specks here, there and everywhere that a little umami-licious touch. It's really quite something. 

Once you finally get to the rice crackers, it's a really fun crunch too. The different shapes and sizes of those crunchers are a fun change up from the reliable yet unremarkable popcorn poofiness. 

In all, it's just one of those snacks that even though I'm still grasping my tastebuds around it all, there's really nothing wrong and plenty that seems just right. 

Go get some and don't short yourself! $3ish for the bag. Double fours. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Hula Cruncha: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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