Another week, another shopping trip, another time TJ's is upping the summer snack game. Salsa verde chips? So delicious...but so last week.
This week: Trader Joe's Chili Pineapple Kettle Popcorn. I mean...wow.
Spice and pineapple aren't new bed partners by any stretch. Just at TJ's they've had spiced dry pineapple and pineapple BBQ sauce around for a while, though maybe the sauce has been DC'ed? Anyways, this isn't exactly a new innovation, except that now, it's in popcorn form.
There's a lot going on here, and it's hard to wrap the tastebuds around it all. First off, make no mistake: this is some seriously sugary stuff. Glancing at the label and doing some easy math, this popcorn is literally half straight up added sugar...and that tastes like an understatement. I swear I could almost see Wilfred Brimley packing up a box for me, it's so sugary. There's no getting around that. But then all the other flavors begin coming up - some heat from paprika, a hefty dose of tangy lime, a little faint pineapple, another hefty swoon of sugar and little salt to boot too. I've read some other reviews that liken the overall flavor to being a spicy Froot Loop - I don't entirely agree but I can see where that assessment is coming from. There's certainly enough sugar for that claim, but not quite enough overall froot, er, fruit, and the spice, while present, isn't exactly overpowering. It's sugar and lime more than anything else.
That's the thing, though. There's not really enough pineapple to really tout its presence as a titular ingredient, not when there's so much lime and sugar and everything else when pineapple is fifth highest, at most, on the flavor profile. At the same time, I'm glad not even more sugar was added to try to amp up the pineapple, but I just wish it had more pineapple to it, even if everything else had to be taken down a slight notch.
Regardless, this will be a summer snackin' fave, I'm sure of it. Unless something else comes along...off to a strong start here this summer, TJ's, keep it coming. Double fours.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chili Pineapple Kettle Popcorn: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons.