At any rate, Trader Joe's calls the ones in this mix "hazelnuts." I'm fine with that. I like them. I like this mix okay. But wouldn't you know it: this mix tastes like rosemary...like A LOT of rosemary. Who'd have guessed?
As is typical, I was racing through the aisles at Trader Joe's shortly after opening, trying to score some as-yet-unreviewed items before the store got even more crowded. I guess I was thinking this was more of a snack mix, following in the tradition of Trader Joe's Step Up to the Snack Bar Mix from four years back, or Trader Joe's Stepping It Up Spicy Snack Bar Mix from just a couple years ago, both reviewed during the month of December on this blog. But it's all nuts. It's all nuts and rosemary.
And if you're nuts about rosemary, that's a good thing. There are visible flecks of the stuff on nearly every nut. And it's a great lot of nuts for just about seven bucks. The vast majority of the nuts in our tub were completely whole, with a minority of the cashews being halves. They're all seriously high quality.
I think I might have enjoyed this more if there had been crackers or crisps or pretzels of some sort to soothe the raging carbivore within me. There's a fair amount of sea salt here, and just a hint of sunflower oil and sugar, so the nuts aren't entirely undressed. Fortunately, Sonia and I like cashews, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts quite a bit.
Rosemary? I'm good with rosemary when it plays second fiddle to other flavors. The nuts are fairly rosemary-forward here. I'm totally down for a handful or two at a time, and then I have to back off. Sonia's the same way, but in general, she's a tad more wary of too much rosemary.
Wary of rosemary. Heh. That rhymes.
But she actually threw me a curveball here. She thinks the rosemary balance with the nut flavor is just about right. She's significantly more into these than I am, and she's on record not liking products because of "too much rosemary" in the past. I'm thinking specifically of Trader Joe's Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast we reviewed many years ago.
I'll go with three stars here for the good quality and decent value. Sonia will throw out four stars. I'll just say if you LOVE the taste of rosemary, I think a projected score for this one might be closer to 8 or 9. But for us, we'll give Trader Joe's Nuts About Rosemary about seven total stars.
Bottom line: 7 out of 10.