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Friday, July 19, 2024

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Pistachios

Four bucks for a bag of pistachios is a great price. Those things have always been expensive. Throw in the facts that these are already shelled, covered in dark chocolate, and come in a resealable bag and you've got yourself a pretty good deal, value-wise.

And the product tastes great, too. If anything, there's a little too much candy and not enough nut in the equation. As you can see in the photo, there's more dark chocolate than pistachio. The ingredients list testifies the same. Hmmm. Maybe they should have called these Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Bites with Pistachio Nut Centers.

Still, there's enough pistachio in there that it's detectable. It almost balances out the chocolate. Both Sonia and I were wanting more nut flavor, but we both agree the dark chocolate works here. Milk chocolate or white chocolate wouldn't have blended quite as well with the pistachios, which were, admittedly, very high quality.

Would we buy Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Pistachios again? Yeah, probably. We could always mix in some plain pistachios to help balance out the nut to chocolate ratio. Let's go with seven out of ten stars from me and eight out of ten from the beautiful wifey.

Botton line: 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Trader Joe's Dill Pickle Mini Falafel

In case you're new here, I should mention that I really love chickpeas and chickpea derivative products like hummus and falafel. Neither Sonia nor I are vegan or vegetarian, but we both enjoy Mediterranean dishes and we've reviewed numerous other falafel products from Trader Joe's right here on this very blog. See: Trader Joe's Heat & Eat Falafel, Trader Joe's Falafel Chips, and Trader Joe's Falafel Mix. And we've reviewed a bunch of pickle-flavored stuff, too.

Evidently, this pickle falafel has been around for at least two years. Not sure how it evaded my sights all this time, but we're finally getting around to buying and trying it now. Better late than never, I always say.

Only conventional oven and microwave heating instructions are listed on the bag, but a quick internet search revealed that 390° for 7 minutes in an air fryer works just fine too. The product smells faintly of dill pickle and other falafel spices like garlic and onion. They're called "mini falafel" because they're about half the size of your typical falafel ball. They're still a bit too big to be considered "bite-sized" but they're headed in that direction.

The pickle taste is faint but there. It compliments the flavor of the garbanzo bean base. Anything you'd pair with traditional falafel would work with this product—tzatziki, hummus, tabouli, tahini, or zhoug. You could serve it with rice, pita, or a salad. Or you could do like we did and make falafel soft tacos with tzatziki, shredded cheese, and arugula in a flour tortilla. Yum.

They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and quite dense. They're not too dry, not too oily, and plenty versatile.

They contain canola oil, as many TJ's products do, which we're not thrilled about, but all things considered they're tasty and convenient and we'll each throw out a score of 8/10. $4.29 for the 12 ounce bag, found in the frozen section. Vegan. We would buy Trader Joe's Dill Pickle Mini Falafel again.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

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