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Monday, July 22, 2024

Trader Joe's Mini Shrimp Bao

Sometimes I'll rack my brain for a few minutes trying to think of some little anecdote or clever story to serve as a segue into my review but all I can think about is how freaking amazing and delicious the product at hand really is. This is one such occasion. These shrimp bao are scrumptious, convenient, and very reasonable, cost-wise.

Just 45 seconds in the microwave had each pair of bao buns piping hot, soft, and nearly perfect in the texture department. The serving suggestion on the box recommended putting cucumber slices and julienned carrots on the buns. We just so happened to have both already chopped up and ready to rock and roll right in our fridge the day we ate these. The box also wanted cilantro, but it's rare we have that on hand. Still, the crisp veggies added the perfect complement to the shrimp meat and soft, fluffy wheat-based bao buns.

There's just a mild to moderate amount of spice in both the shrimp patties and the included lemongrass lime chili sauce—which is excellent just in and of itself. Sonia and I agree that we'd buy the sauce by the bottle for sure. It's like a good sweet Thai chili sauce but with an unexpected citrusy element and perhaps not quite as thick in terms of consistency.

The shrimp flavor, the array of spices and seasonings, and the subtle savoriness of the steamed buns was one of the best combos I've tasted in a while. Sonia and I plowed through the entire box in one sitting for dinner one evening. I've seldom had appetizers this good even at sit-down Asian restaurants.

$4.99 for eight spicy shrimp bao. Product of Vietnam. Don't confuse this item with Trader Joe's 6 Spicy Shrimp Bao from a dozen years back or so. That one wasn't very good. This one will go in the Pantheon. Perfect ten stars from the beautiful wifey. Nine out of ten from me for Trader Joe's Mini Shrimp Bao.

Bottom line: 9.5 out of 10.

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.

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