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Showing posts with label kosher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kosher. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Trader Joe's Savory Squares


Ah, nice. New crackers. Might as well try 'em. Kosher. Vegan. Gluten free, too, eh? Must be rice-based or something like that. Wait. Nut and seed flour? Tapioca, almond, sunflower seed, flaxseed, and potato-based?? Now this I gotta taste. To be honest, I'm a bit skeptical, but there's no way we're not trying these immediately.


From the moment you open the bag, there's an interesting smell. It's nutty, I'd say...not very cheesy to be honest...and definitely not like your ordinary wheat-based cracker. And the taste? I'm glad I went in with zero expectations, because I think I would have been disappointed if I had been craving a traditional Cheez-It type cracker. I mean, sure, it's an obvious comparison, but I don't find these fascinating alternative crackers to be a substitution for the classic wheat and cheese-based snack. 

I wouldn't say they're better than Cheez-Its. I wouldn't really say they're worse, either. They're just...different. I'm quite puzzled by these other reactions online that say these are "100% a dupe for a Cheez-It." I strongly disagree with that assertion.

These are like wannabe Cheez-Its from a health food store. I grew up with a wheat allergy when I was young. This tastes like the weird, expensive stuff my parents would give me to make me think I wasn't missing out on anything. When my friends would sneak me a taste of the real deal, I knew I was missing out on something.

As I got older, however, items with that health food store kinda vibe really grew on me. As a young adult without access to a Trader Joe's, I found myself craving that alternative stuff but actually buying the name brand wheat-based products simply because they were cheaper and easier to find in regular grocery stores. Now I'm middle-aged and I can buy original Cheez-Its or their alternative flour counterparts whenever I want to.

I'm not usually in the mood for cheesy crackers, but if I got a craving, I'd probably just get traditional Cheez-Its three quarters of the time and something like Trader Joe's Savory Squares the other quarter. Sonia doesn't like the aftertaste of these crackers. She thinks they're a little too bitter. She also thinks the texture is too hard and dense as compared to Cheez-Its and other wheat-based crackers.

$3.99 for the five serving box. I appreciate these crackers for their unique ingredients and pleasant crunchy texture but I don't think they're really my thing in the end. Six out of ten stars from me. Sonia will go with six out of ten as well for Trader Joe's Savory Squares. Let us know what you think of this product down in the comments, particularly if you're on a vegan or gluten-free diet.



Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola


When I was a kid, I had to have sugary cereal first thing in the morning. Nothing else would get me out of bed. Bacon and eggs? Nah. Not my thing, certainly not minutes after waking up. Sugar was like my caffeine up until the age of 22 or so. After that first dose of candy coated morsels in a bowl and an episode of Inspector Gadget, I was ready to face my day.


Now I'm the opposite. Lately, cereal has been like a mid-afternoon sweet tooth craving type snack for me rather than breakfast. I do like some sugar in the form of a beverage in the morning, but the food I crave first thing when I'm up is more like lunch or dinner fare. Peanut butter and chocolate on rolled oats with milk sounds like a nice pick-me-up later in the day.

Some granola can be unpleasantly hard. I feel like this product has a nice granola crunch, but the mouthfeel is tempered by copious amounts of peanut butter and chocolate, both of which are much softer than plain granola. Mix some milk into the equation and we've got some bite-sized nuggets that are downright soft on the outside but still firm and crunchy underneath.

Flavor-wise, there's a pretty nice balance of chocolate and peanut butter. I'll almost always err in the direction of peanut butter when mixing the two—not that I have anything against good chocolate. It is "dark chocolate," which is generally not my preferred variety, but I feel it works quite well in this case when played against peanut butter, sweetened crisp rice, and vanilla in the background. This product tastes vastly better than Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Protein Granola in my humble opinion, but then again, this one doesn't have pea protein, so it was always going to do better in the flavor department.

It's great for turning plain yogurt into a Reese's-esque treat, or it's fine in milk or even just straight out of the package. It could serve as breakfast, dessert, or a mid-day snack with equal proficiency in each case. It's one of the better granola products I've had recently and I really can't think of any major complaints.

$3.99 for the resealable bag. Kosher. Would buy again. Nathan's score: 8/10. Sonia's score: 9/10 for Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola.



Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Organic Colombian Coffee K-Cups


As our attempt to maintain a minimalistic lifestyle grows ever more futile by the day, I'm slowly realizing ownership of certain items is nearly unavoidable despite not wanting to own a bunch of stuff—things like: furniture, a microwave, an air fryer, and yes, a Keurig.

And as many of you know, Sonia is a big coffee person. Once upon a time in the 90s, she owned her own mini espresso machine, back when she worked for Starsucks. At our old house, she had a traditional coffee maker. While we were on the road, she used a French press for a while and then switched to instant coffee. But hey, we're in sticks and bricks still for the time being and we've got all this space. Might as well fill it up with appliances and stuff <sigh> hence the Keurig.


I drink coffee once in a blue moon, but I'm more of an energy drink guy for the most part so I'll let the beautiful wifey do most of the analysis on this product. She says Trader Joe's Fair Trade Organic Colombian Coffee is well-balanced. It's not bitter or over-roasted. She likes that the coffee is organic, too. I'll add that this coffee definitely didn't make me gag or anything, not even when I tried it plain without sugar or creamer.

I've purchased some K-Cups for Sonia so I'm well aware of how pricey they can be. At $5.29 for 12 single serve cups, this Trader Joe's product is quite a bargain. It says "fair trade" so we'll just go ahead and assume the coffee farmers didn't get ripped off too badly...

Would buy again. Product of Colombia. Kosher. I'll defer to the beautiful coffee connoisseur for final scoring on this one. She gives Trader Joe's Fair Trade Organic Colombian Coffee 9/10 stars.



Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Trader Joe's Vanilla Cookie Thins


Let's see, serving size is 9 cookies, with about 9 servings per container. I'm no math whiz but by my calculations, that should be 81 cookies in the box. But wait. There are two sleeves that are the same height, so that would imply an even number.


Well, I guess that's where that word "about" comes into play. I'm not actually going to count the cookies and I think to some degree, they're predicting very few people will actually do that, so let's just say there are 80 cookies here.

To be honest, I like the lemon thins quite a bit better than these. I mean, vanilla is fine as a flavor. And there's a decent amount of vanilla taste considering just how thin these thins really are.

The carb count isn't super hefty, you know, considering they're cookies. They pair up with ice cream and other desserts pretty well, so I can't hate on them too bad.

$4.49 for the pack. Kosher. Sonia would buy again. I'd happily consume these again if they appeared in the cupboard, but I would not go out of my way to purchase a second time. Sonia's score: 8/10 stars. Nathan's score: 7/10 for Trader Joe's Vanilla Cookie Thins.



Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Joe's Os Cereal Bars


We've never reviewed the original Joe's O's cereal on this blog. We have, however, reviewed the Honey Nut O's, the Organic High Fiber O's, the Fruity O's, the Triple Berry O's, the Pumpkin O's, and the Hot Cocoa O's. Joe's O's and their derivatives share some obvious similarities with classic Cheerios cereal, namely: whole grain oat-based morsels in little "O" shapes.


These cereal bars are nothing but Joe's O's, peanuts, and peanut butter all smooshed together into individually-wrapped bars. There's a really nice balance of sweetness and rich, creamy peanut butter flavor. The oats are filling and wholesome but they don't overshadow the dessert-ish aspects of the bars. Both the beautiful wifey and I were pleasantly surprised with the flavor.

Despite their overall softness, there's a crispness to them that's nice, too. I was thinking there was some rice in there somewhere, but nope. It's all just oat cereal and peanut stuff.

The serving size is adequate to grab a breakfast on the run or to curb your mid-day sweet tooth. The fat, calories, and carbs aren't too bad, considering how relatively indulgent they taste. 

They're a little messy, particularly in the heat, but thankfully you can keep them in the wrapper while you eat them to avoid getting oily peanut butter all over your hands.

$2.99 for five bars. Kosher. Yet another product of Canada. Would buy again. Sonia and I are both on board for the same score: 8 out of 10 stars for Trader Joe's Joe's O's Peanut Butter Cereal Bars.



Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Trader Joe's Mini Chocolate Mousse Flowers


Ah, those cute little flowers. So springy. So chocolatey. So...exactly like the pumpkins, presents, hearts, and Easter eggs. And yet...I dunno. Did they change the recipe recently?

I checked the ingredients for Trader Joe's For the Love of Chocolate Mousse Cake and compared them against these happy morsels and discovered that their ingredients are not exactly the same. Sonia and I felt like these were just a shade better than all those other options but failed to pinpoint why.


One theory I have is that every other time we've tried them, it's been quite cold. Think about it: Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day are all generally chilly times of the year. Easter is often cold here in the Upper Midwest, too. We finally tried them in the relative heat and found them much softer and a little more melt-in-your-mouth delightful.


I mean, they're still nowhere near as good as the Raspberry Mousse Cakes in my humble opinion, but these aren't bad at all. They still have that half cake, half mousse filling with a soft, sweet confectionery candy shell, and of course there are some fun, springy colors and packaging. Definitely a step up from Little Debbie or any other cheapo snack cake from a mainstream grocery store. I've heard some folks like to freeze these before consuming, but I'm skeptical...

I think we'd buy again. Four bucks for six little flowers. Sonia's score: 8/10. Nathan's score: 8/10 for Trader Joe's Mini Chocolate Mousse Flowers.



Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Trader Joe's Brookie Caramel Candy Clusters


Brookies are brownies crossed with cookies. And while these chocolatey treats are very cookie-esque, there's not much in the way of brownie texture to be found. Really, even flavor-wise, they don't taste like brownies either.

They taste like dark chocolate, salted caramel, pretzels, and cookies all smooshed together. That's basically what they feel like, too. They're crunchy and crispy with very little doughiness or soft brownie texture. The caramel is gooey and helps break up the harder elements a bit. I would have called these do-dads "prookies." You know, pretzel plus cookie equals prookie. Oh well.


Dark chocolate and salted caramel go quite well together. It's not my favorite combo in the world, personally, but you folks who do enjoy it will certainly like these. They're sweet, rich, and decadent. Both Sonia and I can only handle one or two at a time, though. And I absolutely have to have a swig or two of milk after snacking on these.


$3.99 for the seven serving resealable bag. It's really a decent product but just not our thing in the end. Let us know if you're a fan of this product down in the comments section. Sonia's score: 7/10. Nathan's score: 6/10 for Trader Joe's Brookie Caramel Candy Clusters.


Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Trader Joe's Dulce de Leche Ice Cream


Before we dive into this ice cream review, let's talk about dulce de leche: what it is and our previous experience with it. Years ago, we reviewed Trader Joe's Dulce de Leche, a pretty basic caramel spread, and I took a lot of flack in the comments from people who apparently have more experience with it than I do. The literal translation of dulce de leche is "sweet of milk." I'm not saying that's a good translation, I'm saying that's what those words literally mean.

With the source language set to Spanish and the input words as "dulce de leche," Google translate now comes back with "caramel sauce" in English. That's really all it is. This Trader Joe's product is from the US. It's not imported from another country, as many of their products are. I'm pretty sure they call it "dulce de leche" simply because it sounds more exotic than "caramel."


Sonia grew up eating a Mexican caramel known as "cajeta," which is basically a rich, sweetened reduction of goat's milk. I grew up with good old American caramel, routinely debating friends and strangers alike on the proper pronunciation of the word. It's CARE-a-mel, btw. You CAR-muhl people are wrong. Fight me.

At any rate, this is some good ice cream. Sonia says it's on par with Häagen-Dazs as far as richness and creaminess goes, and she loves the caramel swirl. I wish there were just a tad bit more caramel, but it's pretty delish as is.


I generally prefer ice cream with chunks of something like pretzels or cookies or cookie dough, but as far as smooth ice creams go, this is definitely above average. It's especially good when it's nearly melted. One of our readers mentioned that it pairs well with those dark chocolate waffle cone tips we reviewed recently, as TJ's was serving them together at their free sample station. I absolutely agree that the combo works quite well.

$3.79 for the pint. Kosher. Would buy again. Sonia's score: 9/10. Nathan's score 8/10 for Trader Joe's Dulce de Leche Ice Cream.



Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Trader Joe's Cinnamon Sugar Almonds


AI is scary. I asked perchance.org for "the latest Trader Joe's food product" and within a couple seconds, it had formulated Trader Joe's Chicken & Waffle Flavored Potato Chips, complete with an enticing product description and images of said fictitious food product. Of course the writing on the packaging is all gibberish and the description doesn't provide actual ingredients, but heck, I'm starting to wonder if Trader Joe's hasn't been doing this all along. I mean they do have some pretty tasty stuffing flavored chips, at least around Thanksgiving time.

What other ideas did artificial intelligence come up with? Products like Trader Joe's Mini Gummy Bears on a Chocolate Pool Day come to mind. I mean, whose brain thinks like that? WTF is a "chocolate pool day"?


All that to say that this isn't really all that weird an idea. I'm glad the guy who wants to dip everything in dark chocolate was absent at the product development meeting that day. Because these things are perfect just the way they are. They're delectable little bite-size candies with a whole almond and plenty of cinnamon and sugar.

In fact, if I had to complain about anything, I might want a little less cinnamon, sugar, and confectionery coating and more nut flavor. These little treats are creamy, sweet, and they have enough real cinnamon that you might start coughing if you eat them too fast.


Some of the spheres are bordering on being too big to eat in one bite. When you break them in half, you can see more than 50% of the product is that vanilla candy coating, so these are definitely heading in the direction of indulgent dessert rather than salty, nut-based snack. Sonia agrees, but she's definitely a big fan of these almonds.

$3.99 for the eight serving resealable bag. Would buy again. 9/10 stars from Sonia. 8/10 stars from me for Trader Joe's Cinnamon Sugar Almonds.



Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Trader Joe's Dried Australian Red Papaya


We've been chowing down on carbs, curds, cookies, and candies lately, so for the sakes of both our health and reputation, it's high time we looked at something at least a little health conscious. Ah, here. This exotic papaya comes all the way from the land of Oz. Sonia and I both love dried papaya, so this red version must be even more amazing, right?

Wrong. You've heard of "fruit leather"? This stuff is the closest thing I've ever had to the actual texture of leather. It's crazy hard. It's extremely thin and hard to chew. Other dried papaya we've had contains a bit of moisture and juiciness. It seems this product has had all the wetness stripped out of it completely.


It's not particularly sweet. I can't even really describe the taste. There's something almost akin to black licorice in the flavor profile. It's similar to other papaya but not very sweet and not juicy. Honestly, the product it reminds me of the most is last year's disappointing Dried Cantaloupe Slices.


After lavishing all the recently-reviewed junk food with accolades, praise, and high scores, we really wanted to love this no-fat, low-carb selection but simply couldn't get into it. There's plenty of other delicious dried fruit products from Trader Joe's, but this one will get a thumbs down from both of us.

$2.99 for the resealable bag. Would not buy again. Two stars from Sonia, two and a half stars from me for Trader Joe's Dried Australian Red Papaya.



Bottom line: 4.5 out of 10.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Trader Joe's Oat Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Sandwiches


Oat milk is like, milk, but from cows that only eat oats, right? I once made the facetious argument that instead of nut milks, food manufacturers should use milk from vegan cows since they would logically yield vegan milk. I explained in the very next paragraph that the whole thing was a joke, but I still got a few snide remarks informing me that milk from vegan cows is not, in fact, vegan. Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I'm still one of those weirdos that prefers real cow's milk.

I suppose it's not fair to compare non-dairy oat beverage treats with actual dairy-based desserts. But once you're hooked on the creaminess of real milk and ice cream, it's hard to get used to anything else. Mostly out of curiosity, I've sampled all different types of non-dairy desserts and beverages: coconut, almond, soy, cashew, oat...you name it. I like them all just fine, but none have ever stolen the title from good old moo juice.


That said, these oat-based "ice cream" sandwiches are about as good as one could possibly expect. The oat milk is sweet and pleasant. It's just a shade more watery than traditional ice cream, but it's still somewhat thick and smooth.

The chocolate wafers are soft, and they have a nice cocoa flavor that pairs well with the frozen dessert. Everything else from the wrappers to the shape of the sandwiches emulates the traditional ice cream sandwiches I enjoyed every summer as a teenager.


For $3.69, you get six of the non-dairy desserts. I probably wouldn't buy these again if I'm honest, but I'd heartily recommend them to vegans and lactose intolerant folks. Sonia agrees, though she's a tad more fond of the flavor than I am. Four stars from her. Three and a half from me for Trader Joe's Oat Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Sandwiches.



Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Trader Joe's Organic Midnight Moo


The first five years of my life or so were spent in Hershey, just blocks from Hersheypark, Chocolate World, and the old chocolate factory. My family kept in touch with a few folks in the town for many years after, so we'd find ourselves there quite often even after having moved away. You'd frequently smell cocoa wafting through the air of the affluent Pennsylvania neighborhood, and of course much of the local economy revolved around the chocolate industry.

Even in a town about an hour away, it was hard to escape the influence of Hershey and their world-famous chocolate brand. Thanks to some food sensitivities, I wasn't allowed much, if any, chocolate in my early years. Nevertheless, as I was treated for and grew out of said intolerances, I was heavily exposed to Hershey's chocolate and Hershey's syrup as I grew up and they naturally became my reference points for all things chocolatey.


We've frequently been criticized for comparing Trader Joe's chocolate products to Hershey's since, in the opinion of many chocolate snobs, Hershey's isn't that great compared to, say, European chocolate. In fact, foreign chocolate connoisseurs are often inclined to say that Hershey's tastes like literal vomit. But I digress. All that to say I'll be comparing this syrup primarily to Hershey's because I'm not all that familiar with any other brands.

Let's start with the ingredients. Hershey's kicks things off with high fructose corn syrup. It could still be those childhood food allergies lingering around, but my body hates HFCS. Trader Joe's syrup uses organic cane sugar. Good stuff. From there, the ingredients in Hershey's get even more unpronounceable and artificial, while Trader Joe's sticks with organics and basics.

Still, I think I like the taste of Hershey's a little better than this Trader Joe's chocolate syrup. It's sad, but I think my palate is just used to consuming chemicals, dyes, and fake stuff. Hershey's is a bit sweeter and thinner, both of which make it just a tad more chuggable. Trader Joe's syrup is a "darker" cocoa and it has a heavier consistency, which makes it harder to dissolve in milk. It's much more optimized for topping vanilla ice cream or other desserts in my humble opinion.

TL;DR—Trader Joe's Midnight Moo uses much higher quality ingredients than Hershey's but there's still something familiar about the old standby that makes it taste slightly better to me.

$3.99 for the squeeze bottle. Apparently this product was around years ago, got discontinued, and then came back again somewhat recently. Would I buy again? Maybe. I think it's growing on me. Four stars from Sonia, three and a half from me for Trader Joe's Organic Midnight Moo.



Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Trader Joe's Fruits & Greens Smoothie Blend


Sonia and I make our own smoothies from time to time. Although the ingredients are subject to change and substitutions, we generally use blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and some kind of juice. If it involves milk or ice cream, in my mind anyway, it's a milkshake even if it does contain some fruit. So if we're talking smoothies at our house, it's generally understood that they're 100% fruit and fruit juices.


This mix has some spinach and kale included, which of course, are also fairly common smoothie ingredients. I've had pre-mixed smoothies that sneak in traces of nutrient-dense vegetables like kale successfully, but my palate is generally sensitive enough that I can taste the veggies and to some degree or another, they detract from my enjoyment of all the sweet fruit flavors. I don't want a salad smoothie. I want a fruit smoothie. If I want greens, I'll eat them on the side, heated with a little butter and salt.

The greens didn't bother Sonia one bit, but they did bug me a little. Every third sip or so, I'd taste the relatively bitter essences of spinach and kale. And it wasn't because the beverage wasn't blended enough. Our little wannabe bullet blender got the ingredients pretty darn liquefied. There was just a tad too much in the way of greens. If there had been half as much, I think it might have slid under my taste bud radar undetected.

Still, it's not a bad mix. It's bursting with berry flavor and some banana underneath. Dragon fruit is such a relatively mild taste in comparison, I don't think it affected the flavor profile in any significant way.

We've used apple, orange, and/or pineapple juices to make smoothies in the past. With these ingredients, Sonia and I both agreed apple was the way to go here, as the extra sweetness helped cover over most of the earthiness of the kale and spinach. It worked pretty well.

$3.99 for the bag, which will easily produce four or more smoothies for us, despite the three serving specification on the nutrition info. In the end, I'd rather just buy my own smoothie ingredients. This is pretty close to what I'd want, but with fewer veggies. Sonia would buy again for the convenience factor. Four stars from her. Three stars from me for Trader Joe's Fruits & Greens Smoothie Blend.



Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Trader Joe's Organic Chocolate Chip Granola Bites


Well, this is pretty much your average chocolate chip granola bar rolled into tiny balls. There are five little bags of balls with about eight balls in each bag. Appropriately, each ball is a single bite...hence the name, "bites." It's not one of those products where they call them "bites" but they wind up being two or three bites each. These balls are indeed "bite-sized."

Okay, I've said the word "balls" enough to last me a while. I'll try to refrain from using it for the rest of this review.


The bites are sweet, oaty, and filling. Since the product is dairy-free, the chocolate bits have cocoa and sugar, but no milk. They balance out the grainy flavors pretty well. There's agave syrup and dried apple in there, too, but somehow the bites aren't overly sugary.

We like the artwork on the packaging both for being unique and clever, but also for being appropriate. These snacks are perfect for road trips and on-the-go snacking. Just one bag can curb the munchies pretty effectively and keep your blood sugar up for quite a while.


$2.99 for the box. Organic. Vegan. Gluten free. Would buy again. Four stars from Sonia. Three and a half from me for Trader Joe's Organic Chocolate Chip Granola Bites.



Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Trader Joe's Raspberry Mousse Cakes


There's a whole series of these little mousse cakes that TJ's does. Usually, they're chocolate. You know, they have Chocolate Mousse Eggs for Easter season, pumpkins for Halloween, and presents for Christmas. Also there's a larger single cake for Valentine's, which might still be around. They'll all run you about four bucks and have pretty much the same flavor.

Finally, they tried something a little different, and I'm glad they didn't try cramming chocolate of any kind into this product. They're tiny white cakes with raspberry buttercream on top and a candy coating all around. They're soft, sweet, and satisfying.


The cake portion has a nice vanilla flavor. It's not too heavy or rich at all. I like it just fine, but the raspberry buttercream steals the show. They used actual raspberries and real butter. It's thick, smooth, and very tasty. The outer coating just kinda holds the whole thing together. It's very similar to the coating on those other mousse cakes mentioned above.

We were tempted to eat the whole package in one sitting, but we managed to space it out to two. No real complaints other than we wish there were more in the pack, and I think they could cram some more of that delectable raspberry buttercream into each cake, but hey, they're pretty darn good as they are.


$3.99 for six small but scrumptious raspberry cakes, found with the baked goods. Four and a half stars from Sonia, who states "This is the kind of stuff Marie Antoinette would eat at parties." Four stars from me for Trader Joe's Raspberry Mousse Cakes.



Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Trader Joe's Organic Super Bread


Look! Up on the shelf in the baked goods section! It's a bagel! It's a pastry! It's Superbread!

I don't know if I'd call this bread "super" myself, but it is very earthy and seedy and unique, not to mention certified organic. For the third review in a row, Sonia is way more positive about the product than I am, although in the end, this product will get a thumbs up from me, too.

My in-laws have been sending us this delicious bread from Le Pain Quotidien that has nuts and seeds and dried fruit all through it. It's not dessert bread, but there is a bit of sweetness to it and it's amazing. I thought this bread might be Trader Joe's version of the same bread. And while it is similar in some ways, it's not quite as scrumptious as that LPQ selection.


Despite the "organic dried apple" mentioned in the ingredients, this bread really isn't very sweet at all. Aside from the wheat flour, seeds are far and away the dominant flavor and they add a lot to the texture, too. We've got pumpkin, flax, and sunflower here.

The most unexpected element? Carrots. I mean I guess it wouldn't be "unexpected" if I had actually bothered to read the front of the bag, but I tend to just impulsively yoink stuff off the shelves these days and ask questions later. But yeah, there are thin carrot slivers all through the bread. I wouldn't have expected that to work, but it does. Sonia is absolutely mad about the carrot bits. It'll be hard to go back to dollar store bread after this gourmet stuff.

Organic super bread isn't bad raw, but both Sonia and I prefer it toasted. It's nice with either butter or cream cheese. It's versatile enough to make sandwiches of all kinds. I don't know if I'd reach for this for, like, peanut butter and jelly. But for cold cuts and cheese it works well.

Organic. Kosher. $3.99 for the loaf. Sonia says a re-purchase is inevitable. That's fine, dear. That's fine. Four and a half stars from her. Like I said, I like it and will eat some here and there, but I can't muster quite the same enthusiasm as the beautiful wifey. Three and a half stars from me for Trader Joe's Organic Super Bread.



Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Trader Joe's Chocolatey Drizzled Strawberry Kettle Popcorn


If you're like me, you frequently wake up in the morning contemplating how our wonderful world is so nearly perfect in every way, what could possibly make it better? Your thoughts then inexorably drift in the direction of fruit-flavored popcorn. "If only I could wake up to a handful of mango flavored popcorn, life would be perfect."

Then in June of 2016, the dream became reality with Trader Joe's Mango Coconut Caramel Corn. But alas, not only did that admittedly very tasty popcorn flavor not make my life splendid and serene like I had hoped, it was discontinued shortly after the advent of Mango Mania. "Hmm, that wasn't it. Maybe strawberry popcorn will bring completion to my life and make this world 100% flawless," I've mused daily for the last eight years. And now, finally, here we are.


In case you can't tell, I'm being facetious. And I honestly had low expectations for this chocolate strawberry kettle corn. But...I mean, it's strawberry flavored popcorn...so of course I had to buy a bag and review it.

First thoughts: this might have worked if there were way more freeze dried strawberries in the mix. You can see in the picture that most of the popcorn pieces don't have any strawberry bits fused onto them. There's chocolate drizzle on every piece...but I didn't buy this snack for chocolate drizzle. They put that stuff on everything. The only element that makes this product truly unique is real strawberry and there simply isn't enough of it.

The packaging is odd-looking and lame. Even the quality of the popcorn is a bit sub-par, which is not the norm from Trader Joe's. I bit down on a widow or two—you know, like unpopped kernels. I literally don't think that's ever happened before with these fancy schmancy caramel corn flavors from TJ's.

Sonia? She likes it. She also thinks the strawberry flavor could be stronger, but she likes that the chocolate isn't too sweet nor too hard. She thinks there's enough strawberry taste to separate this product from the pack of run-of-the-mill caramel corn. I disagree.

TL;DR — Thumbs down from me, thumbs up from Sonia, but we both agree it needs more strawberries. The beautiful wifey will easily finish the bag over the next week or so. $3.49 for the 5 oz bag. I'll throw out 2.5 stars again and Sonia's down for 4 on Trader Joe's Chocolatey Drizzled Strawberry Kettle Popcorn.



Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

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