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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trader José Light Premium Lager

So this is supposed to taste like a Corona or something. It says it's imported from Mexico. Authentic. Trader Jose. Si, Senor. 

 It's not as good as Corona, but it's not bad for an imitation store brand. And, it's cheaper than Corona. Limes always help with Coronas, and I'm sure they would enhance the flavor of this beer, too, although we didn't have any when we tried this. 

Also, it is a light beer. There was no non-light version at the store when we picked this up. Light beers can't really compete with the real thing. I don't think I've ever had a Corona Light. It's probably on par with the Trader Jose. 

All in all, it's pretty good. I give it a Four. Sonia gives it a Four. 

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Trader José's Chunky Salsa

<gasp> This stuff's made in Needham, Mass? Well, this stuff ain't made in San Antonio, but I still think it's a good salsa. Actually it's only sold and distributed from Needham, Mass., and I'm not sure where it's made. Could be New York City for all I know. In this case, it looks like our good friend Trader Jose hopped the border and made straight for the northeast.

I'm happy with it, but I am a yankee, and I apparently cannot be considered a connoisseur of fine salsas. To me, it seems chunky, just like the label says, and it has plenty of flavor. It's got just a little kick, but it won't burn your mouth.

It's OK if a salsa burns your mouth some, as long as it's got the sabor to back it up. ('Sabor' is Spanish for 'flavor.' Have you seen those billboards where it says something like "Experience true sabor." I guess 'sabor' is a real Spanglish word now. We'll go ahead and define the Spanglish term 'sabor' as "flavor, as it pertains to any food or beverage imported from a Latin country, or a Tex-Mex inspired food, such as this salsa.")

Now my wife, who is 1st generation Mexican-American, has the authority to declare this a good salsa, despite the fact it's made in (or at least distributed from) New England. And she actually likes it more than I do. So that says something.

I think they have hotter versions of the same salsa. I guess this is the mild variety. There's a little graph in the shape of a chili on the side of the jar that shows you how hot it is, and the chili is 1/3 red. I'm guessing medium is 2/3 red, and so on. I'll have to try the hotter ones too at some point. For this kind, I give Four and a half Stars. Sonia gives Five Stars. Bottom line: 9.5 out of 10.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Joe-Joe's 'n Cream Flavored Ice Cream

Joe-Joe is apparently a toucan or some other kind of tropical bird, and he apparently has his own line of oreo-style cookies at Trader Joe's. What toucans have to do with chocolate and vanilla creme sandwich cookies, I don't know. (I'm not sure what they ever had to do with fruit loops, either, but at least the colors on the toucan's beak were similar to the color scheme of the cereal). By that logic, perhaps a zebra might have made a better cookies n' creme mascot. Anyway...this ice cream is "cookies 'n cream" flavor, and it's very good, in my opinion.

Sonia and I are both lovers of cookies 'n cream ice cream. It's the perfect balance of classic ice cream flavors with exciting cookie surprises. It's safer than something like "apple pie" ice cream or "strawberry cheesecake" ice cream, which, although tempting and emanating with potential, can be easily botched by an imbalance of ingredients or an improper pastry to ice cream ratio. Conversely, cookies 'n cream, though somewhat traditional, is not nearly as boring as plain chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla. It is the bar by which ice cream standards are set. Dairy science wizards and ice cream auteurs that can master the fine art of cookies 'n cream may then get set to tackle more advanced flavors, a la Ben and Jerry's, the world's leading minds in the world of dairy deliciousness.

Like Ben and Jerry's, Joe-Joe's opposes the recombinant bovine growth hormone and will not use milk from cows treated with it. I don't know what it is exactly, but it is evidently quite sinister, and cows treated with it are downright unhappy.

Sonia thinks the ice cream was a little bland. I disagree. I could taste chocolatey cookies and vanilla ice cream, and it was creamy and sweet...our other guests didn't make a big fuss about it either way, which would tend to suggest they kind of agree with Sonia. Hmmm...

Anyway, the cookies 'n cream passes, at least in my book. TJ's, you may now proceed with caution in the development and production of more bizarre flavors.

I give the Joe-Joe's 'n Cream Four and a half Stars. Sonia gives only Three and a half. Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

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