Google Tag

Search This Blog

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trader Joe's Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds

Sometimes I don't really know how to start a review. This is one of those times. I asked Sandy how I should as she sits beside me making a Pittsburgh Steelers-themed tutu for lil Baby M, and she said, "Awwwwww nuts." So, boom, there we go.

Anyways, Trader Joe's Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds. The best way I can think of to describe these is, imagine Sam Elliot personally shaking out his mustache over each and every bag of roasted almonds, and that approximates how these taste. Minus the whiskers, of course. That'd be a pretty big Golden Spoon deduction. These are some pretty intense nuts as far as flavor goes. I'll be honest, I'm not able to identify all the different spices that each almond is liberally dusted with, because it's literally everywhere. You know that one Cheeto in the bottom of the bag that has all the extra Cheeto dust? Each and every nut is kinda like that - my tastebuds are literally overwhelmed by the bombardment of spices and flavors, but all of them definitely flow along the line of "mesquite" and "smoked". And salty. I mean, real salty. Seasoned salt has to be one of the big ingredients, and literally after a small handful or two, I find myself pretty darn thirsty, maybe for some more of that good sarsaparilla. Thanks, Sam Elliot.They're flavorful and dust-coated enough that I'd actually recommend sticking to eating them more or less by themselves - put them in some trail mix or Chex Mix or something, and they'd probably overpower everything else.

They're about 5 bucks for the pounder bag, which isn't bad for a bag of nuts these days. I probably ate about 90%  of the package, which is okay with Sandy as she kept herself busy with her sackful of pumpkin seeds. She liked them well enough, though. "They're very mesquite-y, and super crunchy," she said. "Like, you know how sometimes almonds aren't crunchy and they're kinda, like, soggy instead?" Soggy almonds? No dear, I don't know what you mean. Sometimes almonds are crunchier than other times, but I've never once had something that I'd describe as a "soggy" almond. Perhaps you have, though, and my wife wants to assure you that will not be the case here. She'll give them a three, saying the nuts can be a bit too much after just a small handful or two. I agree they could take a small step back and actually stand to gain from that. Other than that, I like the crunch and I like that just a handful or two will keep the stomach grumbles away for a good spell. Something around a four seems right.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons    

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trader Joe's Pecan Pumpkin Oatmeal

Let's face it: in our modern society, pumpkins and pumpkin-flavored stuff is available year round, or at least it could be. All of the pumpkinnery you see at this time of year is more due to the demand for it, rather than the seasonal availability of pumpkins.

But I'm not really complaining. There's something about pumpkin that's only really good between October and December. Pumpkin's not really a February/March kind of flavor. And it's definitely not a June/July kind of flavor. So every year, at the beginning of the season, I begin consuming massive quantities of pumpkin-flavored things that I wouldn't normally buy. That way, the novelty-factor of said pumpkin-items is very high through the middle of November or so, and yet, by the end of December, I'm so sick of pumpkin that I can go for another 9 months without missing it at all.

Now, we've been pretty heavy on the pumpkin this year so far, and we're almost reaching that midway point through the 3-month season of acceptable pumpkin-consumption. I'd like to tell you I'm not pumpkinned out at all yet, and that our scores are thoroughly fair, unbiased, and objective, but realistically, the Pumpkin Macarons might have had a bit of an advantage over this oatmeal. We're not taking back our perfect score on the macarons just yet, but I feel like maybe we might have given this oatmeal a slightly higher score had we tried it right at the beginning of October.

Our biggest complaint about this product is its lack of rich pumpkin flavor. We found that a spoonful of TJ's Pumpkin Butter added a nice little extra dose of pumpkinny goodness. Without it, there's a hint of pumpkin, but not much more. (It is possible that our tastebuds have achieved some sort of pumpkin-overload at this point and that we simply can't taste it as much as the average consumer anymore). However, the pecan flavor and a few actual pecans gave the oatmeal a really nice texture and taste—a little above and beyond what we expect from traditional oatmeal.

All in all, it's a decent buy if you think pecan oatmeal sounds good. If you're really craving pumpkin, however, don't expect too much. Sonia, a self-proclaimed oatmeal connoisseur, gives it 3.5 stars. I dabble in oatmeal from time to time, but I'm far from an expert. I'll give it a respectable 3 stars.

Bottom line 6.5 out of 10.

You Might Like: