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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Trader Joe's Organic Frosted Pumpkin Toaster Pastries

About this time each year, Sonia's skin begins to turn a bit orange. I'm pretty sure it's from all the pumpkin products she consumes. Plus, her skin is naturally a sort of brown/red, so orange isn't that much of a stretch for her. She's technically Native American, of the Zapotec tribe from Oaxaca, Mexico. That makes her a "redskin," like my NFL team, who have obviously been cursed by the Native Americans who find that term racist and offensive. I certainly can't blame them. To put my own spin on a famous Chris Rock line: "Havin' a team called the Washington Redskins is kinda like havin' a team called the Harrisburg Honkies or the Carlisle Crackers."

Another unfortunate side effect of the mass consumption of pumpkin is that my wife's taste buds become "immune" to the taste of pumpkin. It's truly an addiction because she needs more and more of the substance to achieve the same effect. We're setting up a pumpkin intervention for poor Sonia. She tasted some pumpkin in the cream cheese, but she claims to have tasted very little in these toaster pastries. I think she just wants everything to taste like pumpkin pie. I'll go ahead and tell you that she only gives this product 3 out of 5 stars. That's too low in my

These are pop-tarts for all intents and purposes. And there's a much higher crust to filling ratio in pop-tarts than in pumpkin pie. Since I'm a carbivore, I didn't mind what Sonia perceived as a lack of filling at all. I think there was an adequate amount of filling and pumpkinnish flavor. It was very similar to a cinnamon raisin type taste. But instead of raisin, it was pumpkin. Distinctly pumpkin. Subtle, yet still pumpkinlicious. I will say this, though: toast these pastries. Unlike many other pop-tart flavors, these guys taste way better hot than raw, IMHO.

For those of you who suffer from similar pumpkin addictions, go ahead and type "pumpkin" in the search bar below the blog description to find page after page of pumpkin-thing reviews. More coming soon.

I give these toaster pastries 4 out of 5 stars.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

Russ was right. And I look dead sexy in my yoga pants. I might not, however, after I gorge myself on every pumpkintastic item I can get my hands on because I will have gained about 30 pounds by the end of this season. As of Sunday, it's officially fall. And yes, like any red-blooded American man with northwestern Euro-mutt roots, I love me some Oktoberfest beers, but the giggly 21-year-old college girl living inside me loves pumpkin ales just as much. Guess what else she loves?

This pumpkinriffic cream cheese. It's super soft and plenty punkinny for me. It's a nice balance of cream cheese, pumpkin spices, and actual pumpkin. Sonia seems to think it needs more pumpkin flavor. I disagree. It's not pumpkin pie here. Nor is it pumpkin pudding. And along those same lines, one should definitely not eat this stuff straight out of the tub with a spoon, tempting as it may be. It's meant to top a bagel. I actually think the pumpkin-factor is a bit too much when it's spread on
toast. A bagel has enough breadiness—enough substance—to put this pumpkin cream cheese in check, just like regular cream cheese works with a bagel while butter and jelly works with a piece of toast. 

But I will say this: there is something light and fluffy about this cream cheese. It almost feels whipped. It's not as dense as a regular cream cheese if you ask me. When you're knifing it out of the tub, it comes out with ease. There's very little resistance. But the full-bodied flavor is still there somehow. It's a miracle of science. It's a miracle of nature. Just like the pumpkin. And the pumpkin spices. And the drool that now covers my desktop as I sit here and pine for more pumpkin. Stay tuned to WG@TJs for more ridiculous, fictitious, pumpkin-based adjectives like "pumpkinlectable" and nouns like "pumpkinnishness." 

When we made our latest TJ's run, the checkout guy looked at Sonia and I and made a funny face. "I see you've been stricken with the same pumpkin affliction that I have, too." We both just nodded and slobbered all over the counter and grunted out a zombie-esque "Puuuuumpkiiiiin."

I give this pumpkin cream cheese 4.5 stars. Sonia gives it a 4.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

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