Google Tag

Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Trader Joe's Fruit Frenzy Bars II

Wait....there's the Roman numeral two? As in, like, Trader Joe's Fruit Frenzy Bars...the sequel? More fruit, more frenzy, more bars, or what? I've been a fairly observant Trader Joe's shopper over the past few years, but either I've been extremely sheltered in these Pittsburgh area stores (it happens!) or I've been completely oblivious (also very possible, ask my wife!), but I've never even heard of or seen the original Fruit Frenzy Bars that the existence of this product implies also existed. I was very excited to try these, even though, let's face it, the sequels almost always suck compared to the original. Prime example: any Matrix movie after the first (I'd be much happier never seeing Keanu Reeves pulling a Kevin Bacon and showing us his butt ever again). Although, sometimes the sequels are good, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If only the ending of Return of the King didn't end six times before it actually did, finally, end. This scene was officially where the the climax jumped the shark.

Yes, I went to college in the early 2000s, how can you tell? Also, do people still use the phrase "jump the shark"? Maybe I'll ask my years-younger-than-me coworkers when I'm not bothering them with computer questions because anything beyond Windows XP confounds the crud out of me.

Anyhow, once these frosty fruity frenzi-ful frisky frolics were found, I knew right where they truly belonged: in my belly.  Once summer begins roaring with heat rising and humidity spiking, any icy cool treat I can ingest to aid with chilling my body from the inside out, I'm down with.

To me, these are not disappointing in the least. As the picture suggests, there's three different flavor levels to work through. First up is grape. Starts off a little weak, if you ask me. I mean, it's not bad, but it doesn't taste overly grape-y. Granted, there's not a lot of added sugar (at least compared to the typical ice cream truck treat), so maybe that's why it tasted a little toned down. Sandy said the grape kinda reminded her of iced tea - in fact, she was a little surprised when I informed her it was, in fact, grape. Not that it really tastes like tea, just kinda like watered-down sweetness, which is what a lot of the local dairy swill masquerading as iced tea tastes like around these parts. Give me Rosenberger's over Turner's any day. Still, the Grape Level tasted alright, and not an awful way to start.

Next up: Tangerine. Light and citrusy. Otherwise, a little nondescript,but yummy nonetheless.A palate cleanser, almost, if you will, in order to make way for the truly great part: the blood orange. Oh man. This is where it got truly good, the flavorful finale, the citrusy climax, the orangey apex. Loved it. Powerfully sweet and a little tart, just like a truly great orange, delivering icy cool refreshment with a taste that pleasantly lingers. Loved it. 

Sandy actually liked the grape most of all, and didn't care for the tangerine or orange all that much; then again, she's not a citrus addict like me. Weirdo. Technically, I suppose we could share a popsicle and each get the parts we like without too much grumbling. After all, these are kinda mammoth. In case the picture doesn't give you a good sense of scale, they're about the exact same height as an iPhone, and while a couple smidges narrower on the width, the popsicles are much thicker on the depth. This wouldn't be a treat to give to a young kid and expect them to finish. Also, you'd have to have some OxyClean on stand by. I see what my toddler can do with a single M&M and am amazed. For something like $3 for the box of four, it's not a bad bargain at all. Sandy's lowballing with a two, so I'm overcompensating with my score, but only slightly.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Fruit Frenzy Bars II: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa

That's my hand in the picture to the left. Don't you think it's attractive? I figure out of all the thousands of people who read this blog each day that at least one or two of you must know a good talent agent that represents specialty models. I don't have any experience, but I think I'm ready to start moonlighting as a hand model, a la George Costanza, Ray McKegney, or J.P. Prewitt. I currently live in the Philly metro area, but I'm willing to travel. Just click on my name in the "Contributors" section in the right side bar for my contact info. Thanks for your help, everyone. Maybe your talent agent friend will slip you a little finder's fee or something.

Actually, I was trying to make the jar look more full by holding it over my head and shuffling the little bit that was left toward the front of the jar. Sonia and I pretty much polished it off over the weekend and we forgot to take a pic of the jar until just now. But anyway, I figure it adds a bit of visual variety to our blog, right? I mean, we have great outdoor shots of TJ's foods, courtesy of Russ and Sandy. We have shots with cool tile backgrounds, and shots with hardwood backgrounds, but up to this point, I don't think we've had any featuring our hands. Now we do.

But anyway, moving along to the food review...

This is a great sweet salsa. I think the biggest problem I've seen with other sweet salsas is a tendency to either taste too much like fruit and neglect the salsa-y part of the product, or the exact opposite of that. I'm always looking for a balance. And while this product didn't taste super pineappley in my opinion, it did have a nice balance of traditional salsa flavor and sweetness. The spice-o-meter on the jar makes this salsa look medium, but it's most definitely mild. We ate it with the Longboard Chips, and they paired up quite nicely. This stuff would be great for a luau-themed pool party or some other such tropical-type gathering. Break out the leis and coconut bras!

My only complaints are: not enough heat and not enough actual pineapple flavor. Also, we went through this $1.99 jar really quickly. It would be great if there were a larger size. But in its favor: it's nice and sweet, yet it still tastes like salsa and it pairs up perfectly with white corn tortilla chips. Four stars from me. Same from Sonia.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

You Might Like: