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Monday, May 23, 2016

Trader Joe's Just Beets Dehydrated Beet Chips

Now we know where all that beet juice came from.

Somehow, these little dehydrated beet chips—or "crisps," you know, in case you speak British—are almost as beety as their juicy counterpart, yet much more palatable to me. In fact, I'd rather eat these chips than regular beets—and if you didn't read the beet juice review, I mentioned that I feel pretty neutral about normal beets. 
So, I guess you could say my feelings about these chips are somewhat positive. I like the lack of sliminess

I love the texture of chips—and that's exactly what these feel like: thin, kettle-cooked potato chips, with maybe a hint of a baked potato chip type feel, a la Stax or Pringles. Mind you, they taste nothing like that. They taste just like beets. So I feel pretty indifferent about the flavor. But the nice texture puts my overall feelings just slightly better than neutral. 

But I could never be as positive about them as my wife is. Again, just for review, she's a big beet fan. Loving the flavor of beets and the texture of chips, Sonia says this product is one of her favorite new foods so far this year. Some of her earthy, health-food-loving friends appreciated them as much as she did. 

I can't imagine these will be universally popular, especially among junk-food-lovers, but they'll undoubtedly find a crowd that appreciates them way more than I do. And Sonia insisted that I point out the fact that the entire bag has only 140 calories and half a gram of fat. Plus, there's only one ingredient: just beets—how appropriate.

Three stars from me. An enthusiastic four and a half from Sonia.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Trader Joe's Seville Orange Marmalade

Please pardon the huge chunk of Trader Joe's Seville Orange Marmalade missing out of the jar in the picture over there. I was hoping that the festive orangey glow of my sub-chair rail kitchen glow that the previous house owners so nicely left for us would help disguise the fact that this wasn't a full container, but no luck.

Actually, no, I am pretty lucky. Got a wife and two kids who love every Thursday to come visit me at work for lunch. Granted, the littlest ones just might be more excited for the cookies from the work cafe, or walking thru our indoor arboretum, but I'll take it. Along with the usual lunch they'll bring him - hot cup of coffee, some veggies and fruit, and PB&J. My older one, M (not quite four years old) loves making them almost as much as she loves eating them, so it's what she does. It's what we do. Even (and perhaps especially) on weeks where we haven't had the chance to hit up TJ's, like this week...hence the partially used jar of orange marmalade.

The kids don't like the TJ's marmalade. I don't blame them - it's a surprisingly sophisticated taste. Most orange marmalades I have tried focus on the super citrusy or super sugary or the thin line between the two...not this one. It's a deeper, stronger flavor than that. And, in comparative terms, it's bitter as well - not as in actually bitter (sugar is the first ingredient, after all), but it's fairly mature and won't leave you scurrying for a toothbrush afterwards.

There's that certain marmalade texture as well - stiffer than regular jelly, more preserves like, with a fair amount of orange peel shredded up and stuck in there. How did that ever become a thing? It's not like grapevines get chopped up and stuck in grape jelly...well, not on piurpose, I hope, at least. Somehow thru the magic of delectable fruit, incorporating what ought to be the disposable wrapper into the actual product works fairly well for marmalade in general, and for this TJ's one in particular.

Sandy and I have been to Seville on a day trip during our Portuguese honeymoon...well, that makes us sound like fancy folk. We're not. We may have seen plenty of Seville orange trees, but never partook of their fruit, so I cannot ascertain the taste we'll both settle for just enjoying the marmalade. Tasty on toast, scrumptious on scones, perfect for PB&Js - worth the pick up for sure.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Seville Orange Marmalade: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

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