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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Mini Cupcakes

We've already seen TJ's knock gluten-free cupcakes out of the park. And this review is here to confirm that, yes, they've absolutely done it again. In fact, I know they have other varieties of GF cupcakes, and I've never heard anyone complain about them at all. Ever.

I read an article not long ago that scientists have found a way to make better gluten free flour. I'm wondering if these cupcakes are the result of said scientific breakthrough. Because I didn't miss the gluten at all. Maybe we just got a super-freshly-baked batch, but if anything, the bread part of the cupcake was more moist and more delicious than a normal cupcake.

The frosting was on point, as well. Sonia absolutely raved about it. It was slightly more in the direction of traditional frosting than the frosting on the Buttercream Cupcakes we linked to in the first paragraph. But this stuff wasn't stiff like cupcakes from a traditional grocery store bakery. It felt and tasted fluffy and whipped, with a really nice sweet, creamy flavor.

As has been the case with a few TJ's products in the past, I was significantly more enamored with the vanilla flavor than I was with the chocolate, although the chocolate was nothing to complain about. I'm not a vanilla supremacist. I swear. I just really want sweetness without as much richness sometimes.

Two thumbs up from Sonia and I. Double fours.

If you're interested in the nutrition facts, just click here.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Trader Joe's Mango Taffy

Sonia and I have made it to campgrounds in the Jersey Shore area a couple times this year, but we haven't spent much time on the beach or on the boardwalk, and thus, we haven't really indulged in the official state candy of New Jersey recently. In lieu of said saltwater taffy, we picked up this mango stuff from TJ's. It's not bad. In fact, I think both of us would choose it over most brands of saltwater taffy we've tried. Granted, we're not huge into taffy in general, but we've had enough to know decent taffy when we taste it. 

The first thing that jumps out at me about this candy is how incredibly soft it is. Oh, wait. That's probably just the near 100 degree temperatures and ridiculous humidity making it extra squishy. Somehow, it works, though. It's still solid enough that you can slurp it off the wax paper wrapping in one piece. We cranked the AC for a while and found an unusually solid specimen for the pic on the right.

Now, I might be alone here, but I swear there's this moment while I'm eating the taffy where it feels like it's not going to dissolve properly in my mouth. It seems to display the physical properties of chewing gum for a few brief moments and my gag reflex wants to kick in. But before it does, the taffy finally thins and magically deliquesces down my throat and into my belly.

Flavor-wise, it's a sugary, yet natural-ish kind of mango flavor—not quite like the actual fruit, although there is "mango juice concentrate" listed in the ingredients—but similar to what you might expect from mango gummies or mango sorbet. It's a candied mango kind of taste—very pleasant if you enjoy mango-flavored things.

In most cases, this would not be my dessert of choice, just because I'm rarely in the mood for taffy. But as taffy goes, I must admit it meets, if not exceeds, my expectations. Three and a half from me. Sonia, also not really a taffy girl, was even more impressed. Four from her.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

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