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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Trader Joe's Organic Reduced Sugar Cherry Preserves

This originally was gonna be a post about Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Scone Mix with Maple Flavored Frosting. Cuz, you know, it's seasonal and all, and I for whatever uncharacteristic reason am on some sort of pumpkin spice kick, and given the Rodgers' historic oven-related troubles, Sandy and I figured we were the ones for the job. But somehow in between taking pictures and transferring to my computer, they got eaten. The pictures, not the scones. Well, the scones did get eaten too...but that's another story, and won't go into too much detail on them in case they get revisited later.

Late night scrounge the fridge time then, gotta find something to review...well, hey, here's Trader Joe's Organic Reduced Sugar Cherry Preserves. What else are we gonna do? Got a lot of time left in pumpkin spice season after all.

You might remember that a little while back us yinzers here went on a whole spree with the blueberry preserves. That stuff was the bomb, so would that make this a...cherry bomb? Eh, not quite. I'd say the overall quality of the product is about there - similar mouthfeel, similar texture, spreadability factor high, etc - but at the same time, it's missing a small something, and what it is, I'm not sure.

It's still very good. There's a mild, smooth tartness that ends with a slightly sweet finish. It's almost - but not quite - just like eating straight cherries, except without the pits, of course. But maybe that's it right there. Fresh, juicy ripe cherries are sweet and tart and vibrant and just downright delectable in almost every way. That's not that sense here, not in the same way as the blueberry preserves. Some of the potency gets a little lost in translation.

No matter. It's the current jam of choice for our oldest daughter, who loves it matched with some sunflower spread for a school lunch sandwich. Sandy and I will slather some on some fresh baked bread from our local coffee shop, and really, we've been slacking on the opportunity to put it on a grilled cheese sandwich. Our youngest daughter hates it, though, which I think is hilarious. I *think* she normally like cherries...she's a little weirdo. Eh well. Decent enough jam, and maybe it's a last little remnant of summer to bring into the fullness of fall. Pumpkin spice can wait.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Reduced Sugar Cherry Preserves: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee Chocolate Bar

Relax. Those stains on the packaging aren't real. Trader Joe's makes it look that way on purpose. Trust me, I wouldn't put a hot cuppa on this product for fear it would melt the chocolate. 

Have you seen "The Arrival," starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner? It's one of my favorites from last year's batch of Best Pic noms—even if it did have globalist undertones and subtle "I for one welcome our new alien overlord" themes. What can I say, I'm a sucker for sci-fi. Turns out these coffee stains are part of an intergalactic language used by weird "heptapod" creatures. For those of you not well-versed in this alien tongue, I'll translate the marking on the cover of this product. It reads: "BUY ME AND EAT ME NOW."

So we did.

And now we're having flashbacks to the spring. What? Have you forgotten about Coffeepalooza already? 

After missing sleep for approximately two and a half months, I finally returned to a normal 6-8 hour a night sleeping schedule, and here TJ's goes messing that up again...I thought we were doing pumpkin and apple stuff right now. Guess they forgot to pull this one out of the stockroom back in April, so here it is! Enjoy the wonders of insomnia once again, friends!

For all you coffee-cravers, I could see this $1.99 candy bar being a repeat purchase. Thankfully, I've developed a healthy fear of coffee products since the events of Coffeepalooza and I'll probably be able to stay far away from this item—especially with all the fun fall stuff to keep me busy.

According to the description on the product's packaging, both the chocolate and the caramel filling are infused with coffee. In the chocolate, it's more subtle I think. Sonia claims she can't even really taste coffee with the outer chocolate layer, but she does like the not-too-bitter dark chocolate they chose for it. I'd say there's a hint of something mocha-ish there, but I'll admit the filling boasts significantly more coffee taste.

I'm not sure if the coffee flavor in this chocolate bar is distinctly cold brew or if that's just the way they decided to market it since cold brew is "in" right now. Either way, it's a tasty chocolate bar. Sonia says it does have that unique, light cold brew essence—slightly smoother than traditional roasted coffee. Seems like she knows what she's talking about, so we'll go with that.

I'm not the biggest fan of coffee in the world, but just as I did during the days of Coffeepalooza, I'll try to project a score on behalf of all you coffee-lovers out there. We'll go with four out of five. Sonia concurs.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

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