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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Trader Joe's Organic White Truffle Potato Chips

Certain yummy things come from the ground. Potatoes, for example. 

I'd add chickpeas, lentils, and beans to that list, among other things. I can go either way on things like radishes, beets, and jicama. But in my book, once something has been in the dirt for a long enough time, it necessarily falls under the category of "things to burn," rather than "things to eat." Case in point: oil, coal, propane, natural gas—all of which are proving useful as sources of heat during this gnarly polar vortex we've got going over most of the country. You burn them. Nobody in his right mind tries to eat them.

I'd like to add truffles to that list. Fungi that have been in the dirt for 5-8 years have long since graduated from the "you should eat this" league, and are now well on their way to becoming fossil fuels for future generations to incinerate. Let's just go ahead and leave them in the ground for now.

Because they taste like dirt. They're bitter, chalky, and...I mean, some might use the term "earthy," but I think that word is simply too kind for this "gourmet" subterranean fungus.

Just the smell from the bag was too much for me. I'm not really even sure why. "Organic white truffle" is very low on the ingredients list, but there's nothing else on there that I dislike at all. Tapioca maltodextrin might be a little odd for potato chips, but I'm down with tapioca stuff. I like oil. I like salt. I like potatoes. The look, feel, and texture of the chips was just fine. If you lacked olfactory and gustatory senses, you'd never be able to differentiate these chips from run-of-the-mill salted potato chips. But for me, that truffley taste just overpowered everything else, and I could scarcely stomach two of the chips. 

I'd also like to point out that I'm in the minority here, apparently. The lovely Sonia enjoyed these soil-flavored chips, oddly enough. And our western PA blogging counterparts appreciated the Truffle Mac and Cheese exactly one year ago this week. I guess you can chalk it up to my lifelong aversion to fungi. I don't even really like mushrooms.

I, for one, hope to never eat another truffle-containing product for as long as I live. You can call me unsophisticated, but you can't call me unadventurous. Sonia and I consumed and enjoyed both alligator meat and python meat for the first time this New Year's Eve at a fancy hot dog place in Philly. Even those guys serve potato chips sans truffles. They know what's up.

I give these chips one and a half stars. I would have gone with zero, but their texture and appearance was just fine. It's the flavor I can't handle. Sonia will go with four. She thinks the flavor is "interesting," and she likes that the chips aren't as oily as other varieties.

Bottom line: 5.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Trader Joe's Organic Coconut Sesame Seed Clusters

First things first - Happy New Year everyone! Here's to hoping 2018 will be better than 2017, but not as good as 2019 will be, starting now. Or, if you're a Time Lord and into that wibbly-wobbly line of thinking, 2018 can start being better whenever it pleases.

Eight years of writing this blog, and that is only my second Dr. Who reference I can think of, and a weak one at that. Note to self: more Dr Who references this year. That would require Sandy and I to finally get caught up on episodes. That'd be great, especially to help fill the time until Stranger Things comes back So many cliffhangers there...won't say anything in case anyone's not caught up somehow, but man, Joyce's fridge...the heck?

Whether your New Year's resolution is to wach more Netflix or do that getting healthier thing (or both! I need to rid me of some adipose, personally), you need a snack. May as well give Trader Joe's Organic Coconut Sesame Seeds Clusters a try.

These clusters are definitely unique. I keep wanting to call them crackers, because that's what they feel and taste like - wafer-y, thin, airy, crispy crackers. In a way, similiar to a couple layers of filo dough baking together. Except, it's not flour and eggs and whatnot - it's just coconut. I've had dried coconut before, but none was think this - maybe I'm sheltered or naive, but for me at least it's a first. The clusters are irresistably crispy, and as a cool bonus, after a few chomps it's almost as if a little coconut oil gets extruded. That may not be accurate, but there's certainly an added coconutty presence that seems to ooze out. May sound weird, but nah - and it's delicious.

Black and white sesame seeds add a small textural varient and kinda help turn the nature of this snack into a more savory-type deal. Kinda odd bedfellows, sesame seeds and coconut, but it works. There's also apparently some Himalayan salt added, but honestly I don't detect any of it, so it's probably fairly negligible.

Eat them straight, put on a salad, put on some ice cream, but don't do salad and ice cream at the same time. That wouldn't work. These crispers are light and snacky enough that both Sandy and I could the whole bag, which probably isn't advisable even if it's coconut. At about $2 for the bag, these are repeat buy worthy for sure. We'll be on them for sure.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Coconut Sesame Seed Clusters: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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