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Friday, May 25, 2018

Trader Joe's Spicy Cheese Crunchies

Just earlier today, Sandy was saying she wished I wrote for an ice cream blog, like say On Second Scoop, just so we could have a valid excuse to have a neverending stockpile of ice cream on hand.

Me? I sure am happy for our little TJ's blog, because without it, I'd never have a great reason to pick up a sack of Trader Joe's Spicy Cheese Crunchies.

But it doesn't stop there.

Nope, because if I never bought them, I'd never get the sneaking suspicion that were a lot like a more famous brand, like say Flamin' Hot Cheetos, but would be unsure as to the exact differences, and so purely in the best interests of my audience would also have to get those Flamin' Hots for direct comparision's sake. You know, for entertainment and science, and not just to mindlessly eat spicy cornmeal nuggets because yummmm.

See the pic here. I'm sorry, it's a sucky one, because I took it with my potato phone. On the left is the aforementioned FHC's, on the right is the newcomer TJ's. Visibly, they're different - the Flamers are decidedly more red and fierce looking. Must be all those artifical colors noticeably absent from the Trader Joe's spicy crunchers...score one for TJ's.

Once popped in the ol' snack hole, there's a few other fairly small differences. The spicy cheese crunchers from TJ's are a tad bit drier, it seems, from their Cheetos counterparts. There's a smidge less grease to them. This leads me to believe that the TJ's brand is baked as opposed to fried like Cheetos, and seeing that TJ's has 40 less calories and 5 grams less fat per identical 28 gram serving, I may be on to something.

But really, taste. That's what it all comes down to. Which one's better? It's...tough to say. The Cheetos seem more focused on vibrant spice and heat (if not a little on the vinegary side) whereas the TJ's is...different. Maybe slightly more cheesy. Maybe slightly less hot and more range of flavor (like garlic, turmeric, etc). Maybe, as Sandy said, more of a "tomatoey" flavor, by which neither one of us is precisely sure what she means, but there's something to it. In all, it's kinda subtle.

My three year old loves the TJ's spicy cheese crunchers. She'd melt after one Flamin' Hot Cheeto. So, there's that.

Anyways, if totally junky kinda grub like this is your kinda thing, grab a bag of the TJ's crunchies for only a couple bucks. I wouldn't proclaim them as "healhty" but they are "healthier" than the competition, and are of approximate quality. Admittedly and somewhat ashamedly I kinda like them both...slight edge to TJ's. Thanks for allowing me to eat these, my adoring fans!

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Spicy Cheese Crunchies: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trader Joe's Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Our dogs are picky eaters. We're well aware that pets are supposed to be fed a steady diet of one type of food, but our mutts get tired of the same thing over and over, just like people do. As evident as it is with their main breakfast and dinner type foods, it's even more so with treats, so we try to mix it up for them, since they're much easier to control when they're actually interested in whatever "cookie" Sonia's holding in her hand.

At $3.99, these weren't the cheapest option we've seen at TJ's, but with only two ingredients—Atlantic salmon and sweet potato—we figured they were worth a try. We know from experience our dogs love salmon—even the salmon we're not thrilled with ourselves.

Also, the bag is full of mind-blowingly helpful tips like, "Please provide fresh drinking water for your dog at all times." Gosh! Thanks, Trader Joe's. Insert macabre, sarcastic remark about pets dying of thirst. Hopefully we'll be able to hang on to Alfred and Sadie a little longer by putting that wisdom into practice.

Four out of five paw prints from Sadie. Three out of five paw prints from Alfred.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

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