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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Trader Joe's These Peanuts Go On A Date Bars

Go to most grocery stores and look at the snack bar aisle. Ay yi yi. Granola bars as far as the eye can see, in all sorts of variants. That's all I remeber from growing up. These days, though...Clif Bars, Luna Bars, Larabars, fruit/nut/seed "protein" bars, heck even Gatorade bars. It's apparent we love these lil handy snack buggers.

So of course, here's another entry into healthyish snack bars, and as an added bonus, it's another TJ's style attempt at copying off a more famous brand with only subtle differences. This time, it's Trader Joe's These Peanuts Go On A Date Bars.

Let me get this out of the way: the name bugs me, and I can't figure out why. It's cutesy with the cheesy pun (we expect nothing less, Big Joe) that makes for an easy illustration, and as far as I know it's grammatical, but...I don't know. It doesn't sound right. Maybe they could have been called Nutty Date bars, and for a picture, have my high school girlfriend on there...but I digress.

The closest mainstream snack bar to these TJ's nutty daters would be, of course, Larabars. Dates and nuts as the base for a on-the-go grubber is pretty standard and shared between the two. But there are, of course, differences. I've had Larabars with dates and peanuts in them, but to my knowledge, none with "peanut butter" also listed. There's not a huge difference tastewise, except maybe the TJ's bars being slightly less datey and slightly more nutty, but man, the feel is different. TJ's are much softer, almost limp, comnpared to the usal firmness of a Larabar. I can sense it being a textural challenge for some, for sure.

But yeah, other than that: Dates. Peanuts. Flax seeds and sea salt, which don't do much in my opinion. Whoomp there it is. Nothing exciting.

They are a decent value compared to Larabars, which I'm accustomed to seeing at roughly a buck a pop. TJ's box o' five is $2.99, so not bad, and easier than making your own - I know, I've tried, and I have the burned out blender to prove it. They're worth a try if Larabars are your bag, if not you'd be happier skipping. Kinda meh all the way around - not great, not awful, which is alright with me.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's These Peanuts Go On A Date Bars: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Trader Joe's Berry Flavored Soft Licorice Twists

Just past Memorial Day. School's almost out (huzzah!), the heat and humidity are beginning to get to me already in our AC free house, our neighbor across the way bides his evening sitting on the side porch listening to awful '80s love ballads..yup, it's summer.

Even if you're a solstice literalist, you gotta admit it's close enough to round up. Here we go, eh. Kinda wonder what the theme of this summer will be...

Remember a couple years back when it was mangopalooza everything at TJ's? If you're a newcomer, have amnesia, or have blocked that out of your memory for pure sanity's sake, just search for "mango" on here for a refresher. You'll see a lot.

Seems like, just maybe, this will be the summer of berries at TJ's, and here's a kickoff item: Trader Joe's Berry Flavored Soft Licorice Twists. There's some other berrylicious-lookin' type items we've spied around, but this was just the first one we happened to pick up on a recent trip. First outta many, I have a feeling...I mean, who doesn't like berries?

We've done TJ's licorice before, and all we can say here is it is much the same, except, you know, berries. There's a pretty tart taste that suggests raspberry, and a solid base that suggest strawberry or blueberry or maybe both. The ingredients don't really help out, listing just "natural mixed berry flavor with other natural flavors." I mean, whatcha hiding here? Give up the berries! What kinda scandal fruit are you hiding here...schnozzberries? I'd kinda like a better idea....

...especially because there's something here at it. It's more on the aftertatse. Sandy said there was kinda a medicinal essence to it. I'm not sure if that's right, but I can't quite put my fineger on tongue on it. It might be some gratuitous lemon or something else citrusy clashing a wee bit with the berry flavor. Not sure.

Anyways, the TJ's berry licorice bites remain a decent enough summer snack on the go. God knows between ballgames, amusement park visits, random road trips, little hikes, trips to the pool, and just lazing arounb the house, having a cheapie $2 sack of decent candy around isn't a horrible idea, and just may be this summer's thing. So also is "Hold Me" by Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston" - thanks neighbor for playing that twelve times in a row while I wrote this on my front porch because the rest of my house is too hot. Happy summer kickoff!

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Berry Flavored Soft Licorice Twists: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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