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Friday, June 8, 2018

Trader Joe's Manyberry Apple Pie with Rhubarb Fruit Crumble Pie

Dessert Week continues here at What's Good at Trader Joe's...

We review a good many desserts on this blog, but I can't remember the last time we tackled three sweet dessert foods in a single week. It's been a while. It's almost like we're celebrating something ├╝ber-sweet that happened recently in the sports world...

It's a veritable celebration of sweetness. And they're all new products at TJ's. Way to help people attain their summer beach bodies, Trader Joe's. Is this all part of some kind of underhanded population control effort? Is this some kind of conspiracy?

I think there's another conspiracy going on here: a conspiracy of crumbs. Ah, but you did warn us about this one ahead of time. Right there on the packaging, "hidden in plain sight," as they call this conspiratorial confection a "crumble." And crumble it does. Crumble it shall. Crumble, crumble, crumble, like the Golden Knights in game 5.

It's ant season here in the mid-Atlantic region. And ants love crumbs. Did you work out some kind of deal with America's pest control services, TJ's? Do you get a cut when ant elimination services make record amounts of calls this month? Because there were so many crumbs floating around in the box when I opened it that I could completely fill the void in the pie tin left from the first slice of pie with nothing but excess crumbs. I'm not even sure where they came from. When one cuts into the pie with a fork, the larger pieces of crust *explode* with smaller crumbs. Good thing my dogs and I all love crumbs. I grabbed the ones on the counter, and Alfred and Sadie slurped up the ones on the floor. 

Crummy crumbs crumble clumsily. Say that five times fast. Confuses the tongue, no?

Kinda like the flavor of this pie. It's very berry-esque. But what kind of berries are in there? Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. It's hard to detect each flavor. There's also rhubarb, apple, and even lemon juice. It's a tangy, tart, sweet flavor that defies simple categorization. It's not bad, but now that I've sampled it, I think I'd prefer a more familiar flavor in most cases. A singleberry pie wouldn't be so bad. Any one of the berries above would work.

The crust was good. Crumbly, for sure. It had a nice bready flavor, and certain parts were kind of nutty, thanks to a considerable quantity of oats. It wasn't like super fresh or soft or anything—just what you'd expect from a pie that's been sitting around for a week or so. It worked alright with the apple berry filling. 

It's a unique dessert with a sweet-tart filling and CRUMBLY crust. Easily six servings for $6.99. I'd try the regular apple crumble pie, or any single berry flavor if they make one in the future. Three and a half stars from me. Four from Sonia.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Wafer Cookie

There's certain formulas for success that you just don't mess with. For example, almost all country music. It's solid, not spectacular, but when the mood is right, it works, at least for me.

Kinda like a KitKat candy bar.

Country music isn't my preferred genre by any stretch. On any list of favorite candy bars, I'm not sure KitKats would be anywhere in my top twenty or so. But when I got the right hankering, there's no questioning how good and right a KitKat is. Right snap. Right texture. Right amount of chocolate and crispy innards. Right amount of everything.

It's enough that I kinda forget that KitKats are just chocolate covered wafers...until having a Trader Joe's Chocolate Coered Wafer Cookie and realizing how much unlike a KitKat they are.

And unfortunately I don't mean it is a compliment.

Never really occured to me that there'd be a right or a wrong way tmake such a simple confectionary concoction, but apparently so. These TJ choco-wafers, in comparison to KitKats, lack significantly. First off, there's so much less chocolate. Part of that is basic structure - the single snappable unitness of KitKats versus the solid TJ's slab - but part is also application. While KitKats have a respectably thick chocolate layer, these TJ cookie bars have such a thin layer I'd call it chocolate leaf. I mean, you can see the wafer through the chocolate. No bueno.

Maybe that's why the TJ chocolate wafers also feel a little different. It's like there's not the same snap. The wafer itself tastes all in all the same, but man...nah. It's off.

Can't mess with the classics too much, I guess. Or at least you shouldn't.

We're not big on these, and will probably never buy again. I think both Sandy and I are sparing a point each for there being sugar and chocolate but otherwise we have no enthusiasm for these KitKat wannabes.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chocolate Coered Wafer Cookie: 4 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

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