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Monday, December 31, 2018

Trader Joe's Champagne Gummy Candies

Well, 2018, you've been an interesting year. You were certainly better to us than 2017, but that one wasn't hard to top at all. 

Sonia and I are loving life on the open road so far, and 2019 will be our first full year of nomadic living. Bring it on.

We found this fun bag of gimmicky gummies at a Trader Joe's in Austin, Texas. I don't think it ever would have occurred to me in a thousand years to turn champagne into gummy candy. But fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it—somebody did.

Each candy is shaped like a champagne bottle. Imagine that. Sonia thinks they resemble...well, I won't tell you what she said about their suggestive shape on this family-friendly blog. Just suffice it to say that I had to tell her to get her mind out of the gutter. Although, well, she kinda has a point.

The flavors are very subtle. There's rosé and brut. I want to say I can detect the difference between the two, but I wouldn't want to put money on guessing which was which in a blind taste test. They're not overly sweet or sour or flavorful. I suppose champagne is supposed to have a "dry" taste and feel to it. These do too in a way, although the dryness of champagne doesn't really lend itself to gummy candy particularly well, in my opinion. And there is actual champagne in there—but all the alcohol is burned off in the manufacturing process. I'm guessing if you were inclined to pair a gummy candy with a glass of actual champagne for some reason, this would be the product to reach for.

Texture-wise, Sonia and I both found the candy to be somewhat leathery. The "best by" date on our bag is in 2020, so it's not like they should be stale. It's an odd mouthfeel. There's no melt-in-your-mouth quality here at all. They require a tad too much masticating, if you ask us. Sonia thinks they might even pose a choking hazard, since they're "slippery" as well as overly-chewy.

If you're too cheap to spring for an actual bottle of champagne, you could probably skate by with this $2 bag of clever candies as your contribution to the NYE party refreshments. As long as people are on their way to Happy Town, they likely won't even notice that these gummies aren't that good. Meh. They're not that bad, either, I guess.

Happy New Year!

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Trader Joe's Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips - Chili & Lime Flavored

TJ's takes on takis!

Well, there's an easy headline, right?

I wish I were more familiar with takis, to be honest. But I'm not. And to write this review, I thought I'd track some down and make a side to side comparison, as would only be right. But Christmas and a slow moving stomach bug happened, and there's deadlines to meet and an audience which I can only feebly attempt to appease in my current state, so here we go, a review straight on of Trader Joe's Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips - Chili & Lime Flavored.

Whooooo boy.

There's no other way to say it: these TJ takis might be the most potently flavored item I've ever tried from TJ's. From the first bite, they do not mess around one bit. Holy smokes, wow.

Most chili lime seasonings are kinda subtle, with maybe a little touch of lime or heat. That's so not the case here. Some of the chips stray more towards lime, whereas others are more chili-fied, but both flavors smack around your tastebuds and leave you begging for mercy. You have to love lime to like these - imagine the citrusy sourness of a bag of Sour Patch Kids being condensed down to a small handful of chips, with no sugary balance to sweeten things out after the inital touch. That's what these rolly pollies are like.

Except them there's decent, smoky chili spiciness that then comes in. My tongue was so discombobulated after all the lime that it was tough to discern if it was more or less than a typical chili chip. I'd say the chips stray a lot more towards lime than chili, Sandy says it depends on the chip. But whichever way it tilts, be assured: it'll pack a punch.

Add to all this the super crunchiness of a crisply rolled tortilla chip. There's so many layers of crunch! It's fun! No wonder people love takis. These TJ's ones aren't terribly greasy or anything aside from being a little messy from all the seasoning. Super snacky until the flavor overwhelms you.

I'm hoping these rolled chips will become a staple at TJ's. I want more flavors too - a cinnamon and sugar one would be FANTASTIC. I'd buy those by the case, and I'm tempted to do that here as well. Really, no complaints. I'm impressed, really, as is Sandy. Really darn good all the way around.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips - Chili & Lime Flavored: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

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