Google Tag

Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Trader Joe's Caramel Coffee Cashews

"If you could be one thing, you should be efficient."

Okay, anybody else else looking forward to new season of "Letterkenny" debuting this weekend? Anyone? I'm almost looking forward to it more than Christmas Day itself.

Anyhoos if you know anything about the show, you'd know that the main character, Wayne, and his buddies have many mantras they repeat. Very few of them are publishable here. But that top quote is, and through all the adult banter and silly stuff like riffs on ants riding SeaDoos (NSFW - and this is tame for the show), some of that all stick through. 

Well pitter patter, let's get at her. What's more efficient than snackination with caffeination with a side of TJ'sination for your situation? Nothing. 

Enter Trader Joe's Caramel Coffee Cashews. It's all that and a bag of nuts. I hope and pray these are still available next time we get into a TJ's as these have gotten me through some very long work days as of late. 

These nuts are fantastic. Cashews are already pretty much the king of the snack nut world. Pecans could be a challenger, and pistachios would higher if not for the shell. Take a batch, and roast them up. That's already fantastic...but a bit plain. So get some caramel coffee goo and coat all the cashews and let them dry. Fantastic. 

Leading off, the coffee flavor is much stronger than the caramel. It's actual ground coffee beans in the mix, reduced down to a not too clunky powder. That's not to say you won't hit a little clump here and there that's coffee-ground reminiscent. Not matter, the feel of it blends well with the toasty cashew center. But then the caramel kinda sneaks in, very mellowly, and sweetly and lightly lingers for subsequent bites. If this were an actual coffee, I'd consider drinking one on occasion - I'm too much more a black coffee kinda guy, but can outside my comfort zone every once in a while. Well balanced and super soft snackable - perfect.

Sharply minded readers and TJ's aficionados may recall a similarish product sans caramel in the past. Maybe it's the nuts, maybe it's me, maybe I'm nuts, but I like these better. A lot better. Delish. 

And as Letterkenny fans may know, there is an episode entitled "Nut" which I will not reference here aside from this. I think my lovely bride is due to watch it tonight on my rewatch/her first go through leading up to the new season. Gotta long day at work first to get through first - it's a great day for hay! - , then kids in bed - I'm gonna need some more of these nuts to get there. 

Double fours. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Caramel Coffee Cashews: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Monday, December 21, 2020

Trader Joe's Festive Chocolate Collection

In general, I try to look beyond the physical—beyond the surface, to discern what lies beneath a thing, a person, or an idea. But sometimes, sheer physical beauty is its own end. Take, for instance, a Christmas tree or Christmas lights or Christmas decorations in general. If you ask a dozen people what a Christmas tree means to them, you'll get a dozen different answers. But that doesn't take away from the fact that all 12 of said people will agree that it's a pretty thing—a lovely sight to behold.

Similarly, there's a breathtaking conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the southwestern skies just after sunset right now. I've already seen it the past two nights, although tonight will be their closest approach to one another. They'll appear to be touching each other in the sky, despite the fact they are actually 450 million miles apart. Some are calling it the Christmas Star, although I'm pretty sure the original Christmas Star was a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus...but this isn't an astronomy blog and I'm digressing a bit.

Anyway, it reminds me of what Sam tells Frodo at the end of LOTR: "There's light and beauty up there that no shadow can touch." So true.

I suppose I'm unnecessarily waxing poetic for what is essentially just a box of chocolate. We all know what chocolate tastes like. And Trader Joe's rarely tries to slip substandard chocolate by us...I mean, other than early iterations of their advent calendar. What I'm trying to say is that this particular product is more about presentation than anything else. I almost don't want to eat it, it's so festive and cute, but I'm hankering for a release of endorphins at the moment, being the darkest day of the year and all. But hey, from here on out, the sun gets higher in the sky every day. So let's all be happy and eat some chocolate wreaths, gifts, snowmen, and gingerbread men.

There's dark, milk, and white chocolate represented here, so there's a nice variety—something for everybody in terms of chocolate preference. There are seven pieces of chocolate total, some much larger than others. $3.99 is just a teensy weensy bit steep for what you're getting here, IMO. None of the chocolates are anything to write home about, but then there's nothing to complain about either. 

There are a few little surprises like various fillings. Some of the pieces are just simple slabs of decorative chocolate. Others contain "hazelnut paste," "dark chocolate couverture filling," "caramel filling," or "creme filling." It's a bit like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates in that you never know what you're gonna get. I'd try to match the filling up with its corresponding shape and let you know which is which, but I've indiscriminately shoveled a number of them down my hatch already, and I'm really not even sure which fillings I've had. Some are slightly tastier than others, but all in all, each piece has been satisfying and chocolatey. Sonia agrees.

There. I feel a bit of serotonin kicking in. I'm happy. It's Christmas week. Hope you're all joyous and healthy and have your house stocked with tasty foods. Get out there and check out the planetary conjunction. Very interesting things are about to happen. I can feel it. 

Happy holidays!

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

You Might Like: