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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Trader Joe's Ube Tea Cookies

Ah, ube. We meet again. It's "the popular purple tuber from the Philippines," according to the back of the box. That's about as good a summary as I could ever come up with. In fact, I don't think I knew ube was from the Philippines, specifically. You learn something new every time you read the spiel on the back of a Trader Joe's product.

You might even pick up a new vocabulary word or two. This box employs the use of the word "toothsome." Nice. Haven't heard that word in a while. But how are the cookies, you ask?

Toothsome enough, I suppose. I guess I should preface this post by saying I'm not really a tea cookie guy. Tea cookies tend to be dry as a rule, and that's why they need to be paired with a beverage. 

I'd prefer soft, moist, fluffy, fresh-baked ube whoopie pies or something like that. But you know, as they say, if wishes were buttercakes, beggars would bite.

As these cookies stand, they're buttery, crumbly, and sweet. There's almost too much powdered sugar in the equation. The ube adds a nice, rich root vegetable flair to an otherwise run-of-the-mill tea cookie experience. 

Taste-wise, though similar in flavor, I don't think I'd put them on par with, say Ube Ice Cream or Ube Waffles, but they're another admirable foray into the realm of violet Asian veggie themed dessert foods, as only Trader Joe's can pull off, or likely even attempt.

If you're into ube a lot, or you don't mind crumbly, powdery shortbread cookies, I say give 'em a whirl. Three stars from me. Four from Sonia.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Trader Joe's Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade Water

 On a hot summer day, what's better for refreshment than an ice cold slice of watermelon?

Not much...except maybe a tall cool glass of lemonade. 

Or, for you Bobby Boucher Jr-inspired purists out there, just some simple sips of water will do. 

Let's make everyone happy and combine 'em all into Trader Joe's Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade Water. Ahhhhh. 

My beautiful bride and I are slamming thru a lot of "fizzy water" as of late. I mean, it's hot. So we're gonna be guzzling case after case, because let's face it. Regular water, while refreshing, gets kinda old after a while. 

In the overarching order of different flavors and brands tried as of late, this TJ's offering falls squarely in the middle. We're getting to be connoisseurs, apparently.

The big issue really is the flavor. While not tinny, harsh and abrasive as some, the flavor just doesn't stick out enough. Not really. There's certainly a mildly sweet hit of watermelon that comes and goes, with a small secondary surge of something kinda like lemon...kinda. It took several sips and "warming up" of the beverage to really taste anything like lemon, and then, it's not really that close to be lemonade. And the watermelon part, while definitely suggestive of watermelon, just isn't quite enough to stand all on its own. 

And I can almost hear it: "how much flavor can you expect out of sparkling water?" Go try a key lime from La Croix. You tell me. 

All that being said, the carbonation is pleasant and on point - not too much, not too little, just right. It adds a nice little something-something for a little extra fulfillment out of a drink, and hits one of soda's satisfaction points without really any of the pop pitfalls. 

An eight can case is less than $3 and will keep ya going for a few days, so there's that. I'm sure we'll buy this again in our never ending rotation. Double threes. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade Water: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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