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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Trader Joe's Garlic Bread Cheese

 There's some basic things that take me entirely too long to grasp. Just ask my lovely bride. 

Latest example: What the label of the new Trader Joe's Garlic Bread Cheese was trying to convey pre-prepping. 

Bread cheese? What's that? Like...cheese with bread in it? Cool! Right? I'd give that a try. But ooh let's read the description: 'Seasoned with garlic powder & baked golden brown." Golden brown what? Bread crumbs? Something else? C'mon TJ',s tell me. What else we got here?

But upon opening, further inspection and reading of the ingredients, and the sudden realization that the word "baked" was a verb and not an adjective (it wasn't entirely clear at first, phrase parallelism be darned), it was pretty apparent: this is just some cheese with a little bit of garlic in it. Nothing much more, nothing less. 

I mean, there's nothing wrong with that. Garlic and cheese are tasty! But to expect something groundbreaking here is the wrong thought train. It's a pretty mild cheese, kinda like a cross between mozzarella for its taste and halloumi for its heat resistant properties (though not so much it's crumbly curd-y texture). There's a subtle, not-so-in-yo-face garlic flavor somewhat permeating, and is made more apparent by the glistening effect of heating the cheese for several minutes. It doesn't get all melty, just a little sweaty, and remains softly firm, if that makes sense. 

Really, though, that's it. Not everything has to be full flavor onslaught, but this TJ's garlic cheese does tilt more towards bland than bold. It's not awful, and I can what they're going for - like the cheese from cheesy garlic bread - but most of those I've had have more garlic and zest. Serving with some sauce would really help out, and I can see cutting up tiny bits for like a pasta or veggie salad, and how that'd be a welcome addition, but by itself? Meh. 

Would buy again, especially at its reasonable price point (something like $4 for the 6 oz chunk) but I'm not gonna be stocking up and probably won't notice when it's gone. Middlin' scores all around. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Garlic Bread Cheese: 5.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Friday, July 2, 2021

Trader Joe's Tangy Turtles

Back in the day, before the current heliocentric model of the solar system was widely accepted, philosophers used to ask one another—and I'm paraphrasing here: "If the earth is a big flat plane in the middle of nothing/everything, then what is it resting upon?" One of the philosophers suggested that the plane of the earth was resting upon the back of a turtle.

So then, the obvious follow-up question arose: well then what's the turtle resting upon? And the obvious answer came up: an even larger turtle. And what's that turtle resting upon? And so on and so on. I think you see where this is going.

Eventually they decided that "it's turtles all the way down." There's a Sturgill Simpson song by the same name. So...that was my inspiration for the product photo. The turtles aren't mating or anything like that, just in case you were wondering.

These particular turtles wouldn't do a very good job of supporting the earth because they are indeed soft and squishy, and they have holes in their middles. Their texture is fine, with just a hint of crunchy sugar granules, particularly on the turtles' colorful backs.

They're a little bit tart and a little bit sweet. There are three different colors: green/yellow, red/orange, and blue/purple, though I couldn't tell if they were supposed to be different flavors. The ingredients don't really mention any particular fruit flavors or anything like that, though they do use "vegetable juice," "fruit juice," and "spirulina extract" for color.

These are on par with junky dollar store gummy candies, flavor-wise, though they might use slightly better ingredients. The first words out of Sonia's mouth after trying one were "Ewww! Gross!" She wishes they were either super sour or simply sweet. She's not into the whole sweet-tart thing. She describes the white part of the turtles as "disgusting," though she's okay with the colorful part. I suppose two stars from her is pretty generous, considering her initial reaction. I'll go a star higher and note that I've had worse gummy candy in my day. We'd both recommend the recently-reviewed Fruity Gummy Candies over these any day of the week.

Bottom line: 5 out of 10.

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