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Friday, March 4, 2022

Trader Joe's Camembert Cheese and Cranberry Sauce Fillo Bites

Oh boy! Here's an ostensibly brand new product for March 2022. I think it's supposed to be a St. Patrick's Day hor d'oeuvre or maybe a meat-free Friday Lent snack, right? It's definitely not like we found it at the back of our freezer that we were in the process of clearing out since spring cleaning is right around the corner.

I'm sure it's not been sitting there for months, like it was intended as a Thanksgiving side or Christmas appetizer or Valentine's Day treat...unless maybe it was. Fact-checkers, feel free to disregard all assertions made in these first two paragraphs of this review. Or feel free to fact-check us and cause some controversy. No such thing as bad publicity and all that.

The point is that this product probably isn't brand new, or even in season, or even available at Trader Joe's right now. In fact, a quick "Search This Blog" inquiry would suggest that it was available at Trader Joe's stores in November/December 2015.

If that upsets you, please bookmark this review and return circa late November or December 2022 when these thoughts may or may not be more relevant than they seem to be right now.

Just FYI, the "best by" date on these was April 2023, so it's not like it's been in our freezer for centuries. We're still preparing the product more than a year before it expires, so freshness shouldn't be an issue. However, the Camembert cheese might be. I'm just sensitive to all mold cheeses like Brie, Roquefort, and Stilton. But I'll taste just about anything once. So I did. And all I could taste was mold. So I decided to let Sonia score these all on her own.

She loved the phyllo dough. It was nice and crispy and flaky like it usually is with similar Trader Joe's appetizers. The sweet and tart cranberry sauce was a nice touch, but it could have been more prevalent. She doesn't think there was enough of it to offset the bitterness of the Camembert.

In the end, I guess she's not really a mold cheese gal, either. She wanted to like these crispy, cheesy little apps, but they're not really her thing. Some bites had a "chewiness" that turned her off, in addition to the grassy, planty flavor that she detected. We both wanted these to be dessert-like, but the prevalent flavor was that of a cheese that's apparently just too sophisticated for either of our palates. At a quick glance, there are plenty of dissenting opinions out there in cyberspace, but this probably isn't a repeat purchase for Sonia and me.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Trader Joe's French Chocolate Crepe Wafer Cookies

Yeah, it's the first day of Lent, and some of you may be giving up chocolate as is tradition, and perhaps you didn't really want or need to see a review on the new Trader Joe's French Chocolate Crepe Wafer Cookies...

Yet here we are. 

Be assured, though, you're not missing much. These newbies are one of the great examples of "nothing really wrong, but nothing really right either" niche that TJ's occasionally stumbles on. 

Like, I'm not going to complain about thin carmelized wafer dough, rolled up and dipped in some tasty milk chocolate. That'd be ridiculous, because it's tasty. Of course it's tasty.

But is there anything compelling here at all? Anything for a little added kick, or something that'd help seal the deal for a definite rebuy. Nah, not at all. A little sea salt, or a touch of French vanilla, or some cafe au lait, or, I don't know, some  baguettes or something would make it a much more compelling product. It might also help point out exactly what's so "French" about these. 

Instead it's just a nice little crispy, airy, chocolate treat. Nothing wrong, but nothing overwhelmingly right. And sorry but I just can't get a great pic of the nutritional info and ingredients, it's just too small for my potato, I mean phone. 


Bottom line: Trader Joe's French Chocolate Crepe Wafer Cookies: 5.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons.

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