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Monday, June 20, 2022

Trader Joe's Peanuts in a Pickle

In case you forgot to pick up a bag of plain peanuts and a shaker of Seasoning in a Pickle on your last Trader Joe's run, no worries. TJ's has your back. They've gone and mixed pickle flavors into peanuts for you. It's almost as if they tried mixing the aforementioned pickle seasoning blend with peanuts and realized it's absurdly messy. And it's not only messy, but not enough seasoning sticks to the nuts. So they went and...I honestly don't know what they did. I think they actually pickled these nuts! <reaches down inside and finds the restraint to avoid any juvenile "deez nuts" jokes>

The back of the bag gives us hints but no real answers. It's says the peanuts are "infused" with pickle flavor. Later on in the spiel, they use the word "imbued." It mentions there's no powder in the equation. It's true. There's not. And the nuts aren't oily at all, either. They might even be less oily than regular peanuts somehow. Sonia kept remarking how dry they were. But they certainly have a pickle taste to them.

At first, we both thought the pickle flavor was a little on the weak side, but then after a few handfuls, we felt the briny pickliness build up on our tongues. I might not have minded a bit more pickle taste, but Sonia was pleased with the intensity of the flavor.

They actually look identical to regular Virginia peanuts. There's no green color, no visible flecks of dill, nothing. Just like they can edit genomes and create plants that yield more fruit or be drought-resistant or whatever, I think maybe they spliced some DNA and cross-bred peanuts with pickles to make these. <Cue comments where people tell me pickles are just pickled cucumbers and that pickles don't have their own genetic code blah blah blah yadda yadda science science science>

$2.49 for the bag. Sonia likes them more than I do and would buy them again. I'm on the fence. Four stars from her. Three from me.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Trader Joe's Spicy Mango Lemonade


Let's get one thing right outta the way here. 

We're gonna talk about pureed jalapeños. In a beverage, namely Trader Joe's Spicy Mango Lemonade. 

Ho. Lee. Crud. 

Now, c'mon. Jalapeños can carry a little kick, but they're far from the spiciest pepper out there. How many Scovilles are they? Too lazy to look it up, but it's nothing compared to a habanero or Scotch bonnet, much less the infamous Merciless Pepper of Quetzalacatenango. I get that, and I get it completely. 

But man....

Maybe it's because it'sin an otherwise cool, refreshing beverage form. Maybe the lemon and citrus amp up the heat a little, or mango just so happens to be a natural capsaicin amplifier, or maybe I'm turning into more and more of wimp as my 40th birthday creeps ever so closer....

But this stuff is HOT and SPICY. Real kick. No false advertising or faux bravado. Hot dang. 

I was prideful at first and took a big gulp. Big mistake. If my tastebuds were Super Mario, the heat was some pretty big league Thwomps, maybe world six level. It can be navigated, for sure, but you best get yourself prepared. Don't know why or how, but man - just HOT. 

I'm sure you can cut down the heat a bit, by mixing in some fizzy water or some booze even. Tried it that way, and it worked extremely well. 

Aside from the heat, there's plenty of sweet hits from the mango and citrusy sour notes from the lemon to really fill out the flavor in a rather enjoyable way.  There's no pulp or anything, just smooth juice. Want some lemonade with a kick? Here's your shot. 

That being said, the jalapeño limeade from TJ's seems to be a touch more refreshing and palatable. My theory is that limes and jalapeños just kinda go together better than jalapeños and lemons and mangos. Or perhaps it's just a little more familiar.

Anyways, the spicy mango lemonade is worth a pick up if you haven't tried, but consider yourself warned. Can you beat the heat?

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Spicy Mango Lemonade: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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