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Monday, July 11, 2022

Trader Joe's Chimichurri Sauce

So...this stuff is basically just pureed cilantro. Fortunately, both the beautiful wifey and I like cilantro. Although, every time it comes up in conversation, I think of Fry's highly accurate summation of Los Angeles from an old episode of Futurama and I have to laugh.

I mean, there's parsley and oil and some spices in there too, but if you don't like cilantro, it's a safe bet you won't like this. Speaking of oil, one of the oils is canola oil. When I see that on an ingredients list, I simply shrug my shoulders and buy it anyway, but I know there are folks out there who will outright condemn this product's existence due to the presence of canola oil. I guess Trader Joe's and their suppliers have their reasons.

I think the product adds a nice herbaceous flair to any dish you might want to spruce up a bit. I stole the word "herbaceous" from the packaging because...well, because it's accurate. I can't think of a more fitting word. It's not really spicy, per se. The garlic in there is subtle. I guess it's also slightly "tangy," with maybe a hint of "savory," which is also mentioned right on the front of the tub.

Pureed plant bits and oil don't really add or subtract much from the texture of any dish. It's just a nice soft green mush. We've tried it with shredded chicken and onions yet again, and it works very well with that. It seems versatile enough. I'd try it with fish for sure. I think it might even be a nice addition to potatoes, pasta, or roast beef.

At $3.99 for 8 oz, it's not the best value for a condiment at TJ's, but it's not outrageous either. Just a few spoonfuls goes a long way. Would probably purchase again. Four stars from Sonia. Three and a half from me.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Trader Joe's Chili Pineapple Kettle Popcorn

Another week, another shopping trip, another time TJ's is upping the summer snack game. Salsa verde chips? So delicious...but so last week. 

This week: Trader Joe's Chili Pineapple Kettle Popcorn. I 

Spice and pineapple aren't new bed partners by any stretch. Just at TJ's they've had spiced dry pineapple and pineapple BBQ sauce around for a while, though maybe the sauce has been DC'ed? Anyways, this isn't exactly a new innovation, except that now, it's in popcorn form. 

There's a lot going on here, and it's hard to wrap the tastebuds around it all. First off, make no mistake: this is some seriously sugary stuff. Glancing at the label and doing some easy math, this popcorn is literally half straight up added sugar...and that tastes like an understatement. I swear I could almost see Wilfred Brimley packing up a box for me, it's so sugary. There's no getting around that. But then all the other flavors begin coming up - some heat from paprika, a hefty dose of tangy lime, a little faint pineapple, another hefty swoon of sugar and little salt to boot too. I've read some other reviews that liken the overall flavor to being a spicy Froot Loop - I don't entirely agree but I can see where that assessment is coming from. There's certainly enough sugar for that claim, but not quite enough overall froot, er, fruit, and the spice, while present, isn't exactly overpowering. It's sugar and lime more than anything else.

Every bite is perfectly munchable though. The popcorn is liberally coated with the dusting of all those flavors, and is slightly crunchy with all that sugar. Underneath, the poofed-up kernels are soft and pillowy and inviting. It's a fun texture, which more than anything else kinda makes me want to eat the whole bag...well, that, and still trying to figure out all the flavors...

That's the thing, though. There's not really enough pineapple to really tout its presence as a titular ingredient, not when there's so much lime and sugar and everything else when pineapple is fifth highest, at most, on the flavor profile. At the same time, I'm glad not even more sugar was added to try to amp up the pineapple, but I just wish it had more pineapple to it, even if everything else had to be taken down a slight notch. 

Regardless, this will be a summer snackin' fave, I'm sure of it. Unless something else comes to a strong start here this summer, TJ's, keep it coming. Double fours. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Chili Pineapple Kettle Popcorn: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons. 

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