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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Trader Joe's Gummy X's & O's

Finally, they thought of something other than hearts to represent Valentine's Day: X's and O's. That's clever. Hugs and kisses. I like it.

Following in the footsteps of other great letter-shaped foods like Alphabet Soup, Newman's Own Alphabet Cookies, and of course, Trader Joe's Sour T's and J's, I had reasonably high expectations for these sweet gummy letters. And all things considered, they didn't disappoint.

There's a distinct Swedish Fish vibe to these Trader Joe's Gummy X's and O's. I mean these taste more like legit Swedish Fish than the Scandinavian Swimmers did. But as per TJ's usual, these candies don't contain any HFCS, and all the colors are derived from fruits and vegetables.

Texture-wise, they're just about perfect. They're soft and pliable enough to start chewing away immediately, even if the temperatures are below average. They don't get super stiff in the cold. Or if you're blessed with the gift of patience and you want to make each one last longer, they're also fun to suck on for a while like you might a piece of hard candy.

$3.49 for the 14 oz bag. Fourteen ounces is actually a LOT of gummy candy. As good as they are, I think it'll take us a while to finish the package. Thankfully, it's resealable. Four stars from Sonia, four stars from me on Trader Joe's Gummy X's & O's.

As I close here, I'll leave you with the following question: when do A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, U, V, W, Y, and Z have their day in the sun at Trader Joe's?

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Trader Joe's Hot Cocoa Heart Melts

I won't rant about how I feel about heart-shaped food items in this post. I did that once on this blog and I'm kinda over it now. We press the little heart button on Instagram and sometimes Farcebook. We listen to iHeart Radio. We play the game of Hearts with playing cards. We make hearts with our hands like Damar Hamlin. Seems like everybody has a cardiologist these days. One of my favorite song lyrics goes, "Destroy the mind, destroy the body, but you cannot destroy the heart." As a green comet passes close to our planet this week, we are reminded that the heart chakra is green.

But Valentine's hearts are always packaged in red and pink. For tradition's sake, that's just fine with me. Even if the product itself is brown and white, a red and pink bag is appropriate for this time of year. It's a resealable bag—or at least, it was supposed to be. The ziplock strip on ours only went across three quarters of the mouth of the bag. Fortunately, we have chip clips to keep it closed.

The most uncommon quality of Trader Joe's Hot Cocoa Heart Melts is their ability to serve as hot cocoa bombs when dropped into a mug of steamy milk or to simply serve as stand-alone chocolate candies. In the latter case, they taste like sweet milk chocolate, super salty caramel, and soft mini marshmallows. I guess they kind of taste like that in the former case, too, but combined with hot milk, the flavors seem balanced a little more and the extra-salty caramel tastes less like a mistake and more like a gourmet twist on everyday hot chocolate.

I like 'em okay. Sonia does, too. For us, these fall just below the Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Trader Joe's Abuelita—but they're head and shoulders above the Hot Cocoa Ornaments or the Double Chocolate Stirring Spoon. The fact that they're also decent as a regular chocolate caramel candy is a plus.

$3.99 for about 15 hearts. Four stars from Sonia. Three and a half stars from me for Trader Joe's Hot Cocoa Heart Melts.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

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