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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Trader Joe's Sriracha Sprinkle Seasoning Blend

Second only to ketchup, sriracha might be my favorite condiment of all time. Unlike ketchup, however, I didn't grow up with it. I think I discovered it in the mid-2000's, when I was a daring twenty-something roaming the streets of Los Angeles, discovering new foods and new adventures each and every week. It was undoubtedly Vegan Glory or some other top-notch Southland Thai-style restaurant where I first partook of sriracha's tangy, fermented flavor and spicy zing.

My sinuses had been lulled to sleep slowly over those first couple years in the arid air of Southern California, and sriracha helped snap my sense of smell and taste buds back to life. Since the late 2000's or so, Sonia and I have perpetually had a bottle of the stuff on hand in our kitchen.

That said, I was similarly disappointed with Trader Joe's Sriracha Sprinkle Seasoning Blend like I was with the ketchup sprinkle, although not to the same degree. I'll get the negative out of the way first: there's just no way this stuff is as good as real sriracha. Not even close.

But that said, most of my remaining thoughts are positive. It's spicy, though there's a different feeling to the heat here. The first ingredient in this seasoning blend is garlic, while the first ingredient in traditional sriracha is generally chiles.

Sriracha just tastes and feels like super flavorful, liquefied hot chiles, and of course, it's brilliant. Trader Joe's Sriracha Sprinkle Seasoning Blend tastes mostly like garlic powder mixed with cayenne pepper. There's a hint of vinegar in there, too, but it's fairly understated and undetectable.

I feel like I might have enjoyed this product a bit more if it weren't called "sriracha" since I get my hopes up every time I see "sriracha" plastered on a food product. If it had been called Trader Joe's Garlic and Cayenne Spicy Seasoning Blend, I might have been pleasantly surprised rather than slightly let down.

And once again, if the apocalypse finally arrives and the supply chain breaks down and real sriracha is nowhere to be found, I must say this seasoning will certainly be better than no sriracha at all...but that's not really saying that much. Sonia feels the same.

$2.99 for the 2.5 oz shaker. Three stars from me for Trader Joe's Sriracha Sprinkle Seasoning Blend. Sonia will throw out three and a half.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Trader Joe's All Butter Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

All butter? ALL butter? It seems to me there's some wheat flour, sugared eggs, and skim milk powder in there, too, Trader Joe. I'm not sure how you can claim it's all butter.

But hey, I'm not complaining. I'm just being silly, as I am wont to do. Long story short, Trader Joe's All Butter Shortbread Sandwich Cookies are some tasty morsels. Weirdly, I liked the raspberry filling at least as much as the shortbread element.

The shortbread is significantly buttery, which is good. But I wouldn't say it's like the best shortbread I've ever had or anything like that. I just really, really like the way it blends with the sweet, smooth, syrupy raspberry filling. I could eat that raz jam all by itself. You can see from the pic there's only a narrow gap of razzle dazzle in between the slabs of shortbread.

After consuming three cookies each in rapid succession, Sonia and I fought each other for the remaining specimens. Unfortunately, there are only ten total in the pack. So 60% of the box was gone within seconds of opening it. We managed to call a truce and wait until the next morning, when we were able to put our ravenous shortbread gluttony in check and evenly split the remainder of the box: two more cookies each.

I wish there were more raspberry filling in each cookie. I wish there were way more cookies in the pack. I wish the product were a wee bit cheaper than three bucks. Still, we'll bestow upon Trader Joe's All Butter Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with a Raspberry Filling an above average score with four out of five stars from yours truly and four and a half out of five from the beautiful wifey. Would buy again.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

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