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Epic Bars: Stylish snacking

8 Dec

epicbars

You know what these are. You might deny it, but, come on. You can tell.

Even with the sleek packaging and the cool name promising an “Epic” experience, (though it delivers), you know.

It’s clear even though each parcel is veiled with the requisite hipster labels: “100% natural,” “X g. Protein,” the predictable “Sriracha” and the inevitable, “Gluten Free.”

There’s chicken, because that’s what’s for dinner anymore. And it’s NOT beef. It’s bison, the cow’s sophisticated cousin from the range.

You knew what these REALLY were from the moment you flipped the pretty package over and saw the enticing block of melded meat parts, albeit including cranberries, the tight-fitting plastic wrap clutching the treat within.

These are the next generation of on-the-go meat snacks. But you won’t find them sold at a service station. They rest in woven baskets at gourmet, high-end and unique food stores. They sit waiting for the lucky consumer in bins at the exclusive corner market in Brooklyn, and yes, at our favorite grocery mecca, Trader Joe’s.

Come on. You knew it: Beneath the slick wrapper and trendy words, these are your old friend Slim Jim with an advanced degree in delicious. “Stout James,” you might say.

What the new set of duds and fancy stores really do are take away our Slim Jim guilt. “Look at all these great qualities,” we say, trying to fool ourselves that Epic treats are more energy bar than meaty meat bomb.

We’re wrong, of course. But it’s a nervous, naughty, joyful wrong. When Epic slips out of his pop packaging, this bad boy’s all Jimbo. Healthier, classier, but still. Wink.

And while we’re devouring every speck, we choose to ignore the truth for a giddy glimpse of gas station bliss.

Weekly photo challenge: A change for the butter

15 Apr

Sometimes change comes in big ways, like new life and saying goodbye. And other times, change comes in perspective – seeing the same thing in a different way.

Trader Joe’s keeps morphing the Speculoos Butter formula into different shapes, sizes and textures. And my taste buds conclude that they’re all delicious.

The Speculoos family gallery:

Trader Joe's Speculoos cookies

Solid Speculoos: Cinnamon cookie dunkers

Speculoos cookie butter from Trader Joe's

The classic spreadable Speculoos. It also comes in a crunchy version.

Speculoos candy bar

Take it with you: A portable slice of deliciousness

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Like Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Facebook: Trader Joe’s Fans

Related links:

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Fear: Speculoos Cookie Butter

Kookie for Cookie Butter

Foraging nuts for the winter at Trader Joe’s: Mesquite Smoked Almonds

8 Oct

What’s your favorite sign that autumn is here? The urge to make hot chocolate? Raking leaves from the yard? Wearing sweaters again?

For me, it’s the smokey smell of fireplaces consuming wood. The first neighbor lighting up lets me know that it’s certifiably time to pack up the summer frocks and get ready to enjoy the pleasures that come with a chill in the air. It’s the red flag dropped that announces, “Autumn is on!”

That’s a big reason why seeing this bag of smokey, salted almonds lured me to buy it. It was like the siren call of Fall, with a Southwestern twist. “Mesqueeet….Messs….KEEEEETTTTT!!!” the packaging sings.

Mesquite Smoked Almonds: A taste of Fall with the flavor of the Southwest

The almonds are great party nibbles, but don’t fool yourself. If you buy a bag 24 hours or more before delivering them to an event, they won’t make it. It’s one of those two-bag purchases – one for the group, and one for solo snacking. Just saying.

Thanks, TJ’s.

And thank you for reading and following Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

What’s your favorite snack at TJ’s? Have you tried Mesquite Smoked Almonds? If so, what did you think?

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Mesquite smoked almonds recipe

Trader Joe’s Mesquite Smoked Almonds nutrition info

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