It’s June at Trader Joe’s, and instead of any new cool frozen treat, I find myself eating pickle dust like it’s Fun Dip. That’s the latest “everything but the” seasoning from the grocery store that turned generic branding into a goldmine: Seasoning in a Pickle Seasoning Blend. It’s delightfully tangy and dilly, and now I know that dehydrated vinegar exists. On the other hand, I’ll perish before I ever put the new Peanuts in a Pickle to my lips again—more on that later.
So pucker up, we’ve got pickle stuff, ube spread, limoncello-flavored cheese, and a ton of other new Trader Joe’s snacks to taste and review before the clock strikes July.
A Salty Snack
Due to gravity, skimpiness, or dud luck, my bag of Hula Crunch was mostly popcorn. It’s supposed to have crunchy little mochi bites in it too, which I hunted for as if it were the plastic-wrapped prize in a cereal box, desperate, searching, unsatisfied. However, the tamari, brown sugar, and seaweed coating on the popcorn is a perfectly calibrated mix of sweet-salty-seaweedy. Put this dust in a jar and sell it, Joe!
A Single Salad
Chickpea, Kale, and Crispy Red Rice Salad
A new favorite Trader Joe salad, though it’s a low bar because they’re all plastic bags filled with 17 other plastic bags. This one is a simple clamshell with smartly layered ingredients and only one tiny bag filled with puffed red rice. The “salad” is mostly avocado-vinaigrette-marinated chickpeas (on the bottom) and a few curly raw kale wisps (on top), but we can all agree that the fewer of those, the better. I recommend this salad. For best results toss it in a bigger bowl and serve with TJ’s $5 vinho verde, my wine of summer.
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