Thursday, June 04, 2009

Trader Joe's Taste Test: Snack Chip Edition

Rice & Bean Chips with Azuki Beans: When I think of azuki beans, I think of shave ice. You know the drill: Azuki beans and ice cream at the bottom. Then the thinly shaved ice (Waiola vs. Matsumotos, depends on how you're feeling). Then the syrups. (For me, li hing mui is a must, perhaps with a tropical flavor.)

Azuki beans can be sweet, but not overly sweet. That adds a nice contrast to the saltiness of the chips here. But the real draw of the Rice & Bean Chips is how thin the snacks are. The paper-thin chips provide a nice crunch, but are on a bit of the greasy side. It's not a complete win, but it's strong.

The photo on the bag shows a mysterious dip (wasabi-based)? But honestly, there's enough flavor here that a dip is unnecessary. What's more, the chips are so thin that they'd immediately break in whatever dip you shove them into.

5 oz. bag; "about 5 servings." Calories: 150; Total Fat: 7g; Total Carbs: 20 g.

Savory Thin Mini Edamame Crackers: I loves me some edamame. I can power through a bowl of edamame with no problem; and Trader Joe's offers several edamame options, such as a bag of frozen edamame peas already removed from the pod.

That's why I was excited to see these crackers... but have so far been disappointed with them.

To be fair, they're fine snacks. A bit on the salty side, but they offer up a strong crunch and are a quick and easy way to combat some afternoon hunger. But I just can't taste the edamame. Maybe the salt is too overpowering. But I see the edamame in the cracker -- there's just no flavor.

6 oz. bag; "about 6 servings." Calories: 120; Total Fat: 2g; Total Carbs: 21g.

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