Trader Joe’s DRIED BABY BANANAS


In the Dried Fruit section at TJs, I’ve always liked a package of dried bananas that Trader Joe’s has sold. A few days ago, this bright yellow package caught my eye. Trader Joe’s DRIED BABY BANANAS. Not sure if product is new, replaced those, or I just never noticed them before but they stoked my curiousity to review for the site so got a bag. DRIED BABY BANANAS are tasty! Some people might think they look a little scary, almost like little dried cut off fingers. Taste-wise they are just what they sound like, baby bananas, which I am guessing are sun or air dried.  They are a bit moist, a bit chewy and have an intense banana taste as the flavors are concentrated. And “baby bananas” are a different variety than your normal banana. So did I like them? Here’s the answer. After I tasted one, then another, I basically couldn’t stop eating them! Delicious. They were quite tasty as-is right out of the bag. But then I had a bright idea, “Hmm, I wonder if they would be good match if I dipped them in peanut butter!?” Needless to say, great combination…  of course if you put some out with a little bit of PB to dip them in on the side I have a feeling kids would love these like that as a snack. Though when they first see them no doubt they will say something like, “ewww gross, these look like dried fingers off a dead monkey” – which they do to some extant, though they look exactly like what they sound like, dried baby bananas all shrunken up. The package says they come from Thailand. INGREDIENTS: “DRIED BANANAS”. So I call that a pretty “Natural” product. A package costs $1.99. The bag I got yesterday seems to have only 4 little bananas left when I just checked them…. so you could say they went down easy and way too fast. Next time I better buy 2 bags. In short, another very good dried fruit snack from TJ, well worth trying so check them out.

RAVE

TJ’s Chile Spiced Dried Mango Slices


chile_mango

RAVE

Ingredients: Dried mango slices, sugar, paprika, salt, citric acid, and cayenne. 

This is a “love it or hate it” item. The cashier at TJ’s might even ask if you’ve tried this already, and if not warn you. But you may just love these as much as I do. Really! These dried fruit snacks are amazing!  In fact its one of the best snack treats TJ sells as far as I’m concerned. Sweet and very spicy are great together and these are just fabulous. Imagine dried mango just covered with a spicy/sweet/salty/tangy red mix of chiles and spices (and when I say covered just look at the picture, they have a heavy coat of the red spice mix).

Also when I say spicy…these are quite spicy! With a fire in your mouth that hits you 30 seconds after you finish chewing it and are absorbing the sweetness of the mango. So, if you don’t like spicy and can’t handle the heat, this may not be for you. However if you do, you will probably find these to be a flavor bomb exploding in your mouth, totally drool worthy. For me these are totally addictive. I eat one piece and just can’t stop putting my hand in the bag to eat “just 1 more” getting that red spice powder all over my fingers. Whereas my wife, tasted these once and just thinks they’re horrible. So to each, his own.

In Mexico, and many other locales, of course something sweet with chile and spices are one of the most beloved of flavor mixes (See link: What is TAJIN and why you should be eating it). In the street, on every beach, even in New York in some neighborhoods, you will find Mexican fruit vendors selling freshly cut mango, melons, cucumbers and other things, that the vendor will season before giving it to you with a very spicy chile mix, then sprinkle lime juice all over it. This product is in that vein. So yes probably no middle ground with these snacks. You will either love them or hate them. But if you can take spice and heat and love to discover new flavors, I highly recommend trying these CHILE SPICED MANGO fruit snacks as you just may just find these as addictive as I do.

BTW, can you pair these with something? I tried these cut into small pieces with some jack cheese and cheddar cheese and I thought they went amazingly well together with cheese. So try and experiment. A 7 oz bag goes for about $2. Find this in the Dried Fruits section at TJ’s.

Of course the great thing about TJ’s is if you do hate them, after you try them, TJ will of course refund your money upon asking without a blink (use the refund to get the regular dried mango slices instead – you can’t take the heat wimp!)

MORE TO READ: GREAT NYT PIECE ON TAJIN