Every now and then, I stumble across something so weird it jumps to the top of my blogpost queue.
I'm sure this product exists elsewhere, but this is new at my Trader Joe's. Admittedly, I was sucked in by the packaging. Actually that picture is kind of what nightmares are made of. A headless pickle doesn't exactly scream, "eat me eat me!" In fact, it kind of screams, "I'M COMING FOR YOUUUUU."
I've been on a salty crunchy kick for the past week or so. It's bad. I'm glad my salty crunchy fast has been over for months, cuz homegirl would be dying right now. I'm also really into sour things currently - lemons, vinegar on like everything...so naturally I picked this up with minimal hesitation. Minimal because when it comes to pickles, I haven't fully jumped onto the dill pickle bandwagon. While I have fully embraced kimchi and Taiwanese pickles (these probably have a more diverse flavor profile involving sweetness, spice, garlic, and other stuff), I haven't fully embraced dill pickles. Probably because I'm still getting over my childhood associations with those foods. I used to pick off all the pickles off my burgers as a kid because I thought they were disgusting.
"It's bold. It's fresh. It's pickle-y. With every handful, you can treat yourself to the pucker-y taste of dill pickles and the salty crunch of popcorn."
I imagine some pickle-crazed TJs employee sitting in a boardroom somewhere trying desperately to pitch this idea year after year until someone finally caved because they ran out of other ideas (Kind of like how Tebow is waiting patiently for the Eagles to go through Bradford, Sanchez, AND Barkley before he gets his time to shine. Yes, Tebow is trying to make his NFL comeback, and somebody's trying to make pickles comeback too - except have pickles really ever been in the spotlight? Hmm...). Because bold and fresh sound good. Pickle-y? Now that will definitely scare off some people. And how many #TreatYoSelf pictures have you seen with dill pickles? Yeah. Weird.
My first thought upon opening the bag and getting a quick look was, "omai it smells like a jar of pickles." It was mildly nauseating. Then again, if you eat pickles straight out of the jar I suppose it could smell like heaven.
I was, however, pleased to see that the popcorn was not green. Also, the popcorn pieces appear bigger and fluffier than the other TJ popcorn snacks I've had. As for the taste, it is definitely sour/tangy and salty. Like a dill pickle. Amazing how citric acid and dill oil did all that. I'm on the fence about this one. It's not my first draft pick for popcorn, but it's quickly growing on me like an aged cheese. Or an aged pickle. It's weird and I'm having trouble containing myself. There's no subtlety here. It's dill pickle in your face, which happens to be targeting my current flavor/texture profile like a dream - salt, sour, and crunch. Salt and vinegar fans, this one is for you. And if you like sour but are averse to salt & vinegar chips (a little too much vinegar in my opinion), this is also definitely worth a try.
Did I mention each bag is $1.99?
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Popcorn in a Pickle. Pickle flavor flav popcorn. So weird but I'm buying it again. Bumping it back up to 6.5 out of 10.
Edit: Repurchasing again. The sour, the fresh dill, and the just enough salty is really hitting the spot. Deserves at least a 7 out of 10. Maybe even an 8. Addicting.