I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s very often, but when I do, I always seem to find something that I really like. And, their prices are very reasonable. One of my favorite TJ items is their Multigrain Crackers. The name alone would typically cause me to ignore these crackers on the shelf, but somehow I got past the healthy-sounding name so I could enjoy what are perhaps the best crackers available anywhere. The Multigrain Crackers have a great flavor and a buttery texture. They sure don’t taste like I would expect a multigrain cracker to taste. I especially like eating them with some cheese on top, but they are delicious just eaten by themselves. Like a box of Cheez-Its, I find it hard to eat less than the whole box. In my opinion, they are better than Ritz, Wheat Thins, Wheatsworth, Club, or any other similar cracker. I’m not sure what Trader Joe’s knows about making crackers that Nabisco and Keebler don’t, but they sure know something. Grab a box for yourself and see that I’m right.
I was in the ice cream isle of the supermaket, looking for a tasty treat to take home. I was in the mood for something different, something other than just ice cream. I almost grabbed a box of It’s-Its, but a new product caught my eye. It was Shakers, an instant milkshake mix. You simply pour milk into the container and shake it for 30 seconds. The milk mixes with ice cream beads and creates a milkshake. What a great idea! “But, can it really be that good?” I asked myself. The label stated that the finished milkshake was “unbelievably delicious,” “deliciously thick and creamy,” and “the best shake you’ve ever had,” which convinced me to by it. What a bunch of lies. Shakers wins the award for the worst tasting product that I’ve eaten as a Phoood reviewer. It isn’t thick, creamy, delicious, or the best shake I’ve ever had. In fact, it is, without equivocation, the worst milkshake that I’ve ever had. Adding milk and shaking for 30 seconds as directed only made an icy glob of lumpy chocolate ice cream floating in some frothy, chocolate-flavored milk. And what a nasty chocolate flavor! Where do they buy their cocoa, at the Galt Flea Market? I’ve never tasted a chocolate flavor this disgusting. I could only choke down part of the “milkshake” before I threw the rest away. Typically, I hate seeing food go to waste and almost never throw food away, but in the case of Shakers the garbage can is where it belongs.
I should have bought the It’s-Its…
A quick disclaimer before I begin: Punk'n is a seasonal ale that is released by Four + Brewing, a sister company of Uintah Brewing Company. As such, it may only be available in Utah. That being said, let's move on. Punk'n is a beer that is is flavored with pumpkin and spices. Many beer purists don't like fruit beers. I'm not one of these. One of my favorite beer varieties is Belgian white ale, which is flavored with orange peel. Needless to say, finding myself in the spirit of the season, and being a fan of anything pumpkin spice flavored, when I saw a pumpkin ale on the shelf, I grabbed a six-pack.
When you pour this beer into a glass, it leaves a short, light brown head. The appearance of lacing on the glass indicates that this is a beer of reasonably good quality. The color is a brownish burnt orange which appears a deep amber when held into the light. The ale has a nutty aroma and a bouquet with a fair amount of spice. The flavor is more sweet than bitter with a definite pumpkin taste. The finish leaves a very mild pumpkin-laced aftertaste with a very mild amount of spice, which goes away after a few seconds.
Overall, I'd have to say that I enjoyed this pumpkin ale, and I would buy it again. My only complaint is that I wish that spice flavors would be a little stronger and more pronounced. In any case, if you are in the Utah area, you could do far worse that to grab a bottle of Punk'n.