Monday, November 17, 2014

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cornbread Mix

I bought this basically as a joke, thinking it was just a gimmicky seasonal item the awfulness of which would serve as fodder for an amusingly scathing review.

Welp, I can't do that. I actually like this stuff--a lot. It's super-easy to make, and it came out perfectly on my first try (which can't often be said of food items, given my underdeveloped kitchen skills). The texture is perfect, probably the best of any cornbread mix I've ever tried (which, admittedly, is only a few)--pleasingly moist without tipping over into sogginess. And the taste is just surprisingly good. I had anticipated that it would be either plain ol' cornbread with a hint of pumpkin spice to justify the name, or go to the opposite extreme and overwhelm me with pumpkin, so that it no longer resembled actual cornbread. Nope. TJ's split the difference exactly right, producing a lovely balance of the two dominant flavors.

My only gripe with it is that it's too sweet. After "enriched flour," the second ingredient is "evaporated cane syrup"--i.e., sugar. This is followed by "degermed yellow corn meal," then "pumpkin." They need to move the sugar a notch or two down the list. If they did that, they'd have a perfect product, worthy of my Top Ten list.

As it is, it's very good, but falls short of greatness.

Will I buy it again? 

I think this will be the one TJ's seasonal pumpkin item that I most look forward to having annually.

Other opinions 

Over in the "Eat at Joe's" blog, the review is so different that one might wonder whether we're even talking about the same product.

Nina's View

Okay folks, if you've been following along, you know exactly how I'm going to feel about this one, right?

First, I have to concur that this cooked up just about as perfectly as you could ask for.

And second, just too sweet. It's more like a dessert. You could put some whipped cream on it, stick a candle in it, and sing happy birthday, and everyone would love it. 

Were this a more savory version, it would be a killer side-dish with your Thanksgiving dinner.


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