Sunday, April 12, 2015

Trader Joe's Cubano Seasoned Wrap

I first had a "Cuban" sandwich at a restaurant in Florida, when Nina and I were there visiting one of her aunts a few years ago. If I had ever heard the term before that, I had not remembered it. I think I've had two since then, at different restaurants.

This morning I saw this item in TJ's prepared-food section while I was looking for something else, and I bought it on impulse. I had it for my lunch today.

I liked it--for a few bites. Then it all felt like too much. In particular, too much meat. As I've mentioned here before, I'm not a committed vegetarian, but I have substantially cut back on the amount of meat I eat compared to five years ago, and I don't miss it. I'm sure my long-term average meat eating is less than twice a week, and probably getting closer to once a week. Even then, it's usually as part of some larger dish, not the main constituent. As an example, I bought a steak at TJ's when the place first opened nearly a year ago, and it's still sitting in my freezer. So this wrap/sandwich thing was kind of an anomaly for me, in that it's stuffed with pork and ham.

I thought the flavors were very good. You get a lot of complexity between the tortilla, the two meats, the cheese, the pickles, and the mustard dressing. But it didn't sit well with me, for reasons that I'm having a hard time articulating and that are definitely personal to me, and not reflective of the food per se. I guess I can't put it more clearly than this: The idea of eating meat still has enough appeal to me that I could yield to a hunger-driven impulse to stick something like this in my shopping basket. But when it comes to actually eating it, I discovered that the appeal went away rapidly--even though every mouthful I took was tasty. Weird, huh?

Will I buy it again? 

It's not very likely. I think I'll remember this experience clearly for a good long time.

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