Friday, April 10, 2015

Trader Joe's Julienne Sliced Sun Dried Tomatoes In Olive Oil

I actually bought and used this version of sun-dried tomatoes before discovering the non-olive-oil version reviewed yesterday. Frankly, I'm not sure why this one exists. The taste and effect on whatever you put it in is the same, but it's a lot messier to use. To use these, I feel like I have to break out paper towels and sop up the messy olive oil before using them. If you were throwing them into something you were already cooking in oil, you wouldn't need to do that, but there's still the problem that the oil makes them tend to clump together. You can see that the jar pictured above it partially used. That's because it was in my refrigerator on the day that I decided to start this blog and took pictures of all the TJ's products I had on hand. It sits there still, and will probably end up just getting thrown out, because I always turn to the dry version. Like I said, I'm not sure why this version exists, or why anybody would choose it over the other. Maybe I'm missing something.

Will I buy it again? 

Not unless somebody explains why I should prefer it to the dry package form.

Nina's View

I honestly cannot remember whether I've had this TJ's version, but I can say pretty unequivocally that I prefer sundried tomatoes in oil to those that are just plain dried. They are easier to work with: they go better in soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. They are tender and succulent not wizened and chewy. Their flavor is better carried by the bit of oil that comes along with them.

I have asked Bob to give me his jar if he doesn't want them anymore.

Editorial note: Nina forgot (I assume) that she had written the above, and later sent me a "Nina's View" on this item that was enough different that I think it's worth adding in here.

Nina's View

Yup, Bob is missing something. He is missing that sundried tomatoes in oil are not chewy and desiccated, but rather succulent and supple. That they blend much more nicely into other foodstuffs (bread, sauces, stirfries). Lightly drained, they are nicer in salads and sandwiches. The taste and effect are not in fact the same.

Here's the thing: you are not supposed to use sundried tomatoes in their excessively chewy dried-up form. You are suppose to reconstitute them to moist plumpness. When you do it with warm water, they get diluted in flavor. Preserved in oil, they retain the proper texture and full flavor.

Thus endeth the lesson.

(I challenge my beloved to a taste test on this topic!)

1 comment:

  1. I find myself in a strange position here, where I ... (gulp) ... agree with Bob over Nina. I mean, I love sundried tomatoes, and wouldn't turn down either version. But I prefer the non-oily kind.

    I'll just go give myself 20 lashes with some spaghetti squash now as penance.