Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Trader Joe's Organic Black Bean Rotini
This is a brand-new Trader Joe's product. It has not yet been introduced on the company's web site.
I cooked up the whole bag at once. This proved to be a mistake, because I badly overcooked it--worse than I ever have with pasta before, I think--and then didn't have any left for a second try.
The pasta has one solitary ingredient: black bean flour. You'd better like the taste of black beans, because it's here in abundance. This really sets it apart from any other pasta I've had. Most of them, even when not made from wheat, still have in common a sort of generic carby flavor. Not so here. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's completely different from anything you've probably ever had that was called "pasta."
One unfortunate textural characteristic is grittiness. It feels like the world's softest sand has become mixed into your pasta. This isn't a dealbreaker for me, but it's mildly off-putting.
In addition to being gluten-free, it has at least one other advantage over wheat-based pasta: about twice as much protein per ounce. One doesn't normally think of pasta as a protein food, but with this you sort of can.
Will I buy it again?
Yes--but with a qualification. I'm going to buy it again simply so that I can try it cooked right, then update this post with my second impression.
Update, April 20, 2016:
Tried it again last night, without overcooking. Still not really good. Texture was better, and, interestingly, I no longer noticed the grittiness that bothered me the first time. However, as I commented to Nina, "It still tastes like eating a plate of black beans instead of pasta." To which she added, "Except not as good."