Friday, March 18, 2016

Trader Joe's Premium Salmon Burgers

Nina is the real salmon lover; I usually find it OK, but don't get excited about it. That well describes my reaction here.

These things are pretty appalling to look at as they come out of the package, and don't improve if you just bake them, as I did the first time around. They're gray, and look like death that hasn't even been warmed over, maybe like something the Army would be serving in a chow line near the front, that you're only willing to eat because the alternative is starvation. The second time, at Nina's suggestion, I pan-fried them in a little oil after baking them, just to add a little searing for color. That helped.

Incidentally, the package says that you can cook them directly from frozen in any of several ways. But they're much easier to deal with if you let them thaw first. When frozen, you practically have to use a chain saw to separate them.

They're not too fishy. I tried them both plain on a burger bun and then with pickles and ketchup. The latter was better, but they held up acceptably on their own merits without such enhancement.

Will I buy it again? 

I don't think so, unless Nina decides that she loved them more than I thought she did. If I'm in the mood for such an item, the new Salmon and Vegetable Croquettes are better.

Nina's View 

I had high hopes for these salmon burgers. And then reality set in. This is what the first edition of these looked like:

[Bob interjects: Yes, that's after cooking in my toaster oven. Please disregard the odd variegated discoloration that my toaster oven's aluminum baking tray has accumulated over the years.]

If there is anything appetizing to you in this picture, I am worried on your behalf. Frankly, this is some of the most disgusting-looking food I've ever seen. And yet, I ate it. In the public interest. (Yes, I am just that selfless.) And also because my boyfriend made it, and I am bound by my love for him to try anything that he prepares for me.

Once safely ensconced in a burger bun, where prying eyes could no longer be judgey about its appearance, and slathered with condiments, I gave the salmon burger the full benefit of the doubt.

But the second fail made itself evident right away. The texture. Oh god, the texture. Like a sponge it was. SPONGY, I tell you. In case the memo has not been widely circulated, let me make clear that salmon should on no account be SPONGY. Tender, yes. Toothsome, yes. But not spongy. Never spongy.

When Bob served them again, having amended their appearance somewhat by browning them a bit, there was less sponginess. The part which was not spongy, however, had transformed into rubbery. Rubbery AND spongy: not a good combination.

This item ultimately reads like some kind of reconstituted salmon-ish product. It's not right. Even the flavor is off somehow. Which is a shame, because the price is right. But no. Nuh-uh. (RUN.) This product has garnered a spot on the ladder of infamy that is Nina's Bottom Ten.

Bob is correct. The Salmon & Vegetable croquettes are the way to go. I love them. They, despite being relatively pricey, are in Nina's Top Ten.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...we've been eating these for a couple years at least and we love them. We put them on a panini grill or in the oven. We use a garlic and dried crushed redpapper seasoning. We never eat them on a bun, we just eat them as is and they look far better than the photo you have here. They taste great.