Saturday, March 19, 2016
Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Woven Wheats Wafers
I had similar issues with TJ's "Reduced Fat Cheese Puffs" boasting "fat has been reduced from 11g to 6g per serving," but with no original version to be found, and with TJ's "Baked Cheese Crunchies," claiming "33% less fat than regular cheese crunchies," a product which seems not to exist. Having no resolution to these mysteries, I will leave them aside.
There are some Trader Joe's products that are so obviously designed to resemble a better-known national brand that one can't escape using that other name in describing the knockoff. People are going to call the toaster pastries "Trader Joe's Pop-Tarts," no matter how much both TJ's and Kellogg's object. The aforementioned cheese puffs will be called "Trader Joe's Cheetos." Everybody calls Joe-Joe's cookies "Trader Joe's Oreos." And, similarly, these here crackers will universally be known as "Trader Joe's Triscuits." Because that's what they are. Or, more precisely, they're Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Triscuits. (See here for Huffington Post's head-to-head taste test. Verdict: Indistinguishable.)
The unfortunate first impression I got when the first cracker from this box hit my tongue was "stale." I had had them home for only about three days. We were months away from the "best by" date. I had detected no defect in the seal of the inner bag. I have no explanation for this, but it persisted through the entire box. I'm willing, for now, to assume that this was a one-off problem.
Ignoring the staleness factor, I liked these. Not as much as I like regular Triscuits, but I've never tried the reduced-fat Triscuits, so it's not really a fair comparison. I like the thickness and texture and how they fracture predictably along the lines. There is no better vehicle for cheese than Triscuits, and this TJ's product admirably replicates most of what is good about them.
I'm going to have to do my own taste test of these against both regular and reduced-fat Triscuits to see if my initial impression holds up. It will also give me a chance to see if the staleness was, in fact, limited to that one box.
Will I buy it again?
Well, I have to now, don't I? Stay tuned for a follow-up report.