Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Trader Joe's Dried Wild Blueberries
My reaction to this product evolved over many phases:
PHASE 1, initial impulse: Ooooo, blueberries! I want that.
PHASE 2, reactive skepticism: Hey, but wait a second. Blueberries tend not to work well as a dried fruit. When I've had them before as part of dried-fruit mixes (see here, for instance) they tend to be shriveled and kind of unpleasant, with little sweetness.
PHASE 3, decision: Ties or doubts on purchasing an unfamiliar item at Trader Joe's are always resolved in favor of buying since I started this blog. A review every day demands a constant infusion of new material.
PHASE 4, desuetude: The Phase 2 fears dominated after I got the bag home. It sat in my cupboard for several months. I would always pass it by when choosing my late-night snack, like the three-legged dog at the shelter that never gets adopted.
PHASE 5, resignation: Finally, something snapped inside me, and I realized that the purposes for which I bought the product would go unfulfilled if I didn't actually eat it, so I pulled it down from the shelf and opened the bag.
PHASE 6, surprise: Wow--these are unexpectedly tasty! They're a lot sweeter than I thought they would be. In fact, they're sweet enough to remind me strongly of what you get in blueberry pie filling. Also surprising is that they're moist and plump--not so much dried as par-dried, if I am allowed to invent a new culinary term.
PHASE 7, continued enjoyment: Nom, nom, nom. I am seriously liking these. Quickly becoming one of my favorite dried fruits.
PHASE 8, suspicion: Hold the phone. Just how is it that these are so much sweeter than other dried blueberries I've had? In fact, they're sweeter than most whole blueberries I've had, both fresh and frozen. How can that be?
PHASE 9, remembrance: I recall being unhappy to discover added sugar in several Trader Joe's products where I did not expect it. Could my favorite store have pulled another fast one here, with this apparently all-natural, healthful snack?
PHASE 10, investigation: I flip the package over and locate the ingredients. "Wild blueberries. SUGAR. Sunflower oil."
PHASE 11, betrayal: Oh, Trader Joe's, how could you?
PHASE 12, conclusion: Look, I'm not anti-sugar. I likely consume more of it than the American per capita average, in candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, etc. In spite of that, I maintain that there are many, many food items that do not need to be sweetened, and/or that I do not want to be sweetened. I don't want sugar added to my crackers. I've learned that applesauce is better without it. I don't need it in pasta. Please keep it out of my soup. It has no place in bread. And I want dried fruit to stand or fall on its own natural sweetness and flavor, without being pumped full of sugar.
Will I buy it again?