Sunday, October 21, 2018

Southern Grove Indulgent Trail Mix (Aldi)

DO NOT BUY THIS UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE FOREVER ADDICTED TO ITS RICH DELICIOUSNESS.
It seems to be American culture that, whenever there’s a new health craze or popular healthy item, some company will come along and find a way to turn it into junk food. This way, they can take advantage of people who might not realize that what they are eating is not at all good for them, simply because it bears some resemblance (or shares a title) with something that’s good for you. Case-in-point: trail mix. The original combination of nuts, raisins, and crunchy chocolate candies is relatively plain, but very portable, relatively filling, and packed with energy-providing calories perfect for hikers, children, or really anyone on-the-go that’s in need of a quick snack.

So of course companies decided throw as much unhealthy shit they could think of into a bag, put the word “trail mix” on it, and watch the sales grow.

I wouldn’t have gotten caught up in all of this trail mix BS if it weren’t for my need to GAIN weight. Not to delve too deeply into personal details, but I was losing quite a bit of weight (around 3 lbs a month) taking some medication that was an appetite suppressant (as a side effect, not the point of the medicine, haha) and was desperate to try to find something that I could just shovel down my throat. After initially sucking up the cost, I found that one bag lasted me at least two weeks, even when snacking on it quite frequently, and so I decided to keep a bag around as often as possible to at least encourage a maintaining of weight.

I stuck to just the savory kinds (hot and sweet Cajun, Asian, etc.) because I was just looking for a snack, not what basically amounted to a dessert, until that fateful day my manager brought me a quarter of a bag of Southern Grove’s Indulgent Trail Mix. She was wanting one of the healthier kinds, must not have paid any attention to the packaging, and was off-put by all the extra sweets in it. I took one bite…and that was it. An addiction was born.

This is a phenomenal mix, featuring plenty of everything you could ever want: We’re talking almonds, cashews, peanuts, dried fruit, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips. If that sounds like it would be too much, well that’s because it is. And yet somehow, it’s not enough; each bite brings about a different flavor profile, and I have yet to find one that I don’t like. I’m not usually crazy about dried fruit (or fruit of any kind, for that matter) mixed with chocolate, but here it marries together well, with the chocolate pretty much overtaking the weak fruit flavor, something I will not complain about.

The best thing about it is that they do not cut any corners as far as the chips are concerned. That may be a disappointment to those that are looking for a healthier, or more nut-oriented snack, but it’s perfectly in my wheelhouse: every handful delivers a load of peanut butter and chocolatey goodness that just melts in your mouth and coats everything else in rich unbridled deliciousness. I liked it so much I had two bags going at once in the two areas I most frequent at work, so that I would have some no matter where I was. Is that dedication, or terrifying? I don’t know, but if you have to ask, I can tell you’ve never tried it before.

The biggest drawback is the price tag (a large bag retails for $4.89) but it’s not really a drawback at all when you realize just how much you’re getting. This is a large bag that should easily last you at least a week with moderate daily snacking...if you go through it quicker than that, then you should probably check yourself in to rehab.

Overall: 10/10. Rich delicious goodness in a trail mix disguise. This definitely isn’t the healthiest one for you, but cashews, almonds, and dried fruit combine with peanut butter, chocolate, and white chocolate chips to create a product that, for once, is aptly named. This is the most addicting trail mix I’ve ever had, a perfect combination of ingredients that, although the flavor profile might change with each handful, flows together so beautifully that every bite is delicious and holds unexpected surprises. The chips melt quickly in the mouth, and coat everything else in a delectable sweetness that demands more handfuls. The cost is easily justified considering there are a ton of servings contained within: I tend to get around 2 weeks out of one bag, with snacking consisting of a handful or two a couple times a day. Virtually flawless stuff.

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