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Showing posts with the label trail mixes

Southern Grove Asian Trail Mix (Aldi)

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Ironically, it's the "Asian" ingredients that ruin it. Trail mix is the “casserole” of the snack world: What started as a rather simple combination of peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s has exploded into what has to be a multi-million (if not multi-billion) dollar industry, where food companies seem to be throwing whatever excess products they have together just to see if it’s marketable. Here we have an Asian-inspired trail mix, courtesy of those (usually) fine folks over at Southern Grove. Southern Grove is Aldi’s “nut” brand, but it’s also the moniker they use to release their myriad of trail mixes under...rather fitting, considering nuts are usually the foundation of any good trail mix. How will this combo of peanuts, wasabi peas, sesame sticks, chili crescents, and probably other ingredients I’m forgetting about, fare? That first bite is…interesting, as is pretty much every bite after that. I can’t say whether or not it’s “interesting” in a good way, or a bad way, but

Southern Grove Tuscan Trail Mix (Aldi)

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Very one-dimensional for a "mix". One thing I've learned here lately is that trail mix can be a pretty fickle thing: throw in too much of something, or one wrong ingredient, and the entire mix can be dragged down a few pegs, if not altogether ruined. (Who knew that creating a solid trail mix was so...scientific?) Enter Aldi, which has some of my favorite trail mixes in the biz: their Indulgent blend combines all sorts of unhealthy, sugary sweets together in an impossibly rich concoction that's more dessert than snack; while their “spicy and sweet” deliciously blends both of those flavor profiles together, the sweet helping to counterattack the potent sodium-overloaded spicy seasoning. Even better, their “path blends” (they need more damn synonyms for “trail mix”) are one area where most competitors can't match them in price, with their 25 oz. bags retailing for only a buck or so more than other store brands' 12 oz. bags. With this in mind, Aldi

Meijer Spicy Trail Mix (Meijer)

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No thanks. I feel like I’ve written too many long-winded intros for trail mix lately, so just as a tl;dr version: I don’t get lunch breaks at work any more, so I just bring some snacks to nibble on throughout the day and trail mix is one of my favorites because I can eat as much or as little as I need to keep me energized. Anyway, now we turn our attention to a spicy trail mix from Meijer, where my wife has been doing almost all of our grocery shopping lately. I haven’t tried any of their varieties, so it will be interesting to see how they compare to Aldi brand, which I’ve eaten quite frequently, and Kroger’s, which I just tried recently for the first time, and was pretty impressed with. Oooh yep...this one misses the mark for me, by being an almost perfect example of what not to do with a trail mix. Why is it that all trail mixes seem to have the requirement that they are overly sodium-packed? I never understand why they have “exotic” ingredients like nacho corn stick

Southern Grove Sweet and Spicy Cajun Trail Mix (Aldi)

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Overly salty, but otherwise pretty close to perfect. Aldi seems to have an ever-growing collection of trail mixes, ensuring that they have you covered no matter what mood you’re in. On the sweet side, they have the Indulgent variant, which is far and away my favorite trail mix of all time. It’s a ridiculously sweet blend of almonds, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cranberries, and more…clearly not for everyone (like those on a diet), but as a sweet treat that’s almost kind of semi- healthy, it fits the bill quite nicely. On the opposite end of the flavor spectrum, is Southern Grove’s Sweet and Spicy Cajun Trail Mix, which is far and away my favorite of their savory offerings. This one packs in peanuts, hot Cajun corn sticks, toasted corn, and almonds, all smothered in an intensely salty and moderately spicy seasoning. Counterbalancing this heat (and sodium burn) are butter toffee peanuts, and honey roasted sesame sticks, which provide welcome bl

Southern Grove Indulgent Trail Mix (Aldi)

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WARNING: 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 were