Saturday, January 3, 2009
Trader Joe's Cranberry Apple Butter: Majorly Meh
It took me a few moments to come up with the "Majorly Meh" descriptor for Trader Joe's newest addition to its nut butters and jam collection. It would be easy if the Cranberry Apple Butter was overtly bad, but its not. The taste is fine -- there's just not enough of it.
The first time I introduced the silky spread to my turkey sandwich, I applied a restrained amount. I wasn't sure how well I would like it and wasn't keen to defile my turkey sam if the butter ended up being a bust. I didn't expect that I would have no reaction to the nondescript product at all. I piled more on the sandwich, hoping the extra amount might ramp up the cranberry flavor on my palate, but rather than giving the sandwich the extra oomph I craved, I only succeeded in rendering my lunch into a drippy mess. By the time I took my final bite, my plate resembled a crime scene in "Dexter."
In the couple weeks since the cranberry butter made its debut on my turkey sandwich, I've made several other attempts to force myself into liking the spread. I keep hoping it will magically transform into something great, like the dearly departed Hot & Sweet Mustard that used to bring my sandwiches so much joy, but the butter has continued to be a disappointment. I keep wishing that there were big chunks of cranberry in there to add some sort of texture to the product. While I realize the addition of anything chunky would negate the "butter" quality, I really don't see any need to call it a "butter" at all. There isn't any butter in it. It doesn't really have a butter-like consistency unless said butter has been left out on the counter until it becomes a bit mushy, and the consumers in the market for fruit-type spreads for their sandwiches and crackers are most likely in search of a healthy alternative to mayo and such and don't necessarily want a topping with "butter" in the title. Or they just really really like cranberries like me.
Regardless, the "cranberry apple butter" that is not really a butter and doesn't taste like cranberries or apples, is not doing it for me or my turkey sams. I want my Hot & Sweet Mustard back.