Everything New at Trader Joe’s in 2021, Reviewed

Hot Hot Crispy Habaneros

People love chili crisp, so why not crisp chiles? These are crispy, wispy shreds of fried habanero slices. They are the texture of fried butterfly wings. If you eat one straight, you will feel things ignite behind your eyeballs. They are truly hot. Like right on the tongue, HOT. There’s no slow build here, no nuance of flavors and spices. It’s a little shred of hell. And I love it here. On Instagram, a friend we’ll call “Cousin Tony” conjectured that this is the spiciest product Joe has ever sold, and I agree. Previous hot sauces and ghost pepper-this-and-that did not come close. Try it yourself!

Organic Yellow Taco Shells
Been a WHILE. Been a while. These oily shells must be revived in the oven otherwise you have chewy, stale folded-over tortilla chips on your hands, which are also covered in oil. They’re so oily! But—thoughtful pause—at least they’re organic.

Nut Stuff

Everything But the Bagel Nut Duo
I’m getting tired of this anti-bagel agenda. And these nuts—rancid from sunflower oil past its prime, dry and dusty, lacking the dried garlic integral to the spice mix—sealed the deal. I want everything AND THE BAGEL, Joe. Enough is enough.

Guara Almonds
TIL Guara almonds are slightly larger than Marcona almonds. They remind me of the “slightly irregular” socks at T.J. Maxx, my second favorite TJ. They’re fancy, but off-brand fancy. And that’s good enough for me, baby. These Guara almonds are buttery, and don’t leave a bitter aftertaste, but they DO leave your fingers glittery with salt. Lick each one and let the salt comingle with the Purell. There’s nothing quite like it.

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