Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Zealand Sweet Apple Rings

I bought this bag of dried apples at the Omaha, Nebraska Trader Joe’s but ended up bringing with us on a long flight to Los Angeles.  I thought, “Dried fruit will be great to munch on while on the flight or while driving from LA to Palm Springs!”.  It turns out, in David’s mind at least, I was oh so wrong…

From New Zealand - they must be exotic and delicious, right????
I have to confess that the MARKETING message swayed my purchase.  I am embarrassed to admit it, but the fact that these were not just “apple rings” but NEW ZEALAND Sweet Apple Rings did make me think they might taste exotic, fancy, New Zealand-y.  The front of the package says they are Braeburn, Royal Gala, and “Seasonal Varieties” of apples, but if you read the fine print on the back you see that “seasonal varieties” must mean Fuji and Pink Lady apples.  I guess TJ’s thinks “seasonal varieties” sounds sexier than listing them all out, and that must’ve worked on me, cuz I bought ‘em.

And David was not a fan.  Here is what he said, “No likey.  It’s not pungent.  It’s dry.  Leathery.  A little big cardboard-y.  It has none of the juiciness, none of the tartness, none of the FLAVOR that makes an apple worth chewing.  Umm…  It has a lot of PULPINESS (said with a disgusted look on face…) if you like that sort of thing…  I do not like these.  They taste a little bit of some desiccating agent that maybe they sprinkled on it…  I don’t know what that would be.  Maybe some sugar, salty, some sort of FLAVORING??  (When I explained they are unsulfured and unsweetened, he retorted “Well then I guess they are just naturally UNTASTY!”).  They have all the flavor of a Red Delicious apple (which David dislikes…).  I give them a 1.”

Us at the wedding in Palm Springs, CA.  We disagreed on the dried apples, but agreed that the wedding was lovely.
I did not think they were as horrible as David did.  We do not normally buy dried apples.  I think I have only had them before as little squares in dried fruit mixes (not from TJ’s).  And those little apple square bits were always my favorites in the mix!  I would pick them out of the bag and eat them first. They were always tasty and somehow JUICY, even though they were DRIED, and had a good texture.  So when I saw this bag at TJ’s that was JUST THE APPLES, I thought BINGO, a whole bag of the best part of dried fruit mixes!!   Sadly, these are not as good as the little squares I remember from my youth.

Omaha TJ's signage.  I think David would disagree with the "sweet and lovely" part.
And, umm, why is there a squirrel playing a banjo on the sign?
I disagree with David’s “cardboard-y” assessment.  I think they do have moisture in them, but they do not have a lot of taste.  They are a little boring and bland.  You would NOT want to eat the whole big ass 8 oz bag in one sitting.  David ate ONE apple ring on the airplane and I had to force feed him one more on the car ride just to get his review.  The package says the serving size is ten rings, but David theory is that if you ate ten of them you would throw up.  J  (He exaggerates if you ask me, they are not that bad.) 

David was the officiant of the wedding.  Check out how well he tied his bow tie!!
I think if you have kids and you pack a lunch for them, you could put 4 or 5 of these apple rings into a Tupperware container or baggy for a healthy dessert or snack.  (David says if you pack these in a kid’s lunch it is child abuse…)   Or if you work at a desk I can see eating 4 or 5 of these in the afternoon with a cup of tea.  You might be able to bake with them, but I haven’t tried that.  I think I will sneak some of these in David’s lunchbox when he is not looking.  I suspect they will still be in there when he gets home, unless he cons an unsuspecting coworker into eating them. 

I give these a 2.75.

Since David was so down on these things, I thought it would be good to get a 3rd opinion, so I chose Adelaide.  She just turned 2 and was attending the same wedding in Palm Springs that we went to.  Being only 2 years old, she doesn’t really TALK all that much…  But I gave her some apple rings and she really liked ‘em!!!  She two fisted it for a while – apple ring in each hand.  And she was happy to put a few apple rings in her dad’s pocket so she could eat more later (her shorts had fake pockets (fockets) so she couldn’t tote the rings around herself).  Anyway, Adelaide thought they were really yummy.  If she could talk and knew her numbers, I think she would give them a 4

Adelaide helped me with a bit of artwork
Would I buy them again for US?  No.  Would I buy them again if Adelaide and her brother and sister came to visit?  Sure enough.

Adelaide taking a quick dip in the pool with her dad
Price – $3.49

Rating (average of 3 raters, one of which was too little to give her own score so I had to surmise it…) – 2.5

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