Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 208 - Fig Bites

Let’s put this on the table from the get-go – these seem to be the Trader Joe’s version of Fig Newtons.  I propose a new name – FAUX NEWTON.  Don’t you think it is great?  Or or or!  Wait.  They could go with “Fewton”.  YES!  Fewton.  I like calling stuff that is copying other stuff the name of the thing, but replacing the first letter with an “F” (for “faux”).  It works well in this instance, no??  So for the remainder of this review, I will call these Fewtons (though if you go into a TJ’s to buy them, look for a bag that says Fig Bites, cuz the corporate office might not have had time to read this review, redesign packaging, recall all the bags with the old dumb name on them, and replace them with the shiny new FEWTON bags!!!).

This is the current bag - before Corporate reads and implements my great new name
So, I had never had a Fewton before, nor had I had what I presume is it’s name sake, a Fig Newton.  I always thought I would not like Fig Newtons, so like an idiot, I didn’t bother to TRY them.  Seriously, don’t NOT EAT something because you THINK you will not like it.  Only a three year old should do that.  Go ahead and TASTE it.  Then, if you really DO NOT LIKE IT, don’t eat more of it.  But for goodness sakes at least taste it!

So I thought Fig Newtons would be yucky, and I didn’t try them.  For 49 years.  In fact, I never had a FIG until last year!  A guy gave us a little tiny sprig of a fig tree the year before that, and we planted it, and it grew, and wouldn’t you know it it gave us real live figs!  And we ate them.  And they were delicious!  (Note:  there are small green figs on the tree now!  Not ready for eating yet, but aren’t they cute??)

Our adorable figs growing on Pudding, our fig tree.
I think my assumed dislike of Fig Newtons maaaay have gone back to my mother.  I remember hearing her tell the story of working in a Fig Newton plant in Omaha, Nebraska when she was pregnant with me.  The smell of cookies and figs and the heat, on top of her morning sickness, got to be too much, and she simply could not make another Fig Newton so had to quit.  So you see, I came about my distrust of Fig Newtons very organically.  You could say it was genetic!!  (FACT CHECK – I checked in with my two older sisters before publishing this review, and they have corrected my version of the story.  My mother was pregnant with my oldest sister, not me, when she worked in the Fig Newton plant.  But I prefer my version of the story, so let’s stick with that.)

Old school photo of my mom, wasn't she beautiful?
But back to the Fewtons.  Like I said, I have never had a Fig Newton, so I cannot actually compare this TJ’s Fewton to the cookie I presume it is a replica of.  It LOOKS just like the Fig Newtons I have seen.  But to do a taste test, well you will have to do that yourself.
Four Fewtons on a little plate
I can tell you that the Fewton is good!  I was surprised how “unsweet” it was.  The little cookie/cake “wrapper” thing around the fig paste is very neutral tasting.  And the figs are figgy tasting, but not really sweet.  The first one I ate I found to be a bit bland.  But after the 2nd, and 3rd, I realized I like them!  They are interesting.  They go well with coffee.  Would be a nice pairing with tea.  You can eat a couple mid afternoon for a pick me up without feeling guilty.  They are nice for breakfast.  Fewtons are cool!

Even the signage doesn't say "Just like Fig Newtons!!" :)
One thing I would recommend (besides the official name change) is a packaging update.  The Fewtons want to be soft.  And the current packaging makes it tricky to reclose them after they are opened.  We have rigged up a big clippy to try and hold the bag shut, but it is tough to get it to stay on.  Trader Joe’s needs to design a package with a zip top seal for these cookies.

Price -$1.99

Rating -3.75


  1. Did you know you were quoted here?

  2. How fun. I hadn't seen that chocolate article. Thanks for sharing. My review of a crazy TJs chocolate product is coming tomorrow. :)

  3. I loved your Fewtons name! How original. TJ definitely needs to change boring "Fig Bites" to Fewtons (copyrights be damned). Wow, I can't believe you have fig tree growing in Arlington--we have several but we're in VA Beach. As I'm from northern VA (and lived in Arlington twice) I know it can get a bit nippy (and fig trees like a nice Mediterranean climate). Glad I found your blog; it's quite funny. Cheers!

    1. Sven - Thanks! I think TJ's should start on the design of the new Fewton's packaging ASAP. Grin.
      I feel really fortunate that our fig tree grows! I was just outside yesterday checking it and there are lots of figs! None are ready yet - probably in a couple of weeks. If you still lived in Arlington I would bring you a fig!! :)