Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 302 - (Dried) Soft and Juicy Mandarins

I had seen these dried mandarins in the store but never purchased them.  I didn’t think they looked all that appetizing.  Then a reader of this blog, Ttrockwood, commented and said they were really good and that they tasted like “natural JELLY BEANS”!  I like mandarins, and a real person (as opposed to a marketer for a product) said they were good, plus David loves jelly beans, so why not give them a try!
So many choices in the dried fruit and nut aisle at Trader Joe's...
My first bite left with me a bad impression.  They have kind of a crystallized texture.  I wasn’t sure if I could taste the MANDARIN or orange flavor, they just tasted sweet, sweet, sweet.  The second bite wasn’t all that much better.  After I ate a few – I think I ate 3 or 4 pieces that first day – I thought that they weren’t that great.  The second time I tried them I thought the same thing.

But now I have had them 4 times and guess what?  They grew on me!  I like them much better.  They are a nice, funky, bizarre little snack.  The nutrition label says that the serving size is 14 pieces.  I can’t imagine eating that many in one sitting, because they are quite sweet.  David agrees that is a bit excessive – we think maybe 5 or 6 pieces in a sitting (though he did say that given enough time (and television I presume…) he could eat 14 in a sitting). 

He likes 'em!
Now that I have eaten them more I realize that they DO taste like mandarin oranges.  They make for an interesting dried fruit.  They are not as run of the mill as, say, the dried apple (not that I hold anything against dried apples!  I like a good dried apple..).  We haven’t cooked with these or put them on a salad or anything, we just snacked on them out of the bag.

If you put one of these in your mouth and let it sit in there a bit, it “rejuvenates itself” more than other dried fruit does.  I am not saying it returns to its original mandarin orange slice shape, but it PLUMPS UP!  Other dried fruit just sort of gets soft…  Do you know what I am trying to say here?  You may need to try one of these mandarin bits to understand.

Try some.  They are, Like Ttrockwood said, natural jelly beans :)
David says, “These mandarins are very nice.  They are delightful.  They are like Trader Joe’s gummies (review here) but it is even MORE of a concentrated taste than those.  These are SWEET because of the outside, and it is tangy and fruity because of the inside.  It is nice and chewy, but it is not leathery, it is chewy like those TJ’s gummies.  I would give them a 4.5.”

Wow!  I wasn’t going to rate these quite THAT high, but I think I am going to go with David on this one.  More people should try these.  They are interesting and make for a different snack.  And they give you yet another excuse to wander down the dried fruit and nut aisle at your local TJ’s, and that aisle is indeed a place of wonder.

Price – $2.69
Rating – 4.5


  1. If you have any left, try the experiment I described in my review of this product. I'd be curious what you think of the result.

  2. I just had some this afternoon! They're a fun sweet chewy something for an afternoon pick me up... I like them best alternating with some salted nuts lately. And not nearly as messy to eat as a fresh mandarin orange....