Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Trader Joe's: Marlton, NJ

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Trader Joe's: Marlton, NJ
Okay, so I just tried Ghirardelli's version of a pumpkin spiced caramel, let's see how Trader Joe's compares. (For the record, Ghirardelli is one of the most annoying brand names to type ever! Maybe I don't review their items because I just hate typing the name all the time.)

It looks like Trader Joe's is back to it's old design tricks. To me, this label looks modern, vintage, and yet oddly incomplete all at the same time. I like the colors, and the illustrations, but it's that awkward rectangle filled with text that's throwing me off. In fact, I think I have a problem with almost all of the typeface/font choices Trader Joe's makes. I always feel like they are out of place, or not kerned properly. Is it just me? Does this look off to anyone else? One day I should take all these products I feel so "meh" about and redesign them over on my art blog. (But when will I have the time to do that? Time to stop sleeping again.)

Other than me being especially picky about the label design, the jar functions well. I do want to note that when I pick it up, it feels a bit heavier than I would expect it to, but I like the added heft. Maybe it's just made with thicker glass? Or is this caramel really that dense? I guess we'll find out!

I opened the jar and right away I can see little chunky/pulpy bits of actual pumpkin in this caramel, along with little flecks from the pumpkin pie spices.

This stuff smells just like pumpkin pie! I was so surprised! So many pumpkin items I review say they are pumpkin flavored, or spiced, or they are meant to taste like pumpkin pie, but this really and truly smells like a batch of pumpkin pie filling.

To start, I tried it on it's own, and it's really delicious. The caramel is thick and creamy and it start out tasting intensely like pumpkin pie filling. It's way thicker giggity than the filling in the chocolate I just reviewed (I don't wanna type the name anymore!), and a LOT more flavorful. The initial flavoring is exactly like pumpkin pie, although a bit sweeter, but the downside is that I found this to have an odd aftertaste. The after taste was almost chocolate-like to me, and I found that to be a little off putting. Then again, we all know I am not the biggest fan of pumpkin and chocolate.

I tried it with a bit of vanilla ice cream, which was pleasant, but I don't feel like that is the perfect application for this pumpkin-y sauce. What should I put this on? Any suggestions?
On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5 (5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 4.This started out tasting amazing, and I love the initial pumpkin pie flavoring, the only thing stopping this from being a 5 is the odd milk chocolate-like aftertaste. If you're into pumpkin and chocolate, this will be an amazing product for you, but for me, that little aftertaste prevents this from being absolutely perfect. Way better than the chocolate filling that shall not be typed. 
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  1. I really enjoy your blog but I'm getting so tired of all the pumpkin.

    1. Me too! I'll switch things up tonight with smething else. I think I'll do the Papa John's cheese steak pizza and a Christmas candy. I think I finally reached my pumpkin limit.

  2. I love all the pumpkin reviews, I don't know what those other commenters are talking about!
    I usually make coffee with steamed milk and my own syrups/sauces, I wonder how this would taste in one!

  3. I imagine you've finished the jar by now. But I would have tried it on toast or rice crackers or oat crackers or in peanut butter sandwiches or on apple slices. Or just continued eating it by the spoonful... Why not?!?