Vegan foods have a pretty bad reputation amongst non-vegans. We've all heard jokes about tofurkey and kale, but really, I've had some pretty yummy vegan foods. (Although, to be fair I haven't found a vegan cupcake that isn't a oily pile of colorful regret, at least not yet.) When shopping, I don't purposely seek out vegetarian or vegan foods, I look for yummy food in general that catches my eye, and these vegan coconut chips happened to be one of them.
The bag is a creamy beige color, which looks like my usual cup of coffee (I'm sure off of you avid coffee drinkers are cringing now), and you'll have the trust me when I say that it looks a lot better in a cabinet or pantry than it does against a white background. This packaging is made of a thick resealable plastic and it has a matte finish, which I really like. I'm a sucker for matte textures. As for it's design, this is another one of those Trader Joe's items that picked a retro aesthetic and stuck with it. The design is reminiscent of woodblock prints with it's imperfect lines and patterns, and the color palette is kept simple with brown and white inks. I like this a lot, but photographing it against this background really doesn't do it justice. This needs a weathered wood floor or something equally hipstery to really let this packaging shine.
Inside the bag are thin crispy pieces of coconut. WARNING GROSS IMAGERY AHEAD. Is it just me or do they look kind of like a pile of giant fingernails? (You were warned.) The color of the strips varies from a translucent white color to a beige-y yellow, or some are slightly tan, and they smell...like summer. But I always associate coconuts with summer, so that could just be my assessment of it. We just got hit with another snow storm this weekend, so one whiff of this and I was mentally whisked away to sandy beaches, sun tan lotion, and fancy frozen drinks. Oh man, is it summer yet?
I took a few pieces of coconut shrapnel and popped them into my mouth. They were really satisfyingly crunchy, kind of like a kettle chip, and they had a sweet but salty coconut-filled flavor. The flavoring on these is really just coconut, no surprise there, but it's intensified by being soaked in coconut milk before being roasted. I think the truly appealing thing about this snack is it's texture. The crispy crunchiness of this coconut is just phenomenal! It's really addicting, and it stays crunchy even when you put it on top of yogurt. (Which is my go-to way to eat these.)
If you really like coconut, this is a fun way to eat it. The only possibly issue is that after a few bites there were tiny pulpy coconut bits left in my teeth, but they were no where near as annoying as shredded coconut. This is a delicious and simple vegan food item that would easily be enjoyed by everyone regardless of dietary choices, and it's amazing in oatmeal, parfaits, and on top of yogurt. I highly recommend this to any of you looking for something delicious to share with your vegan friends!
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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