More pumpkin stuff? What can I say? I went overboard (again), but that's par the course for an over zealous food blogger. I get into a theme, get carried away buying stuff related to it, then the season blows by with me barely putting a dent into my food hoard. It's a vicious, and delicious, cycle.
The packaging for this product looks very different from all the Trader Joe's stuff I've reviewed in the past. There's a lot going on here. We have retro etching-style illustrations, lovely food imagery, and bold old-school serif text with banners and accents. It's really nice looking, intense, and much fancier than other seasonal Trader Joe's offerings. I really like the text choices and pretty much everything else this box has to offer, but my only suggestion would be to leave the edges of the box white, and not have these little orange bits on either side. This design looks a lot stronger when you cover them up, and if they box was entirely white it'd be even fancier looking.
Inside the box is a sealed plastic bag of brittle, which is great because the bag kept everything fresh even though it's been sitting in my to-be-reviewed-pile for...about 6 months. (Whoopsie.) The brittle pieces vary in size, and are coated in a layer of pumpkin spiced sugar. The candy smells sweet and spicy, with a hint of roasted pumpkin seeds. Thanks to this stuff my photo room smells like autumn, even though it feels like spring. (We just had 75F weather here in Jersey. Spring is coming and I couldn't be happier! Good bye itchy sweaters, hello tank tops!)
I took a bite, and the sealed bag kept everything surprisingly fresh. The brittle had a really satisfying snap to it. Judging by the texture you'd never guess it was over half a year old and sitting around my room for ages. (Thank you little plastic bag for hiding the effects of my neglectful food hoarding tendencies.) Normally I'm not a big fan of seeds and nuts in my candy, even if it's brittle, but the added crunch and slightly savory roasted seed flavor balanced the sugary caramelized brittle preventing it from being too overbearingly sweet. However, the added pumpkin spice coating on the outside does amp up the sweetness factor quite a bit, even if it does amplify the overall pumpkin pie flavoring. After a few bites I found myself dusting off the extra sugar on the outside to make this stuff a little less intense and cloying, but other than that I thought it was great.
This stuff is pretty sweet, it's basically boiled sugar, with seeds, coated in more sugar with some added spices. It pairs nicely with an unsweetened cup of tea, but it might not be for everyone. If you like your sweets to be extra sweet, this is definitely worth checking out next season and it might be a nice addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. (Or as a gift for people hosting dinner parties in the fall. The box IS pretty nice after all, Pop a bow on there and it'll make a really nice gift.)