Trader Joe’s has great nuts. They sell some of the best mixed nuts, according to our official taste test, and, anecdotally, I can speak very highly of the Thai Lime & Chili Cashews (seriously, if you haven’t tried those you really need to). So I was excited to try the new Trader Joe’s almonds flavored with garlic and black pepper. Will they replace my beloved flavored cashews? Here’s my review of Trader Joe’s Garlic & Black Pepper Almonds.
- Trader Joe’s Garlic & Black Pepper Almonds
Garlic and black pepper aren’t the most obvious duo, but there’s no reason the pairing shouldn’t work. I put a lot of both into pretty much everything I cook. But overall the flavor just felt forced to me. It tasted clunky—like no one had really tried to make the two flavors complement each other. The nuts are tossed with black pepper, sea salt, and dehydrated garlic and onion—and that’s exactly what they taste like. They taste like someone dumped some spices into a bag with almonds and shook them up. And I look for more than that from TJ’s.
Pros: The almonds are well-salted. They are very savory. If you’re looking for a salt fix without reaching for a bag of chips, these nuts will satisfy you. There’s also a lot of black pepper flavor, which I appreciate. Oftentimes, ground black pepper is bland and flavorless. But the black pepper in these Trader Joe’s flavored nuts is actually spicy.
Cons: As a garlic fiend, I love garlic-flavored things. But I want garlic flavor not garlic powder flavor. And these Trader Joe’s almonds tasted mostly of garlic powder. Yes, there’s also salt and, yes, there’s also (actually spicy) black pepper. But the spice mix tastes like something anyone could put together with just one reach into their spice cabinet. Overall, these garlic almonds simply didn’t impress. I want Trader Joe’s flavored nuts to keep me coming back for more and I was done with these after the first handful.
Credit: Liv Averett / Trader Joe’s
New TJ’s Nuts!