Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter

I’m about to turn orange from all the pumpkin I am eating lately. I think this is about my 20th Pumpkin product I’ve tried this week! No, seriously, it’s getting a bit crazy around here with all the pumpkin products coming out of Trader Joe’s right now! The next on the docket is the perennial favorite of Trader Joe shoppers, the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter which seems to have a cult following no less than that of the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream. I was a little hesitant to review this product because it seems to have such a loyal following, but all I can do is give you my opinion!

On my recent trip to stock up on everything that is pumpkin flavored I picked up the Pumpkin butter. I had never bought it before. Don’t ask me why, but this time of year the changes in the product line up at Trader Joe’s come fast and furious. This year I spied it in the new items area, even though not technically new just new for this time of the year.  The packaging smacks of Fall with those bright orange colors and dark, rich pumpkin butter showing through the glass jar. I couldn’t wait to open it!

I grew up eating a lot of apple butter. I really liked it on toast and pancakes. I ate it whenever I could! So, I was expecting something similar in flavor and texture, but with the obvious pumpkin pie spice twist that Trader Joe’s puts in all their pumpkin products. (I guess you could make a pumpkin chutney with curry flavors and that would be killer, but people aren’t really expecting that this time of the year) Anyway, I opened the jar and took a big whiff. It smelled kinda like I expected, like pumpkin pie! I got out a spoon and dipped it into the dark, creamy butter and popped it in my mouth and there was a riot in my mouth, but not so good! The first thing I got was how sweet it was and then came the pumpkin pie spices, which weren’t all that bad. But let me go back to how sweet it is. I checked the side label to see the ingredients and no wonder. The first ingredient is pumpkin, which I expected but then the next two ingredients are sugar and honey! It was cloyingly sweet like eating honey out of the jar. I thought if I spread it on some toast, it would kind of even out the sweetness a little, but even then it was too much for me.

I don’t think this Pumpkin Butter really was meant to be something that you smeared on toast like apple butter. If you read the side of the jar it reads:

“We suggest using Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter as a pastry filling, poultry glaze, ice cream topping, on toast or mixed with a fat free cream cheese for a unique spread”

Ah ha! That language tells me that it’s not really meant to be a spread as such, but there is so many things you can do with it that I just can begin to scratch the surface for the diversity of ideas! But straight up on toast is not my cup of tea…

So I have a little conundrum on how to rate Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter. Straight out of the  jar I would have to give it 6 Bells, but and additive to pastrys, cakes, glazes and sauces I would say this would kick ass! I would say it would have to be an 8 or more.

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