In recent months Trader Joe’s has been releasing a series of freeze dried fruits and I tried the Freeze Dried Grapes a few weeks ago and thought they were really good and interesting but I thought for the money, you hardly got any grapes. I’m sure there were something interesting things you could do with them but mainly a curiosity and hardly a snack to fill you up.
When Michelle suggested I try these, on my next trip to Trader Joe’s I picked up a bag. I can tell you that in the course of my normal shopping I would never have bought these. I really don’t see a need for them and at 1 oz it would hardly be a snack, but I bought them anyway for the fun of it all.
I had to admit that I had never heard of Jeju Mandarin Oranges before. What was Jeju? Was it a type of Mandarin orange? So off to google I went. Sure enough, there is an island off the southern tip of South Korea called Jeju which grows these oranges. Supposedly, they are a delicacy and hard to come by. I don’t think I’ve can ever remember having Jeju Mandarins in the past. They are supposed to be sweeter than regular Mandarins because the excellent climate on Jeju island. I thought these could be pretty interesting compared to the grapes.
When I opened the bag, the smell of fresh oranges wafted out of the bag. You have to remember that these are freeze dried the astronaut way so they weigh next to nothing will all the water sucked out of them, but that leaves all the goodness behind. Actually, if you ate this whole bag of freeze dried Jeju Mandarins you would probably eat about 5 oranges, but since there is no water in them they don’t fill you up!
For this tasting, I just popped them in my mouth like candy and they are like candy, but not as sweet! They are very crunchy like potato chips, but when you first bite into them you get that burst of orange flavor, followed by the sweetness and actually a good bite of acidity but it all blends together in your mouth in a good way! The flavor lingers quite a bit on your palate and you just want to shove the whole bag in your face! I wouldn’t say these are a snack to fill you up but almost like an Amuse-bouche used to wake up your palate before a meal. I’m sure you could sprinkle them on your salad or cereal in the morning or your yogurt. There are probably a million uses for them, but as a snack, they just aren’t going to fill you up. Having said that, I think these are one of the best things I’ve had this year.
These were surprisingly good and I’m going to rate them 9 Bells!