Sometimes Trader Joe’s does cutting edge foods, like Organic Raw Pumpkin Vinegar or Vegan Cheddar Slices made with cashews, and then sometimes they go old school and go with waffle fries(!). Don’t get me wrong. I love Waffle Fries like most Americans do, but honestly, Trader Joe’s could’ve released this product like 10 years ago and it would’ve been a smash hit. I’m not so sure what took them so long, but here we are.
What are Waffle Fries?
Waffle Fries are made by using a special tool called a wavy knife or crinkle cutter. You can also use a mandolin to achieve similar results. Crinkle Fries are just a thicker version of waffle fries. Waffle Fries are made by cutting a potato with a crinkle cutter and turning the potato 90 degrees and cutting again. If you cut thin enough, the crinkles cuts through the slice exposing holes through the cut.
Typically they are deep fried, but you can make them at home by tossing them in some oil and baking them in the oven.
Why Waffle Fries Now?
I have a sneaking suspicion that Trader Joe’s is releasing Seasoned Waffle Fries now to jump on the Chick-fil-a bandwagon. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, Chick-fil-a has been rapidly expanding into almost all areas of the United States. I grew up in Chick-fil-a territory on the East Coast but there was none out here in the Seattle area until about five years ago, now there are over a dozen in the greater metro area. If you didn’t know, Chick-fil-a doesn’t sell regular fries. They sell Waffle Fries. But theirs aren’t seasoned.
Ore-Ida or bust
I really like waffle fries. I like them both ways, seasoned and plain. I just like the shape and the way you can get crispiness in a bite. You get more surface area, so you can get more ketchup or fry sauce on your waffle fries. When they are coated and seasoned, all the better. It can make them even crispier. The big player in the frozen french fry space is Ore-Ida and they have had Waffle Fries for many years. I remember giving them to my kids over 10 years ago. To me, they are better than Chick-Fil-A’s fries because they are usually crisper. But like Chick-fil-a, they have no seasoning on them. Just potatoes, oil, and salt.
Trader Joe’s Seasoned Waffle Fries
We come full circle back to the reason why you are reading this. Trader Joe’s has finally released Seasoned Waffle Fries in the frozen section. There will be cheers going up around the country as many families will stuff these bags into their freezers. The bag weighs in at 20oz and costs $3.49, which is a bit cheaper than the Ore-Ida product, but Trader Joe’s has some seasoning on them. All the better? We’ll see…
How to make Trader Joe’s Seasoned Waffle Fries
The directions to make Trader Joe’s waffle fries are pretty simple. Put the amount you want in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Halfway through, you should flip them to make them extra crispier. I use the convection setting on my oven and that seems to give all my fries a better crispy edge than a regular bake. This is why air fryers work so well tool. They have instructions for both regular ovens and air fryers. My fries came out crisper and tender on the inside.
How did Trader Joe’s Seasoned Waffle Fries taste?
I had high expectations when I first saw these sitting in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s, but I have to admit the final product was a bit of a letdown. When I opened the bag and put them on the baking sheet, there were a lot of little pieces, some that were cut perfectly and one really large piece. It was kind of sloppy but how picky can you be about how they were cut? When I tasted them coming out of the oven, there was an unexpected kick to them. When they say seasoned, they mean spicy. I know some of you are probably saying I’m too picky but that’s what I get paid to do here. To me, the seasoning was a little over the top and maybe you might like that but it was unexpected, that’s all I’m saying. Otherwise, they tasted great.
Will I buy them again? Probably! I love waffle fries and Trader Joe’s, so why not? I expect this product to be a big hit for them and expect it in the freezer section for many years. I can see all the pictures of loaded, cheesy waffle fries on Instagram now.
I am going to give Traer Joe’s Seasoned Waffle Fries a solid 7 Bells. It might’ve been 8 bells if the seasoning was dialed down a smidge.
FYI, these Trader Joe’s Seasoned Waffle Cut Fries are not gluten free, which is kind of a letdown because a lot of gluten free people expect potato products like French Fries to not contain gluten, but I guess that’s the price you pay when you have them dipped in batter and fried. They are vegan though!
POTATOES, WATER, SUNFLOWER AND/OR CANOLA OIL, BATTER (WHEAT FLOUR, CORNSTARCH, POTATO STARCH, ONION POWDER, SALT, GARLIC POWDER, WHITE PEPPER, DRIED OREGANO, PAPRIKA, CHILI POWDER, NATURAL FLAVORS), GARLIC POWDER, YEAST EXTRACT, ONION POWDER, PAPRIKA, RED CHILI POWDER, BLACK PEPPER, DRIED ROSEMARY.
- CONTAINS WHEAT.