REVIEW: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s

One of the many things we love about Trader Joe’s is their full-blown commitment to flavor trends. Do you like cookie butter? Try it with everything at Trader Joe’s. Do you prefer uncured bacon (whatever the hell that is) to normal-people bacon? Trader Joe’s has you covered. Is sriracha pretty much its own food group to you? Head to the nearest Trader Joe’s. Basically, when Trader Joe’s gets on board with something, they go HAM. If you’ve so much as looked outside your window or read this blog before, you’ve been bombarded with pumpkin spice everything of late. Well, Trader Joe’s is one of the primary attackers, and this is one beatdown we welcome with open arms.

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Not to be outdone by Pumpkin Spice Oreos (which we love unconditionally and are currently available in Canada), Trader Joe’s doubled down with their own Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s. Whereas the Pumpkin Spice Oreos use golden vanilla wafers surrounding a pumpkin spice cream, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s take pumpkin-flavored cookies and add pumpkin-flavored cream. They’ve gone hardcore pumpkin-on-pumpkin, a genre of pornography I would probably watch if it existed. But are we really ready for this?

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The scent that hits you when you open the package is like a Gingerbread Man punching you in the face. These smell like ginger snaps, a cookie I enjoy but which uses considerably different spice ratios than typical pumpkin spice products. Eating the cookie by itself, the flavor is also ginger snaps but with something familiar that I couldn’t get a handle on for a while. Then it hit me. Animal crackers. I challenge you to tell me these cookies aren’t a marriage of ginger snaps and animals crackers. I’m just not sure it’s a happy marriage. Somebody is going to have an affair, and I just hope it’s with pumpkin. That animal cracker-y vibe makes these taste a little artificial, though the ingredient list confirms they use real pumpkin puree. The cookies are pleasantly crunchy and crumbly just as you would expect them to be.

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Moving onto the cream. Trader Joe’s didn’t skimp on the cream in these Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s. It’s incredibly smooth and creamy, but it AGAIN tastes like ginger snaps! What is going on here? The cream is obviously sweeter than the cookie, but the underlying flavor is ginger snaps again. I get it – ginger snaps use many of the same spices in the pumpkin spice blend. But ginger snaps are spiced a lot heavier with the deeper spices in the blend. You’re going to taste a lot of cloves here, whereas familiar pumpkin spice products are going to lead with cinnamon and nutmeg. Eaten together, the sum isn’t greater than the parts. This is straight ginger-on-ginger, a type of pornography I am certain does exist. If you think you would enjoy two ginger snaps with a gingerbread cream, have at it. It’s simply not what I was expecting.

Probability I Googled “Pumpkin on Pumpkin Porn” While Writing This Review: 10 out of 10
Dear God Please Don’t Google That Rating: 10 out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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2 Responses

  1. Bummer these aren’t that good. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a Joe joes cookie. Do you think most of them are comparable to their Oreo counterparts? What’s your favorite variety? and my father is an animal cracker lovsr. He loves to snack on them I think becaus they are a “not too sweet” cracker type cookie.

    • Junk Male says:

      Full disclosure: I haven’t tried regular Joe Joe’s. I don’t have easy access to Trader Joe’s, and whenever I do go, I fill up on more unique offerings. Oreos, however, are a kryptonite of mine. My enthusiasm for limited edition Oreos is a big part of the reason Drunk Female and I decided to start this blog. We love weird stuff! And nothing against animal crackers here… it just really was an odd flavor to have come through in a purely pumpkin product.

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