Season 2, Episode 23-24: Chipotl-most the end

Season 2, Episodes 23-24: Chipotl-most the end

I have a confession to make: I’m not the biggest fan of fast-casual Mexican food. Between Chipotle, Qdoba, and Moe’s, I can’t eat a meal without feeling a little crummy and/or bloated afterwards. And while they are at least good-tasting, I don’t possess enough self-hate to eat them on a regular basis and have to deal with the repercussions.

How infrequent are we talking? The last time I had Chipotle was in February 2016 when it was literally the only place open within walking distance of a hotel that I was staying at. Desperate times cause for desperate measures.

But who am I to talk! How can I possibly be so high and mighty about not eating Chipotle when I stuff myself full of pumpkin spice for 1-2 months every year? Certainly it must take MORE self-hate to eat that much pumpkin spice, right?

Deciding to just lean into it, I’m going to combine both for today’s review.

Please say a prayer for my stomach.

DAY 23-24: Pumpkin Spice Tortilla Chips

Item: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Tortilla Chips
Purchase Location: Trader Joe’s
Cost: $1.99
Pumpkin Tortilla Chips are made with real pumpkin purée and pumpkin seeds – our supplier packed the recipe with as much pumpkin as possible to reach the ideal balance of “delightfully pumpkin-y and crunchy,” without crossing over into “doesn’t-hold-together-at-all-and-becomes-a-complete-mess.”

Remarkably these chips contain:
REAL pumpkin
REAL pumpkin seeds
REAL pumpkin spice (cinnamon/nutmeg)


Most products don’t have any real pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavoring, but this bag of tortilla chips is the most true to the flavor? I’m seriously having trouble wrapping my head around this.

Before I opened up the bag to try them, had to comment on the state of the packaging. It doesn’t really come through clearly in the pictures, but the graphics on this bag are really lacking. The picture is so pixelated that it looks like someone took a picture using a grainy security camera, and then blew it up 10x for the bag.

In other words, not the best.

But I have faith that with real ingredients, the product INSIDE is going to be better than the packaging on the outside.

Opening the bag, there is a very muted spice smell. It’s important to note that these chips do NOT contain any added sugar. That’s pretty admirable in itself since most pumpkin spice products tend to be really high in sugar.

Taking out a single chip, it looks like there is a pretty even mix of the spices throughout. But with no sugars, I wonder how the flavor was going to translate! There is also a gentle orange hue, which is a nice visual of the pumpkin puree.

Biting in to a plain chip, there is a nice crunch and gentle flavor. The pumpkin is there as a background flavor, maybe a little too faint. The spices are also there and it’s so interesting to try them without any sweet behind them! BUT they are just a little too light.

Now you would think this is the end, but no.

Sitting in my apartment, I realized that I needed to dip the chip in something. Chips are MEANT to be dipped. They shouldn’t be consumed bare. It’s a crime!

But when I went to my fridge, there was NO GUAC. How could I run out? I was torn. Do I push off this review unitl I got some?

But then I realized. There’s a Chipotle 1 traffic light away. Stepping in to the restaurant, I was shocked by how so many people were there at 4pm on a Wednesday. It’s such an odd hour, but I guess it’s always Chipotlo’clock somewhere!

I COULD have just gotten guac, but everything looked so good. So I made a fateful decision that I’m still feeling 6 hours later. I got a bowl to go for dinner.

Now before I get to the chip and guac part, let me just say: I crushed the bowl. It tasted great going in. But for the past 6 hours, I have had such bad heartburn and haven’t eaten since. I spoke to several experts and they told me my mistake was eating it all at once.

I guess that what happens when you don’t eat it that frequently.

Back to the review: I took a single chip and scooped some guac. It seemed like such a good idea at the time!

But let me tell you, it’s not. The flavors do NOT work well together and it was pretty gross. Who knew that pumpkin spice and avocados don’t get along?

Not me, that’s who.

The naked chip is definitely a 3/5.

It’s good, but there is room for improvement. The idea was solid, but Trader Joe’s needs to dial up the pumpkin and pumpkin spice a few notches.

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