The 2 “Magical” Trader Joe’s Snacks I Eat Every Day

They’re even better eaten together.

<p>Simply Recipes / Dotdash Meredith</p>

Simply Recipes / Dotdash Meredith

When I first met my husband, he was amused by my approach to eating breakfast cereal. I like to take two or three different kinds (Special K and Cheerios are a longstanding favorite combo) and mix them together in my bowl. To me, there’s nothing strange about it. Mixing cereals creates a blend better than the sum of its parts, sort of like how Chex mix is so fun to eat because you get a medley of flavors and textures in every handful.

This breakfast habit has influenced other areas of my life as well, notably how I snack. I rarely pull out a single item when I get late afternoon hunger pangs, opting instead for a combination of nuts, snack crackers, and dried fruit. It’s just more interesting.

One combination in particular has stuck with me for several years: Trader Joe’s Thai Lime and Chili Cashews and Trader Joe’s Dried Fruit Soft and Juicy Mandarins.

Why These Two Great Snacks Taste Even Better Together

Both of these longstanding Trader Joe’s products are top-tier snacks on their own. The cashews are well-roasted and subtly spicy with a hefty dose of aromatic Thai lime leaf (pro tip: shake the bag before digging in as some of the seasoning falls to the bottom). The mandarins are soft as advertised, with a chewy bite that channels the best gummy candies but with less sugar.

However, it’s the two snacks combined that keep me coming back, day after day, for more. The cashews bring a gentle heat and the perfect level of saltiness, and the mandarins provide their characteristic acid-tempered sweetness. I simply mix a small handful of each snack in a bowl for the full experience.

The textures are perfect too. The cashews have a soft crunch that plays off the chew of the oranges, which somehow manage to straddle the line between soft and chewy without leaning too far in either direction. Eating a mix of these two snacks, I feel my brain light up with pleasure as each bite toggles between salty, sweet, spicy, and aromatic. It’s magical.

<p>Simply Recipes / Treader Joe's / Megan Scott</p>

Simply Recipes / Treader Joe's / Megan Scott

Thai Lime Leaves Have a Distinctive Flavor

Thai lime (also called makrut lime) is a variety of citrus with small, wrinkled green fruit and unique-looking leaves that resemble two oblong leaves joined into one. Unlike most citrus varieties, the leaves of this plant are more widely used than the fruit, which is extremely sour and yields little juice.

The leaves are commonly used across Southeast Asia, especially in Thai, Indonesian, Laotian, and Cambodian cuisines. While the flavor is unlike anything else, to me it tastes most like lemongrass and has a distinct citronella-like smell. In the Trader Joe’s cashews, the lime leaves are ground into small bits so they lightly coat the nuts.

If you’ve ever walked by these snacks in the store and wondered whether they’re worth picking up, my vote is yes! And you should try them together at least once. Maybe my strange snacking habit will rub off on you.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.