Whenever there’s some new vegan product out on the market, good or bad, you’re sure to hear about it sooner or later. I love how this sort of community is so proactive when it comes to seeking out new options and possibilities. It also ensures that every effort to make a new cruelty-free product is recognized and given a fair shot, even if it still needs some work. Since I don’t have many vegan friends out in the real world (real life, IE, not online) I usually lurk around the Post Punk Kitchen to hear about these new releases. As for what everyone seems to be talking about recently, let me tell you, people were almost viciously advocating for Trader Joe’s new chocolate toucan cookies.
To receive this amount of positive attention, there was no way for me to ignore such a snack for too long. Walking into the store, I admired a tall display of their Cat Cookies, which reminded me of the Toucans, because I figured they would be the same sort of cookie. It took a little bit of searching due to the fact that the employees seem to enjoy rearranging the isles every other time I stop in, but sure enough, I found the box of toucans and scooped it off the shelf.
One box has six individually packaged bags of cookies, portioned out to 100 calories each. My initial reaction is relief, since I won’t have to rush through the whole box in fear that any minute all those cookies will become stale, god forbid. Another passing thought was how pretty the packaging is; I really like the color choices and layout. But this says nothing for what could be brewing inside, so it was time to release these strange creatures from their pastic prison and get a better idea for myself!
They definitely smelled like chocolate upon releasing them from their single serving bag, and I must say I was impressed with how much you get in a pouch. I counted 15 in this particular sample – Certainly a generous number when cookies are involved. It was also delightful to discover that the cookies actually did look like toucans, instead of those amorphous blob-type shapes which many other companies try to pass off as specific figures. They even have faces printed in such a way that they can look in both directions!
Tossing one of the cocoa creatures into mouth to meet its early demise, I was a bit surprised at the sweetness it readily delivered. I remember having eaten tasteless, cardboard like chocolate “cookies” that could have seemed similar, but no, these toucans were an actual treat! There are so many portion control products on the market that end up diminishing the overall enjoyability because they need to scale back on certain ingredients so that it will fit into their predetermined calorie count. No such evidence of that particular practice occurring here.
I also found that although wonderfully crisp, they weren’t hard or impenetrable. In fact, there was some sort of smoothness, perhaps, that I find difficult to describe. I bet they would be fantastic with soymilk, an experiment that I will undoubtedly be performing in short time.
Being individually packaged, Trader Joe’s chocolate toucans are a great new choice for snacks on the go. I’m so glad I found out about these sweet graham crackers through PPK, because otherwise I would have never even thought to check if they were vegan!