When is a salad not a salad? No, that’s not the set up for a hilarious joke – it’s a dead on serious philosophical musing. Undoubtedly there are as many different answers as there are salad lovers on this planet. Some might quibble over the presences of leafy greens, others might argue the necessity of a dressing. For me, it comes down to nutrition.
When a salad is delivering 108% of your daily fat intake in a single serving, that’s a poorly constructed hamburger not a salad. When someone can say to you, “Whoa, buddy, instead of that salad, why don’t you try something healthier. Here, shove these two Big Macs into your mouth at the same time.” That for me is where a salad crosses the threshold into junk food. What I’m saying is, brace yourself for Trader Joe’s Bacon and Spinach Salad.
I bought this salad the other night because I was hungry and had managed to convince myself that, you know, in light of the paleolithic diet, Atkins, etc TJ’s Bacon and Spinach Salad wasn’t actually that bad for me. If you haven’t looked yet, I’m going to direct your eyes to the bottom of this article. Yup, that’s right. Not just 108% of your daily recommended fat, but 105% of your cholesterol, 68% of your sodium, and even some trans fats in there for good measure, all delivered directly to your arteries on a healthy bed of fresh spinach.
Who in their right mind can call this a salad? If they’d stopped at the bacon, that’d be one thing but this salad by no means stops at the bacon. What else is in there?
Well, we’ve got some cherry tomatoes, nice plump and juicy, that’s fine, a whole hard-boiled egg, that’s not too bad, then we have the mozzarella cheese and the poppy seed dressing. I’m not sure which of those chokes me with surprise more. I mean, the mozzarella just seems egregious. We’ve already slathered the spinach with a hefty helping of cured pork belly, bacon that is literally sagging with fat, who was out there was thinking, “This salad just isn’t rich enough. Throw on a bunch of fatty, white cheese!” And, with that in mind, can I just say – poppy seed dressing? Really, Trader Joe’s? On top of everything else, poppy seed? One of the richest, liquid-fat infused dressings on the books? And not even a poppy seed dressing that makes overtures at healthiness, but an oily poppy seed dressing? Honest to god, this poppy seed dressing has a thick layer of oil floating on the surface when you crack it open. I’ve had poppy seed dressings many times before, but never one that comes with its own oil slick.
It’s astounding, readers. This salad is practically a novella about the rage simmering beneath the exterior of one crazed salad designer at Trader Joe’s, a man who has been forced, day after day, to design fresh, light new takes on lemon chicken while his soul within slavers for sticks of butter and pork flesh, a man who, one day, snapped when presented with a bag of broccoli slaw, the levees of his mind giving way to the flood of carnal need, and leapt about ransacking the shelves, tongue hanging out of his mouth, loading up a bed of spinach with his every secret, depraved desire.
Okay, so if you eat this salad everyday your body fat will eventually smother your heart and you will die, on that we can all agree. On the other hand, it’s very tasty. And of course it’s tasty, it’s a pile of fat and salt – it’s incredibly delicious. Pour on the poppy seed dressing, mix up the bacon and cheese and dig in – you’re taste buds will be taken on a wild ride of salty, fatty, meaty tastes. In fact, the most incredible thing about this salad is that it’s actually edible. As anyone who’s had a Big Mac can testify, it’s hard to eat so much fat and salt in one sitting and not leave feeling at least a little ill. For this we can thank the spinach and cherry tomatoes, which provide a clean, light taste counterbalance to the more dominant heavy tastes. In a way, it’s a brilliant solution to the problem of how to eat a bunch of fatty bacon and cheese all at once. If that’s not a problem your trying to solve, then this may not be the salad for you.
Would I Recommend It: No to salad fans, yes to bacon fans.
Would I Buy It Again: I’m not sure my blood pressure can take it.
Final Synopsis: A novel way to eat a bunch of sloppy bacon.