Oh very nice, Trader Joe’s! I’m not sure which genius came up with the idea of honey roasting nuts all those many years ago, but someone needs to give him some sort of award. Roasting nuts with honey? It’s an idea that would’ve been laughed out of the building if it hadn’t been so damn brilliant! In any case, it’s put to excellent use here on Trader Joe’s Honey Roasted Macadamia Nuts.
While swapping out the peanuts in peanut butter might have left something to be desired, when it comes to snacking nuts any variety is a welcome change of pace.
The first thing you’ll notice with these little nuggets, even before the different taste of the nut itself, is how well the honey-roasting was done. These things really taste like honey. The moment you drop one on your tongue, you’ll be met by a brief candied sweetness followed by the distinct, lingering note of real honey. It’s eye opening, especially when compared to name brand honey-roasted nuts (Mr. Peanut, I’m looking at you) where “honey-roasted” just means, vaguely sweet.
I found this real honey taste quite delightful but, to be frank, I can imagine it may not please everyone. It’s a bolder and more nuanced taste than plain, sugary sweetness, and it demands you pay attention to what your tongue is doing. A thinking man’s honey roasted peanut, if you will.
The macadamia nut itself is, I would hope, not unknown to you. If you’ve never had a white chocolate and macadamia nut cookie, you need to get your butt out that door right now and try one. Let’s just say, if I want to kiss the guy who invented honey roasting, the guy who invented this cookie is in danger of a marriage proposal.
The macadamia nut is mild tasting nut with a light, clean taste that doesn’t linger on the tongue, like the brittle almond or bitter walnut. A macadamia nut makes itself a welcome guest in your mouth, but does not overstay.
The roasted macadamia nut not only has a completely different taste than the peanut, but a different crunch as well. This crunch bears a few words. Your typical macadamia nut is maybe 50% larger than a standard issue peanut, and very round – almost spherical. This, to me, makes for an almost indecently enjoyable munching experience. A macadamia nut really gives you something to grip in your incisors and cleanly bisect, something to put up a brief, satisfying resistance before giving way beneath set of molars. Tremendously satisfying.
Of course, on the other hand, it’s quite oily. In fact, the macadamia nut is one of the fattiest nuts around, and one of the lowest in protein to boot. 17 grams of fat for only 2 grams of protein. By comparison, TJ’s Honey Roasted Peanuts have 13 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein per serving.
On a pure taste basis, I’d prefer these over honey roasted peanuts most any time, but there’s no reason the world can’t accommodate both varieties. These could be a perfect addition to a trail mix, or even mixed in with honey roasted peanuts in the nut bowl to create a more nuanced party snack.
Would I Recommend Them: Yes, to all and sundry.
Would I Buy Them Again: These could go over well at my next cocktail party.
Final Synopsis: If the higher fat doesn’t put you off, this is a great roasted nut.