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A common question when someone is going to Aldi for the first time is, “What should I buy?” The same goes for people who are new to shopping at Trader Joe’s, which is a cousin to Aldi. Newbies often want to know what the best products are. What are the must haves? What should they avoid?
If you’re wondering what to buy at Trader Joe’s, you can get some guidance by checking out their recent Customer Choice Awards winners. TJ’s asked customers what nine products they’d choose to take with them if they were stranded on a deserted island. Category winners included Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Butter Chicken, and Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones. The overall winner, though, to my surprise, was Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips.
Trader Joe’s Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips are basically the TJ’s version of name brand Takis. (If you’re curious, Aldi also sells it own version called Taquitos.) The name brand Takis rolled corn tortilla chips are spicy and come in several flavors, with the most popular being the chili lime or “Fuego” flavor.
Takis are especially popular among the younger crowd, and my teenager loves them. The fact that the Trader Joe’s knockoff version won best overall Trader Joe’s product seems to me to indicate that their voting base includes plenty of younger adults.
I picked up a bag of the Trader Joe’s chips so my teen could try them and see how they compare to name brand Takis.
Trader Joe’s Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips cost $2.99 for a 9-ounce package at the time of publication. That comes out to about 33 cents per ounce.
At the time of writing, name brand Fuego flavor Takis at Walmart cost about 38 cents per ounce for a 9.9-ounce bag or about 25 cents per ounce for a fiesta size 20-ounce bag. So the Trader Joe’s version is a better deal even if you buy up and get a family-sized bag of Takis.
The Trader Joe’s chip package states:
Trader Joe’s Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips are spicy, irre-zest-ible little scrolls made from stone ground corn masa that is cut, rolled, and fried to a captivating crunchiness-then generously dusted with hot chili & lime flavored seasoning. Sure, they’re spicy, but we didn’t get too silly with the chili. We used just enough to create a flavor that keeps you coming back to the bag for another handful. Roll on, Snackers!
Trader Joe’s website also says that “compared to similar snacks available elsewhere,” these chips are rolled thicker for more crunch. Additionally, TJ’s says they’ve reduced the water in them before they’re fried so they’re crunchier. You can eat them on their own, but Trader Joe’s says they’re also good dipped in guacamole or hummus.
These are kosher and gluten free.
One bag has about nine servings, with about 15 chips making one serving. A single serving has 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat (10% DV), 0.5 grams of saturated fat (3% DV), 260 mg of sodium (11% DV), 17 grams of total carbohydrates (6% DV), and no added sugars.
The Trader Joe’s chips have a lot less saturated fat and sodium than Takis. The TJ’s chips also don’t contain artificial colors or MSG like Takis do.
My teen was excited to come home from school and find these waiting for her to try. She immediately dug in and said they are very similar — almost identical — to name brand Takis. She feels like they’re a little less spicy and have a little less flavor “dust” on them compared to Takis, but she said the flavor is close enough that she might have a hard time telling the two brands apart in a blind taste test.
I tried a few of these, and they have that classic rolled tortilla chip texture that mirrors Takis. I agree with my daughter that these don’t seem quite as spicy as Takis, but they still have plenty of kick. I don’t need to keep a glass of water immediately at hand when eating these, though. They also seem to have a good balance of spicy chili flavor and lime flavor. If you like Takis, these are definitely worth a try.
Trader Joe’s Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips are like Takis, a popular name brand chip. These taste almost identical to Takis but have less saturated fat and sodium, and they don’t have any MSG or artificial colors like Takis do. They’re still a snack food that’s not all that great for you, but if you like Takis, you should check these out.