Trader Joe’s Latin Style Black Bean Soup

Trader Joe's Latin Style Black Bean Soup
Sandy and me both have a cookbook that we are very cautious about using and a little squeamish. It was actually a wedding gift from the pastor, which is strange.* Its name? Its name is “Intercourses” and it’s a double entendre. Aside from being full of artistic and, umm, interesting yet tasteful photos of food and people**, is all sorts of information about food and its various uses besides filling your belly, along with some recipes. Black beans are the subject of a short chapter. It isn’t mentioned, so I don’t know how accurate this is. However, the authors claim that around 400 AD, a decree was issued forbidding nuns to eat black beans. This was because black beans were considered bad news for those who had “avowed to celibacy.” They are reputed to have something to do fertility and have been used as such symbols for centuries.

Sandy and I both enjoy black beans. But, I think I am speaking for us both when I say that it is for reasons totally unrelated to the above. They are delicious. They can be easily incorporated into many delicious dishes, making them a great choice for quick and easy meals. Black beans are rich in fiber and protein. Many health benefits are available.That shouldn’t be denied. Any other work they do is creditable in my book.

If any black bean product could sweep us away in a passionate love affair, it would be Trader Joes Latin Style Black Bean Soup. It’s Latin-inspired so it sounds exotic and mysterious. And it definitely has Antonio Banderas-y. It can be interpreted differently. Latin is the source of all Romance languages in the world, even though it wasn’t obvious what was so sexy about sentences such as “Britania insula este.””***

Now back to the soup. It doesn’t make us feel all Yoda, but it sure does get our attention. It’s fine and it’s not bad. However, I don’t like it. It doesn’t pour out of the container, which is a bit annoying. It’s necessary to pour the soup out. This is something I find a little odd and have a slight problem with. Squirt containers, squirt bottles and the like are not my thing. I’m not sure why. To be honest, the taste is quite ordinary. There is a bit of bean action before you are hit with black pepper. It’s the last ingredient so supposedly the most commonly used. What about the cumin, garlic, and all other ingredients? To be honest, I don’t taste it. It’s smooth and creamy too, which some people may like. But I would prefer actual beans.

Don’It’s not a bad soup, but it’s certainly delicious. It’s a good choice for a quick, warm meal, especially on cold winter days. My wife prefers her homemade soup with whole and puréed beans. The flavor might be enhanced if you use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water like Trader Joes. Sandy makes hers slightly easier than making a pot of soup-in-a box. Hers tastes better, at least ten times better. I think hers is what my taste buds are used to. I will admit that I use hers as a measurement stick for the Trader Joe’s soup. Although I cannot vouch for TJ’s authenticity, I can tell you that it was a great buy at $2 or $3 (I misplaced the receipt). It also lasted us two meals.

Sandy was a bit unsure about the matter so I asked her. Sandy shook her head and said, half-blindly, “I don’t know, 3.5” which I understood to be the lower of the two. It was fair that it was while she was working on take-home reports for her job and just before she was about to leave for her Monday night babysitting gig. She said, “It’s delicious, but I prefer to have actual beans in it.” I agree. It’s good, but lacks something. Although it isn’t the worst black bean-based Trader Joes product, it’s certainly not the best (that’s still TBD). I’ll take a 3.

The bottom line:
Trader Joe’s Latin Style Black Bean Sauce: 6.5 out 10 Golden Spoons

*Apparently it’s his standard wedding gift. “The burritos inside it are GreatWith a wink, he replies “Yes,”
**For some reason a Certain episodes of SeinfeldThis is what comes to my mind. The book is far more elegant, I assure you.
***Yes, I know. Different meaning.