Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Gnocchi
I’m not sure why but sweet potatoes were not something I was aware of until I started working at Boston Market as a high school shopper. I am pretty sure my mom was too busy cooking other delicious meals to make sweet potatoes. But I wouldn’t notice if I was eating mashed potatoes or Aunt Brenda’s pecan pies (which is far superior to any TJ knockoff), and I don’t think she even knew about them. For that, I would have to get up for air. Anyways, while at the Market, they had them with brown sugar and marshmallows on top. I thought it was a great idea. Although I know they aren’t as real as sweet potatoes, I was still hooked. I was trying to get some bites from the manager while trying to steal them from him. Since then, I’ve come to like practically anything sweet potato-related – fries, chips, casserole, heck, even the sweet potato/meat/onion/green pepper foil packs my dad, my brothers and I made on our Man Weekend last weekend. With a few exceptions (like mashed potatoes and gravy), I think sweet potatoes are far superior to regular homefriable homeboys.

Let’s make an exception with the Trader Joes Sweet Potato Gnocchi. Let’s just say that this isn’t TJ’s best effort. Let me explain. While I haven’t had the pleasure of eating a lot more tuber-based gnocchi over the years, I have tried it enough times in college. It has been delicious every time. These are not the same, and they’re not even close. Think mushballs. This is the best way to describe the texture. Gnocchi have a more stuffing-like texture than other foods. I had a feeling that the gnocchi would look like this when I cooked them in my frypan. Yes, fry pan. These frozen guys don’t need to be boiled. Instead, heat them in a lightly oil pan. As the gnocchi heated up, the pieces began to separate, especially once I used the spatula. They were just plain wrong texture-wise. Take a look at the photo above. That should give you an idea of what I mean.

The taste? I’m split. While I enjoyed the first few bites of these cookies, I was less impressed with their taste after a while. It’s not possible for the law of diminishing returns to work as quickly. They taste okay, mildly sweet potato-y with the butter and subtle sage, but it wasn’t very interesting to me after a while. Sandy was a bit more direct, and she said unprompted that “These don’t really taste like any other food.” While I would disagree, I could understand what she was trying to say.

“I don’t get why Trader Joe’s is calling this.” Sandy stated that she didn’t like gnocchi because they aren’t really comparable to any gnocchi she’s ever had. My girl was serious. With each bite, her face showed more dissatisfaction. I can tell she didn’t want to eat her food, and I think she probably pushed it away more than once. This is something I have never seen before. Sandy told me she would give them a two. Although I don’t doubt Sandy’s judgment, that’s just straight to sleeping on a couch territory. But, I guess she’s rounding up so I’ll round down my score. You could make sweet potato gnocchi that are more firm and easier to boil, Trader Joe. This score will definitely go up. You’ll have to settle for 1.5, buddy.

Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi: 3.5% out of 10 Golden Spoons