Walnuts, with their inherently earthy flavor profile, are ideal candidates for glazing – adding sweetness really complements the flavor of these nuts. The key to glazing walnuts is resisting the urge to over-glaze them. Too much sweetness and you lose the earthiness that makes walnuts so special.
So when Trader Joe’s set out to develop a new Glazed Walnut private brand option, they had a few things in mind: one, don’t over-glaze; two, come up with a flavor that was at once expected and surprising; and three, create something that tastes celebratory, worthy of holiday food festivities and gifting. In Trader Joe’s Glazed Walnuts with Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup, we’ve hit all three targets with delicious accuracy.
The supplier, in Northern California, begins with freshly harvested California walnuts which are shelled and halved, then glazed with a finely-tuned blend of cane sugar and our very own Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. The syrup, from the Great Lakes region of the American Midwest, is aged in authentic white oak barrels previously used for aging Kentucky Bourbon. The barrels impart their charred oak sugar characteristics to the syrup, and the syrup, in turn, lends its sweet-smoky flavors to the earthy, tannic qualities of the walnuts. These flavors were meant to be together – on salads, with cheese, in baked goods.