Reddit Is Divided Over Trader Joe's Watermelon Jerky

It may not be surprising that Trader Joe's has an Organic Watermelon Jerky, as the Los Angeles-based retailer with the friendly Hawaiian shirt-clad crew members is well-known for its quirky offerings. What is surprising is when a TJ's offering turns out to be a miss among the chain's devoted and usually delighted fan base. But it looks like Trader Joe's might have just such a dud in its dehydrated watermelon snack.

Rachael Ray In Season credits blogs for the rise of fruit jerky trends. Most people have seen or tasted beef jerky, the dehydrated meat product. The word comes from the American-Spanish term charqui, meaning "jerked meat," and from the Quechua (Incan) term for "dried flesh," ch'arki (via Online Etymology Dictionary). Taste Atlas describes it as a treat made of trimmed meat that's thinly sliced, then preserved by dehydration and the addition of salt. It was consumed by both Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, and may have even been eaten by the ancient Egyptians.

Using watermelon instead of meat is an interesting twist, but the Trader Joe's product has been met with some mixed reviews. As McSweeny's pointed out, what's left when you dehydrate a fruit that is typically filled with water? Shoppers shared their reactions to the snack on Reddit.

Should watermelon really be waterless?

In a recent discussion on the Trader Joe's Subreddit, one user asked for opinions on Trader Joe's Organic Watermelon Jerky and the negative comments outnumbered the positive opinions. One Redditor said, "I thought it tasted like someone described what a watermelon tasted like to someone who had never tried it before, and this was the result." Another said it was "tough" and  tasted "off." 

Someone offered, "If I was stuck in traffic and it was the only thing [in] the car, I guess I would eat it," while another user called it "one of their most disappointing products." A commenter detailed, "I really wanted to love it, but I'll describe it as being able to eat something that tastes exactly how garbage smells," and a Redditor's "partner swears that it is the single worst item we have ever bought from TJs." Yet another person "genuinely thought it was vile" and "had to spit it out." 

A few commenters liked the Organic Watermelon Jerky and one wrote, "It tastes just like watermelon, and the texture is like a stiff fruit leather." Someone else said their baby loves it. A shopper who enjoyed it summed it up, "I enjoy it a lot but I know it's a divisive TJs item ... It's an alternative to eating processed fruit snack junk food." They warned, however, that some pieces tend to be full of seeds, which detracts from the enjoyment.