Trader Joe’s New Dip Doesn’t Take Our Love for Everything Bagels Seriously Enough

updated Sep 6, 2019
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My love for Trader Joe’s and their Everything but the Bagel Seasoning Blend is as limitless as its seasoning opportunities. From avocado toast to popcorn to salad, there is no food surface that is safe from its crunchy, salty, savory application. So when I spied the new Everything but the Bagel Greek Style Yogurt Dip, a container found its way into my cart faster than a 3-year-old with a “Customer in Training” cart will bang into a stranger’s ankles.

As I meandered through the store, I thought about all the possibilities of things I could dip. I had fancy notions of a platter of smoked salmon-wrapped grissini, fat caperberries, and juicy slices of tomato. But I quickly snapped back to reality; I was probably going to eat this stuff standing over the sink at 4 p.m. With that in mind, I ended up deciding on classic creamy dip accompaniments — carrot sticks, cucumbers, and celery spears. And bagel chips, because obviously.

Fun fact, though: Trader Joe’s does not carry bagel chips. (Everything but the bagel, indeed.) They do carry Everything Crackers, seasoned just like an everything bagel. But I wanted the flavor of the dip to shine on its own, not to be inflated by my cracker choice. But I had a theme I needed to stick to. So I headed to three more stores before I finally found the bagel chips I absolutely needed. According to my limited research, the repurposed old bread category of snacks has been taken over by pita chips. So, if you can’t find bagel chips, pita chips are fine. (Said Ina Garten, probably.)

Finally home with my chips and dip, I took a peek at the ingredient list on the dip container. I was semi-underwhelmed. It lists Greek yogurt and seasoning blend. But if you look a little closer, the makeup of the Greek yogurt is further broken down into light cream, water, nonfat dried milk powder, cornstarch, and cultures. Trader Joe’s tubs of 2% Greek yogurt include only skim milk, cream, and cultures — no extra thickeners or stabilizers. The “everything” seasoning is standard a mix of sesame seeds, sea salt, dried garlic, dried onion, black sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. I was a little miffed. The 8-ounce tub of dip set me back $3.50, which might not sound like a lot, but their 16-ounce container of plain yogurt is $2.75. Seemed like a pretty high markup for stirring two products together.

But my love for everything bagel seasoning kept me hopeful. I peeled back the foil lid to reveal a very thick and creamy dip. I gave it a stir and was on my way to what I assumed to be snack nirvana. I dunked my bagel chip, chomped down, and … was, once again, semi-underwhelmed. I tried a carrot stick, a cucumber, and, again, it was fine. The garlicky, oniony presence was definitely there. The Greek yogurt was a little less full-flavored than cream cheese you typically associate with this flavor combo, but I expected that. I sprinkled a little extra bagel seasoning over the top. It was moderately better, but I found myself wanting to dump a LOT more over the top. I couldn’t figure out why.

I called my husband over and consulted him. As an everything bagel devotee (I’m more of a sesame girl), I was curious what he would think. And he immediately nailed it. “There’s no crunch.” And just like that, I got it. 

The appeal of an everything bagel is not just the flavor, but the texture. It’s why recipes for bagel seasoning blends call for garlic and onion flakes, not powder. It’s the reason why my husband prefers the bagel shop that’s farther away that includes salt in their coating versus the one we can walk to that does not. While it may be a seasoning blend by name, each flavor and texture hits your palate differently. The salt melting on your tongue, the seeds crunching between your teeth, the savory garlic and onion flavor filling your mouth. When it’s stirred into yogurt far ahead of time, it all integrates into one. The flavor is there, but the experience is not.

Don’t get me wrong — this dip is not bad. We’ll finish the one I bought. And no one will be mad if you grab a tub of it and bring it over to a last-minute get-together. But the sum is definitely not greater than its two parts — and they’re charging you more for it.

Have you tried this stuff yet? What’d you think?