We are big fans of Almondina cookies.  Trader Joe’s carries the original flavor of these thin, crisp cookie-biscuits and we almost always have it in our carts.  Wona and I don’t do a huge number of straight product reviews aside from things we use in recipes, but once in a while we’ll tell you about something we really love. 

We contacted Almondina not too long ago and asked if they would please sponsor an Almondina giveaway to our readers.  We were thrilled for two reasons:  First of all, they said yes (woohoo! details below!).  Second, they told us that a new flavor was going to be hitting Trader Joe’s stores.  What!?  Yes, they said, (cue fanfare)…Chocolate Cherry.

Trader Joe’s has carried the Original Almondina flavor for a long time.  I would describe these cookies as a super-thin biscotti, light, very crunchy, and pretty addictive.  Every cross-section has almonds, raisins, and lots of dense crunch.  They’re not overly sweet, which I like, and there’s no added fat or salt, which is another plus.  They’re also free of artificial ingredients and preservatives, check!

Occasionally, I’ll pack a couple as a dessert in the kids’ lunches, and I feel like it’s a nice and healthy cookie option.  My kids are highly anti-raisin and always have been, but they happily munch away on Almondinas.  If you have never tried them, they’re the kind of cookie-biscuit that goes great with a hot cup of tea of coffee.  If you want to get fancy, you can spread a little fresh goat cheese, cream cheese, or mascarpone cheese on them.  You can even top it off with a few thin slices of cucumber!  (Good appetizer idea…just don’t make them too far ahead of time or else they will get soggy)

I have to be honest and say that I never knew how many varieties of Almondina there are!  Most of my shopping is at Trader Joe’s (I figure you already know that) and I had never looked for Almondina at other grocers.  Taking a look at the Almondina website,  I’m pretty sure I counted 11 varieties, including Cinnaroma, Gingerspice, Choconut, and an Anniversary cookie that has a touch of anise.  The Sesame variety is great for savory toppings.

Almondia Chocolate Cherry biscotti Trader Joes

And of course, now there’s Chocolate Cherry!  My kids and I did a taste testing of these and they are just as good as they sound.  The cocoa-y flavor is a perfect complement to the sweet tang of cherries, a classic combination that really comes together in this crunchy treat.  If you haven’t already spotted it on the shelves at Trader Joe’s, it should be arriving any day.  OR, maybe you’ll get lucky and win the sampler pack in our giveaway – comment below to enter!

Giveaway: One lucky random winner will get a 12-pack sampler case of Almondina cookies.  The rest of us will be so jealous! Enter by commenting below on this thread.  That’s it!  Tell us if you’re an Almondina fan, if you’ve tried them, how you enjoy them, or if you’ve explored any of the other flavors.  If you’ve never tried Almondina, comment and maybe you’ll get lucky and hit big!  One entry per person and US residents only please!

Deadline: Enter by Midnight PST Friday June 4th, 2010