Tom’s Farm Garlic Bread Almond Review

An unopened package of Tom’s Farm Garlic Bread Almond.
Photo by Author

One of the more unique flavor combination from Tom’s Farm, Garlic Bread Almond is borderline blasphemous to the Western palate. While seen as a delicious and delectable bakery snack in South Korea, these sweetened pieces of garlic bread might not be held in such high regard in other parts of the world. It’s fascinating to me that even preferences in garlic bread between cultures can be so widely varied. I don’t know about you and your culture, but from where I’m from, garlic bread is salty, savory, and bursting with garlic flavor. The only amount of sweetness comes from the bread itself. That’s not the case in South Korea, where you can find all of the above flavors, plus an additional well-sweetened one. It’s flavor overkill at its finest! Sometimes showing a little restraint can be a good thing. There’s no reason to overcomplicate the flavor profile. But… that’s just my opinion. It’s going to be a tough sell today as the ammo continues to grow against these almonds from Tom’s Farm. Will these almonds finally be the turning point in my life where I start putting powdered sugar on my garlic bread? I highly doubt it. However, if you’re here to learn more about these crazy little almonds with croutons, you’re definitely in the right place.

All of the almonds from a package of Tom’s Farm Garlic Bread Almond on a scale weighing in at 128 grams.
Photo by Author

Package:

I broke out my final, large 130 gram package (almost… it was 128 grams) of Tom’s Farm Nuts today. It looks like I’ll need to go online or shop around for some new flavors to try for reviews from here on out. In the meantime, I do plan on going back to ramen for a bit, so those of you that have been waiting around for that are sure to happy!

We’ve got garlic! We’ve got butter! We’ve got freshly baked bread in today’s cover art on this package of almonds. It’s an exciting package with some fun art. I know I’m excited about it and I hope you are too! Always right in the center is the main focus of the flavor. Today, that flavor is garlic bread. What I personally like about this piece of artwork are the baker almond and the almonds with little sombreros made of garlic bread. They are cute and tell us exactly what we’re dealing with, in terms of flavor. I also enjoy the fact that the baker almond has an actual oven to use in the picture. It’s a nice little touch. Although, they might want to consider removing that Italian flag if they’re trying to say that these pieces of garlic bread are Italian-style. I could be wrong, but I don’t think garlic bread is usually sweetened in Italy. My fully Italian great-grandparents and their children alike, never made sweetened garlic bread. If you’re from Italy and viewing this write-up, let me know if I’m mistaken! Anyways, two thumbs up from me for the hard work put into making this cover.

All of the almonds from a package of Tom’s Farm Garlic Bread Almond in a bowl.
Photo by Author

Flavor:

Alright, so… it’s a bit of a different type of review today, because we have both almonds and garlic flavored croutons in the mix. I’m going to look at things a bit differently by taking each ingredient separately first, then move on to the description of the overall flavor combination.

First of all, the garlic flavored croutons aren’t sugary sweet like you would expect from Korean-style garlic bread, which is a bit of a relief. As you know, I’m not a big fan of sugary garlic bread and I know for a fact, I’m not in the minority here. However, there still is a bit more sweetness than most Westerners would prefer from garlic bread. Luckily, it’s reigned in a little with these almonds. Tom’s Farm did a decent job showing the tiniest bit of restraint, which I appreciate.

I’ve nearly been traumatized for life by having several bad experiences in Korea eating garlic bread that was completely covered in sugar or at least a sweet substance. It’s disgusting and quite frankly, blasphemous to the western palate. It might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s like mixing honey with kimchi and saying it’s delicious. No… just no.

As for the almonds themselves, they aren’t that garlicy, but definitely provide the added sweetness to the flavor. The sweetness from the garlic bread pieces were almost entirely from the bread itself, not added sugar. I suspect that the almonds are the culprit here.

In combination, this almond and garlic crouton pair isn’t not sweet, but not overly sweet either. There’s a thin dusting of a sweetened garlic powder that strongly affects the almonds. The first thin you will probably notice in the flavor (depending on the ratio of almonds to garlic croutons) is the flavor of garlic. After the initial garlic flavor, the sweetness of the bread and the almonds come through intensely. The final notes of the flavor are a combination of croutons, almonds, and an extremely subtle herbal flavor of parsley. However, that’s just a guess at what this final note of herbs comes from. It’s an elusive flavor that’s hard to pin down because of its subtlety.

Aroma:

No surprise here! Garlic Bread Almond has a powerful aroma of garlic croutons. Garlic is such an overpowering smell in any food. This is definitely the case here, because I can’t pick up the aroma of the almonds through it. It’s like a viscous cloud of aroma that coats everything. There is a sweet garlic smell, but I strongly feel that more of the sweetness comes from the smell of the bread / croutons. There was a bit of a surprise at the end, because I can very subtly smell the influence of some type of herb. However, I’m not sure if I’m clever enough to really identify what it is… If you think you have some answers on this, let me know down in those comments later.

Three almonds and three pieces of garlic bread from a package of Tom’s Farm Garlic Bread Almond.
Photo by Author

Verdict:

I never would have thought to combine almonds with tiny pieces of garlic bread. It was a clever idea and I hope Tom’s Farm continues finding new combination that work well together. Unfortunately, these aren’t my favorite almonds, despite their uniqueness and deliciously sweet garlic flavoring. My problem with these almonds is that they are still too sweet. I would have liked Tom’s Farm to keep their dessert almonds sweet and their more savory flavors not so sweet. More or less, this is a rehashing of the original problem. Garlic bread shouldn’t be sweet. It’s not a dessert! If the flavor was more in line with a classic piece of garlic bread, I would have been stoked about the flavor. However, I completely understand that Tom’s Farm is originally catering to the Korean palate, which is oddly favoring the unhealthy and overly sweet in this case. I guess Koreans just like all of their baked goods incredibly sweet! I personally favor a bit more diversity, but I digress…

So, I guess I’m saying that if you like garlic bread that has some sweetness to it or are at least okay with entertaining that idea, these will definitely be a unique snack to try, because you can’t really find this combination anywhere else. If you’re not into the idea of sweetened garlic bread, then you might not enjoy this package of almonds all that much. They will probably still be an enjoyable experience, but just not one of the ones that truly “wow” you.

Is adding sugar to garlic bread or at least sweetening it a good idea or a bad idea? How do you like your garlic bread? Do you think you will like these almonds? Let me know in the comments!

If you’re interested in hearing more about Korean snack nuts or instant ramen, check out my on-going series, Noodle Story: An Exploration of Korean Instant Noodles and my other series, I Think I’m Going Nuts: An Eyeful of South Korea’s Little Snack Nuts, here on Medium.

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