Unlike a lot of products reviewed here on TIB, I don’t have a great deal of familiarity with Jimmy Dean.Â I’m not one to drop names, but in my time I’ve rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in the food world.Â I’ve swapped drinks and stories with the Burger King, laughed it up with the Jolly Green Giant, stalked villagers with Count Chocula, and keep going back to that tramp Wendy.Â (It’s always the redheads.)Â And the less said about that bass fishing trip with Charlie Tuna, the better.
Yet for all that, Jimmy Dean and I have just never run in the same social circles.Â The closest I’ve come to getting to know the guy is that maybe-fake customer service call that made the internet rounds a while ago, with the irate southerner complaining that the new, smaller sausage size wasn’t enough to feed his two fat sons and his fat daughter and his fat — sorry, “a little plump” — wife.Â And that’s just not enough to establish a relationship, so I took a chance and brought home Jimmy Dean Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis.
You didn’t misread that, by the way: the company name is Jimmy Dean and the product line is Jimmy D’s.Â I’m going to give them a pass because we’ve all been in that place, be it college or prison or seminary, where you desperately try to reinvent yourself to seem cooler.Â And even though it’s never worked for anyone in the history of ever, you can’t fault Jimmy D for trying.Â If he thinks sounding more like a mobster than a farmer is the way to seem more butch, well, just keep those snickers to yourself, mister.
In all seriousness though, I’m told that the “Jimmy D’s” line is specifically marketed toward children.Â You can understand my confusion since where I’m from, there are guaranteed to be a minimum of three guys named Jimmy D within any given town, at least two of whom will be in “sanitation” work.Â Not exactly kid friendly, is what I’m saying.Â This is compounded by the fact that the box contains none of the hallmarks of child-marketed products.Â No cartoon character, no zany multicolored lettering, no coupon for a free carton of smokes… what kind of southern children are these being marketed to, anyway?Â The only clue is that they’re minis, and really, it’s not like mini products have never been pitched to adults.Â But since we’re on the subject of kids, remember when you were young and invited someone over to play, and they brought their absolute crappiest Transformers or G.I. Joes?Â Likewise, Jimmy D has repaid my overtures of friendship with turkey sausage.Â Not an auspicious start, JDâ€¦
Upon opening a package, you’ll find four shrink-wrapped sets of two minis each.Â They’re not joking about the “mini” part either — these things are significantly smaller than a slider.Â An exact measurement is impossible because the croissant halves aren’t uniform in size, but they’re roughly an inch and a half in diameter, with the sausage patties just slightly wider.Â To be frank, they don’t look very appealing right out of the package, and that doesn’t completely change once you’ve zapped them for a minute or so.Â But if the world revolved purely around looks rather than taste, half of us would be living under a bridge somewhere, so let’s delve into the meat (no pun intended) of the review.
My earlier crack about turkey sausage notwithstanding, I’ll happily admit that it’s actually pretty good, non-porcine though it may be.Â It has a little bit of spice to it, which I like, but not enough to put off anyone of a more sensitive constitution, plus it’s pretty juicy.Â As for the croissant halves, they’re surprisingly soft and flaky for frozen food.Â You’re not going to mistake them for having just come out of a Parisian bakery, but let’s be honest: you’ve never been to a Parisian bakery.Â You don’t know what you’d do if you ever found yourself in one.Â Probably burp, say “merde” twice and fall down.
The only real complaint I have about Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis lies with the aforementioned volume.Â Four bites will put one of these things away, maybe six tops.Â That’s okay for those of us accustomed to making do with a bowl of cereal at breakfast, but if the description of the person(s) you’re looking to feed with these includes any of the following adjectives — “hearty,” “solid,” “glandular,” or “600 pounds of man” — Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis are not going to do it for you.Â It’s hard to fault them for that because kids are the target market, but eff it — if they’re not going to put a maze or fun facts on the back, they have to accept that unwitting adults are going to buy a box and shouldn’t be made to feel stupid by their peers or spouses or food blog editors for one simple little mistake, okay?Â Because really, we’ve all been there.Â But for people of small to medium builds, these are a tasty semi-meal that’s quick to make, and the turkey sausage means they’re — I guess — a little better for you than pork sausage?Â Hard to argue with that.Â Enjoy!
(Nutrition facts — 1 package (two sandwiches) — 230 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of total fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 440 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugars, and 11 grams of protein.)
Item: Jimmy Dean Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis
Size: 8 sandwiches/12.8 ounces
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The Burger King has some GREAT stories.Â Rebranding your Texan country singer founder as a forgotten Sopranos character.Â Tastes better than it looks.Â Fairly flaky croissant.Â Turkey sausage strongly reminiscent of actual sausage (good).Â Really not that bad for you, comparatively.
Cons: Lack of visual appeal.Â Small portions.Â “Friends” who would bring over Wheelie or Snow Job.Â Marketing to kids in ways that involve nothing that actually appeals to kids.Â Some egg or cheese would’ve made these even better.Â Parisian bakeries.