Saturday, March 25, 2017


This is my weekly compilation of news and other links about Trader Joe's.

9 Trader Joe's products for easy dinners

6 Trader Joe's products we can't live without

7 tips to help you survive rush hour at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's karaoke

Trader Joe's foods for kids

Why I buy all my airplane snacks from Trader Joe's

22 Trader Joe's products we're totally obsessed with

Best tweets of the week:

And finally, in lieu of the usual cute cat in a Trader Joe's grocery bag, we have a cute cat on a Trader Joe's catnip-infused scratching pad.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend

This is an unusual admixture of things from different categories of foodstuffs that aren't normally found together. Oddly, only the last ingredient--red quinoa--can reasonably be classified as a "grain," despite the product name. Couscous and orzo are simply forms of pasta (though made from wheat, of course), and baby garbanzo beans are not grains, either.

I screwed up the cooking the first time, leaving it underdone. But for the second half of the bag, I followed the package directions meticulously, and it came out as I think is intended. The pasta components were al dente. However, this still left the garbanzos a little tough. Maybe perfect cooking of everything at once is possible with some other technique, but I suspect that getting the beans cooked right would mean mushy couscous and orzo.

In any event, the most favorable quality of the cooked product is visual appeal; it makes for a very pretty plate. But the taste is nothing special--just ordinary pasta, really.

Will I buy it again? 

Probably not. If on some occasion I want visually appealing pasta, I'd be more likely to go for TJ's Organic Pasta--Vegetable Radiatore, or Trofie Colore.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trader Joe's Fior Delle Alpi Raw Milk Cheese

This is a limited-time-only, feature cheese of the month for March, says Trader Joe's.

They also assert, rightly, that it is "no mild cheese," but "intense." This is true. I wish I had the right word to describe it, but its most prominent note is one I don't recall from any previous cheese. "Nutty" comes closest, but isn't quite right. I also toyed with "bitter," but that isn't it, either. Nor is it the standard "sharpness" of some cheddars. Whatever the correct word, I found it moderately unpleasant. Not bad enough to put me off of eating it, but enough that I'm going to put this particular variety down as one that I'm happy to add to my gustatory experiences but need not try again.

Will I buy it again? 


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Trader Joe's Organic Grapefruit & Ginger Splash

I continue to mourn the loss of Trader Joe's Grapefruit Sunset juice every time I think about it. It was the Platonic ideal of grapefruit juice.

As if to offer a balm to my aching heart, TJ's has recently come up with this blend, combining grapefruit juice, ginger puree, and lime juice. The feeling is a lot like that created by the cute new puppy that can't ever really replace the beloved old mutt, but nevertheless makes you happy in his own way. I'll never like this as much as the Sunset (which, by the way, was always a strange name; wouldn't "Sunrise" have been more fitting?), but it's pretty darn good.

Grapefruit is the heavy hitter here. At first it seemed as if I were tasting just plain grapefruit juice. But then I noticed the pleasant little mouth burn from the ginger. Even after polishing off the bottle, my impression was that the ginger makes itself known more from that physical sensation than from flavor. TJ's swears there's lime in there, too, but I could not detect it. (Nina's experience on all of this was way different, but I'll leave that for her to explain, if she chooses to do so.)

Overall, this is one of the best juice blends TJ's has on offer.

Will I buy it again? 


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trader Joe's Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets

These are as good as any frozen chicken nuggets I've ever tried, and better than most. Plump, tender, all white meat, tasty. If it matters to you that they're gluten-free, well, that's an added bonus, but it's not an important feature to me.

Will I buy it again? 

If I were going to make chicken nuggets a regular part of my diet, I would. But I'm perfectly content with some of the plant-based substitutes now available. So I'll spare a few birds' lives by sticking with those.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Trader Joe's Farfalle Pasta

In terms of flavor, this is indistinguishable from any other pasta, as far as I can tell. But I liked the configuration. I've never bought bow-tie (or, to use the translation from the Italian, "butterfly") pasta before. I found that I like it. It holds sauce well and it's easy to pick up with a fork.

Will I buy it again? 

Yes. I think this will be among my first choices for pasta.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


This is my weekly compilation of news and other links about Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's announces recall of frozen burritos

New Trader Joe's products for March

Best tweets of the week--LOTS of them!

And finally, here's this week's cute cat in a Trader Joe's grocery bag: