Friday, August 18, 2017

Trader Joe's Sparkling Mandarin Orange Spring Water

This is the second of four flavors in Trader Joe's new line of sparkling waters. I reviewed the raspberry-lime version here.

I did not like this one as much. This is probably attributable to nothing other than my general preference of raspberry over orange. Nina said she liked this one better. De gustibus, etc.

It has the same heavy carbonation as the raspberry. I found it had less of the false sensation of sweetness.

Will I buy it again? 


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Trader Joe's Gone Bananas!

I've occasionally seen folks on Twitter rave about this product, more than seems justifiable from its description. It has made me roll my eyes. I mean, come one--it's banana slices dipped in chocolate. Sure, it's probably good, but it cannot be a transformative life experience.

OK, so maybe it's not a transformative life experience, but I will confess that I seriously underestimated how good it is. I love these things. Eating them straight out of the freezer, as the package sternly commands, makes them pretty amazing. One doesn't often encounter chocolate and banana together outside the realm of banana splits at the ice cream shop. Add to that the unusual texture imposed by eating them frozen, and you've got a surprisingly delightful dessert experience in store--and with zero work of preparation!

After Nina and I had each eaten a couple, she looked up at me and asked, "Are these going on your Top Ten list?"

Yes they are, my love. Yes they are.

Will I buy them again? 

Oh my yes.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza Crust

People have been going gaga over this item since it first hit the Trader Joe's shelves a couple of months ago. It sells out everywhere about as fast as they get it in. I've seen the space for it in my local store's freezer case, but it had always been empty until about two weeks ago, when I was finally able to nab one.

The cooking directions are a little peculiar: 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes on one side, then flip it over and repeat, then add toppings and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes. I did it, using TJ's excellent pizza sauce, TJ's organic mozzarella shreds, and Morning Star fake bacon pieces. The result was one of the best homemade pizzas of my life.

Surprisingly, the crust was almost completely neutral in flavor, not nearly as distinctly cauliflower as I had assumed it would be. It basically served as a physical vehicle for the toppings, rather than as a key ingredient in its own right. I'm going to try the same toppings with a more standard crust soon, and I suspect the result will be even better.

Will I buy it again? 

No, not unless some occasion arises in which I will need to make pizza for guests who are avoiding carbs and/or gluten. Those are really the only reasons one would pick this over a traditional crust, and since neither applies to me, I don't have any need for this special product. But if I did, I'd be happy to have it available.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trader Joe's Organic Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

This is the best-tasting shredded mozzarella I've ever had--fresh and flavorful. It's my new standard. On those occasions when I'm making a pizza at home, this is what I will put on it, abjuring all other similar products.

Will I buy it again? 

Most assuredly yes.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Trader Joe's Just Coconut Chunks

As you'd expect, the contents of this bag are just chunks of raw coconut, cut away from the shell, but otherwise unprocessed. No added sugar, preservatives, etc. You just pour out what you'll want to use, let the chunks thaw, and eat them--or add them to a fruit salad, or whatever.

The chunks are quite uniform, about an inch square, and maybe a third of an inch thick. I think they're excellent for just munching on, but not everybody shares my affection for unadulterated coconut.

Will I buy it again? 

Yes. The main factor limiting my snacking on coconut is the work involved in cracking open the shell and separating the meat from it. This completely eliminates that barrier, and makes eating plain, raw, delicious pieces of coconut easier than I've ever known it could be.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


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

16 best cheeses at Trader Joe's

Back-to-school favorites from Trader Joe's

Some Trader Joe's suppliers unmasked

Trader Joe's puts the private in private-label

Best tweets of the week:

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Trader Joe's Raspberry Chevre

This has the same basic problem as the blueberry vanilla chevre: Though the fruit flavor is nice, it totally overwhelms the cheese, and the stuff ends up tasting like a fruit spread rather than like a cheese with an added accent flavor.

Will I buy it again?