Thursday, September 21, 2017

Trader Joe's Mango & Sticky Rice Spring Rolls

The "mango" part of these rolls is kind of deceptive; there's very little mango, so little that I could barely taste it.

The overwhelming sensation is of sweetness--so much that it was kind of a turn-off.

Will I buy it again? 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trader Joe's Shells With Brie And Asparagus

Looking around the web, I see reviews of this product dating back a few years, so it's obviously been around for a while, but I had never noticed it until a recent browse through the TJ's freezers.

It's OK, not great. I'm not a fan of asparagus, so that portion of it had to be tolerated rather than enjoyed. There's really not enough to serve two as the package claims--but I didn't object too much, because it wasn't good enough to want more. (Opening line of Woody Allen's "Annie Hall": "There's an old joke. Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of them says, 'Boy, the food in this place is really terrible.' And the other one says, 'Yeah, I know--and such small portions.'")

Will I buy it again? 

No. The best store-bought mac & cheese I've found yet is Cracker Barrel's white cheddar. Looking at just the Trader Joe's offerings, the Organic Shells and White Cheddar is better. Or if I want really minimal preparation so that I'm going for frozen, I'd pick the Hatch Chile version over this every time.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Trader Joe's Chocolate Filled Crepes

These look wonderful in the picture on the box. In real life, however, they're unprepossessing (to use one of my father's favorite words). They don't come with the attractive shaved chocolate to sprinkle on top, nor with the freshly picked raspberries to perch on the side.

They are, however, pretty tasty, with a generous helping of chocolate filling of just the right consistency to be soft and almost liquid but not runny. The crepes themselves were a bit soggy, but better than I would have guessed you could get from a product that went from freezer to microwave to plate in less than two minutes.

Will I buy it again? 

Undecided. It's not the sort of thing I usually indulge in, and they're really not pretty enough to serve guests. So although I enjoyed them, I'm not sure they have a place in my life.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


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

About that Trader Joe's jackfruit-in-brine...

Trader Joe's bad Spanish

Best backpacking foods from Trader Joe's

8 new foods to pick up at Trader Joe's

6 ways to use Trader Joe's umami paste

10 best fall comfort foods from Trader Joe's

Best tweets of the week:

And finally, here's this week's cute cat--not in a Trader Joe's grocery bag, but cradling a Trader Joe's wine bottle, which is close enough. (Source.)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Trader Joe's Soft & Juicy Mango

That's right, folks--this is the fifth day in a row of reviewing versions of Trader Joe's dried mango, and we're still not done yet!

This one does rightfully earn its claim of "soft." It's a lot easier to bite into than the Chokanan or the Just Mango. Juicy? That's a stretch--and what "juice" there is occurs only because mango juice has been added to the product (according to the list of ingredients). I find it baffling that one would take fruit, dry it by removing the juice, then add juice back into it.

Worse, though, is that they've also added sugar. The result is definitely sweeter than the others reviewed this week, but no better than the Supersweet Dried Carabao, which remains, in my mind, the gold standard of the genre. It also stands as irrefutable evidence that you don't need to add sugar (or juice) to make for good dried mango.

Will I buy it again? 


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Trader Joe's Just Mango Slices

Eating this reminded me of that famous scene of Charlie Chaplin eating his shoe. Don't buy it. If you want straight dried mango, the Chokanan variety reviewed yesterday is better--sweeter and less leathery tough. And the Carabao variety is even better than that.

Will I buy it again?