Friday, September 12, 2014

Trader Joe's Melodious Blend

Like the last item reviewed (TJ's Pacific Shores Stir-Fry Vegetables), I first bought Melodious Blend to have on hand as a side dish for serving Nina when I had not been to the store for something fresh. I have continued to buy it, however, because I adore it.

This defies all reason and expectation. I cannot explain it. But this is one of my all-time favorite TJ's items--right up there with their raspberry tarte, chocolate-covered raisins, and ginger snap cookies (all of which are yet to be reviewed in these pages). If you'll notice, ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS. Logically speaking, lentils DO NOT BELONG on a list like that. Yet there they are.

Now, it's true that when I'm on the prowl for my late-night snack, Melodious Blend is not one of the things I'm craving. But when I'm making dinner for myself, it absolutely is one of my favorite side dishes. Again, I have no rational explanation for this. I like lentils OK, though I've never done back flips over them. I don't think it's any one component that I like so much; rather, it's something about the blend that just completely works for my taste buds (after adding a little butter, anyway).

As an added bonus, you microwave it right in the bag it comes in. Fast, easy, foolproof, and minimal clean-up!

Will I buy it again?

As long as TJ's keeps making this stuff, I will always have at least one bag of it sitting in my freezer--and most often two, to tide me over through any unexpected interruption in the production or distribution chain.

Nina's View

So, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand: yay! Bob likes it! It's legumes! Hurrah!

On the other hand: what's all the excitement about? It's a bunch of legumes. It's not especially seasoned, the texture is ordinary, the flavor is okay, but nothing special. I'm not unhappy to see it on my plate straight out of the microwaved bag, but I'm not thrilled either.

But then I had a party and I made a salad using Melodious Blend as the foundation. I added a touch of lemon juice, a light asian-style dressing made of rice vinegar, ponzu sauce, garlic and ginger, some shredded radicchio and endive. I omitted onion which I would otherwise have included (either sweet or spring), because I wanted Bob to be able to enjoy it—which I was confident he would because it was based on such a favorite dish. Honestly, it was an *awesome* salad, eaten with great gusto to great approbation by all. Except Bob, who was sure there was onion in it, so he didn't have any. Oh well, maybe next time!

So, for my money, Melodious Blend, although perfectly acceptable on its own, is best used as the start of something great.


  1. Tried it this past weekend and it was inedible. They must have screwed up the seasoning or something but way too salty. Have another bag and will try that so here's hoping it's better.

  2. I used it with Trader Joe's canned Mackeral. I put crunchy romaine on the bottom, then a cup of the lentils on top and then 1/2 can of Mackerel on top of that. I Put it together the night before then heated it for 1/2 min in micro for lunch at was yummy