Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trader Joe's Italian Capellini

This is perfectly ordinary angel-hair pasta, as good as but not better than any other.

Will I buy it again? 

Sure, if I'm at TJ's when I need such a thing. Or I'll buy an equivalent product elsewhere if that's where I am. It doesn't matter.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


This is my weekly roundup of news and other links related to Trader Joe's. This week will be light, because I'm off visiting family and so won't be paying much attention to news and social media.

New Jersey Trader Joe's roof collapses under weight of snow 

Best tweets of the week:



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

BONUS: Short video clip of a cute dog in a Trader Joe's grocery bag:

Friday, January 29, 2016

Trader Joe's Ultimate Vanilla Wafers

Growing up, we had Nabisco's Nilla Wafers around the house frequently. Sometimes there was a competing brand (Keebler, maybe?), but it didn't have a distinctive, memorable product name. So Nilla Wafers has, for something like 50 years, been my Platonic ideal of a vanilla wafer. This Trader Joe's contender is clearly quite different, as you can see at a glance. Can it knock the king off of his throne?


Now, I'll admit that if I had come to the comparison as a vanilla wafer virgin, I might well choose TJ's. There is a distinct air of quality about them.

But my main stumbling block is that they're very soft, whereas I've come to expect vanilla wafers to be crispy. Oddly, I started to like the TJ's cookies a little better after the container had been sitting on my counter for a few weeks, and they dried out some, simply because they began to more closely resemble the texture I'm accustomed to.

As a secondary issue, they're less vanilla-y than Nilla Wafers. Admittedly, this is probably because TJ's uses actual vanilla beans, while Nabisco uses what they will only disclose as "natural and artificial flavors." They can cram a helluva lot of artificial vanilla flavor in--and I like it. Maybe I shouldn't, but I do.

I readily concede that my preference here may be akin to a bumpkin saying, "Yeah, I think Wal-Mart wine in a box is way tastier than that fancy-schmancy French shit." But that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

Will I buy it again? 

No. In fact, after I had eaten maybe a third of the tub, they sat on my counter for a few weeks. I kept picking other snacks over them. I finally realized that that meant that I really didn't want to eat any more of them, so after one more sampling (as mentioned above), they went back to the store for a refund.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Trader Joe's Chicken Enchiladas

The package contains two enchiladas, which the labeling claims make two servings. This is a lie. The package contains one serving. Unless you are Herve Villechaize.

The other strange thing about the package labeling is that it directs the consumer to pierce the plastic film layer over the tray. But there is no plastic film layer! Or at least there wasn't in the one sample I purchased. Was this a manufacturing anomaly? Or did they decide to change how it's put together, and then forget to rewrite the heating directions?

This led to a bit of a dilemma in preparation. I didn't want it to dry out, so I covered it loosely with my standard microwave splatter-preventing food cover. The result was that the center of both enchiladas seemed perfect, but the ends of both were overly dried out.

In spite of that, these were pretty good. I think they hit just the right note of Mexican spiciness: they evaded the wiles of the Trader Joe's Blandification Committee without going overboard so that one would need a chaser of bicarb.

I will say again, however, that this is the kind of item for which actual chicken could be readily substituted with any of the excellent plant-protein-based imitations, with little or no loss. The chicken contributes so little to the overall flavor profile that I, for one, would not notice--let alone mourn--such a switch, and I would be happier for it. If TJ's isn't willing to lose some sales from the die-hard carnivores, why not make two versions, and keep both camps happy? Chickenless Enchiladas right next to the Chicken Enchiladas would be a lovely thing. More choices is more better.

Will I buy it again? 

Maybe, but if so, it's going to be a rarity. I'll buy a lot of things to try for this blog that I wouldn't get just for my own sake. To move from the "try it once to write about" category to the "put it into the regular rotation" category, things need to be a notch above the "pretty good" that this rates.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Trader Joe's Sugar Snap Peas

I've never purchased sugar snap peas before, so I have almost no mental database against which to compare these. Without looking it up, I'm not even sure I can articulate how they differ from snow peas. But that said, I liked them. Tasty and easy to prepare. They are good alone or added to Trader Joe's Vegetable Medley for a little extra variety.

Will I buy it again? 


Nina's View

I was skeptical about the freshness, youngness, tenderness, and stringiness of this product. I'm happy to say I was wrong on all counts. These were toothsome and properly sweet. They steamed up quickly and very nicely.

I don't tend to seek out sugar snap peas, but these may have changed my mind on the topic. They were lovely.

(To my mind, they are nothing like snow peas. Snow peas are thin and flat and have their own distinctive flavor, which is not as sweet.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets



Just no.

This is the worst thing from Trader Joe's I have ever put into my mouth. It's worse than the gluten-free Joe-Joe's. Worse than the Veggie Chips Potato Snacks. As God is my witness, it's even worse than the freeze-dried raspberries.

Two of the other TJ's review blogs out there both thought these things were quite tasty; see here and here. If you see these bloggers, give them a wide berth, as I suspect they may be dangerously unhinged.

I ate one of these, and that was the end of the test for me. Back to the store for a refund for the rest.

Nina choked down two, and somehow did not die.

I had a hard time swallowing my piece, for two reasons. First, the stuff sucked every bit of saliva out of my mouth, like some demonic hygroscopic gel. Second, Nina and I were laughing so hard at how unthinkably horrible the stuff was that I lost control of my facial muscles. The basic thought I was having was, "Nobody could possibly have decided to package and sell something this vile--BUT THEY DID!"

I banish this to my Bottom Ten list (which, like its opposite counterpart, is not limited to ten items).

Will I buy it again? 

I was about to say, "When hell freezes over." But then it occurred to me that hell probably did get frozen over--freeze-dried, to be exact, and that's what's in this bag: little chunks of freeze-dried hell.

Nina's View

Dried sawdust with sulfurous overtones, which turns to vile green cow-cud in the mouth. 

Do not eat this. It is disgusting. It's so bad, it's literally almost unbelievable. Serve it to your enemies, and laugh as they gag and choke. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels

I like these nuggets. I like them a lot. After the fabulous soy chorizo, I think they are my favorite of the TJ's lineup of fake-meat products.

Gardein makes a very similar product. Comparing its ingredients list to that of the TJ's, they are basically the same, though in slightly different order. I would not be surprised to learn that Gardein makes these for TJ's, with a recipe slightly tweaked to TJ's specifications.

I did not compare TJ's and Gardein side by side, but I did have them on consecutive days. I thought the TJ's were a little more tender, but the difference was small enough that it might have been some unintended variation in how I prepared them.

The big difference, however, is in the sauce. I had a strong and clear preference for TJ's orange sauce. This may simply be, as Nina teased me, that it's sweeter. If so, I'll take the rap. If a little sugar can get me to eat this instead of an actual chicken, I think the world's a teeny tiny bit better place for the trade-off.

Will I buy it again? 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Trader Joe's Vietnamese Inspired White Chicken Wrap With Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce

I just finished having this for my lunch. Well, "finished" isn't exactly accurate, since about 1/3 of it ended up in the garbage. Which is kind of a spoiler alert for my opinion of this product.

They include a small packet of dipping sauce, which was actually quite nice in flavor, but hard to use. I took the name "dipping sauce" literally, and poured it into a small bowl. This proved to be a mistake, because as soon as you have taken a few bites of the wrap, if you try to dip the open end into the dipping sauce, all of the ingredients tumble out into the sauce bowl. If you decide to buy one of these to try for yourself, I recommend that you just snip a corner off of the sauce packet and dribble it into the wrap a little at a time. Just pretend that there's a typographical error in the name of the product, and that this was meant to be called "ginger lime dripping sauce."

The chicken felt and tasted as if it had been injected with water to plump it up. When I was done, I checked the ingredients list on the label, and found that the "chicken" component of the wrap consisted of "chicken breast with rib meat, water, potato starch, sea salt." Which kind of confirms my impression. I reject this approach to chicken.

But the worst aspect of this wrap was how terribly bland it was. I kept thinking, "Vietnamese? The fine people of Vietnam wouldn't recognize anything this flavorless as food." But then I took one bite that was so hot that it had me dropping the wrap and grabbing for my glass of ice water. Whoever made this thing dumped all of the spices (jalapeno, cilantro, mint, garlic, and black pepper) into one tiny area, making no effort to distribute them throughout. It immediately reminded me of this epic rant written by a guy who got a burrito made all wrong.

That was the end of my tolerance, and the point at which I disposed of the remainder.

Will I buy it again? 

Not on your life.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


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

Trader Joe's best low-cal snacks 

List of Trader Joe's staples 

How a Whole Foods shopper became a Trader Joe's convert 

What Trader Joe's can teach us about treating workers well 

25 Trader Joe's products for people with food intolerances 

A week's worth of vegan meals for $30 from Trader Joe's 

Trader Joe's vs. Ralph's--which is cheaper? 

What a D.C. Trader Joe's looks like before a winter storm 

Best new Trader Joe's products for January 

9 Trader Joe's facts you should know 

6 reasons Aldi is better than Trader Joe's 

Brooklyn Trader Joe's just before a major storm 

Here's this week's YouTube video from "Trader Joe":

Best tweets of the week:




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

Cookbook and chili

As most Trader Joe's fans know, there is a small industry of writing/publishing cookbooks using only ingredients you can find at TJ's. I've looked at some of them online, and thought about buying one, but never did. Then Nina gave me this one for Christmas:

The first recipe I decided to try was "Soy Chorizo Chili." It's dead simple to make, because the soy chorizo gives you the protein source and the spices all in one, already perfectly balanced. The only work involved was dicing a bell pepper and opening a few cans.

The star of the show:

Other ingredients:

I don't think any of these secondary ingredients merits a separate review, because they're all basically interchangeable with similar items you could find at any other grocery store. (One possible exception: Though I haven't tried it side by side with other brands of corn, my impression is that the TJ's corn is both sweeter and crisper than competitors. It has become the one I choose over all other canned corn.)

The same is true for the oyster crackers with which I topped the finished chili: perfectly good, but indistinguishable from every other brand of oyster crackers on the market.

There was not any serious doubt that I would like the result. After all, TJ's soy chorizo is one of my very favorite things--one of the staples that I always keep around, and maybe the single most common source of protein in meals I make for myself. And, in fact, I did like it, as expected. I liked it even better the next day at lunch, when I also added a little TJ's shredded cheese on top.

So you have here a chili that is probably easier to make than any other recipe you've ever encountered, vegan-friendly, chock full of protein, dirt cheap, and completely delicious. Do you think I'll be making it again? Like duh obviously.

As for the cookbook, this one recipe is enough to make me a fan. I've barely even glanced at what else it has to offer, but if I like even, say, 10 percent of the recipes as much as I do this first one, it will likely become my favorite cookbook of all time.

Nina's View

The chili was delicious. I just came back form a TJ's run myself where I bought ingredients to make my own batch (although I will probably do some variation substituting). I will also include The Vegetable Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken, which Bob omitted in his version. I'm sure that his batch will improve with sitting, as most chilis and stews do, and I intend to make enough to freeze some for future consumption when lazy.

But even more wonderful that the chili was the pleasure of having my honey make me a dinner using a recipe I'd help him find—and have him be pleased with it. Win all around!


I was looking around the web to find contact info for the book's authors, so I could ask their permission to include the full recipe in this post. I not only found their web site, but found that this particular recipe is there. So I'm happy to refer readers here to see it:

(Note that the online version is missing something important that is in the cookbook: 1 cup water or vegetable broth.)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Trader Joe's Shredded Carrots

I like adding carrots to the bagged salads that I frequently buy. The bagged salads with carrots don't have nearly enough, so I tend to skip them, buy a small bag of carrots, and peel and slice them into the salad.

Then one day I noticed these bags of shredded carrots in the TJ's produce section. Maybe they were a new item to my store. Maybe they had been there all along and my eye had missed them on a hundred previous shopping trips. I don't know. But I do know that they seemed to be a great potential time-saver. A bag of carrots costs $0.99. These cost $1.59. Is it worth an extra 60 cents to me not to have to peel and slice carrots? Absolutely.

However, the first bag I bought contained carrots that were not good. They were, in fact, quite bitter. I'm willing to assume that that was an anomaly and I will try them again.

Will I buy it again? 



I have had an additional four or five bags since writing the above. They're fine--no more of the bitterness I encountered the first time. Are they as good as a just-cut carrot? No. But I get a little extra color and nutritional value in my salads, even if only marginal additional taste, so I'll keep using them.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Trader Joe's Corn Dogs--Meatless

I saw somebody mention these on Twitter the other day, and they instantly went on my TJ's shopping list. I had no idea any such product even existed. It's a great concept. The execution, however, is kind of a mixed bag.

The corn bread/batter outside is excellent. 20 minutes in the oven (for once, TJ's has the heating instructions right), and they end up with a crisp shell and a soft, tasty, breaded layer underneath.

But the soy-meat center leaves much to be desired. My first reaction was, "This is about as unconvincing an imitation of a hot dog as I can imagine." But I ate three of these (Nina had the other one), and I gradually warmed up to them. Nobody is going to be fooled into thinking these have a beef or pork hot dog in the middle, but what's there isn't bad. It has a bit of that odd soy taste, but mostly it's kind of neutral. Dipped in some ketchup, the sensory evidence that this is not real meat fades.

Others have been more enthusiastic about this product. The good folks at the What's Good at Trader Joe's blog say that they're "amazing," and the "Adventures in Fake Meat" blog assigns them a solid "A" grade.

Will I buy it again? 

Yes. I think TJ's could find a better meat substitute than they're using here, but they're still a perfectly acceptable, painless way to replace one little niche of meat from my diet.

Nina's View

My first and probably last corn dog.

There were never such things as corn dogs in my vicinity when I was growing up. I suspect the regional power of the corn dog had not reached deeply into yankee territory in my youth—or maybe it's just that my Mom would never have considered such an item to be food.

Bob is correct that the breading is good and the texture of this item is excellent. The giant fail is the dog portion of the package. There are some pretty decent vegan hot dogs and sausages out there, so there's no excuse for the complete tastelessness of this item. Seriously, I could not distinguish a flavor (pleasant or otherwise).

If I'm going to eat junk food on a stick, I require it to be tasty. Really tasty, through and through, not just cornbreading tasty.

Back into the kitchen with you, TJ's, and insert something with some actual flavor into this travesty of a food product. Then I will consume it with gusto.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Trader Joe's Red Lion Amaryllis

That's what my Trader Joe's amaryllis looked like on December 1, the day I purchased it.

Here's how it looked two days ago (January 18):

Donald Trump stopped by. He said, "It's YUGE!"

He's right, obviously. It's gigantic! It might take over the world!

I have no green thumb. I kill most plants by my incompetence at taking care of them. But this one thrived beyond all expectations. It's beautiful!

Will I buy it again? 

It was such fun watching it grow day by day that I very well might, if TJ's sells them again next year.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Trader Joe's Jasmine Rice From Thailand

It has taken me months to work through this three-pound bag of rice. I just cooked up the last of it tonight.

It's perfectly fine. No complaints. But if there's any special about it, it escapes me. Perhaps I'm just not enough of a rice connoisseur, but I'm not sure I can tell this from any other white rice. Maybe a little less prone to stickiness?

Will I buy it again? 

TJ's has lots and lots of different kinds of rice, and I'll probably continue working my way through those for the time being. But eventually, sure, this would make as good a staple as any.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Trader Joe's Pear Halves In White Grape Juice

If you read yesterday's post about the similarly packaged peach halves, you probably think you know what to expect here. And you're right. Substitute "pear" for "peach" and "Oregon" for "Georgia," and you'll have today's review.

Short version: OK, but nothing special, and not worth the price.

Will I buy it again? 

See yesterday's answer.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Trader Joe's Yellow Cling Peach Halves In White Grape Juice

Don't those peach halves look luscious? I thought so, too.

Sadly, they're nothing special. To me they taste just like every other canned peach half/slice/piece I've ever bought--and they cost a lot more. Sure, the glass jar is a nice touch, and I suppose it's a small advantage to have them packed in white grape juice rather than the "heavy syrup" that's in most cans of peaches. But that's not reason enough to fly them over from Spain, f'r chrissakes, and pay through the nose for the trip. I'm in North Carolina, and Georgia is right next door, with peaches as good as they come.

Will I buy it again? 

Tell ya what, Trader Joe's: Have the peaches grown and bottled in Georgia, cut the price in half, then we'll talk. OK?

Saturday, January 16, 2016


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

Why I quit my full-time job to work at Trader Joe's 

Trader Joe's beauty products review 

Six Trader Joe's beers that you should be buying 

"Let's Talk TJ's" podcast #16

Trader Joe's pantry favorites 

Trader Joe's announces recall of cashew pieces 

Best tweets of the week:





Neither of the following tweets by itself would have caught my attention, but they did so when they hit my timeline almost back-to-back:

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

Trader Joe's Raspberry Sorbet

I'm writing this as the last remnants of my first serving of this sorbet are slowly fading from my taste buds--and already I want more.

It's soft and delicious. It has a little tang to it, perhaps from the added citric acid. After two scoops, I noticed just a little bit of a bitter aftertaste, the origin of which is a mystery to me, but it's nowhere near enough to put me off of the product as a whole. The main ingredient is raspberry puree, and you can tell it. There's nothing phony or trumped up here.

Will I buy it again? 

Yes. It's a hair shy of being in the stratospheric goodness that would land it on my Top Ten list, but I definitely want this to be a regular thing in my life. At $2.99 for 16 ounces, it's a bargain in addition to being a delight.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Trader Joe's 100% Florida Grapefruit Juice

Back in July, Nina and I did a comparison test of what I thought were all of Trader Joe's grapefruit juices. A commenter to that post pointed out that I had missed one, and indeed I had. This isn't actually "fresh squeezed" as the commenter said, but I'm sure it's what he or she had in mind.

I brought it home and with Nina at my side did a direct comparison test of this stuff against our gold standard, the superb, Top-Ten-worthy Grapefruit Sunset.

The first thing that's obvious--from the color--is that this is made from white grapefruits, instead of the pink ones used for Sunset. The taste confirms that; though we didn't do this taste-test blind, I'm quite sure I could have identified which was from white and which from pink even blindfolded.

But despite tasting different, I thought they tasted equally good. This really surprised me, because I had become pretty well convinced that no grapefruit juice on the market could be the equal of Sunset. I sipped one, then the other, back and forth many times, and I was very, very hard-pressed to say which was better. I finally decided that I had a tiny preference for Sunset, but it was mighty close. For all practical purposes, I'd be equally happy drinking either one, even though they are fairly distinct from each other.

There is, however, one factor that plays a decisive role in determining which I will buy in the future: price. Sunset is $4.99 for 64 ounces, or about 7.8 cents per ounce. This is $3.29 for 32 ounces, or about 10.3 cents per ounce. That's about 32% more per ounce. It's not 32% better. This alone keeps it from being a Top Ten item for me. Sunset is, I think, only a hair better, but a meaningfully better value.

If it matters to you in deciding between these two near-equals, Sunset is a product of Mexico, while this here stuff is all 'Murican. On the other hand, Sunset is organically sourced, should that be a deciding factor for you. (I don't much care about either of those things.)

The final difference is that this one needs to be kept refrigerated and consumed fairly soon. Sunset has some shelf life.

Note that despite the similarity of names, this is not the same product as TJ's 100% Pure Florida Grapefruit Juice, which comes in refrigerated 64-oz cartons and says "Ruby Red" across the bottom. That one is quite good, but not as good as either this or Sunset.

Will I buy it again? 

Maybe once in a while, but it has not toppled the king of the grapefruit juice hill as my default choice.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Trader Joe's Scandinavian Swimmers

With Day 12, we've finally come to the end of an extended New Products Week. Back to regular reviews tomorrow. 

This is a brand-new product from Trader Joe's. See the company's introduction to it here.

I've never had Swedish Fish, so I'm sadly in a poor position to make the obvious comparison. There are four varieties here: blue dolphins (huckleberry flavor), orange fish (orange), red lobsters (berry), and yellow seahorses (peach-mango). I found the blue and yellow a bit off-putting at first, but later warmed up to them; now I like all four about equally well.

But I don't like them enough to buy them again. Once was enough. Now, if TJ's made its own version of my favorite gummy candy--cinnamon bears--that would be something for me to get excited about.

Will I buy it again? 


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Trader Joe's Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros

This is day 11 of an extended New Products Week. 

This is a brand-new product; see Trader Joe's description of it here. They're just deep-fried dough with a packet of cinnamon sugar to be added by the user after the churros have been heated.

I've never had churros before, though I've had plenty of other similar pastries consisting of fried dough with cinnamon sugar, usually under the name of "elephant's ears." But the shape of these churros isn't flat and thin like those, so the center is soft rather than crisp. I thought that worked to their detriment.

At first I thought the suggested serving of 10 was excessive, but it turned out to be just right. They're small; each one is less than two bites.

They seemed a little undercooked with the recommended 6-7 minutes at 425 degrees. For the next batch, I'm going to try 9-10 minutes and see what happens.

The enclosed package of cinnamon sugar badly needs a resealable closure, like the main bag has.

Overall, pretty good, but not great.

Will I buy it again? 

I don't think so.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Vieux Chimay Aged Hard Cheese

This is day 10 of our extended New Products Week. 

As with yesterday's review of the jicama sticks, this one is better described as newish than new. Specifically, Trader Joe's rolled it out in November. See their product introduction here.

Given who makes this cheese, I cannot resist making a joke:

Q: What did Admiral Ackbar say when he met a Benetictine monk?

A: It's a Trappist!

Thank you, thank you. My stand-up comedy tour will be coming to your hometown soon.

Anyway, to the cheese. I really had no idea what to expect of it. When I see an orange cheese, I tend to just assume it will be cheddar-like. This definitely isn't--though I'm hard-pressed to tell you what other cheeses it's most like.

The most striking quality of the flavor is the butteriness. In fact, I think it's the most intensely buttery cheese I've ever had. Trader Joe's could have called this "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," if they didn't mind having a second trademark-infringement lawsuit on their hands.

Its texture is perfect for slicing--firm enough to cut easily, but not so hard as to crumble, even when sliced thinly.

I liked it a lot. It's one of my favorite cheeses from Trader Joe's (even though it doesn't carry the store brand name).

Will I buy it again? 

As always with TJ's cheeses, there are so many I want to try that it's likely to be years before I get through them all and go back for seconds on the ones I liked best. But if and when I do, this one will definitely be on the list.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Trader Joe's Jicama Sticks

This is day nine of our extended new products week. 

I had never heard of jicama generally, nor this Trader Joe's product specifically, until the good folks at the "What's Good at Trader Joe's" blog mentioned it, first in one of their biweekly podcasts, then in this review. It's more "newish" than actually new, as it showed up in TJ's stores in September.

Jicama is a root vegetable closely related to turnips. This fact made me not particularly excited to try it. But as long as it's not closely related to onions, I'll give it a go.

I found two different online sources suggesting that the easiest way to serve them is with a drizzle of either lime or lemon juice, plus a sprinkle of chili powder. So as part of my weekly dinner with Nina, I put some of these sticks out on a plate plain, others prepared as described.

The plain ones struck me as having both the texture and the flavor of a not-very-sweet apple, a description which I have subsequently found to be rather common as a first impression. Not unpleasant, but nothing to crave, either.

Tarted up with lime juice and chili powder, they're a little more interesting--enough that I ate maybe half a dozen. But still nothing I want to add to my regular rotation of veggies.

Finally, on a different night I tried using them as a vehicle for some spicy hummus--specifically, the Hot Chipotle variety of Roots brand hummus. This worked surprisingly well. The cold and wetness and slight sweetness of the jicama nicely offset the chili heat of the hummus. Plus, they have the advantage of being more filling than the tortilla chips I usually use for this purpose, which means that maybe I won't eat as much.

Will I buy it again? 

Probably not. But to find a vegetable that I had never heard of before, try it, and find that not only wasn't it awful but that I was OK with three different ways of eating it--well, that means it was definitely a worthwhile experiment.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Trader Joe's Mini Butterscotch Shortbread Buttons

This is now Day 8 of our slightly extended New Products Week. 


If you missed the wonderful but only seasonally available Butterscotch Shortbread Wreath Cookies, Trader Joe's is now producing the same thing in a slightly different physical form: small "buttons" instead of large "wreaths." The form doesn't matter. They taste just as scrumptious. So, like their Christmastime counterparts, they earn immediate membership in my Top Ten list.

Will I buy it again? 


Nina's View

My perception was that these smaller cookies have a higher proportion of butterscotch nuggets in them than their larger counterparts. This made them less cookie-like and more candy-like than I would prefer. They are uber sweet and rich. They're really good. Don't let the smaller size lull you into eating the whole bag at one sitting. Just sayin'.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


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

15 Trader Joe's staples for busy people 

Trader Joe's Customer Choice Awards 

Class-action lawsuit against Trader Joe's for allegedly underfilling tuna cans 

Best new Trader Joe's products for January 

After a hiatus, "Trader Joe" is back with another YouTube video:

Best tweets of the week:








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

Look--he even came with a receipt! (But nobody would want to return such a handsome boy.)