Thursday, July 7, 2016

Trader Joe's Broccoli Florets and Cauliflower Florets

I've written previously about how I buy and eat a lot of packages of mixed broccoli and cauliflower florets. I also mentioned in that post that Trader Joe's had become my preferred brand because they tended to skimp on the cauliflower less than other brands do, and thus have a more balanced ratio of the two vegetables.

Maybe the first few times I bought it I just got lucky on that count. Or maybe they changed how they package the product. But I found over time that it was getting hard to find a bag on the store shelf that maintained anywhere near the 1:1 ratio that I sought and had come to expect from TJ's.

One day, as I was feeling a bit irked by my perception that TJ's was going the way of the rest of the brands of similar duets, I noticed, for the first time, the separate bags pictured above. I suppose they had probably been there all along, and I didn't see them, because I was specifically looking for the mixture. But once I noticed them, it was instantly obvious that I had finally found the solution to the ratio problem: buy both and mix them myself!

So I did. And I am happy now. It's a tiny bit more work to open two packages and pour out some from each, but I don't mind that. I do have to check carefully to be sure I'm getting the freshest bags available, because they stay good for only about a week, and it takes me a week to get through using a bag of each item.

I sort of confirmed my suspicion that the packagers lean more heavily on the broccoli because it's cheaper; the broccoli alone costs $2.29, while the cauliflower costs $2.49.

Will I buy it again? 

Many, many times. You know how life is filled with tiny annoyances? I now have one fewer.


I wrote the above months ago, and since then I have continued to purchase and use these. They are a true staple in my fridge now, available just about all the time.

I believe I have also discovered a second reason that cauliflower is less abundant than broccoli in the duet mixtures: Cauliflower is denser. So even if you put equal weights of each together, you'll have more florets of broccoli, because each one weighs less. You can get a good sense of the truth of that from the photo above. Both bags have the same weight of produce, but the cauliflower bag looks a lot less full--because it is.

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