Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Trader Joe's Marinara Sauce
I first learned of the existence of this sauce when in January my daily Google news dump for anything with "Trader Joe's" in it brought me this odd article about a man upset with Trader Joe's for discontinuing his favorite marinara sauce. I next heard about it in May, when the same man wrote about his "victory" in getting TJ's to bring it back.
Now, I don't know if his blog post caught TJ's corporate attention and made them reverse course. Given my experience with TJ's products randomly disappearing for a time and then reappearing, it seems to me more likely that whatever happened had nothing at all to do with his writing. They changed to a different supplier, or the supplier had a fire at the factory and took a while to get production ramped up again, or TJ's and the supplier had a dispute about pricing that took time to resolve. Who knows?
Anyway, when I first noticed it at my local TJ's recently, I naturally had to try it to see if it was as good as Joseph Farah claimed.
I'm here to tell you that it is.
I served it with spaghetti and a fake ground beef for a dinner with Nina. She was all "meh" about it, but I immediately took to it. I finished off the can over the next two days with the leftover pasta, and liked it more with each serving.
It tastes simple and pure. The ingredients list bears this out: tomatoes, tomato puree, olive oil, onions, herbs, garlic, salt. This is probably the first commercial pasta sauce without sugar added that I've really liked. It shares a tomato-y acidity with another TJ's marinara that I like.
The container is a bit odd. TJ's choice of a can instead of a traditional jar precludes the usual easy way of putting leftover sauce away. But I can just dump what's left into a reusable plastic tub. No big deal.
I'm sorely tempted to plop this right onto my Top Ten list. I'm going to resist, at least until I've had a chance to try it again after waiting a bit, to see if I still feel it's worthy. Whether or not it ever makes that list, it's definitely not only one of my favorite TJ's pasta sauces, but one of the best commercial pasta sauces I've ever had from any source.
Will I buy it again?
Of course. I'm confident that it will become a staple.