trader joe’s: yay/nay/meh 2022

actually a report from new year’s eve, but close enough.

sorry to report that the two new(ish) items i picked up were, at best, a meh: the only variety of blood oranges available, red raspberry from sunwest (2 pounds for $3.99), weren’t awful — just nothing special. and the criollo chocolate was actually quite good, but not @ $2.99 for less than 2 ounces (50 grams), which works out to almost $30/pound.

and note to self for next year: try to avoid shopping on new year’s eve. just a few of my staples not available:

double cream gouda; meyer lemons (think there may be supply chain issues. got a bag in early november, but nothing since); and i still cannot believe that almost a week after christmas, there was not a single pound of unsalted butter to be found — not one!

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I did that at my local Wegmans in Burlington, MA right at noontime. Ummm, yeah. What WAS I thinking? LOL

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I had to hit the local Safeway twice on NYE. Also, never again.

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I think these are new, yay from me.

Bite sized crackers with a light crispy flaky texture & mild rosemary flavor that adds enough interest to be good plain but doesn’t interfere too much with cheese. $1.69/180g


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When these crackers are fresh, they have great flavor. Otherwise, they are still pleasant; I use them like you, with cheese that benefits from a hint of rosemary.

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We have found the carne asada in the meat case, pretty good under the broiler, looking forward to grilling it in the next few weeks.
And a nice French chocolate crisp cookie. Not very many in the box…may have to get 2 the next time.
Can not find my coffee beans though, the dark roast Bay Blend. I did ask if it was discontinued but the young man was not much help. Will check again this week.

If you ever see the Tarocco variety of blood oranges, grab 'em! Moro is the one usually sold, and they can be QUITE tart. Taroccos, regardless of how much red they contain, are not as tart, and have a hint of berry taste.

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Asparagus Risotto: Big MEH. Very disappointing. Not horrible, just bland. Add more parm if you want it to taste like something.

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Something new that’s delicious: Rosemary Croissant Croutons (rosemary isn’t dry strong).

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I love these! Definitely buying them for as long as they last.

Oh, duh…I stupidly posted in the 2021 thread. Reposting here:

YEA: Rosemary Croissant Croutons. Very light and flaky, just as one would hope. Tooth-breaker croutons are a pet peeve of mine, so these are especially welcome.

YEA: Spicy Chunky Tomato & Pepper Pasta Sauce. Not overly hot, but lots of pepper flavor. Currently my favorite of the TJ’s jar sauces

And one more: lukewarm YEA: Banana Bread mini biscotti. Flavor is good, but the bits of banana in there are chewier than I really like. Might buy again, but not enthusiastic.

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Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Bambas: YAY! Danger, danger, Will Robinson, these things veer dangerously towards “eat the whole bag” territory. They are actually half covered in delicious dark chocolate. It’s like eating chocolate covered air. They are amazing.

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Meh to the Bazaar Basket trail mix. Normally, I like trail mixes without seasoning, but once you throw dried chickpeas in there you need something, even salt, because the chickpeas can be very bland.

Do you guys really have one thread for the whole year?

I like the new cinnamon gummies–dolphins, I think–but they do a number on your teeth. They are softer than Scandinavian Swimmers and really leave a coating. Nice level of cinnamony-ness for me, though.

I also got the gyro slices for the first time today and made nice lunches with naan and vegan* tzatziki. I saw an old thread about why anyone goes to TJs, and I certainly am not going to revive that, but it reminded me that, at least for me, TJs does not substitute for cooking (although I get plenty of staples there), it substitutes for ordering out. I could not have gotten gyros in my town for anywhere close to that price, if at all.

(*I’m obviously not vegan but I don’t eat dairy)

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100% on the gyro slices. I make a half decent gyro loaf myself but it takes time, and I don’t always have time. I can make a nice dinner in no time for 3 with a box of those, some lavash or pita, and a greek salad. We usually have hummus in the fridge. But you can barely feed three on one box of the gyro slices (I think it’s 8oz). And be prepared for having to drain those after frying - they release copious quantities of fat.

Not a new product, but I love the frozen cheese blintzes. Something about sweetened farmers cheese gets me every time. It’s my Russian heritage.

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Yes, there wasn’t enough discussion to warrant monthly or quarterly threads. I’m sure we can change it if volume goes up.

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These are new to me. I don’t go to Trader Joe’s that often - I have to be in the right mood. Anyway…

Yay to the tinned smoked herring. Subtle smoke, not overly fishy, and a nice portion for lunch with a few saltines and a squeeze of lemon. I will say that it’s very…um…fragrant, so I had to air out the house after I ate it.

Nay to the taco seasoning in a packet. I used half the package as directed for one pound of the TJ’s shaved steak, and it was still very spicy. It was just a blast of not very flavorful heat, so I won’t be buying that again.

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This is probably old news to everyone, but last night we had the thick cut frenched pork chops. I did a dry rub with some Creole seasoning, seared them on both sides and finished them in the oven. Super tender and tasty - definite yay. I think I saw a recommendation for them here, so thanks.

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An interesting item from the youtube review video that @zippo1 linked to was date syrup (organic) (first item discussed at 0:55). Anyone tried it?

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr