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New Trader Joe's items

Went to my local (Burlington, MA) store yesterday to meet a friend (she comes up from Providence every couple of months to stock up at the newer store built near me) and picked up a couple of new items (at least to me).

Back at the coffee bar/sample area, they were baking little pumpkin cake samples from their boxed mix. My friend and I tried it; both of us thought it was "eh". I figured I could do better with canned pumpkin and lots of spices. However, I did see someone else with a gingerbread box mix in their cart, and found it in the "New Items" end cap. Looked nice and dark with molasses, and I figured I could add more ground ginger or minced crystallized ginger if it wasn't gingery enough for me.

I made the gingerbread and added the crystallized ginger bits before tasting the batter - and I probably didn't need to add the extra ginger! Tasting the batter off the spatula, it had a nice deep flavor of molasses and a surprisingly nice bite of ginger.

Also was looking for some ice cream, and they have a seasonal one out - Double Rainbow Pumpkin Ice Cream. Thought that would be a good addition on top of the gingerbread.

Well, the gingerbread turned out very nicely - perhaps not as high as I would like (instructions say to bake in a 8x8x2 pan), but very good. And the pumpkin ice cream? Oh wow this stuff is good! Nice pumpkiny flavor; smooth, creamy taste. I've had other of the Double Rainbow ice creams, and have never been disappointed.

The perfect dessert for a fall day. No whipped cream for on top, but that would have been gilding the lily. :-)

I'm definitely going back for more of both of these items. I suspect the pumpkin ice cream won't be around for much past Thanksgiving. Get it while you can.

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  1. Thanks for the update! I'll definitely be visiting a TJ's soon (probably the one in Cambridge) to scout for the pumpkin ice cream. The Double Rainbow coffee is one of my favorite ice creams ever -- extremely coffee flavored -- so if the pumpkin is anywhere near that good -- wow.

    1. Add almonds coated in dark chocolate with turbinado sugar and sea salt. I tried the first batch that came out about a month or two ago and wasn't impressed. I thought I'd give them another try last week, and they were much better. The dark chocolate flavor was more intense. I got this a second time around because my sister, who is a vegan, loves almonds and chocolate - this one has no dairy in it so it was perfect as a snack for her visit.

      1. Uh-oh, I see us bringing the Double Rainbow pumpkin home on our next visit, assuming there is any in the case. I have fond memories of the Double Rainbow blueberry we once bought at TJ's. Try not to get too much, and ice cream in the summer can be slightly iffy because we have a long ride home after. But now.... ;-)

        12 Replies
        1. re: CrazyOne

          And if you ever get a chance to try the ginger from Double Rainbow, do. VERY good!

          1. re: LindaWhit

            O that ice cream! It's is super seasonal, and Double Rainbow has run out in past years waaaay before Thanksgiving.
            (It's sold at my food coop. I hope the TJ connection has encouraged DoubleRainbow to increase production.)
            DoubleRainbow coconut sorbet is also delicious. TJs only sells a couple flavors or theirs at a time, right?

            Anybody know when the mint Jo Jos are back?

            1. re: pitu

              No pumpkin here in Pittsburgh the other day, though, and it doesn't look like there had been any, although it's possible they just filled up the empty spot. In fact, there was not much Double Rainbow at all, although given how far it has to come, it's possible we were in right before a new shipment or something. Who knows? We were just in and out quickly, not concerned enough to ask, but we'll look again and maybe ask next time.

              Haven't seen the peppermint Jo Jos either. Completely missed them last year and I hope to get a chance to try them. I'm guessing sometime in the next few weeks....

              1. re: CrazyOne

                We found the pumpkin ice cream and peppermint Jo Jo's in St. Louis and really liked those. I didn't like the vanilla patisserie buttercream cake however. It was very dried out so it is hard to tell what it might have tasted like when it was fresh. I probably won't be back for a year so I won't be able to get my money back for it but no matter. They had a seasonal chocolate cake a couple of years ago with mint fondant frosting that I really liked-I wish they would bring that back!

              2. re: pitu

                I spotted the pepermint JoJos at the Union Square TJ's in NY yesterday. So hopefully they make it your way soon.

                1. re: corgette

                  Well yesterday here still no Jo Jos but we did get the pumpkin ice cream. It's possible I even missed it the last time because what they normally carry of Double Rainbow here is in quarts, and the pumpkin is in pints so kinda hiding down there at the bottom of the freezer. Really, really good. Tastes kinda like pumpkin pie, but mild, just the right flavor. (A real contrast to a typical regular store ice cream we tried last week that was apple pie flavored. That one was terribly artificial tasting. We're ready to throw out the remainder.)

                  I should have asked when they are getting the Candy Cane Jo Jos. Although when I see people saying they're going to go in and buy 20 or 30 boxes, I don't hold out much hope that I'll see them. They'll be gone in hours!

                  1. re: CrazyOne

                    20 or 30 boxes? JoJos don't have preservatives, so it's a bad idea to horde them...
                    Thx for the tipoff on Union Sq

                  2. re: corgette

                    OMG I just bought them today. They smell exactly like Girl Scout thin mints, but have a great oreo-ish taste and candy cane crunch inside the creme. YUMMY.

                    1. re: momof3

                      Well, I was thinking when I went to TJ's yesterday they might already be out of candy cane JoJos. But no, they had a fair number in a big display in front. Should be there for a bit anyway. I'm not sure they're the epic experience I was seeing described by some of you ;-) but they're good. I brought a box to work to share with everyone.

                      Double Rainbow pumpkin flavor is still going strong too. Plenty of pints in the freezer there yesterday. Just $2.49 which is quite good for a pint of premium ice cream. (Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry routinely sell for $4 and up and meet that $2.50 level only when on sale.) Maybe we'll see the pumpkin ice cream through Christmas. Dunno when they stop making it, wish it wasn't seasonal because it's good anytime!

                      1. re: CrazyOne

                        i still have the two containers of that pumpkin ice cream in the freezer. i'm thinking i have to try it again to see if it is good.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          I'm not sure if our TJ's still had pumpkin ice cream last week, but they still had it in April, so not so seasonal anymore?

            2. At my local TJ's (new Oakland, Ca. store) they were giving samples of Double Rainbow Vanilla with warmed Pumpkin Butter on top - spectacular!! The Pumpkin Butter is not dairy - comes in a jar.

              1 Reply
              1. re: trhirsh

                there is another thread in home cooking on tj's pumpkin butter.
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/452977

              2. In Jersey, the dried baked apple crisps are solid. Heading out to get some of those right now.

                1. Sounds weird, but I like to corn flax chips. Also there is a marinated mahi that is delicious. Oh, and there are these mini organic yams that are delicious roasted with some olive oil.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jroxybabe19

                    Ive been meaning to try those flax chips, seem very dense and good for dipping. Ill have to pick those up on my next visit.

                    They do have garlic naan now, which in our local store only had the regular before. It is just as good if not better. that covered with their smoked salmon and some curry sauce is money in the bank.

                  2. The "new product" end caps at my TJ's was featuring the new unsweetened chocolate (aka baking chocolate) from Belgium. The ingredients looked good, and it was well-priced at $2.49 for an 8oz. bar. They have all their seasonal candy in maybe we should divide them up, each try one and report back!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I'll take one for the team, if I must!

                      1. re: shellsbutt

                        I had tried the Designer chocolates last time, and they were good for the price, but not in the same league as the high-end chocolates they resemble.

                        Tonight I tried the dark chocolate caramels with sea salt -- two big thumbs up for those: thick chocolate shells, liquid caramel and crunchy salt. Again, not quite up to the best of the best of this combination, but better than most (I liked them better than the highly touted Fran's). The only quibble I have is that there's a faint aftertaste from the coconut oil. I like coconut, but I found the coconut flavor detracted from the purity of the chocolate-caramel-salt combo.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          thank you for being so specific -- I kinda hate coconut oil flavor when it pops up in something like a chocolate

                          1. re: pitu

                            i was just eating some more of these and I have to say that while I don't mind the coconut taste that much, I would agree with Lafler on this one that it kind of detracts from the choco/caramel/salt thing I was longing for.

                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Hello All,

                        This is my debut share!
                        TRADER JOES UNSWEETENED BELGIAN BAKING CHOCOLATE 8oz

                        I found this bar to be full of rich deep notes, perfect for making a rich hot "drink of the gods".as the term chocolate at one time referred to this highly cherished beverage.
                        http://groups.msn.com/FoodiesCorner/c...

                        For the more adventurous, you might first brew up a half gallon of hot water with a fair amount of ginger ( http://www.sfherb.com/cart/webstore/S...
                        )( 1/4 cup of dried chopped pieces) and 5-6 black pepper corns, use this "ginger-pepper water" as a base for a truly amazing "hot chocolate" .
                        Beyond drinking....I imagine it would be suitable for most baking and cooking applications and exceed the needs of most home gourmets.

                        I have "melt in my mouth" taste tested this chocolate and found it to be an excellent after meal, dark eating chocolate as well.
                        For those that appreciate the deep rich notes of earthy -fruity pure chocolate, this bar is sure to satisfy.

                        I do have a concern about the slight sweetness and it might be unfounded as I have written there are some deep "fruity" notes detected when "eating" this bar as opposed to cooking, or baking with it (which I have not done beyond the beverage)..

                        I have written TJ cs dept. asking for confirmation of the "0" sugar as stated in the Nutrition Facts on the package, and will report back with their reply.

                        In Peace and Heatlth,

                        Alter'Nathan
                        aka
                        http://truthpooper.org/

                      3. i always look forward to lebkuchen at tj's. keep waiting to see it this year!

                        Linda, is that ice cream not too cinnamon-y/pumpkin spicy?

                        and i know this isn't new, but we love the korma simmer sauce and the mojito sauce/marinade.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: alkapal

                          alkapal - it really isn't. Just the right pumpkiny spice flavor. I'm hoping to get back there this weekend and pick up MORE.

                          Oh - and I got a special flyer from TJ's yesterday - it looks like they've brought back the (formerly Chudleigh's) Apple Blossoms! It's now TJ-branded, and I haven't seen the box yet to determine how similar they are to the old Chudleigh's brand. I will be checking those out as well. :-)

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Update - the Burlington, MA TJs still has pumpkin ice cream - I picked up 4 pints. :-) (Thank goodness for the chest freezer in the basement!) And I picked up a box of the apple blossoms - they're sold 2/box vs. the Chudleigh's, which were 4/box, I believe. Haven't tried them yet, but they look the same.

                        2. dark chocolate edamame is the newest thing i've seen at TJs and it's pretty darn good.

                          and as for the peppermint jo-jo's, they're back here in our TJ's (bethesda, MD), so i suspect you'll see them soon at your local store.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: taylor_blair

                            what are those edamame like? chewy, crunchy? it struck me as a strange concept...

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Light and crunchy dry roasted edamame, coated with a delightful mix of semi-sweet and unsweetened chocolate...

                              The soybeans are really not flavorful, more crunch than anything else, but it is my reasoning that 'soy has been incorporated into my diet'. (Along with the 'dark chocolate is an antioxidant and will keep me young' reasoning....)

                              1. re: alkapal

                                yeah, definitely a strange combination, but it works! it's not as chewy as say...chocolate-covered raisins or as brittle as chocolate-covered nuts. the bonus: it's supposedly "healthy". :)

                                kind of a mix of the two...it's only 2.99 or something.

                            2. The fresh cranberry sauce and fresh cranberry orange relish. Oh how I wait for those.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Cathy

                                Cathy - as I said above re: the special flyer I got in the mail - they're out now. :-)

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Oh,I know...bought one of each on Saturday morning along with a Rubashkin's Aaron's Best Kosher turkey breast...went there for milk, and it ended up costing $40...God I love TJs....

                                  <I do only buy the organic cream top milk...and that is kind of expensive...:) >

                                  1. re: Cathy

                                    yeah, i know when you just "stop in" to tj's for ANYthing, it ends up at least a $40 trip! brie, salmon, simmer sauces, snacks, fage yogurt, wine, half-and-half, crackers, olive oil, stop light bell peppers, avocados (wait, now i am up to a 100 bucks!)

                                    ps, why do their baguettes fail to make me happy with their baguette-i-tude? they are just poor!

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Each TJ area has a different bakery supplier, alkapal. I don't know of any area where the bakery products are replenished daily, so unless you get a batch brought in the day they were baked, the breads just aren't very good.

                                      Fortunately at "my" TJ's, there is a wide selection of par-baked breads and rolls, so I can make them 'fresh' at home when I want...

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        How many times have I gone in for a half gallon of milk and some Fage, and ended up spending $50??? Ironic, ain't it--I go to TJ's to SAVE a little money!

                                2. I've got to throw in a rave for TJs chicken chorizo. I adore chorizo but don't eat it very often because of the bad stuff in it (lymph nodes, salivary glands etc). These are deliciously spicy and perfect, every bit as good as the pork/beef kind I buy from hispanic markets minus the nasty bits. So far I've made chorizo and eggs, breakfast burritos, tacos and quesadillas and can't tell the difference at all.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: hrhboo

                                    Sooooo..... Chicken cchorizo!! Now I'm happy. I've been wanting to try chorizo and in another thread there was a discussion of what's good and not so good. I wasn't wanting to buy the kind with the nasty bits. Thank you for mentioning the chicken variety. I'm so glad I decided to read this thread again!! We *love* TJ's and are lucky to have several relatively near us (North of Boston).

                                    1. re: hrhboo

                                      Ditto! I was pleasantly suprised by the chicken chorizo. Granted, it's still not as good as the stuff my folks get from a local butcher back home (which doesn't have the uh... other bits), but it's good enough to appease my occasional craving when I need a chorizo fix.

                                    2. tj's in tyson's corner, va. now has the christmas cookies, including lebkuchen (yay!), but not the peppermint Joe Joe's, yet. they do have joe joe's peppermint cheesecake. (i'll pass.)

                                      no pumpkin ice cream ;-(

                                      ps, tried the frozen "nasi goreng" (made in Denmark!). Re-name it "nasty BORING". simply flavorless.

                                      1. The TJ's in Cambridge MA has fresh turkeys. I think they are brined. The price was not bad and we suddenly are doing TG at our place. Has anyone tried these turkeys?
                                        WF prices are out of the question.

                                        1. How is there coffee? I have never tried any of it? I know you can return anything you dont like but is any variety good stuff?

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: jroxybabe19

                                            I think their coffee is pretty good for the price. I used to buy the Sumatra beans, but I think they changed the roasting on it, so it's a bit darker than I prefer.

                                            1. re: jroxybabe19

                                              We buy their French Roast and like it very much. Full bodied, nice rich taste.

                                              1. re: jroxybabe19

                                                I recently tried the Cafe Feminino and liked it a lot; apparently I'm not the only one, because the shelf was empty when I stopped at TJ's a couple of days ago. Other coffees were close to fully stocked.

                                                The Feminino is a medium roast, nice flavor and politically correct :) i.e., fair trade, organic, shade grown, profits go to poor women (hence the name).

                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                  Oh cool! Thats great, I will have to try it out. There prices are usually so great. Thanks.

                                              2. I tried the dark chocolate covered caramels with sea salt sprinkled over it. Eh, not my thing. I wasn't a fan of the really thick chocolate shell, and the caramel itself didn't have enough salt in it for my taste. I guess I'll just either buy the expensive stuff or make them myself. Unlike Ruth Lafler above, I prefer Fran's but I'm not even a big fan of those.

                                                I did however like the boxes of mini Belgian chocolates. $2! So cute and the chocolates themselves are decent enough for the price. I bought a bunch of these.

                                                They also have a small bar of peppermint bark that I bought. Am going to use it to make chocolate peppermint ice cream. I used the big box of peppermint bark (the one with the white chocolate fudge) last time for ice cream and it got rave reviews.

                                                1. Just returned from my TJ's with a new (to me) item - peppermint marshmallows. They look very similar to those sold in the William-Sonoma catalog for twice the price and are absolutely delicious. I'll be making another trip for more of these!

                                                  1. New today: dark chocolate stars (star-shaped shortbread cookies covered in dark chocolate). Delicious! The cookies are thin, crisp and buttery, and well balanced with the chocolate. A great deal at $3.99 for 16 oz.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      Got these, too....loved that they're sprinkled with nonpareils. They tasted like crunchy Sno-Caps to me - sooo good!

                                                      1. re: FlyerFan

                                                        I love these too! We're already on our third box...teenage son, you know.

                                                    2. Sadly, I was at TJs this past Friday (12/7) and the Pumpkin Ice Cream was no more. ::::Sniff, sniff:::: I have two pints in my freezer that I will have to ration.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        There were still plenty of pints of the pumpkin ice cream, very well stocked at Pittsburgh TJ's last night. No more Candy Cane JoJos, though. :-( (I expected them to be gone by now, but still, just was hoping I could put a box in the gift package I was collecting. Settled for other stuff.)

                                                        1. re: CrazyOne

                                                          I wonder if my local Burlington TJs was just out of them for the time being. Will have to check again. Sorry your Candy Cane JoJos were gone. They did seem to be selling well at the Burlington, MA store a few weeks ago.

                                                      2. the cappucino ice cream bon bons are fairly new and damn are they good.

                                                        1. Did anyone else notice the price of eggs going way up? Anyone know why? I only notice bc we go through a lot of them in a week.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: jroxybabe19

                                                            I do, and it's scary. It was like 99 cents a little over a year ago, then it's $1.19, now they're almost $2 for a dz. I don't know, I bought free range last time, because the price doesn't seem to go up as much ($2.49 a dz)

                                                            1. re: jroxybabe19

                                                              The prices went way high in Southern California because a lot of chickens were lost in the fires and so not as many are producing eggs right now; happened after the fires in 03 also...

                                                            2. AVOID! Bad new item alert: jarred Hollandaise sauce. I don't know how I thought it could be good, but I thought it might be tolerable and it wasn't. Fortunately, I can take it back.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                This is such a great policy for a grocery store. I wish they all did this. It encourages more impulse buys IMO, which can bee good for the store as well as the consumer (at least as far as broadening horizions lol).

                                                              2. I tried the sweet potato fries. I did not like them They were like cheeto versions of baked sweet potatoes, it was very odd. My fiance like them however.
                                                                Also, not crazy about the curry chicken tenders in the refridge section. I thought about taking them back but bring in cooked chicken and a slimy bag is weird!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: jroxybabe19

                                                                  We just tried the Sweet Potato Frites (as the package calls them, heh) last night and enjoyed them much more than any other packaged sweet potato fries.

                                                                  1. re: jroxybabe19

                                                                    You just need your receipt here - they don't want the slimey bag either

                                                                  2. Based on other posts here, Ive gotten some of the smoked trout on the high reviews.

                                                                    Now to figure out what to do with it. Thanks for those on the other thread on CH that led me in the direction of these.

                                                                    1. I'm not sure how "new" these are, so how about "new to me" -- the chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, rolled in mini chocolate chips. Can you say YUMMMM?

                                                                      1. and another item that probably isn't new, just "new-to-me" -- the fruit/yogurt/granola parfaits. I had the peach/raspberry one yesterday for breakfast, and it was very good. There are nice big chunks of fruit, and the granola and yogurt were very fresh and tasty.

                                                                        1. New to me: the mini meringue chips. Wow, were those good.

                                                                          1. No need to make a new thread I guess, here are a couple new things I've tried in the last month or two from TJ's:

                                                                            Tomato & Pesto Flatbread: in the pizza section, not quite like pizza, but we liked it

                                                                            Soy Chorizo: Really good! You can't really keep it together like a link of sausage or make slices because it is vegan and thus the casing is plastic and they remind you to remove it before using. Spicy! They were sampling it mixed with I think onion and chive cream cheese, with both spread into a tortilla, rolled up, then sliced. Really worked.

                                                                            Chevre with Honey: Brilliant! This I spotted in the Flyer and had to have it. Every bite has a slight honey taste, perfect with a plain-ish cracker of some sort.

                                                                            Tomato Chutney: Good but not as gung-ho as the other stuff. A nice Indian spice to it, went well with a bit of chicken when I sampled it.

                                                                            And get this: hit the Pittsburgh store Saturday, November 8th. What did I spy hiding among the typical Joe-Joe flavors? A few boxes of Candy Cane Joe-Joes, of course! But no big display. I don't know why. I think there may have been 5 or 6 boxes there with the other Joe Joes, above the frozen. I first picked one box into the cart, then we went back and got two more leaving one on the shelf. Or, maybe there were only 4 originally and we bought 3. ;-) I don't know. I can only assume more are on the way.

                                                                            I didn't notice if they had the pumpkin ice cream at all.

                                                                            19 Replies
                                                                            1. re: CrazyOne

                                                                              Saw the peppermint JoJos in Michigan this weekend too.

                                                                              I'm definitely trying that chevre--it sounds wonderful

                                                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                Yea the Jo-Jos are above the frozen foods interestingly enough. It's a PIA to have to reach over that freezer when there is only like 1 or 2 boxes left grrrr. But yea I grabbed another one today. Bought one to take home and opened another in the store to have some before I left. Dumped the opened box where the sample slave works. She had brussell sprouts today. eww

                                                                                1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                                  woof, let me understand this: "Bought one to take home and opened another in the store to have some before I left. Dumped the opened box where the sample slave works."

                                                                                  --------
                                                                                  you opened a box in the store, ate some, then left the rest for others to eat where samples are prepared? do you work for tj's where you have the authority to do that? i would never consider such a thing. i'm really flummoxed, here. please tell me what i'm missing.

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    Sure. You can do that. Why not? TJ policy is like this, "we tried it, we liked it, you like it, or return it."
                                                                                    No reason why you can't try something in the store and then set it on the counter over by the sample slave be it a bag of nuts, cookies, even juice cause there is cups over by the coffee. Others might want to try it too! I don't work for Trader Joes and surely don't need permission to open something and try it before I consider buying. I am glad I did that with several products for instance the Brown Rice Krispies Treats..they were hard as a rock! Surely I didn't buy those..And that is just how the store is :)

                                                                                    1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                                      but you buy it *before* you eat it. it wasn't as if you didn't like the uneaten portion. you bought another box to take home. why not just take home the partial box you consumed?

                                                                                      1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                                        I absolutely would never do this. Unless the store employee opens the package, I'm pretty sure the store could not serve that food due to safety issues.

                                                                                        I believe you DO need permission to eat food that you haven't paid for!!

                                                                                        1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                                          But in this case, you weren't giving back a box because you didn't like it, you're giving back a box that you opened just so you wouldn't have to open the box that you bought. Although technically, you can return anything you want, I would consider that stealing, because you're deliberately opening a box with the full intention of eating some of it and not paying for it.

                                                                                          Plus, if there were "only one or two boxes left" then when you open a box, you keep someone else from being able to buy it.

                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                          It never ceases to amaze me those people with such a sense of entitlement.

                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                            Seriously, who does that? Would you go into Stop and Shop (or whatever the major chain in Baltmore is) and open something to try it, then leave the box? I'm pretty sure you might get charged with shoplifting. With such a liberal return policy, just bring it home FIRST, then try it. If you don't like, then return it. And by the way, referring to somebody as a sample slave is really demeaning. Jesus.

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                              Geez - I am perplexed by that kind of behavior as well. Wow - I'm still wondering how someone could walk into a store and behave that way, and I'm from the Left Coast - always trying to keep an open mind, but one has to draw the line somewhere...

                                                                                              Not to defend that kind of behavior, but I have been the recipient of like behavior of TJ employees who insist that something is so good, e.g., cheese, crackers, etc. that they'd grab the product off the shelf, open it, and offer samples to everyone within reach. Sure enough, more folks end up putting more into their basket than not. However, this was an employee taking license - not a shopper. And by the way - those brown rice treats - they are supposed to be hard. Let's hope someone invents an Ugly American contraceptive soon...

                                                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                As you note, the significant and defining difference here is that an employee is doing their job and can use the sample in a way that lets them use the rest of it for additional samples.

                                                                                                A customer doing that is simply stealing the product.

                                                                                                1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                  And not only is it stealing, the brazen act of leaving the unused product on the "Sample-Slave's" counter is a total disregard for common decency. Just for the fact that this poster tries to justify these acts shows the true denial that this person is in...

                                                                                                  >>Sure. You can do that. Why not? TJ policy is like this, "we tried it, we liked it, you like it, or return it." <<

                                                                                                  I don't think TJ's policy was intended for this kind of customer behavior. But you know, stores and their managers are willing to tolerate this kind of customer because in the larger scheme of things, aggression would probably lead to more aggression. Gandhi and the Dalai Lama would be proud. And this is why I am neither a store manager or a great pacifist...

                                                                                              2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                This is the most clueless, self-centered behavior I've seen on this group since the mention of the person grabbing the whole serving bowl of chocolate mousse from the party buffet, and then sitting down on the couch and eating it with the serving spoon. Glad I don't know you.

                                                                                                1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                  oh, get this, today at trader joes, some guy -- after just eating one -- took the last sample of the seasoned prime rib (in the little paper sample cup), as i was standing there, and just about to reach for it. and i looked at him.

                                                                                                  he must've felt something funny in my look or he knew he shouldn't be taking it, and he sua sponte said "its for my dog." -- then put the prime rib sample cup in his hand-held shopping basket.

                                                                                                  <for your freakin' DOG?!?!??!?!, i think. yeah, like a "doggy bag" is for the dog!!!>

                                                                                                  so i say, quizically, *its for your *dog*?"
                                                                                                  he says, "yeah."
                                                                                                  and as he turns to get a coffee sample
                                                                                                  i try and catch his eye, then i say (somewhat like dr. evil), "right.... your dog....." and then (with humorous feeling, as if i'm a hungry dog): "woof woof!" he, of course, didn't act like he even heard it. <i mean, theoretically, he could have laughed, right?>

                                                                                                  as he turns back around from getting his coffee sample, he won't look at me. and then carries off his little basket.

                                                                                                  WHAT in the hell is happening to my country???????????

                                                                                                  <and please, just now i cannot abide any junior psychologists talking about passive aggression....>

                                                                                                  1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                    I think that the behavior isn't right, but it isn't the same as stealing. To me, it's more like bad manners. My reasoning is that it's only one step away from being ok. All you have to do is ask the person working the sample counter if it's ok to try something and bring it over. They wouldn't have a problem with it.

                                                                                                    1. re: madgreek

                                                                                                      Yeah, thats the BIG difference. Asking to sample and just taking, that makes the difference btwn sampling and stealing. Not sure if TJ's would press charges for something like that, but it is definately ethically and legally wrong. No shade of grey here.

                                                                                                2. re: Woof Woof Woof

                                                                                                  o m g! This post is so way out there that I have to wonder if it is made up. I can't believe that people actually do this!?! That is stealing. I am one of those who won't even try grapes, etc., in the produce dept. like so many people do (unless they are specifically offered as a sample). Just the way I was brought up, I guess.

                                                                                                  1. re: mdepsmom

                                                                                                    Well, TJ's policy is that you can return anything any time for any reason. So I don't see the difference between opening a box before you buy it and not buying it if you don't like it (as long as you buy the box you opened if you do like it) and opening a box after you buy it and returning it.

                                                                                                    However, in this case I think it was stealing, because he wasn't opening the box to try it before he bought it, he was opening the box with the intent of eating some and not paying for it.

                                                                                              3. re: CrazyOne

                                                                                                That chevre sounds gooooood. And I'm ready for my candy cane jo jo fix!

                                                                                              4. Frozen mini-croissants -- excellent! I bought them because the ingredients looked good and the price was reasonable ($3.99 for a box of eight). I baked them this morning and they're deliciously buttery and flaky. The only issue I had with them was that some of them didn't come out a croissant shape -- they're frozen with the ends folded in, and some of them stayed a solid round, more like a bun than a croissant. I think if I make them again I'll reshape them a little once they've thawed enough to be pliable. Despite being called mini-croissants, they're really quite a decent size, too.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                  They are good, aren't they. Have you tried their chocolate croissants? I have a box in the freezer but am waiting for xmas when I have house guests to make them.

                                                                                                  1. re: ginnyhw

                                                                                                    I've heard good things about the chocolate croissants, which is one reason I took the plunge with the plain ones. Now the pecan sticky buns are calling my name. I have to say, though, that the croissants were a little tough when they'd cooled for a couple of hours -- they're best right out of the oven.

                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                      I'm a fan of the chocolate croissants. Very decadent--flaky, buttery, the chocolate is decent. A nice indulgent treat.

                                                                                                2. I just ran accross frozen chocolate souffles at Trader Joes. I tried the and they were pretty good. The good thing is that they come in a ceramic ramiken that you can reuse to make your own souffles.

                                                                                                  1. The new ginger thin snaps are pretty darn tasty.

                                                                                                    1. They have a small plastic container of diced Pancetta. Just toss is a pan for a couple of minutes and great with any leafy veg or to toss in pasta.

                                                                                                      1. I'm not sure if this product is new, or just new to me, but tonight I bought the Oat 'n Nut Whole Wheat bread, and it's fantastic. Very flavorful and nutty, and a dense bread without being too heavy. I tried it on a hungry, 15 minutes left for the store to be open rushed shopping whim, and I'm so glad that I did -- it was great toasted with some cream cheese and smoked salmon for dinner, and I imagine will be equally good toasted with some butter and jam for breakfast.