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Jan 23, 2002 07:13 PM

Trader Joe's Syndrome

  • s

I love this place so much. But something comes over me whenever I enter. Probably because the prices are so good, I am unable to resist temptation. I buy anything that looks remotely interesting, and always end up leaving with bags and bags of stuff I don't need. I've found some very good things, and some items I never wish to taste again. But once in a while, I come across a real discovery. For example, about a year ago, I noticed a new kind of tea I hadn't heard of before... Rooibos. Bought it, and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, TJ's stopped carrying it, so now I buy it elsewhere, but if it wasn't for TJ's I never would have tried it in the first place. My latest find (I'll tell you guys but promise not to buy all of it) is a brand of Belgian chocolate called Swartenbroeckx. Very Noir - 77% cacao. I'm such a dark chocolate fanatic, I like it plain, a little square at a time. It's barely sweet at all.
My question for all of you is: What's the most surprising and delicious thing you ever found at Trader Joe's?

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  1. You're right...I buy something new from the "just arrived" section at least once a week.
    A few of my fave's are the canned Greek and canned Kalamata olives. I empty the contents of both cans in one tupperware and add fresh garlic chunks and oregano. Mix it up and you have the best Greek olives EVER! They get better with time. Have some olives, feta and toast for breakfast the way Greeks do. I also like the granny apple granola and Pirates Booty of course...

    1 Reply
    1. re: johanna

      Noone has mentioned their coffees. For my money and taste l love their italian D'Aquino caffe espresso ($4.59/lb) and the house blend of colombia and sumatra beans. Its the best around.
      The '21 seasoning salute' is often my secret weapon in the kitchen.

    2. Have you tasted the red pepper and eggplant spread with garlic?? In a glass jar for around $1.59, straight veg.; no fillers...Try it on tofu (I heard that from someone in line!!), try it on bread, just try it!

      1. I love this place, too. Their frozen pizzas, made in Italy, are better than most pizzeria's in town.

        Their olive oil selections are great.

        They sell Plugra (the European-style higher fat butter) way cheaper than anyone else. Ditto their milk and cage-free eggs.

        They also carry frozen mussels in a mild butter and garlic sauce from Ireland that makes a delicious quick dinner.

        And, how about their beer selection! I just wish they had easier parking.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bob Brooks

          How could I have forgotten to mention those amazing Italian pizzas?! We must go through two a week. What I don't understand is, how come no one else carries them? Not that I would buy them anywhere else.

          1. re: Sheryl

            Those frozen pizzas are out of this world -- better than 95% of the pizza made and served fresh out of the oven -- I have no idea how they do it, but I wish they'd teach a lesson to the American makers of so-called frozen "pizza." The goat cheese one is the best, IMHO. BTW, the only other frozen pizza I've found that is any good is the rosemary/chicken/potato from CPK.