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Trader Joe's Freeze-Dried Mangos: Proof God Exists

Jim Leff Jun 5, 2008 08:47 PM

Dear God in Heaven, please see to it that everyone within sound of my voice runs immediately to Trader Joe's and buys their new freeze-dried mango slices. Amen.

  1. Eat_Nopal Jun 5, 2008 08:52 PM

    They aren't half bad... my 18 month old really likes them... much more so than the freeze dried rambutan & strawberries... unfortunately I think you must be buying them by the truck load because TJ's has been out of them for several weeks now.

    BTW... no they haven't quite convinced me God exists... wish he did... there are some politcians I would like to see go where they belong... the Mango are good but lets not get the CHers needlessly riled up!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Eat_Nopal
      Bob W Jun 6, 2008 07:49 AM

      The freeze dried strawberries were also a big hit at our house, so of course when I went back to load up, I was told they were out of stock "at the warehouse."

      The kids have enjoyed the dried mangos too, as well as the dried lychees and dragonfruit and mangosteens.

      I guess this is the equivalent of my getting exposed to fresh apricots back in the 60s.

      1. re: Bob W
        Jim Leff Jun 6, 2008 07:57 AM

        The dried mangos have one big use for me: in oatmeal and other hot cereals. I add small bits early, in the water. It improves taste and texture greatly.

        but the freeze-dried mangos....man...

    2. b
      Beach Chick Jun 5, 2008 09:13 PM

      You are SO right on the freeze-dried mango slices sent down from heaven..too bad my TJ's is out of stock..
      Just did a grilled prawn cocktail with the mango along with some basmati rice/chicken satay..
      Best to you!

      1. Honeychan Jun 5, 2008 09:46 PM

        Been there, done that and eaten 'em. They are allriight, but I personally like Philippine brand better than TJ's. It's a texture thing, I think. The TJ's were a bit soggy- not a good thig with dried fruit!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Honeychan
          another_adam Jun 8, 2008 06:53 PM

          Mmmmmmm, phillipine dried mangos... Yeah, I gotta admit, those are my platonic ideal of dried mango, too, and found the texture of the TJ's ones surprising, I just haven't quite warmed up to them yet. (I realize that the phillipine ones have a ton of sugar, so I bet the TJ's ones are better for you, but oh well...) I bet the TJ's ones would be great as a dried fruit in cooking or baking though. (Mango tzimmes, anyone?)

        2. b
          bulavinaka Jun 5, 2008 10:35 PM

          If you're a mango lover and like spicy chiles, try the TJ's dried mangos with chile powder - pretty traditional in many cultures to eat mango with some sort of chile...

          1. e
            EdwardAdams Jun 6, 2008 06:21 AM

            I'll try 'em. I already buy an unseemly number of the bags of frozen mangoes. Two bucks and change for 24 ounces. Mango agua fresca without much trouble.

            1 Reply
            1. re: EdwardAdams
              Eat_Nopal Jun 6, 2008 07:27 AM

              No these are very different they are a room temperature snack.

            2. p
              PayOrPlay Jun 6, 2008 05:35 PM

              Yeah, they're OK, I stick 'em in PayOrPlay Jr's lunchbox sometimes. He likes the freeze-dried pineapple too, and the rambutan. But I can't say that we get ecstatic about them. or anything. I wish we liked the mangosteen as much just to encourage the distribution of mangosteens in America, but we don't think the flavor survives all that well.

              Now, some of the dried fruit we bought at Zabar's during our trip to NYC last week (incredibly enough, my first visit EVER to Zabar's, even though I spent 4 years in college an hour from New York--shame on me), now that was good stuff--including the mango, but especially the dried kiwis. Yum.

              1 Reply
              1. re: PayOrPlay
                yankeefan Jun 11, 2008 06:52 AM

                I have to agree, but I do think the mangosteen is the best of the offerings. Im not an enormous fan of the bananas but the other freeze dried stuff is delicious.

                It is great mixed in with some greek yogurt on a hot day. yum.

              2. Jim Leff Jun 6, 2008 07:51 PM

                I'm not sure everyone is grokking that I'm talking about TJ's freeze dried mango, not dried mango.

                The freeze dried mango just appeared very recently, and is made from vastly better mangos than I've ever tasted, and certainly better than any available in the U.S.

                You've got to give it some time and attention to fully appreciate it in the weirdo freeze-dried format....i.e. to really translate what you're ingesting into anything vaguely fresh-fruit like. I, myself, like the freeze dried format, being a longtime fan of freeze dried ice cream.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Jim Leff
                  dockhl Jun 6, 2008 10:17 PM



                  I like freeze dried almost anything but especially ice cream......
                  gotta try the mango !

                  1. re: Jim Leff
                    ipsedixit Jun 6, 2008 11:31 PM

                    freeze-dried ice cream = astronaut's ice cream ... Great Stuff!


                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      Jim Leff Jun 7, 2008 07:19 AM

                      Agree! I went to the source back on my Chow Tour: http://www.chow.com/tour/264

                    2. re: Jim Leff
                      Eat_Nopal Jun 7, 2008 01:49 PM

                      I am fully aware of the Freeze Dried Mangos... like I mentioned... we have purchased the entire line because the baby likes the texture when she is teething. The Mango is good... but nothing out of the ordinary... I get comparably sweet & aromatic fresh manila mangos from my local Mexican store quite a few months of the year... and the freeze dried texture is certainly no improvement over a fresh, juicy mango.

                    3. dockhl Jun 8, 2008 02:14 PM

                      Very sad. Templeton (CA) TJ's doesn't have them, and when I asked said that they are out of them at the warehouse and have no idea when they'll be back in. Tried to get me to take FD Bananas (any good??) Didn't have the Australian TJ's olive oil that I like either.


                      5 Replies
                      1. re: dockhl
                        Jim Leff Jun 8, 2008 03:11 PM

                        I got a few extra bags. email me your snail mail address, and i'll send you one (this offer, to preserve sanity, is now officially closed). My email is in my profile.

                        1. re: Jim Leff
                          bulavinaka Jun 8, 2008 05:26 PM

                          Arghhh! The two TJ's in the Palms area of LA are out as well - you've created mob panic on this delectable and now everyone is hoarding them! I sobbed over some fresh ones sprinkled with chile powder from the local paletas store... '-)

                          1. re: bulavinaka
                            Jim Leff Jun 8, 2008 07:38 PM

                            Note that east coast TJs pledge a reappearance in July. And I'm pretty sure super stable items like this are nationwide. So long as they haven't shifted producer, it should reappear. If not, hee hee, I've simply built up a demand so I can make a killing on eBay. Joking.

                            1. re: Jim Leff
                              Beach Chick Jun 8, 2008 07:56 PM

                              I've already got my Ebay site up and running for the 'freeze dried' mango.. ; )

                              Drummer Chicka

                            2. re: bulavinaka
                              bulavinaka Jun 19, 2008 09:58 PM

                              Okay, so I was able to find a couple of bags at the TJ's in Westchester by LAX. While I find the texture interesting - alot like freeze-dried ice cream - I am having trouble wrapping my tastebuds around the flavor. It's seems to be two-dimensional compared to a nice fresh one. Maybe I shouldn't be comparing this to its fresh counterpart - but I have the same issue with Astro ice cream. It's a great snack, but if I'm looking for this to quell my jonesing for the real thing, I'll be in trouble...

                        2. m
                          mdepsmom Jun 9, 2008 09:55 AM

                          Does the label actually say "freeze-dried mangos"? I was at TJ's over the weekend and only saw the dried mangos. I didn't even see space (empty or otherwise) on the shelf for another type. What does the label say, so I know what to look for?

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: mdepsmom
                            bulavinaka Jun 9, 2008 07:30 PM

                            The freeze-dried fruits in general are usually in a foil pack. The regular dried fruits are usually in those clear plastic/cello bags... According to Jim, look for them next month...yes, next MONTH... oh the agony...

                            1. re: mdepsmom
                              Jim Leff Jun 10, 2008 12:06 PM

                              The dried mangos are very different. Yet useful. Rip into small pieces and throw into pot with oatmeal cooking water (i.e. at very start of process), and result will have vastly improved flavor and texture, and not be particularly mangoey.

                              I hear TJ's frozen mango is good, too. Maybe I need to come up with a "Tres Mangos Cake" recipe using 'em all....

                              1. re: Jim Leff
                                Eat_Nopal Jun 10, 2008 12:26 PM

                                I like the frozen for making licuados and buy them regularly... but they lack intensity for things like Mango Mousse or Sorbet.

                                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                  jsaimd Jun 11, 2008 09:10 AM

                                  The Thai mango is much better than the regular frozen mango, but not as consistently available.

                                2. re: Jim Leff
                                  Caitlin McGrath Jun 10, 2008 04:36 PM

                                  I throw the frozen mangos in the blender with some milk (even low-fat and nonfat work great in this) and a bit of apricot jam or fruit spread and let it go. It becomes a great, foamy drink in a minute or so.

                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                    wearybashful Jun 10, 2008 05:46 PM

                                    Unless your milk and frozen mango drink is lots different than mine, it's main virtue is that the mango-milk thickens into a thick milkshake consistency. I think it's something chemical, not just becautse of the freezing, because fresh mangos will do it too.

                                    1. re: wearybashful
                                      Eat_Nopal Jun 11, 2008 08:39 AM

                                      Yes... mangos have a type of fiber that is similar to inulin... that almost acts a little bit like gluten when broken down by the blender.


                                  2. re: Jim Leff
                                    Honeychan Jun 24, 2008 01:45 AM

                                    I was at TJ's this past weekend, and found the freeze-dried mango here in Vegas! I bought a bag, and this stuff reminds ne of the little mashmellows in Lucky Charms, OR astronaut ice-cream. I love it! I'm really big on textures, and I adore this new taste-treat. Gotta try the mangosteen and the pinapple ones now.

                                    Thanks for setting me straight, and letting me know it's not just "typical" dried mangos, these are great.

                                    1. re: Honeychan
                                      Bob W Jun 24, 2008 03:00 PM

                                      The mangosteens will definitely remind you of astronaut ice cream...in a good way, of course.

                                      Is this a great country or what? My little kids (not quite 4) get to eat mangosteens and lychees (both fresh and freeze-dried). Back in the day, a fresh apricot was way out there.

                                3. m
                                  mdepsmom Jun 9, 2008 09:57 AM

                                  I looked for these at my TJ's over the weekend and only saw dried mangos. I'm assuming the freeze dried are different? What does the label on the freeze-dried package actually say? There wasn't any shelf space (empty or otherwise) for another type of dried mangos so I'm not even if sure if mine carries them. TIA.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mdepsmom
                                    Toby Winter Apr 22, 2010 11:59 AM

                                    The package is not see through. It is silver foil like with a big yellow toned label on the front. Keep looking or ask someone in a Hawaiin shirt.

                                  2. s
                                    shaebones Jun 9, 2008 03:35 PM

                                    I found them at my local TJ's, bought them. Now, what do I do w them? Anything other than just eat them out of the bag??

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: shaebones
                                      dockhl Jun 9, 2008 05:40 PM

                                      Cut them into little pieces and send them out to all of us......

                                      1. re: shaebones
                                        Kiyah Jun 9, 2008 05:46 PM

                                        Ooo, shaebones, you're a Boston hound, aren't you? Which TJs had the FD Mangos?

                                        1. re: Kiyah
                                          shaebones Jun 9, 2008 11:14 PM

                                          The one on Rte 114 on the Peabody/Danvers line.

                                          1. re: shaebones
                                            Gio Jun 11, 2008 09:24 AM

                                            That's great... gotta go get them now. Thanks for the information!!

                                            1. re: shaebones
                                              Kiyah Jun 11, 2008 06:46 PM

                                              Well, that's not as close as the Burlington one, but if I get up that way, I'll check it out! Thanky!

                                        2. p
                                          pigtails Jun 10, 2008 04:43 PM

                                          it is amazing. the pineapple is amazing too. i love how it looks inocuous like styrofoam, but then it is a taste sensation in your mouth.

                                          1. dockhl Jun 19, 2008 10:41 PM

                                            Don't compare it to anything; enjoy it as its own crunchy self. Dip it in Chardonnay, make earring out of it.
                                            It ISN'T fresh mango.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: dockhl
                                              Jim Leff Jun 20, 2008 06:52 AM

                                              Exactly. Human beings seem hard-wired to appreciate via comparison, even in situations where comparison isn't at all apt. Someone in a jazz club I was playing in once took me aside and compared me disparagingly to Kenny G. I was dumbfounded for a moment, but then politely pointed out that I'm not TRYING to sound like Kenny G. And that I'm a trombonist rather than saxophonist, and I play straight-ahead jazz rather than fusion. Needless to say, this was unconvincing. I was, after all, a horn player with (at the time) long curly hair.

                                              Of course, the analogy is inapt because ripe mango is Lester Young, not Kenny G. But the freeze-dried stuff is Ornette Coleman.

                                            2. t
                                              Toby Winter Apr 22, 2010 11:57 AM

                                              Those were my exact feelings when I tried them today for the first time. I ran to my computer to e mail my best friend who is driving cross country. I told her to stop at the first Trader Joe's she sees to get them. Pure bliss.

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