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Sep 22, 2008 04:17 PM

Best/Worst products - Fresh & Easy

While there are a million posts about Trader Joe's best products the F&E posts are pretty scattered, so I'm hereby starting a Fresh & Easy "hot and not" topic. I'm including items mentioned in a couple previous threads as well. I have a whole book of $5 coupons to burn through, so please share what you like, and what you wish you'd never tried!


Roasted Banana Gelato
Watercress Salad
F&E brand greek yogurt
British brand bacon
F&E brand organic coffee
mango sweet chili dressing
jamon de serrano
Good life wheat pitas
butternut squash soup
fresh mozzarella
cheese selection


prepared Ham & Cheese and Roast beef sandwiches
Mocha cookies
prepared Chicken marsala
F&E brand salsa

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  1. I like their Dark Chocolate gelato, hummus, and the limeade.

    Don't like any of their prepared meals.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I love their gourmet mac and cheese (freezer section)
      The frozen Indian entrees
      onion barjhi (fresh) dipped in the plain greek yougurt
      Lemon Cilantro Hummus
      Organic Decaf coffee
      Fresh Pizza Dough
      Pate Terrine
      price on humboldt fog cheese
      Naan Breads
      Roti '"bread" wraps
      poke salad
      mango chili dressing
      blue cheese dressing
      meyer lemon cake mix
      pistachio gelato

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I haven't had any success with the prepared meals either. I'll add the prepared baked potato and Carribbean chicken to the NO list. But I can't stop trying them. Especially when they have a red sticker.

        1. re: yamalam

          Well, doesn't the poke count as a "prepared meal"? :-)

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I haven't tried it yet, Mr. Exact Details:-)

        2. re: ipsedixit

          I haven't had any of hte prepared foods that I've liked either. I've only tried a few but none have impressed me at all so I don't even look at them anymore.

        3. My first encounters with their prepared salsas were horrifying -- I thought, it's a Brit company, so maybe that's why it' so *wrong* despite being distributed from El Segundo. I mean, it was full of bell peppers. But they have started carrying more varieties, and these seem to be much better. Their salsa authentica is more of a restaurant-style, thin for chips. They also do a fire-roasted which is more like a salsa molcajete, and a salsa verde with tomatillos now.

          Most of their cookies are fab. Pecan shortbreads, yum.

          1. There Chocolate and Carrot Cakes are very good, and great when you are in a Pinch. They serve about 6 people very well, while my wife would say 8.

            1 Reply
            1. re: normalheightsfoodie

              Oh, that reminds me. Their cheesecake was awful. Waaay too sweet.

            2. So many that I love have already been mentioned but I'll add:

              brownie mix that has the chunks of chocolate in it
              the racks of lamb are excellent - especially when they have the half price sticker!
              Voskos yogurts. I could live off of this
              The basic extra virgin olive oil has become my staple cooking oil(replacing TJ's)
              Their version of the fig newton(the peach ones were too sweet for me)
              blue corn tortilla chips(avoid the lime ones though!)
              I'm happy with all the fresh basics: produce, dairy cheese selection, and the meats
              I like the Fresh and Easy Primativo wine and keep a few bottles of that around as a "house wine"
              the albacore tuna

              their version of a tater tot - bought them on impulse since we were making sloppy joes. Terrible! Salty!
              Mild Italian Sausage - no flavor whatsoever. Even half price it wasn't worth the $$
              all prepared foods
              lime and chile tortilla chips (on the positive side so strong in flavor you can only eat a few at a time thus preventing salty snack overdose)
              Couscous - prefer whole wheat and wish they would add it

              Interestingly, I was just reading an article for a class I'm taking and it mentioned that F&E expects to expand their private label offerings by 200+ products in the coming months. Seems they are finding their customers have a good response to their private label and that's what is drawing people in, not their competitiveness on national brands. I can only speak for myself, but have found this has been the case in our household. Overall I've been really happy with the quality if their private label offerings(but please please don't take away the Voskos yogurt unless you plan to have them mfg your private label for you! I'm seriously addicted!)

              1. The fresh large scallops...never frozen and superb!
                The fresh meat section in general
                The little smoked trout fillets (when they've got a red sticker)
                Most of the juices that they've sampled are good, less sickly sweet than most
                Dark Belgian chocolate (similar in quality to the TJ's branded)
                Canned beans
                Refrigerated salad dressings
                Fresh strawberries
                Pears and apples
                All of the humus flavors except roasted garlic

                I like the salty flavored tortilla chips for exactly the reason that I only need to eat a few!

                Some of the prepared salads are okay (the beet one)

                Premade dinners (the frozen ones seem better)
                I agree about the regular salsa, but the mango one is good.
                The pre-cut stirfry vegs always seem to be on the verge of going off

                2 Replies
                1. re: mlgb

                  Oh yes, the dark chocolate. The baking bar is quite good and stamped "Callebaut." A couple weeks ago they had the dark candy bars on sell for $.49 each(belgian also but no stamp). These are really good too...I stocked up on them and have used a couple to make cookies with good success.

                  I've also been pleased with the quality of the nuts. And like the small packages so they don't go rancid before I get through them all. (With a 2 person household I"m actuallygenerally just a fan of the smaller packages throughout the store)

                  1. re: ziggylu

                    The wasabi almonds are good! And there's quite a bit of extra wasabi powder left for sprinkling on popcorn.

                    I noticed the cornflakes on sale this week, which I liked the last time.

                    Also sad to see that the whole wheat pizza dough blob was gone. Maybe permanently?

                    They keep moving the half-off stuff all over the store. Today I noticed they're stacking some of it almost ontop of the registers. The milk chocolate almond clusters or cashews were there. Very good. All natural ingredients.