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New Trader Joe's yea/nay thread - 1st quarter 2010 [OLD]

The July thread is nearing 300 posts and it was suggested that a new quarterly one begin.
I met someone who until recently worked at TJ's in MA. She said all the TJ's milk and cream in this area is Garelick, and their yogurt is made by Stonyfield Farm. She also said that the reason the produce can be iffy and quickly perishable is that none of it has had the rinses and sprays designed to prolong the freshness of industrially-farmed produce.

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  1. I worked at one of the TJ's in New York until just recently as well. I do not know much about the milk or yogurt since my vegan self tends to avoid them but I can tell you that the produce does perish quickly because of that exact reason.

    New produce comes in daily and by the end of the night most of it has been bought up. Trader Joe's also has a system called "pulling codes" which is when an employee goes around the store looking at the dates and the overall quality of every single perishable item. This is supposed to be done nightly, but sometimes gets skipped or neglected.

    7 Replies
    1. re: drintastic

      I've got too many items to list out, but my general philosophy when it come to TJ's is:

      YEA - packaged, frozen, or prepared foods; wine and beer

      NAY- produce, dairy, or pretty much anything with an expiration date

      1. re: Kazy Ctn

        my one big exception to your dairy rule - their house-brand Greek yogurt.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I will second that -- I tried the apricot/mango, and it was incredibly luscious. It's also 300 calories per cup, so it's an occasional treat.

          1. re: Bob W

            i've never taken the plunge with the flavored ones - i stick with the 0% and 2% plain ;)

        2. re: Kazy Ctn

          That's interesting. I find their prepared foods to be nearly inedible across the board.

          I do like their pork roast that comes vacuum packed with a tomato-based sauce. Not sure if that would be considered prepared, though.

          1. re: isadorasmama

            You are correct - I should have said frozen/prepared dinners (i.e. the cheap stuff you would find in a bachelor's freezer). The majority the meals-to-go type stuff in the deli case are quite bad.

          2. re: Kazy Ctn

            So this isn't a TJ's brand product per se, but the TJ's in my areas carries Vermont Creamery brand creme fraiche, which is delicious, and they stock it for at least $1.50/container cheaper than the typical grocery store price.

        3. In Northern California, the organic cream-top milks are understood to be Straus (Marin County organic dairy that sells its cream-top milk under its own name in glass bottles), though neither party will confirm. The other organic milks seem to be Clover, per a post in the original yea/nay thread by someone who called Clover to find out where she could find their organic milk. I don't know about the non-organic milk. TJ's organic "European Style" yogurt (whole and nonfat in the red and blue quarts, respectively) is definitely made by Straus, as it is identical in texture and flavor, which are somewhat distinctive (thin and very tangy). Some of the artisan breads here are clearly Acme (sourdough cranberry walnut, for one).

          1. A bright shiny new TJ's thread for the new year! My friends and family have been inhaling the bags of honeycrisp apples from TJ's so I always get a bag. Last week I was in a holiday daze and didn't look at the bag very closely but my favorite cashier had my back. As he was ringing me up he noticed that one of the apples had a bad spot. so he told us and sent a runner for a different bag. Now that's service!

            1 Reply
            1. re: givemecarbs

              Recent
              Love Honey Crisp Apple Bags - watch for a few bad ones.
              Love canned salmon, greek yougurt, veg chips, Better than PeanutButter (I bought a case...I have a problem.)
              Nay - Popovers

            2. Yay:

              Yaki Onigiri - same ones sold in the frozen section of most japanese super markets, even says product of japan. Yeah I know u can make them yourself, but not bad when you need a quick fix.
              Spicy Hummus

              1. Has anyone tried the gorgonzola crackers? Any good?

                5 Replies
                1. re: clearskies0810

                  I picked up a box a few weeks ago. They're OK. I was hoping for a bit more intense gorgonzola flavor. One by one, they're not too strong. I only seem to capture the cheese taste after eating several in a row.

                  1. re: jbh11

                    Understandable, since the crackers are only an inch or so in diameter. Of their line of small crackers I like the boxed 12-Grain and bagged black sesame/soy mini-rice ones best.

                  2. re: clearskies0810

                    I like them, they have a creamy slight sweet taste of Gorgonzola Dolce... very munchy...

                    --Dommy!

                      1. re: clearskies0810

                        these crackers only have gorgonzola like cheddar flavor - no gorgonzolla in those boxes.
                        they are tasty but almost cheese less.