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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

For April-June.

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  1. Perline Pasta with Proscuitto. Big yea. Purse shaped pasta stuffed with a harmonious blend of veal, proscuitto, vegetables and bread crumbs. Cooks quickly in 2 minutes. I'm not a proscuitto expert and some may prefer a stronger flavor. But at $4 for multiple servings, combined with parmigiano and heavy cream, this is simple, fast, and flavorful. What other fresh TJ pastas do CH prefer?

    2 Replies
    1. re: elise h

      You sold me with your description - will definitely have to put on next TJ's "to-try" list. Personally, have not yet tried any of the fresh pastas, but some of the dried ones are tasty as well.

      1. re: elise h

        Love this one, and somehow - it even is kind of 'light'. Pasta not too thick and is tender. Really clear this is a fresh product when you eat it.

        We like it with a sauce of sage, finely chopped walnuts, 1/2 strong chicken stock/cream, and minced parsley.

      2. YAYS:

        Peanut Butter with Sea Salt: This was one of their samples recently, and I was hooked. Not sure if it was the sea salt or what, but the "peanut butteryness" beats out any other brand I have tried.

        Organic Multi-Grain Bread: Really good taste, great with the Peanut Butter w/Sea Salt. One of the best breads that I have tried at Trader Joe's.

        Gourrmet Jelly Beans: 18 all natural fruit flavors - the only one I didn't really care for was the liquorice but I don't like liquorice anyways. Other than that, the huge plus was that the jelly beans tasted like real fruit juice and did not leave a sugary aftertaste.

        MEH:

        Fig Butter - it was just okay. It didn't wow me over to want to purchase it again.

        Pulled Pork - I SO wanted to like this one, too. Unfortunately it had just a bit too much heat for my taste. Otherwise, the texture and flavor were really good - just wish it didn't have quite as much kick to it or else we would definitely make this a repeat buy.

        22 Replies
        1. re: littleflower

          hows the consistency of the peanut butter? im currently working my way through a container of the almond butter with sea salt and it is VERY runny... even after a ton of mixing to make sure theres no thick dryness at the bottom.

          1. re: mattstolz

            mattstolz, I didn't have that problem with the Peanut Butter with sea salt, maybe that was just the case with the almond butter. It is not as thick as some of the brands in the regular grocery stores with all of the unhealthy additives, but definitely not runny. It had good spreadability, and I personally like that it isn't as thick as the peanut butters I ate growing up.

            1. re: littleflower

              i might have to try the peanut butter. the almond butter is so thin that my method of "spreading" it is opening the jar (that i keep in my pantry upside down) and holding the lid over my bread as the almond butter drips (more like flows in a steady stream) from the lid.

              tastes great though!

              1. re: mattstolz

                keep it in the refrigerator - it'll firm up.

                which almond butter is it? i've never had a problem with theirs being *that* runny. the Maranatha from Costco is much worse - plus they switched to plastic jars - so i decided it was worth the extra expense to go back to the TJ's.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  its the creamy almond butter with sea salt. i actually am not totally opposed to the consistency... it makes it pretty easy to distribute in most cases, just surprised me. it flows with about the same consistency as a thicker molasses. plus, like i said, it really is pretty tasty.

                  1. re: mattstolz

                    Yes, you will like this peanut butter! It is not too runny and not too firm. I am the wanna-be-(bite-sized)-builder, and I am using it as another protein source.

                    1. re: GraceW

                      will definitely add it to the list for my next trip then! ill report back!

                      1. re: mattstolz

                        Also, what really makes it great (besides being delicious) is that the ingredients list reads as follows: Roasted Peanuts, Sea Salt. Two ingredients!! Somehow they took the best of those two ingredients and made an all-natural peanut butter that tastes way better than all of the sugar-laden, preservative-filled peanut butters on the market.

                        1. re: littleflower

                          To be honest, I can't taste the salt though. I don't know what that means.

                          1. re: GraceW

                            GraceW, you are correct in that there is not a WHOLE lot of sea salt in it (I think just 80mg). I am one of those who adds extra salt to my food, so I actually sprinkle on a little more Trader Joe's Sea Salt in it which makes the PB taste amazing.

          2. re: littleflower

            Valencia PB with Sea Salt in the plastic jar, or organic PB with Sea Salt in the glass jar?

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Ooh, I didn't even know there was an organic PB with Sea Salt....GHG I actually bought the Valencia PB with Sea Salt and was quite impressed with it.

              1. re: littleflower

                Yes, I also have the Valencia pb with Sea salt. It is also good if you add flax seeds, as most things are. (Yes, I know TJ also has some with it mixed in, but I am addicted to trying new products.)

                1. re: littleflower

                  definitely stick with the one you got since you're enjoying it. the reason i asked is because i tried the Organic with Sea Salt (i only eat organic PB, i have a "thing" about it), and it was pretty bad. the verrry pale color should have been my first warning - really bland, insipid flavor. i decided it's PB for people who don't like peanuts.

                  BUT, they did just bring back an Organic Valencia PB, and from the looks of it, the roast is nice and dark...

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  i really wish those could still be the same product. the natural valencia was the best!!

                  1. re: mattstolz

                    matt, they just brought back an Organic Valencia - i saw it a couple of weeks ago. no idea if it's any good (damn those plastic jars!), but it looks like a nice dark roast.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      well then. looks like its time for me to make a PB re-stocking trip

                      1. re: mattstolz

                        Yup, our last jar was the nice dark Organic Valencia. Went back yesterday for a replacement, and we're back to Organic *or* Valencia! WTF … ?

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          hopefully they were just out of stock on the shelf. i know i must sound like a broken record at this point, but did you *ask* them about it?

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I picked up some of this (Valencia with Sea Salt) last time I was in TJ's and it really is very good. actually winning out over almond butter in number of uses since i bought it. which is something PB hasnt done in my house for a while now

                          2. re: Will Owen

                            sigh. ignore my last question - i just asked today at my store, and they said the crop of organic Valencias was so small that it was a limited-run item...won't be back unless/until they can find another crop source.

                            and so it goes.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I think organic Valencias are a crop exclusively from that Deaf Smith County in Texas, because there are acres and acres that have never been sprayed … and of course Texas has had one bad drought year after another lately. Just my speculation, could be wrong; it's happened at least twice before!

                3. Yay: gourmet jelly beans....gotta get over there and buy more before they are gone

                  Nay: feta cheese...very dry and bland

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: rizzo0904

                    The jelly beans are a year round item . . . they come in a little box year round, as opposed to the generous bag at Easter.

                    1. re: Rilke

                      good to know...thanks!! i also noticed today that they are made in ireland...you don't see that too often.

                    2. re: rizzo0904

                      Trader joes has several different types of feta, some certainly better than others. My everyday favorite doe salads or to crumble on to dishes is the onion the tub. For a spurge my absolute favorite is the Isreali Feta. Great on its own or for feta forward dishes. Creamy, not too salty, great flavor but not too acidic.

                      --Dommy

                      --Dommy

                      1. re: Dommy

                        the Israeli feta makes all the others a waste of money. It's incredible!!!

                        1. re: noya

                          Ditto on the Israeli feta; I take mine out of the plastic wrapper and put it in a glass storage thing and it lasts for about a month. (I like it on my salads.)

                          1. re: walker

                            yes, it holds well. We like it in salads, baked with lentils and veggies, and just plain with some fresh herbs and olive oil. YUM!

                    3. Love TJ's regular whipped cream cheese, but I'm disappointed in their organic version...not a great consistency. Love their frozen pear tarte (and no palm oil, either) a lot! I like putting shaved dark chocolate on top before heating it up! (I leave the tarte frozen and cut individual servings when I'm ready to eat them.)
                      I love their Highbrow Chocolate Chip Cookies (no palm oil, either!), although their regular chocolate chips are just ok.
                      The organic low sugar apricot spread is fabulous...better than any jelly.
                      Finally, love their Organic French Roast coffee. Wish they'd make a big container available so the price would be less.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: robin_o

                        Have you noticed a change in consistency in their whipped cream cheese? I'm a longtime buyer, but lately it's been almost runny.

                        1. re: robin_o

                          Stay far away from that fake cream cheese stuff. Yuck! Called "This is not a tub of cream cheese"

                          www.clubtraderjoes.com

                        2. someone in the previous thread raved the jalapeno cheese twists, which are indeed good.