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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 4th quarter 2012 [old]

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OK, here is the 4th quarter thread for 2012. If these get much longer we will have to go bi-monthly!

I expect a lot of discussion this quarter since this is the most active time of the year for buying food and Trader Joe's has a ton of new stuff coming our way! Let the discussion begin!

Steve
www.clubtraderjoes.com

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  1. Yay- new thread!
    Moderate yea - this pumpkin walks into a bar. Tasty, but not as pumpkiny as I was hoping. I wanted a bar filled with their pumpkin butter.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Savour

      Does it have pumpkin pie spice flavoring? I feel TJs is heavy handed with that in products (I hate their pumpkin ice cream).

      1. re: Savour

        I like some of their other walks into bars; this one looks worth trying, before TJ discontinues it the day after Hallowe'en.

        1. re: John Francis

          Not stocked in the Brooklyn store. Didn't think to ask staff about them.

          1. re: John Francis

            They are temporarily out of stock.

        2. re: Savour

          I liked it because it wasn't so pumpkin spicy! It was more like a fig bar with a little pumpkin spice.

          Steve
          www.clubtraderjoes.com

          1. re: clubtraderjoes

            Good to know, thanks.

          2. re: Savour

            No pumpkin has walked into the bar at the Brooklyn TJ's - it's not that they've sold out, there's never been shelf space for them. No pumpkin soup either, nor much else that's orange. Actual pumpkins of all sizes, yes, but I don't expect many of them will be eaten.

            1. re: John Francis

              I found the pumpkin walks into a bar at the end of an aisle, along with many other pumpkin-flavored items. There was no shelf space for them with the other "walks into a bar"s, so it seems like they will stay on the seasonal shelf, in my local store at least.

          3. I think bimonthly is a great compromise.

            18 Replies
            1. re: shaebones

              We'll see how it goes this quarter. If it gets crazy, we'll do bimonthly in January.

              1. re: clubtraderjoes

                I'm actually going to suggest monthly, at least for the months of October, November and December. It's only the 18th and there are 239 replies.

                The seasonal stuff always generates so many posts. At this rate, the thread will get close to 1,000 posts. It's not easy to get useful information when thread gets so long.

                1. re: MplsM ary

                  Second this.

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    Start a new one around Thanksgiving.

                    1. re: Berheenia

                      Third. Would much prefer more manageable sized threads especially when searching them when mobile.

                      1. re: NuMystic

                        OK, sorry for the late response... I'll start a new thread next week and do it monthly through the end of the year. I guess as we get more Trader Joe's established across the USA this thread is just going to become hard to manage. I sure wish Chow would go to more up to date board software.

                        1. re: clubtraderjoes

                          Or how about a board dedicated to TJ's?

                          1. re: yummykimmy

                            I actually like this idea a lot - they have so many staples, and yet so much turnover of product, in addition to seasonal items that re-emerge, that separate threads would be very helpful rather than having to search back over time looking for various items.

                            1. re: thursday

                              Or, split out stores from chains.

                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                I don't know how to lobby the Chow people to start a separate board for Trader Joe's. I'm tempted to start my own on my website because I find this board layout so crummy...

                                Steve
                                www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                  Well, a TJ's board would imply Chow has TJ's ties. I get why no TJ's board.

                                  Still, if you could please start a new thread for November? Long threads are murder to read on a phone or tablet.

                                  1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                    There's a recent discussion of this at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875816; feel free to add your input there.

                                    1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                      How about posting this discussion on this board or somehow raise awareness to get the feedback from frequent visitors to this board?

                                    2. re: clubtraderjoes

                                      I've been fantasizing about someone putting up a site with entries for each individual product and a user submitted rating system. Think about how incredibly useful it would be for the many thousands of reviews here to be aggregated on a single page per product and with at a glance collated ratings?

                                      This would even allow sorting of products by popularity and score.

                                      There are some forum softwares that could be tweaked for that purpose right out of the box, but of course a dedicated site would be cleaner. It could even be done as a wiki so that all the content is user submitted taking the burden off the site owner to constantly update with product entries.

                                      Of course the ultimate ideal would be Chow putting some coders on the task for a week and having it hosted right here. Far fetched perhaps, but I would think that in sheer page views and forum activity these threads must rank highly on chowhound overall?

                                      Well, a guy can dream anyway. :-)

                                      1. re: NuMystic

                                        You mean something like this?

                                        http://www.traderjoesfan.com/componen...

                                        --Dommy!

                                        1. re: Dommy

                                          Something "like" yes but not a blog post format which makes sorting next to impossible. And of course the idea only has real value when you've got a passionate collective brain trust (palate trust?) as large and active as the one here.

                                          A format more like most retail or database sites meant to be searched and sorted by design. More like how Newegg, Amazon, or IMDB works with it's reviews.

                                          1. re: NuMystic

                                            I can do something like that at my website with the ratings. The problem is driving enough traffic to that website to make it worth while. That's a fair amount of work. I'll see what I can do. I do have ratings at the bottom of each review I do and I am trying to figure out a way to aggregate them into a page to make it easier to view.

                                            The TraderJoesFan site looks abandoned. I'm not sure who is running it anymore.

                                            I will start a new November thread today!

                                            Steve
                                            www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                            1. re: NuMystic

                                              I'm picturing a yelp type site for only trader joes products...which would be awesome.

                    2. yay Roasted Coconut Chips

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Rodzilla

                        These are awesome! Nay on the korean seaweed salad. Too slimy.

                      2. Yay - Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies. The cookie part is buttery hazelnut shortbread and there's a dab of chocolate/hazelnut cream like nutella in between. Very tasty, but rich.

                        29 Replies
                        1. re: AmyH

                          Please note that we (fellow crew members and I) are nearly positive the nutrition facts on these are incorrect. They list 1 measly gram of sugar for two cookies, which you will know can't be right once you bite into one. (Plus they are 90 cals each.)

                          They will probably be pulled for correction soon.

                          1. re: Rilke

                            any idea why so many of their products end up with inaccurate labeling? i've personally pointed out several over the years that ended up getting changed.

                            and on a seasonal note, do you know if the bags of roasted, in-shell pumpkin seeds are on the shelves yet?

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I agree it is rather odd that they do not switch the labels. I have written them 2-3 times about incorrect labels, and to be honest, they were not very nice in their response.

                              1. re: GraceW

                                i think you and i discussed this a while back on another thread. what was the item?

                                1. re: trolley

                                  The 'sweet' and hot' Mustard was one of the products... apparently 1tsp (not even a TBSP) is 3 grams of protein.. right.

                                2. re: GraceW

                                  that's odd - they've always been responsive to me. in fact, whenever i bring it to their attention, they end up making the change.

                                3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I don't know. :-( My best guess is that since TJ's does not produce any of its own products, there are more steps than normal between production and label printing. Just a guess though.

                                  Haven't seen the in-shell pepitas yet.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    I'm just curious if the incorrect nutrition info swings both ways, or conveniently tends to err on the unbelievably positive side of such "errors". Last two that I've seen were both lower calorie and fat/sugar instances, though admittedly not much of a sample set. :)

                                  2. re: Rilke

                                    2nd the yay and also - my store had a notice about the incorrect labeling, it posted the accurate info but i can't remember it at the moment (im pretty sure it said 9 grams of sugar - after tasting them i am not sure i believe that either). it did say though that boxes with corrected labels will be in in a few weeks. Ignorance is bliss though! lol

                                  3. re: AmyH

                                    I liked the nice short texture of the cookie part, but thought the cream in the middle lacked enough chocolate or hazelnut flavor for my taste. Also the filling was oddly a bit chewy, rather than creamy.

                                    But I might buy these again anyhow. They were pretty good, just not the cookies of my dreams.

                                    1. re: chompy

                                      True, the filling is a bit more chewy than creamy. Nutella seems to do that. I use it for filling my hamantaschen cookies sometimes and the heat of baking makes it firm up rather than melt.

                                    2. re: AmyH

                                      +100 on the Chocolate Hazelnut cookies...they were sampling them last night. I had one and immediately grabbed a box.

                                      Still no pumpkin yogurt or pumpkin macarons at my TJs (Detroit area). Sigh.

                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                        You're not missing much on the pumpkin yogurt (see below) but I'm dying to try the pumpkin macaron's, too. It's the only product www.whatsgoodattraderjoes.com has given a perfect 10 score to. My Albany store didn't have them and when I asked the manager she said they were not slated to get any this season. I almost cried.

                                        1. re: AmyH

                                          I feared that all stores might not be getting these if they haven't already. What a bummer.

                                          1. re: coney with everything

                                            You could ask the manager (captain?) of your local store to check on the computer for you.

                                          2. re: AmyH

                                            They must be an east coast thing. I have not seen those in my store yet! There are a ton of new items right now and it's hard to keep track.

                                            1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                              I dont' know. I'm on the east coast (Albany) and the writers of that blog are in Pittsburgh.
                                              @ Rilke - I don't remember seeing a peanut brittle rating but the bloggers said themselves that it was their first '10' in the 1 1/2 years of the blog.

                                              1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                I just found them in CA

                                                1. re: Savour

                                                  And now I've tried them. A yea, but not the best thing ever. (I prefer those new chocolate hazelnut cookies -- now those are delicious!)

                                              2. re: AmyH

                                                Didn't they give a ten for the peanut brittle too?

                                                1. re: Rilke

                                                  OK, I looked and you're absolutely right! They did give a 10 to the peanut brittle and, according to their pantheon page http://www.whatsgoodattraderjoes.com/...
                                                  they've given it to several other products as well, from tomato bisque to tater tots to ice cream. Cereal and cake mix, too. Well, that shouldn't detract from the pumpkin macaron's honor because at least it's still a fairly rare score for them.

                                                2. re: AmyH

                                                  i am a crazy macaron lover--and a pumpkin lover, too! brought a pack of these home yesterday for a first-of-fall treat. soooo disappointed! left them on the counter for about 40 minutes to defrost while we ate dinner, and the things were mushy and just an awful texture. the flavor was fine, nice and pumpkiny, but the texture was gross. no little crunch as my teeth broke the surface of the cookie, no soft chew from the almond dough--just a soggy mouthful of pumpkin. did i get a bad batch? i'm willing to try again, since so many people have recommended these, but this was no where near a10 at our house.

                                                  1. re: chez cherie

                                                    I agree. I liked the flavor, but the texture was lacking. I missed the little shatter you get when you first bite in and the following chew. Refrigerating the macarons marginally improved the chewiness. The larger chocolate versions provide a little more chew and can satisfy my macaron craving until I can get the real deal. I refrigerate those too - keeps them a little chewier, which is how I like them (though I let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes before eating to take the chill off).

                                                    1. re: chez cherie

                                                      They might be better frozen? I like the vanilla macarons straight from the freezer. The chocolate ones are too dry that way, but the vanilla have a nice chew.

                                                    2. re: AmyH

                                                      When I went back to my local Trader Joe's this past weekend they had the pumpkin macaron's after all! The cashier said they had been surprised to get them in. I finally got to try one tonight and I thought it was a definite yea. Very nice pumpkin flavor with a nice amount of cream inside. Not heavy on the spices either. The pumpkin flavor really stood out.

                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                        I am a nay on the pumpkin macaron - soft almost soggy texture. Better frozen.

                                                        1. re: jsaimd

                                                          Opinions on the pumpkin macarons seem to be pretty evenly divided between yea and nay on this thread!

                                                  2. re: AmyH

                                                    +1 for those cookies! YUM

                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                      I also give a big Yea to the Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies. Very very addictive.

                                                    2. Moderate YAY or NAY- pumpkin yogurt. i think it's a personal preference as I saw a YAY on this item in the older thread. I just haven't met a nonfat greek yogurt i've enjoyed. However, I do think it would satisfy some kind of pumpkin craving if on a diet. But at the same time coming in at 190 cal for the 8oz container isn't exactly low fat. But i suppose pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake will be at least triple that.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                        And 23 grams of sugar! (assuming that's correct) I'm having one for lunch today so I'm not sure yet if I'll like it. But if I do, I think this will be just an occasional treat during the season.

                                                        1. re: trolley

                                                          Zero fat! Just a ton of calories. Half of one of those containers is too little and one whole one is too much for me! I really liked it but it sure does fill you up!

                                                          Steve
                                                          www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                          1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                            Just ate one for lunch. You're absolutely correct that the full 8 oz is too much, which is weird because I always used to eat 8 oz yogurts for lunch, before the big downsize, with no problem. But those weren't Greek, so that must be the difference. I could barely finish this. I wasn't too crazy about the taste either. Not pumpkiny enough for me, and the spices stood out too much. Despite the mega dose of sugar, I thought it was a little bitter. I'm disappointed. I have to give it a nay.

                                                        2. Big NAY: Trader Joe's Certified Organic Pasteurized Lemonade.

                                                          Family sez it's so sugar laden it tastes like Kool Aid.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: RedTop

                                                            Is this a lemonade that is found on the non-refrigerated juice aisle? I have yet to try the Frozen Lemonade which I heard on here is really good and very much mourning the seasonal loss of the Original Lemonade in the refrigerated section. Tried Simply Lemonade and thought it was wayyy sugary and didn't taste natural to me (although they certainly do claim it to be).

                                                          2. Nay - Smoked Paprika (Trader Joe's label) - Nice color and flavor but too moist making it hard to sprinkle due to it caking up behind the shaker top.

                                                            Nay - Coconut Mango Bites - Very nice initial hit of coconut followed by an unpleasantly tart rather than mango tasting finish. Had high hopes that it would be good enough to ignore it being corn syrup sweetened fat bomb. My cardiologist from the year 2034 sent a message back in time thanking TJ's for not succeeding.

                                                            Yay - Roasted Plantain Chips - Much lighter and flakier than the bodega varieties I've had, and deceptively salty for only clocking 50mg of sodium per oz. if that is indeed accurate. Popcorn that low in salt was virtually flavorless so I was pleasantly surprised.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: NuMystic

                                                              those roasted plantain chips are insanely addictive. and re: your curiosity about the incorrect nutrition info labeling, in my experience the inaccuracies are/were too good to be true :)

                                                              1. re: NuMystic

                                                                Agree on the coconut mango bites. I thought they were awful. Will be my first return since I accidentally bought 2 bags

                                                                1. re: NuMystic

                                                                  Didn't like the coconut/mango bites either...

                                                                2. Yea, is the Chicken Wonton (steamed), with the Thai Sweet Chile Sauce as a dip.

                                                                  www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                  1. Yay to: apple cinnamon snack sticks
                                                                    multigrain french toast (frozen)

                                                                    Nay to: discontinuing the unpasturized american cheese

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: olyolyy

                                                                      Love that multigrain french toast! An item we go through often in our house for sure.

                                                                    2. Korma sauce... throw in some chicken, chick peas and potatoes.... my family was thrilled!

                                                                      1. It's pumpkin season at Trader Joe's.

                                                                        Yeas - This pumpkin walks into a bar, pumpkin butter, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin roobios tea, pumpkin ice cream

                                                                        Meh - Pumpkin soup - needs more flavor

                                                                        Steve
                                                                        www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                          +1 on the Pumpkin Cream Cheese...very good on cinnamon raisin bagels and also on TJ's Triple Ginger cookies!

                                                                          1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                            I doctored the soup today (which was lacking in flavor) with a little cream cheese, curry powder and shredded gruyere. Pretty tasty. A nice pumpkin flavor. But I think it needs to be treated as a starter rather than a finished product.

                                                                            1. re: Savour

                                                                              Those were my exact thoughts on this pumpkin soup too. I wrote the same thing in my review a couple of days ago. Great starter, needs to be doctored up to make it taste like anything good.

                                                                              Steve
                                                                              www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                          2. Yay! Organic high protein super firm tofu. Great for grilling and baking. I even got my friends who hate the texture of fried and steamed tofu to enjoy it.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                              It's also great for crumbling. I mix crumbled tofu with their taco seasoning... saute it in chopped onions, mini bellpeppers, tomato and sprinkle in chopped fresh cilantro right before I'm done. This filling, some sliced avocado and their Corn/Wheat Tortillas is a favorite meatless meal.

                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                            2. Has anyone tried the Pilgrim Joe's Clam Chowder? Every now and then I get a hankering for clam chowder, but most have a high cream content, which my system rebels against. This can doesn't have cream in the ingredients, but to add milk to heat it up. I gather I can use non-dairy milk for that.

                                                                              1. Yay - Pumpkin Ice Cream, labeled under Pilgrim Joe's.

                                                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                1. Big Yay for the TJ's Perlina Pasta with Prosciutto. Tossed it in a sage browned butter sauce, and ate more than my fair share this evening.

                                                                                  1. TJ's Chile Spiced Mango. This is dried mango covered in chile spices and granulated sugar. Awful. Simply Awful. Do not pass go, do not collect anything. Yucky to the max, and I'll eat ANYTHING (else) but this.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: vstoklosa1

                                                                                      Could not agree more. Found it utterly inedible, went back after only a single bite from both my wife and myself, and we do enjoy savory as well as sweet snacks.

                                                                                      1. re: vstoklosa1

                                                                                        I personally love the stuff and have gotten other people to love it to. But I think it depends on how long the spices have been on there. I had a package that the spices turned dark really quick and I couldn't eat that compared to my previous bags.

                                                                                        1. re: vttp926

                                                                                          Interesting! The spices were quite dark on the one I tried, but I don't have any point of reference for comparison. If I see it on the shelf looking much lighter perhaps I'll give 'em another shot.

                                                                                          1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                            Yea the darker package look more like it was sorta wet and not as dried as other packages. So please try them if you find one that looks lighter.

                                                                                      2. Frozen Butternut Squash Risotto rocks. Perfectly seasoned. There's just not enough of it in the bag. Love it.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: vstoklosa1

                                                                                          I enjoyed that too. Hope it isn't just a fall seasonal item.

                                                                                        2. TJ's frozen Channa Masala is the most perfect food I've ever eaten. It's cooked chickpeas inTikka Masala sauce. So perfectly seasoned, I could eat it every day. I use it as a base for Chicken Tikka Masala and my family is hooked on it.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: vstoklosa1

                                                                                            So glad you're loving it. For us it was merely a lukewarm "meh". Edible to be sure, but even when it comes to pre-prepared indian of which there is an abundance this didn't rate as anything more than middle of the road for us.

                                                                                            Seasoning was good, chickpeas were mush, and the sauce didn't have nearly as pleasing atexture I have come to enjoy in other versions of this dish.

                                                                                          2. Not sure if it's new, but I just spotted phyllo dough in the freezer section (next to the pie crust, and puff pastry). Didn't see any price for it though.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                              just saw it today for the first time--def new. will try this week!

                                                                                              1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                I just bought some and it was $2.99. haven't tried it yet though.

                                                                                            2. Yay: Sparkling Clementine Juice Beverage - nice alternative to sodas...really does taste like clementine juice and has over 80 percent fruit juice in it.

                                                                                              1. Oops forgot to add this one on to my last comment...

                                                                                                NAY - Free Range Chicken Broth: we didn't like the flavor of this broth at all (used this to make a gravy with pan drippings/rue from TJ's boneless pork loin chops)...much prefer the Low Sodium Chicken Broth that TJ's sells. Not sure if it was a bad batch or not, but won't be buying this one again. Pork chops were delicious as usual though.

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                  Agree about the Free Range Chicken Broth - tried it and didn't like it long ago, so this wasn't because of one bad batch. The Low Sodium Chicken Broth is fine.

                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                    Interesting. My go to chicken broth is the Organic, not low sodium chicken broth from Trader Joe's. It has a deep chicken flavor. The rest of their chicken broths (including the Organic Low Sodium and the regular Free Range) aren't nearly as good.

                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                      I wasn't aware that there was an Organic regular chicken broth...we've only tried the Low Sodium Chicken Broth and the Free Range, and thought the Free Range tasted...off...almost like it had soured. Like I said, wasn't sure if it was just our tastebuds or the box, but maybe it's just not that good.

                                                                                                  2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                    There's organic, there's free-range, but the GOOD one is organic free-range. It's the most damn delicious broth ever. I eat some almost every day.

                                                                                                    1. re: candypandora

                                                                                                      Yes the free-range organic one is the best, especially for cooking veggies or rice.

                                                                                                      1. re: olyolyy

                                                                                                        Agreed on this. That's the one I like. But not the low sodium version. That's a pale imitation of the chickeny goodness that is the organic free range broth.

                                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                                          Interesting...I think we bought the regular Free Range before and didn't care for it. We will definitely have to try the Organic Free Range based on the number of positive reviews here! Thanks everyone for your input.

                                                                                                  3. looking for a report on the pumpkin pecan oats

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Rodzilla

                                                                                                      Sorry, mine did not have these :(

                                                                                                    2. Yay-Honey Roasted Slivered Almonds
                                                                                                      --These would be great and affordable to use in baking blondies... like 'Gooey Toffee Blondies' with these would be great. Although I have been using them with breakfasts (oats, muesli, cereal, granola, etc.)--pretty multi-purpose.

                                                                                                      YAY x YAY--Garlic Marinated Mushrooms (in a jar)
                                                                                                      --These have been my favorite item in the store since... well about five years or whenever I found them. I used to try and tell no one (because who wants to say 'mmmmm garlic-y mushrooms!', but I want people to enjoy them, so I figure I would mention it for the third time.

                                                                                                      Yay--Hodgepodge Veg (frozen)
                                                                                                      --This seems like a great mix for a great price.

                                                                                                      Yay- Greeting Cards
                                                                                                      You can tell I don't go to TJ weekly.. but when I go I stock-up.. so I like to stock-up on Birthday and Thank You cards for 99 cents.

                                                                                                      YAY-Pumpkin Spice Blend
                                                                                                      For $1.99 this is about $2 cheaper than regular stores.

                                                                                                      NAY-Pumpkin Mousse Cake
                                                                                                      I should mention I only 'kind-of' like pumpkin... that being said I do not think it tasted much like pumpkin. The mousse did not taste like much of anything, and you couldn't really taste the strips of chocolate cake. (Also don't expect to serve this to many. It is small.)

                                                                                                      NAY-Raspberry Macaron Cake
                                                                                                      This has gotten great reviews. Back during the summer I went to get it for my birthday, but they didn't have it. Well, I liked the outside and the raspberry. But I did not like the middle 'cream'-layer which had no taste. I guess for the near $6 price-tag and TINY size it just is not worth it--in my opinion.

                                                                                                      NAY-TJ's Snacks 'Inner Peace'
                                                                                                      These are kind of like 'veggie-sticks' (green air-puffed cornmeal...). I figured I would just try'em since they are new. They do not have a taste. But if you like 'healfied' snacky things.. then you might like these. (Personally I started dipping them in sriracha, ketchup, sauces, etc.. just to try and give them some taste.)

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                        The Inner Peas are the TJ's branded Snapea Crisps. They're like toddler crack, but they're not my personal most favorite things. Haven't tried the actual Inner Peas.

                                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                                          I like the Inner Peas, but I was a fan of the Snapeas...they are a nice crunch element in salads

                                                                                                      2. NAY - Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley. "A delicious Blend of Long Grain Brown Rice, Black Barley, & Daikon Radish Seeds"

                                                                                                        The product doesn't know what it wants to be. But it will be returned!

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: RedTop

                                                                                                          I actually really like it for a work lunch option... it has a lot of texture and soaks up a lot of flavor of what you pair it with (Usually I have it with the frozen teriyaki chicken they sell, which is suprisingly decent for a frozen fully cooked meat item & their organic broccoli florets, also very good ). The trick is to add a little bit of water when heating it up and putting a wet towel over it. You'd think that because its frozen it would be plenty 'moist' but it dries out really quickly in the microwave. It needs a little more steam to help get it nice and fluffy.

                                                                                                          --Dommy!

                                                                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                            Dommy, are you speaking of the Teriyaki Chicken and broccoli florets being frozen, or the Brown Rice Medley being frozen, also? The bag of brown rice we bought was a dry staple.

                                                                                                            1. re: RedTop

                                                                                                              Ah! Then we are thinking of two different product, there is a brown rice mix that is frozen.

                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                I'll have to look for that on our next stop at TJs.

                                                                                                                I was crestfallen at the "fail" of that dry Brown Rice Medley we bought.

                                                                                                          2. re: RedTop

                                                                                                            I regularly cook the Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley, and our household enjoys this mix. I like the different textures and grain varieties: it creates a lively side dish. I think the medley's identity crisis is an asset, not a detriment ;-)

                                                                                                            I also use the frozen brown rice medley that Dommy referenced -- perfect for a quick side dish.

                                                                                                          3. Semi-Yay: Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon - flavor is amazing, probably the best tasting bacon I have ever tasted. Texture-wise it was a bit too chewy for me, I prefer a crispier piece of bacon (I fried it up in a pan and cooked it to just before it becomes burnt (very dark brown/black) which is how I always cook up my bacon). Agree with clubtraderjoes on his suggestion to use this for candied bacon - this would be the perfect bacon for it.

                                                                                                            Meh: Latest batch purchased of Crispy Crunchy Mini Oatmeal Cookies - they were overcooked, very dark brown and weren't as good as the last batch that we had. Next time will be more cautious to look at the tub first before buying it to make sure they are lighter brown in color.

                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                              I've been getting their ends and pieces. The nature of the pieces varies, sometimes irregular slices. The last one was mostly lean end chunks. Which, given that I mostly use it for flavoring, diced, is fine.

                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                The ones I've gotten have been mostly fat, which is OK because that's what I got them for - when the fat is rendered, the bonus is that there's some meat. But I don't often see them in my local store.

                                                                                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                That bacon is too thick to make it super crispy like the thinner cuts of bacon, but the Applewood smoked bacon has about the best flavor I've ever had in a bacon!

                                                                                                                www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                  Concur! That bacon is so tasty and makes great BLTs. It's becoming a staple in my house.

                                                                                                                2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                  I've been eating this bacon for years and it's not meant to be eaten super crispy IMHO, need a thinner cut of bacon for that

                                                                                                                3. Yea for the Almond Windmill Cookies. They're buttery and almondy and have just the right amount of sweetness (not too).

                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: aching

                                                                                                                    Another Yay for Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies - so good. OMG - my neighbours LOVE when I buy goodies at TJ'S - they usually get the rest of them since I can't control myself!

                                                                                                                    Yay and Nay - Mini Chicken Pot Pies - now I loved these. My OH did not. He said they were too much crust/pastry and not enough pie. Which is why I loved them since I'm not really a chick pot pie gal.

                                                                                                                    Anyone taste the Tiramisu from TJ's - I am on the hunt for the best Tiramisu.

                                                                                                                    1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                      Are the Hazelnut cookies crunchy or chewy? I only like chewy things. No crunchy things in my life.

                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                        NO crunchy things? NONE? *blinks*

                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                          More crunchy than chewy -- two hazelnut shortbread cookies sandwiched around the filling, although the filling does provide a little chewiness.

                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                            GraceW, we actually thought about your comment on prefering chewy cookies over crunchy re: the Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies when our box of cookies turned very chewy after the box not closing all of the one one night. BTW...slight complaint on the packaging on these...hard to stay close at the top and once the foil is opened they turn chewy within a couple of days. You should give these a try and leave them out overnight - softens right up!

                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                              Haha, I suppose if I leave more things unclosed then they will get chewy. Except for maybe those Dunkers... pretty hard.

                                                                                                                          2. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                            Now I will have to try that pie toopie I love the crust. Have you tried Costco tiramisu in their frozen desserts section?

                                                                                                                            1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                              No. I've tried the fresh Tiramisu Cake they have sometimes. Didn't even know about frozen - will check that out. Thnks.

                                                                                                                          3. re: aching

                                                                                                                            I adore the Almond Windmill Cookies!

                                                                                                                            1. re: emily

                                                                                                                              big fan of those as well, particularly with raspberry jam

                                                                                                                          4. Yea - True Belgian Brussels Sprouts (frozen). Yes, it says Product of Belgium on the bag. These are babies, mostly less than 1" across. I like them.

                                                                                                                            1. NAY - Trader Joe's Vanilla Cultured Coconut Milk . Truly one of the most vile things I've tasted in a very long time. It's shelved with the yogurt. I thought that maybe it might be tasty as the first ingredient listed is organic coconut milk. I almost put it back when I saw carrageenan and guar gum listed but as there were actually some live cultures listed I went ahead and bought it. I think it was $1.49. When I opened the container I thought it looked yucky but went ahead and tasted it. Big Yuck. Lousy taste, lousy texture. Should have taken it back...

                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                                                                i.e. fake yogurt. What's with all the coconut stuff? Is it the new health food?

                                                                                                                                Their coconut chips are nice, their canned coconut cream is fine, but I'll continue to get most of my coconut from 99Ranch.

                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                  re: the glut of coconut milk-based products being introduced, it's an alternative for those who can not tolerate dairy or for vegans, particularly since soy has been somewhat maligned. It's become trendy because the saturated fat in coconut is in the form of medium chain triglycerides, which some studies suggest are metabolized differently than other saturated fats and are therefore "healthier." However, coconut milk products contain a minimal amount of protein compared to their dairy and soy counterparts so I personally would only use it if I was avoiding dairy for whatever reason, or if I genuinely preferred the taste.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    I bought a can of the coconut cream on impulse without any plans. How do you personally utilize the product? I thought about mixing with chia seeds to make a pudding.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                                                                      Throw it in an ice cream machine. Add it to coffee. Add it to pumpkin soup with some ginger.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                                                                        I've used it most often as the base of thai curries. Just got some fresh kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and frozen Galanga in Elmhurst so the next thing it's going into is Tom Kha soup.

                                                                                                                                        Great addition when cooking rice of any variety as well.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                                                                          It's coconut milk, only a bit heavier on the fat. So it works in Thai and other SE Asian dishes. Of late I've been exploring desserts, using coconut, mango, tapioca, and pandan (an aromatic green leaf).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                                                                            I use it in place of cream in soups. Most of the time I can't taste the coconut, but it gives the creaminess without the sweet dairy, which my body can't tolerate.

                                                                                                                                            One of my quick soups is 1 can coconut cream, 1 can pumpkin and 1 can chicken broth. I threw tandoori seasoning and a bit of heat in, let it simmer for awhile, and served it up. It was a big hit. (but please don't hit me folks for taking the easy way out!)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                              I'm definitely going to have to try that idea, but will definitely be doubling at least the pumpkin and broth portions. That can of Coco Cream has over 850 calories all by itself!

                                                                                                                                              Based on the amount of heavy cream in most recipes I'm quite sure it would not suffer with half if not a quarter of that amount.

                                                                                                                                      2. Looking forward to the return of whole turkeys

                                                                                                                                        1. Yay - smoked almonds (forgot the actual name but it's a new product I believe)

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                            I love those too.

                                                                                                                                          2. Yuck on the Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea. Tastes like a christmas potpurri!

                                                                                                                                            Steve
                                                                                                                                            www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                            1. The new Fearless Flyer has landed. Apart from pumpkin mania, and some repeat items, these look promising: Vegetable Pakoras, Chicken Mole with White Rice, Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas, Organic Red Quinoa, Red Split Lentils, Mesquite Smoked Almonds. Heading for the local store this afternoon.

                                                                                                                                              Yea - Molecularly Distilled Omega-3 Fatty Acids Dietary Supplement. 1200 mg fish oil, 600 mg total EPA and DHA, 90 softgels. It's a commodity but it saves going to a drug store just for this.

                                                                                                                                              33 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                I have a box of the mini chicken tikka samosas. It seems to be phyllo like pastry wrapped around so meat. It crisp up nicely in my convection oven. It's okay, though I was hoping for more flavor, better filling/pastry ratio. I probably won't buy again at $3.99 a box.

                                                                                                                                                Now that they sell phyllo dough, I think I will attempt to make my own.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                  I liked the Chicken Tikka Samosas. Agree that there could be more flavor but they make a nice snack (or light dinner).

                                                                                                                                                  Nay on the Pumpkin Macarons. Not enough pumpkin flavor.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                  A few of those items have been out for quite a few moths alread, at least at my own location.

                                                                                                                                                  The Pakoras were the most edible frozen Indian fare I've had from TJ's yet, but then I've been mostly disappointed in that department thus far. (tried the Chana Masala and Baingan Bharta in the same sitting and was disappointed by those)

                                                                                                                                                  The Red Quinoa is a bit more expensive than where I get it online. On my last visit I introduced my Mom to TJ's and she saw it and swears the Red Quinoa at her local Key Food was much cheaper. (though that may have been a sale, she doesn't recall)

                                                                                                                                                  The tri-color quinoa is a slightly cheaper option if you're looking for a visual change of pace and don't need 100% red.

                                                                                                                                                  I've seen the Red Split lentils but didn't take note of the price as I'm well stocked at the moment. Does it say in the flyer how much they are?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                    Just a follow up on the Red Quinoa, it is significantly cheaper now than when we looked at it a few weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                                    The shelf had it marked at $4.99 (which is a bargain to begin with) but the Fearless Flyer lists it as $3.99 which is an absolute steal for organic red quinoa. Rang up at the lower price too.

                                                                                                                                                    Brought home 8 packages and will likely pick up even more once I assess my available storage space.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                      the paneer is a regular in my freezer. I'll check out the pakoras (whatever they are)

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                      Nay - Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds. Out of the bag they're so salty that I can't taste the almonds, let alone the mesquite smoke. Out of curiosity I washed off the salt, which left me with almonds with the slightest hint of smoke flavor. The ingredients list includes "natural mesquite smoke flavor," so I guess the almonds aren't really smoked. Probably won't finish the bag.

                                                                                                                                                      Yea - Soy Pita Bread with Wheat Flour. 4 pitas 8" across - TJ says serving size is 1/2 pita. Softer texture and slightly richer flavor than conventional pita; my only complaint is that it's too big to use as a sandwich bread, as I like to do with pita.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                        i know some people don't like to take advantage of TJ's generous return policy, but if the almonds were really unpleasant you should bring them back.

                                                                                                                                                        (as for the pita, can't you just slice each one into two pockets and use one for a sandwich? or make a really big sandwich and find someone to share it with you!)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                          Can't understand why anyone wouldn't avail themselves of the return policy! It's not as though one is abusing it when there are enormous signs encouraging you to try what you like and return if you don't enjoy it for any reason.

                                                                                                                                                          Even my wife who is a return-o-phobe was finally put completely at ease when we asked a crew member for his recommendation between two different cookies and they said "buy them both, and take back which ever one you liked less… we WANT you try as many products as possible."

                                                                                                                                                          TJ's knows that the more you try, the more you'll end eventually end up buying repeatedly far outstripping any losses on returns.

                                                                                                                                                          It's that very policy that has made us passionately loyal customers, and it's worked. With every passing week more items from TJ's get added to our staples list.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the reminder on returning. I also found the almonds just too salty (and I like salt)- they'll go back this week. I have returned items to TJ's before, never had a problem. They do, at least here in MA, require a receipt if you're returning vitamins. Not sure exactly why that is, but there it is.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: powella

                                                                                                                                                              I am the same way, I am a salt fanatic (I put black truffle salt on eeeeverything...) but I couldn't believe how salty those almonds were. And I don't think I've ever said the words "There is too much salt on this" in my life..... but I'm definitely taking those almonds back - they're completely inedible.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coastalgypsy

                                                                                                                                                                I love the smoked almonds. Salty, yes. Smokey, yes. But to me they taste exactly how smoked almonds (like Blue Diamond) always taste.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                  i actually love smoked almonds, but the blue diamond version i think have become saltier and smokier over the years -- and are just "too too" much for me. i'm liking the emerald nuts version, these days. (their roasted almonds are quite good, too).

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                    Someone at work brought those Emerald almonds in to share...the smoked ones--very good!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                      the regular (non-smoked) emerald almonds are not too salty, and have a good fresh flavor. the chocolate-dusted ones are good, too, but a little rich. i'd like to try them in some cookies!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                            I love those soy pitas! They are soft, moist, chewy, and sturdy enough to be stuffed. I usually use half for a sandwich. Apparently they are not stocked in all stores. My TJ's in North Jersey has had them forever, but I could not find them in Charlotte, NC and have heard that the new store opening this coming Friday in Winston-Salem, NC will not have them either. They freeze really well so I will be stocking up the next time I'm in NJ.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                            I agree on wanting to try the vegetable pakoras and chicken mole with rice.

                                                                                                                                                            Also excited to try out soon the mini chicken pot pies as well as the mediterranean hummus two packs. I had been eyeing the mediterranean hummus in the store, but was reluctant to spend 3.99 for a large tub of it just to try it out. This way I can "sample" it much cheaper with the two packs and also get some pita chips for dunking.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                              The mini chicken pies are waiting in my freezer. Hope they are good. The puff pastry is back! Using a sheet to make some baked brie tonight

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                They aren't really pot pies but bite-size rounds of puff pastry with a bit of chicken in the center - no crust on top. Pleasant but not special, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                  Compared to some of their other appetizers, I actually was very pleased with the Chicken Pot Pie bites. The crust was very tasty and flakey (Like really good pie crust) and the filling not too salty. If you like frozen Chicken Pot Pies (Hubs LOVED even those cheap ones from Banquet)... these were pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                The mediterranean hummus is one of my favorite things at TJ. I could easily eat the whole tub in one sitting if I let myself. (I usually buy the "everything" pretzel slims to go with it as the calorie count is low for about 20 of them although this week tried the black bean and quinoa chips. They were good also for a change but usually wind up eating most of the hummus just right out of the tub with a spoon. Its that good!)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chocolate

                                                                                                                                                                  Cucumber slices and red bell pepper 'sticks' dipped in their roasted garlic hummus is our default salad.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                    Carrot sticks (or baby carrots) are a good lower calorie (and more nutritious!) vehicle for hummus.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                      Baby carrots are our standard hummus delivery system as well.

                                                                                                                                                                      Sliced jerusalem artichokes (sun chokes) are even better when available adding even more nutty crunch goodness than the carrots.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                        actually, ounce for ounce, red bell pepper is lower in calories and sugar than carrot. it's also a great source of carotenoids, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. also, cucumbers are obviously the lowest-calorie option, and they're not as nutritionally empty as one might think - flavonoids, Vitamin K, anti-inflammatory properties...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                          I meant carrots were better than chips. I love red peppers, but they're kind of expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                            Totally agree. Thanks for reminding me. Will start buying the baby carrots at the same time as well as red peppers and plastic bag small portions of each so it will be just as easy to grab as my pretzel slims w/out the unnecessary carbs as well as being much healthier. Thanx everyone!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                              ah, got it! your post came up as a direct reply to paulj, so i assumed you were making the comparison to red bell pepper. mea culpa :)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                Initially was replying to Ruth's post reg; "carrots are better then chips" but appreciated all the other healthy info regarding cucumbers and red peppers as well. I usually try to eat so healthy and watch what I eat but being home so much now and not working sometimes leads to mindless eating so just bringing these alternatives to the forefront has gotten me to get back on track. So thanx again for your help...

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                              heh… I actually almost questioned Ruth's comment myself but realized before hitting send that it was likely just the way the messages were nested, and that Ruth was actually suggesting it compared to the chips and pretzels. :)

                                                                                                                                                                              Great info nonetheless on the Bells, and while they are usually more expensive, I've seen some fantastic prices at Fairway in recent months. Unfortunately never on the organics and bell peppers are at the very very top of the "Dirty Thirty" list.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                trader joe's organic red peppers are currently 69 cents each! not huge, but certainly a great deal!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                  Are you talking about the big La Rouge peppers? PLU #4088? Those are the only 69¢ red peppers we have, and they are not organic. If you are in a completely different location though, you could be right.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                      Yea - Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas (frozen). A perfect finger food except for anybody who can't take the slightest touch of heat.

                                                                                                                                                                      Nay - Vegetable Pakoras (frozen). Not bad, actually, but pretty flavorless unless you use the supplied dipping sauce, which I didn't much care for.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                        They were giving out samples of those chicken samosas Weds when we were there and husband insisted on my buying a box. We ended up making it into our main course for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. I don't think this is that new, but nay to the Flake Clusters cereal - good flavor, but WAY too sweet and the texture is awful. It turns to mush about 10 seconds after you add milk - I was shoveling it in my face as fast as possible, and to no avail...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I was grabbing some refrigerated crescent rolls today when my hand brushed up against a package of ginger molasses cookie dough. The packages of this dough were kind of tucked away on the top shelf lying kind of flat.
                                                                                                                                                                        As I was buying the dough the cashier asked if I was baking cookies this weekend. I nodded, not wanting to admit that they would not last the night. When I left she reiterated have fun baking cookies this weekend. Not like it was any effort I think she was just being nice. The dough comes in little squares you tear off and a packet of sugar to dip one side of each cookie dough square in before baking.
                                                                                                                                                                        They were very good, and as with most gingerbread, I think they taste better when still warm. The cool cookies look beautiful on the plate as the sugar on top is very sparkley and the mellow brown color says autumn is here.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I drink alot of water during the day. To make it more palatable, I usually top it off with V-Fusion Lite. I was running low on it and at Trader Joe's, so I decided to go through the juices reading labels again for low sugar. I've had the low calorie lemonade, and it's good, but I don't feel like I'm getting the benefits of the veggies. I ended up getting the Beet and Purple Carrot Juice. Let's just say it's going to take a bit of getting used to!

                                                                                                                                                                          I did get a pie pumpkin and more garlic naan - the naan goes with about everything! Oh, and the 2-pack of croissants. Great split and topped with Kerrygold and heated. Butter on butter!

                                                                                                                                                                          Big yay on the organic jelly beans.

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, and I picked up an 8-pack of roma tomatoes to add to the variety of 'maters I picked from my parents' garden to make a pasta sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                            OK, getting used to it just got shorter after spilling half the bottle on the kitchen floor. The lid doesn't stay on really well when hitting the floor.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Yay: Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies - One of the best cookies I have had in a long time. Tried the cookie by itself and the chocolate hazelnut center by itself as well, and although both ingredients are good, the whole cookie eaten together really is greater than the sum of the parts. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                            Meh: Mini Crispy Pecan Cookies - you may like these if you really like the taste of pecans through and though, but I was kinda lukewarm about these cookies after trying to make my way through the tub.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Boooo....on this year's sipping chocolate recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                              I was so excited to see TJ’s sipping chocolate on the shelf today. But then I compared the ingredients to last year’s. Uh Oh!! Looks like they have downgraded their ingredients terribly!!

                                                                                                                                                                              Last year’s: cocoa powder, cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter.
                                                                                                                                                                              This year’s: sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, natural flavor (soy), salt.

                                                                                                                                                                              Now I’m going to return mine and complain. Why did they have to mess with a good thing?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. BIG YAY: Organic Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt (regular not greek) - huge yay on the consistency (was not at all runny which I do not like - runny yogurt blech) and tastes like a vanilla dessert. I even ate it plain which I hardly ever do when eating yogurt. MUCH better than the lowfat strawberry regular yogurt that I tried awhile back.

                                                                                                                                                                                YAY: Frozen Oval Shaped Hashbrown Patties - really impressed with the quality of these - cooked up great too when I fried them in regular olive oil two to three minutes or so on each side until they became crispy.

                                                                                                                                                                                Semi-Yay: Spiced Cider - Moderate Yay when I tried it warmed up, but made the mistake of sticking the bottle in the refrigerator and drinking it cold. I thought it tasted awful this way, I guess spiced cider is meant to be consumed warm!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Someone mentioned felafal chips elsewhere, saw them so figured I'd give them a try. The best chips ever! Highly recommended. Sort of like tortilla chips but much more flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Also got pumpkin cream cheese, and chocolate cheddar cheese (slivers of chocolate embedded) the cashier recommended trying that with merlot. These I'm saving for some stay-over guests I'm having next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                    No kidding, chocolate cheddar cheese? Reminds me of the (not sure if it's more or less surprising) chocolate American "cheese" I had in China a few years ago... http://buildingmybento.wordpress.com/... .
                                                                                                                                                                                    Hope you'll report back on the taste, coll!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's what it looks like, and I forgot another thing I got that I am saving for my company....truffled mousse. I will definitely give you a report next week, unless I can't control myself beforehand!

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                        I hated the Chocolate Cheddar Cheese! I would link my review of it here but that's a no no. Both my wife and I took one bite. I actually chewed mine up and she spit it out! Sounds good on paper, but in reality the cheese and chocolate don't work together!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                        www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the warning, I'll open it tonight and test it out before I serve it to my company.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ok I tried it, I didn't spit it out but I wasn't in love either. It was like you tasted the cheese at first, and then the chocolate after. No wonder the cashier recommended drinking wine with it!

                                                                                                                                                                                            On the other hand, I forgot I also bought some pre-sliced Italian cold cuts, and I have never been happy with that type of thing. This time was different. They used to have Cittero (or whatever it's called) thick slices and just no good. For some reason I noticed a new pre-sliced package, Danielle which I know is decent, and it was really great. Proscuitto, cappicola and salami with peppercorns, I would not be embarrassed to serve for a holiday. Thin sliced for real. If you're thinking antipasto, pick one up, unless you have a great Italian deli close by.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                            They were serving some aged cheddar paired with the butter waffle cookies yesterday as a sample, and it was pretty good, so we tried the chocolate cheddar cheese with the cookies for a sweet/savory after dinner. It was OK. Not awful, but not something I'm going to rush to repeat.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                        I tried the chocolate cheddar last year. It really is best melted in a grilled cheese and chocolate sandwich. I think the flavor is more developed than if you just eat it cold. I liked it, but not enough to buy twice.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, I'll definitely leave it out a few hours before then.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Can anyone report on the pumpkin cheesecake? Just saw it today in the Fearless Flyer. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aloha925

                                                                                                                                                                                          We tried it last year and thought highly of it. Not overly pumpkiny which we like, just a nice balance of pumpkin flavor to cheesecake. In fact, we were just talking about perhaps buying that this year instead of making a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Nay - Kale Chips: Meanwhile, Zesty Nacho

                                                                                                                                                                                          For those that have never tried Kale seasoned and baked until it is entirely dried flaky and crunchy this may still be something of a revelation. That said I've had MUCH better.

                                                                                                                                                                                          These are under salted and have too much lemon for my taste. $4 a for a small half filled pouch with most of it merely "shake" at the bottom only adds insult to injury.

                                                                                                                                                                                          May be worth a try if the idea is new to you, if only to inspire you to go home and make it yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Since most of the bag was a fine crumble, we at the few whole chips on the drive home and then used the rest as a salad topper.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                            believe it or not, $4 for a small pouch is a good price for packaged kale chips - depending on the brand & store, a 2-oz bag can run anywhere from $5 - $8. another argument (in addition to the flavor issue) for making your own! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                              I was balking at the price specifically because they're a rather poor specimen, both in seasoning and given how almost 2/3 of the bag was mere crumble. When compared with similarly priced kale chips from Fairway for example they're just pitiful.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Even given how easy they are to make (and how cheaply) I would surely have bought plenty more if I'd found the quality to be up to snuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The frozen coq au vin is one of the worst things I've ever tasted. One bite and down the disposal.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. What happened to the mango sticky rice? It was around for a few months, and then said "suk wị̂."

                                                                                                                                                                                              Any plans for a rebirth?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Yay: Mandarins/Clementines - The label on the bundle says Mandarins but the price tag in front said Clementines...anyways, these are sweet, juicy and delicious. Best tasting clementines that I have had in a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Meh: Strawberry Pops - frozen strawberry push up ice pops, these are okay but didn't wow me. A blended bunch of strawberries with some white grape juice added in - kind of hard to explain but they started off sweet tasting then I was left with just the flavor of ground up ice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay: Falafel Chips - this was a "I'll try it but not really sure what to expect" purchase for me. They got rave reviews on here so I went for it, but was disappointed. The chips were not crunchy, tasted stale, and I couldn't get a particular spice that it contains out of my tastebuds for awhile after I ate it. I think if you like falafels you may really love these - but for me they were a miss.

                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't care for the falafel chips either - they didn't taste like falafel to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I thought they tasted SO like falafel, that's what I liked about them. Well so far I'm the only one here that's tried them, have to get a second opinion I guess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Both the wife and I enjoyed these as well. Bit heavily seasoned and pricey for the quantity but definitely tasty. Certainly tasted a heck of a lot more like falafel than a few other brands I've tried. Not likely to be a perpetual staple, but I do think the praise in prior months threads isn't unjustified.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They tasted more like a standard issue falafel than not, IMO, and although I'd buy them again, I'd rather make hummus to plop the lavash chips in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've eaten much falafel from nondescript take-out places, and even though I do a minimal search for just about anything take-out worthy, I try to see whether or not they use a microwave to heat things up. Another frequent victim, empanadas- look for/ask about an oven...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yay: Mandarins/Clementines - The label on the bundle says Mandarins but the price tag in front said Clementines...anyways, these are sweet, juicy and delicious. Best tasting clementines that I have had in a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Meh: Strawberry Pops - frozen strawberry push up ice pops, these are okay but didn't wow me. A blended bunch of strawberries with some white grape juice added in - kind of hard to explain but they started off sweet tasting then I was left with just the flavor of ground up ice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay: Falafel Chips - this was a "I'll try it but not really sure what to expect" purchase for me. They got rave reviews on here so I went for it, but was disappointed. The chips were not crunchy, tasted stale, and I couldn't get a particular spice that it contains out of my tastebuds for awhile after I ate it. I think if you like falafels you may really love these - but for me they were a miss.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Nay - full sized frozen chicken pot pie. My son said it was really disgusting. He thought maybe he had cooked it incorrectly (in the microwave) but my husband checked the instructions and he had done it right. He said the filling was really runny and the crust was soggy. Maybe it would have been better baked in the oven. He doesn't usually have too much to say about food, so for this to be the first thing he said when I got back from my business trip, it must have been pretty bad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK - frozen shepherd's pie. My husband thought this was pretty good, about what you'd expect from a frozen shepherd's pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY- have you tried the chicken pot pie bites? they were sampling them last night at my store. tasted dangerous! not really anything like the real chicken pot pie but little flaky pastries with morsels of savory whatevers. delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                          No, I haven't tried them. But I don't think that's something my son could make a dinner out of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. semi-nay - Organic Dry Roasted & Lightly Salted Cashews. Nothing really wrong with them, but TJ's roasted cashews with 50% less salt look better (these are pasty white) and taste a bit more, well, cashewy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                          agree on those cashews - they have a strange, very off-putting sweetness to them. the flavor actually kinda turned my stomach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. fabulous --->>> mini milk chocolate peanut butter cups -- better than reese's has ever been!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          also made in dark chocolate version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Love the dark chocolate version. Bit overly thick on the bottom but that's a minor niggle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                              are you talking about the mini ones? like a slightly large pencil eraser?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                BUSTED!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was indeed talking about the not-nearly-as-mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Only after your question did I remember the ones you're all talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I didn't buy them when I saw them knowing that I would never be able to muster enough self control to keep from shoveling handfuls of those chip size pbcups into my gaping maw. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Seriously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                At least with the larger ones I have to slow down enough to remove them from the paper cup. Those small ones would most certainly be the chocolate death of me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I bought the Mini-Mini's for a friend...then hit bad traffic... they never made the hour and a half car-ride. Good thing I bought more than those for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I assume someone has tried baking with those?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i have a maxi-mini peanut butter cup cookie recipe in one of my tj cookbooks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i'm not that much of a sweets person--i'll have cheese, please--but they are gooood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Did I mention that TJ's Vermont Artisan cheddar is quite good?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh good because I just bought some. Saving for the aforementioned company that won't be trying the chocolate cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I really liked it -- it was very sharp, but creamier than most very sharp cheddars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i intend to try baking with them, ruth, using them as the "chocolate chip" in a simple chocolate chip with pecans cookie recipe. (to start).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        they're $3.99 for the container, so they aren't inexpensive for baking. but they would make very special cookies! giftable, large cookies you could wrap in the colored cellophane, and give to your nice friends on a cool autumn day, when you're visiting and having coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I mixed them into my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe (eyeballed the amount that looked right because I didn't want to overwhelm the cookie) and they were delicious. They minis added a real creaminess to the cookie. My kids finished them in an afternoon which is why I won't be making them again any time soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Those mini PB cups are very addictive, and yes - I particularly think the creamy PB center is MUCH better than in a Reese's PB cup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We too prefer the milk chocolate version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Co-signed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      How would a pumpkin creme-filled chocolate cup be? I hope there's another pumpkin-related dessert (not a mix) introduced, besides the macaroons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've put those in banana bread instead of chocolate chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Anyone tried the Pumpkin bread mix this year? I've never tried to make it but am hearing it changed a little this year, not as pumpkin-y and dry despite same amount of oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sort of Yay: Coconut chips - i wish it's a bit sweeter and a smidge saltier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Beignets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made it twice for my kids how are eating it like crazy! For me, it's just OK. It think it could use some help in the pumpkin spice department. Maybe throw in some nuts or dried fruit to help it out a little.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's quick to make but I found it too sugary and somewhat oily (although my kids loved it). Making it from scratch is almost as easy and the flavor is much better. To Steve's point, throwing in some of TJ's honey-roasted slivered almonds might be a nice addition. i LOVE those things, especially mixed with TJ's steel-cut oatmeal and a handful of their frozen organic blueberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. organic red bell peppers ---> 69 cents!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        !!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        !!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You're lucky. At my local TJ's they weren't that cheap. Even the non-organic green ones were 79 cents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. A small thing, but...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY, to TJs Unsalted, Roasted Slivered Almonds. Used generously in a dinner salad and they really amped up the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RedTop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ooh, i haven't bought those in years, but they're a terrific item, as are the unsalted, toasted, *sliced* almonds. nice and toasty :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Thumbs up or down on TJ organic brined chicken? I think this is a new product, but I could be wrong - featured in latest flyer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Yay: Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies - these have crack-like properties. I love the shortbread with the hazelnut and the filling is like a poor mans nutella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cotswold Gloucester with onions and chives - great as a snacking cheese and also melted on eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nay: Pumpkin Macaroons - weird chemical aftertaste, might return these cant see myself finishing the box and they aren't cheap. Wish TJs would make a variety pack of the ones in the bakery section

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken Drumettes: Not a fan. I tried these heated in the oven and then fried in oil to see if any improvement could be made. The sponge-like meat is creepy and tasteless while the breading/crust has no redeeming qualities. Makes me want McDonalds chicken nuggets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TBA: Sage derby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: olyolyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pumpkin Macarons were a huge hit in my house. I didn't get any weird chemical tastes at all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: olyolyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh and the chicken drumettes are a staple here, but my kids don't mind them and it's just chicken and breading, just not as addictive as McDonalds...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can see how these would suffice for a last-minute meal for kids. Personally I prefer to use the freezer space for the breaded chicken tenderloins. Better quality of chicken and more versatile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: olyolyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chicken Drumettes: you know i tried those once and never again but i keep reading YAY's so maybe i got a bad batch. the one's we got were either gristly and/or spongy which made them hard to eat. i just remember there was a lot of chewing and spitting out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We had a similar experience with the Chicken Drummettes - twice. There were bits of gristle in each drummie and thought they lacked enough flavor. Perhaps we will try the breaded tenderloins to see if we have better luck with those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I really think these things are made for little kids. They are pretty bland and that's fine with my kids. They dip them in ketchup... plain as that. There are more adult breaded chicken products at Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've eaten their leftovers or snuck one here and there and never had one that was gristly. We've been eating them here for about 6 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Slight YEA to the Trader Jacques' coconut cookies, not to be confused with the thin coconut cookies. The former are shortbread-like - 1.5" diameter, 3/8" thick. Strong coconut flavor but I was hoping to bite into some actual shredded coconut. No such luck. At $3.99 for an 8.8oz bag of 24 cookies (a serving is 3 of them), I don't think they are good enough to buy again. $2 yes, $4 no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are any new sandwiches expected to be introduced?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I saw a wrap called "Turkey Gobbler Wrap"... not sure if it's new or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought the coconut cookies were tasty, but probably wouldn't buy them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Conditional YEA to the new (dried) Korean spicy seaweed salad. (You have to like regular seaweed flavors to like this.) There's about 7-8 different types of seaweed; soak in cold water for 10 minutes to reconstitute, then drain. The different seaweeds are tasty; quite different from 'standard' seaweed salads. The sauce is very spicy and rather sweet; one envelope lasts 3 seaweed salads. (But it makes a great dipping sauce for some Thai/Chinese appetizers!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another yea to the frozen chicken in mole sauce. Very tasty, meat-heavy entree. Sauce is delish--I wish they sold it in a jar! The rice is dense but overall a yummy meal for 2!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And a BIG YEA to the English coastal cheddar--divine, firm, moderately sharp cheddar with those delicate crunchy mineral bits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drmoze

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've been looking for the chicken in mole sauce but haven't seen it in my local TJ's though it, like the pumpkin things, are featured in the new Fearless Flyer. Beginning to wonder about that place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. conditional yeas to the frozen szechuan beef with broccoli and kung pao chicken. I made them both for dinner along with some white rice and the frozen chicken shiu mai (which gets a yea). They were both good, but maybe not together since both were rather sweet. I wasn't expecting either one to be so sweet. I think paired with something else that isn't sweet they'd each be better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just bought and made the kung pao chicken, but when I saw a little bag of peanuts it freaked me out. I love nuts in my Chinese food, but Trader Joe's and peanuts weird me out right now. I didn't throw them out, they are sitting on my counter, in case I get time to contact TJ. It was a nice meal, without the nuts (probably better with, sad to say).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not the same vendor. Those peanuts are not affected by the recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly what Rilke said. Remember coll TJ's is just reselling private labeled goods when it comes to their packaged food. The recall specified particular items because only those came from the same source where there was a risk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Kung Pao chicken is no more linked to the recall than any other random peanut containing product on other supermarket shelves right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We ate the peanuts with ours and are still alive to tell about it. They added a nice crunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i just double-checked the newly expanded list of recalled products on the FDA's website - which now includes in-shell and shelled raw & roasted peanuts - and there's no mention of any of TJ's packaged/prepared meals or their bagged peanuts...so you're still safe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks everyone, I really wanted to put those peanuts in: and best of all, I love nuts in my food while my husband doesn't so I could have had them all! But I didn't throw them away either, so will eat them as a snack. If I knew previous to opening the package they were in there, I would have researched beforehand. I knew they were probably OK, obviously different distributors.....but right now, peanuts + Trader Joe = makes me think twice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I loved the beef and broccoli BUT I used only half the sauce packet, and I do like sweet. I also added more vegetables, about doubling what's in the bag. I saved the unused sauce and added it to a home-made chicken/veg stirfry later in the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's a really good idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do that all the time... they always supply so much sauce in their teriyaki chicken and with their tempura shrimp (Other TJ Staples in our home) and use them to marinate tofu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Last night I bought a bag of "Just the Leaves of Romaine Lettuce" and the sell by date of 10/24/12 is a joke. Opened the pack to make lunch and they are already brown and only the top half is edible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also bought TJ's mayo for the first time ever as it has no added sugar and was torn between the organic version and the regular mayo. Same price but of course the organic is a smaller jar. Any comments on either or both versions of the mayo would be welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been getting the regular mayo for years - it's incredibly good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ditto. The regular mayo actually weaned me off of Hellman's/Best Foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Their regular mayo is fine, may not quite as stiff as Hellmans. Otherwise close enough in taste for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't think it tastes like Hellmans at all! I think it tastes much more like homemade mayonaise - much richer and eggier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              my Mom said the same thing when i bought it for her - i've never tried it myself, but she really enjoyed it, and preferred it over Hellman's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've been getting various lettuces and rarely had a problem batch. The Romaine hearts (3 to a bag) last me quite a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You will be happy with the regular mayo...it's our go-to mayo and makes the best deviled eggs for us as well as smeared on bread for sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bummer on the lettuce, hate it when that happens. We love the organic mayo and BONUS: the jars take the small Mason jar lids AND can be screwed onto a blender blade base for making salad dressings in the storage jar. Hope I'm being clear- talking about reusing the jars after mayo is gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The coconut oil jars are the same size, btw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: powella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow thanks for the blender tip! It never even occurred to me to try that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: powella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wait, WHAT??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Has anyone cooked with TJ's organic canned pumpkin? I'm wondering how the flavor and texture are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't remember if it's been mentioned, but they've got organic powdered sugar in stock (a seasonal item), and at $2.79, it's much cheaper than other (organic) brands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the canned pumpkin is better than the ubiquitous Libby's. i always stock up on it as soon as it comes in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've used their canned pumpkin - for pumpkin bread. I don't recall a noticeable difference from other brands. However I'm more familiar with the main organic brand from Oregon (Farmers Market) than Libbys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i'm pretty sure TJ's is re-branded Farmer's Market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I actually wondered about that, as Farmer's Market is certainly the most common/available organic brand. It's also what I usually buy, so I'll give TJ's a try, especially if I don't see FM at sale prices soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I prefer it to Libby's - it tastes more pumpkin-y in my opinion, and a bit heavier. I can use it for pumpkin soup or other things more so than the Libby's which tastes metallic to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Yea: the frozen fettucini alfredo with grilled chicken. I didn't have high expectations for this, but thought it might be worth a try on a work night. It was actually pretty tasty. Husband and teenage son really liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FM also has an aseptic package no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Yea....Chateau Poyanne red wine...is it ok to talk about TJ's wines here...? Had this at a neighbor's house tonight...REALLY nice... it was their 3rd bottle, they love it so much...very decent for under $10.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nay...Trader Joe's Garlic Bread (in the frozen case)...good flavor but ugh...the bread was so hard to bite into...seemed like it was almost STALE bread in there...ummmm...NO!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Huge Yay: Mediterranean Hummus Snack Pack with Pita Chips - delicious, surpassed my expectations. Background flavors of garlic and lemon combine with the other ingredients beautifully, and a 10+ on a 1-10 scale when a sprinkling of sea salt was added. The pita chips were surprisingly very fresh even after being in the refrigerator (kept snack packs there) and tasted buttery in a very good way. If you like hummus, definitely give this one a try at 1.99 per snack pack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay: Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage - good, had a slight kick of heat...ate plain but would be greatly improved I think when added to spaghetti and marinara sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: French Sparkling Lemonade - blech...tasted like artificial lemon. We love the Italian Blood Orange Soda (rate it a 10) and also the French Berry Sparkling Lemonade (rate it a 9)...if we had to rate the regular French Sparkling Lemonade giving it a 3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW...impressed with the chicken sausage and thought it was much better than their hot dogs are...any suggestions for a flavor that would be neutral enough to substitute for a hot dog on a bun? Perhaps the Roasted Garlic flavor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Can anyone that has specific experience with Yorgo's Hummus (carried by fairway) recommend a TJ's variety that is similar? (not seeking general recommendations)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I tried two of the TJ's label hummus varieties and disliked them so much that I've been reluctant to try others… but with so many options I know it's possible that one is comparable, but would prefer not having to buy a dozen more to find out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hoping someone that buys Yorgo's as well may be able to help?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i've seen the Yorgos at Fairway, but never tried it. what do you like about it so much? texture? flavor? both? and which TJ's varieties did you dislike, and why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's the closest commercially packaged hummus I've found in both flavor and density to my own home made and top restaurant quality classic hummus. Albeit a bit smoother than traditional restaurant fare as it's entirely blended smooth and most middle eastern restaurants leave a bit more texture. That I can live with but their recipe is just perfectly balanced in every other regard compared to every other one of the many other brands I've tried. It's also preservative free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Unfortunately I don't recall the name of the one I already tried, but I do know it was TJ's branded and I went out of my way to pick one that stuck to the basics (chickpea, oil, tahini, garlic, lemon, salt). Texture wasn't great and was a bit heavy handed with the lemon. Was edible but not good enough to be a staple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Guess I'll just have to pick up a whole array in one visit and try them all. I'll be returning most, but if I can find something even close it will be a weekly buy for as long as they carry it. After moving, I'm much closer to TJ's than Fairway so getting there is a hassle, and I'd love to find a replacement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the mediterranean hummus but less so after seeing things I can't pronounce on the label.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      see if you can find the plain Organic Hummus with the green lid. i'm not a huge fan of store-bought, but this is good stuff - it doesn't have that overly processed, air-whipped creamy texture of most commercial products that i find off-putting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i used to like their eggplant hummus - a nice, smoky hybrid of hummus & baba ghannouj - even thought the texture is a bit runny for my preference...but i think they changed the recipe because it has a funky aftertaste and gritty mouthfeel now. ick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, the plain Organic hummus is very good...when they don't have that in stock, I get the Roased Garlic hummus at TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage is also good with onions and peppers - you can make an Italian sandwich or just serve on a plate. TJ's fire roasted onions and peppers go nicely with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's agreed that TJ's hot dogs made with anything but beef taste bad. The uncured beef hot dogs are very good, unless you want a casing that snaps (I don't). The chicken sausages are all flavored and their dameter is large for a hot dog bun; No suggestions, I'm afraid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the suggestion about ways to fix the sweet italian chicken sausage...the peppers/onions suggestion definitely is one that we will try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, we have tried the chicken and turkey hot dogs and disliked both of them...we try to stay away from beef (closest that we will eat would be grass-fed bison) so haven't purchased the beef hot dogs. The chicken sausages are rather sizeable for a hot dog bun, but was just so impressed with the quality of the chicken sausage that I thought it would make a good substitute for a hot dog if a suitable neutral flavored one was available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. On the new items shelf today in Nashua, 3oz 70% dark chocolate bar with coconut caramel filling. I love coconut so tried this. It has black sea salt, which to me is TOO salty, but the sweetness of the coconut caramel was a nice balance to the bitter chocolate. Qualified YEA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh, I love coconut, that sounds great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Nay x 2-I took the Sea Salt Brownies in the little tub to a meeting.. kind of embarrassed how dry and bad they were... I had also purchased the caramel in a jar so I had a little spoon and people put some on.. but I'll be honest, I didn't like the caramel either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay--Cinnamon Buns to bake in oven..--I was originally going to take these to the meeting (not the brownies), but I followed the directions on opening them: however when it popped open and wrap-around label released, the dough/cinnamon-gunk shot out and sprayed all over me. It was entirely liquid-mess inside.. not dough-like. I couldn't bake them at all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I had to take a second shower... not appreciated. I almost wish the scene had been recorded, because it must have looked like a really good prank (hey, at least I can laugh at my misfortune).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would definitely complain at your store about the Cinnamon Buns - I bought them once and they definitely were not liquid-y inside. You got a highly defective can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I used to go well out of my way to stock up on a cookie that Aldi sold but I haven't seen it there lately---wish it would come back---it was a copycat Jaffa Cake for one-third the money---a spongecake cookie base with a layer of orange or raspberry jelly on top then dipped in chocolate. Occasionally I have found interesting German products like Spaetzel---bring more, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Yays:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Blueberry vanilla goat cheese (OH. EM. GEE.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cubano spiced wrap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sourdough pretzels (but only with the Sweet and Hot Mustard)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The monterey/pepper/habenero jack shredded cheese blend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Salsa Authentica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meh:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato soup; meh out of the box, but fantastic with a touch of sriracha & ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Turkey chili; so bland, needed sriracha, salt & pepper. I loved the fact that the were chunks of turkey in it. It worked well enough for chili dogs (especially with some of the pepper/habenero/monterey jack shredded blend on top), but I'd have been pissed had I took a can to work for an easy lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nay:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pho. If you've ever had real Pho, you'd understand why.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Nay - Low Fat Sprouted Whole Wheat Fiber Bread. Drab flavor, dry texture. The label says, "made with organic sprouted whole wheat berries, dates and raisins." They can't have used much fruit because I didn't taste as much as a hint of it. TJ's high fiber whole wheat and multigrain breads are better in every way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Yeah: Pumpkin ice cream of course! coconut caramel bar - another good Vosges made bar, but I think I prefer the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Meh: Pumpkin cream cheese, OK but not great. tosca? cheese with cinnamon - people liked it, but cinnamon was light.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: Pumpkin macaron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              has anyone "confirmed" that the caramel black salt dark chocolate bar is a vosges product? That was my suspicion based on the similar packaging and exact same flavor but I haven't bought the vosges to compare ingredients/nutrition facts/origin! If they do have some sort of relationship with the company, I hope they start carrying the dark chocolate bacon, the chili, and the caramel stout bars!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I overheard the employees at TJs yesterday saying that the "Pumpkin Walks in to a Bar" had not been shipped to them here in Salem, OR. They seem to have all of the other things from the FF pumpkin line, so there must be some reason not to send them to all stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Big YAY to the Dark Chocolate Coconut Carmel bar at the checkout. One word: sublime....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. What are the best frozen veggies TJ's has now? Planning a trip for tomorrow. They used to have great frozen green beans I know. What else?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I really like their organic frozen broccoli florets!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the broccoli, too. And petite peas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OH MAN, I keep forgetting how exceptional the Petite Peas are. Right now, I also think the Hodge Podge mix is a great variety for $1.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I actually had a bowl of peas for dinner last week when I was on a deadline and the cupboards were all but bare. I love peas though, so it was a pretty good (if one-note), dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The broccoli is our go-to frozen TJ's veggie as well as the frozen artichoke hearts and frozen mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The mashed potatoes work well for us in a pinch for busy weeknights...we discovered the secret (at least for us) was to microwave them for 2 min, stir, put back in microwave for another minute, stir them up, then add about 5-6 tablespoons of water, salt, and a couple of pats of butter. Creamy mashed potatoes that are a very close resemblence to making from scratch. For some reason when we added milk the potatoes seized up and were kind of gluey - adding water worked better for us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You guys are the best! I went today before I got to read this (it's really close to me, I just tend not to go in that often) and I got two bags of frozen green beans and a bag of frozen artichokes. Seemed like they were nearly out of a lot of the veggies. I will have to try back again. I would LOVe some frozen broccoli that was good--most suck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Petit peas, spinach, leeks, pearl onions, country potatoes w/harticot verts & wild mushrooms, asparagus spears, brussels sprouts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drunkenatheist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, yes, yes - the spinach! It is so nice not to have to use a whole package at one time. The spinach is ingenious and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love adding the spinach to pretty much any pasta, soup etc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: olyolyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What's with the spinach?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's a loose chopped form that is easy to add in small quantities to soups and sauces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i've found the organic chopped spinach to be hit or miss - occasionally i get a bag with a lot of brown pieces & tough stems in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: drunkenatheist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                how do you fix frozen sprouts? I usually roast mine but I assume that won't work with frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I second this question. Sprouts seem pretty pervasive these days and I find them fairly easy to prep so I'm curious what applications folks are using these for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It wasn't until I was able to break old associations with overcooked brussel sprouts and discovered roasting, pan searing, and other lighter cooking applications that I came to love them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can the frozen ones also be prepared in ways that avoid the sulfur smell that comes with overcooking them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Another vote for the petite peas. Other frozen vegs I regularly buy at TJ's: chopped spinach, fire-roasted corn, brussels sprouts (the small ones from Brussels), and various medleys such as the fire-roasted bell peppers and onions..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made corn chowder with the fire-roasted corn last week and it was really excellent. It doesn't beat fresh corn in season, but out of season it is by far the best option.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hadn't thought of that, but it sounds like a very good idea. I'll try it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Last time there I found frozen sweet corn (not fire-roasted) and picked up a bag. Haven't tried it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    clearly I must try the fire roasted corn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Clearly I'm in a minority, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the frozen fire roasted corn at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Despite a bit of added visual interest I didn't find it added any noteworthy flavor and have had better results with regular frozen corn I blackened a bit myself when heating in a hot skillet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like the Soycotash, Beans So Green, and the medley in the orangy-red bag. It has carrots cut into batons, peas, cauliflower, corn, bell pepper (if memory serves) and butter sauce, I also like the one with broccoli and romanesco. My friend loves the frozen corn but I'm not sure which one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Holiday sage derby...it was OK. Maybe something I'd put on a cheese platter to look festive cause the color is appealing but the sage flavor just wasn't powerful enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: These taste exactly like Chips Ahoy, with softer chocolate chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Honey Tangerines: Absolutely lovely. Hard to peel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I love the fig butter! I spread some goat cheese, fig butter and drizzled some honey on a piece of good country bread. Wow, so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The fig butter plus blue cheese or the triple cream is so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. a big Yea for the Mandarins in the mesh bag with orange & blue label. sweet & flavorful, with just the right level of juiciness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thoroughly agree ghg, those mandarins with that label are delicious!! We are already on our second bag in under a week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Yay: Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage - went good with breakfast alongside of eggs...a bit on the sweet side with the maple syrup in it. I added a bit of ketchup to the sausage which played off nicely with the maple flavor in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nay: Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage - the garlic smell and flavor were too overpowering for my taste. Heard good things about it, but probably should have known better on this one so the nay should perhaps be on my judgement call!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nay: Honey Mustard and Onion flavored Sourdough Pretzels - I opened up the bag expecting something much more like the type of honey mustard and onion pretzels Snyder's puts out, and instead was shocked at the glowing yellow powder dusted on top each of the pretzels. They were hard to chew as well and didn't care for the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nay: Josie Clementines - I think that is the name of these, they resemble the "cuties" brand of clementines that you often see in stores. They were still on the green side so pretty unripe and tart. On contrast, the mandarins in a smaller mesh bag that they are now selling are absolutely sweet, juicy, and divine. Go for these instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it's funny, when i asked the guy in the produce area if they had clementines he directed me to the boxes of Josie's...but it's too much fruit for little 'ol me. i'm glad i got the bagged mandarins instead!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Yay - frozen breaded cod fillets. Very nice and flaky, not fishy tasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            major Nay - prepped and seasoned brussels sprouts from the produce section. Most of the pieces had the tough stems attached (one piece was ONLY the tough stem!) and the seasoning was just off. I'll stick to buying whole fresh brussels sprouts and spending the 5 minutes to prep and season them myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You can't beat the fresh stalks they have year-round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: olyolyy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll definitely try those next time. I thought I'd save time on a weeknight with the prepped ones but never again. They were very bitter, too. Bleh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I had my first serious Trader Joe's fail - the refrigerated curry chicken tenders. Raw meat in a curry marinade, you just grill it. It seemed so promising. But the chicken had this awful bitter aftertaste. I ended up throwing it away, it was that bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pamelak52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I stay away from most of those premarinated meats in the fridge section. They have been marinating for days or weeks sometimes and that's just too long and things get funky!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Can someone rec a TJ olive oil to use for general use? I use Lucini (a bit expensive) for salads and have been using the Costco Kirkland Tuscan olive oil in the glass bottle -- love it! but it's no longer on the shelf and they tell me it's discontinued. I hesitate to buy the Costco California one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you not liked California oils in the past? The TJ California Estate was recently one of only two rated 'excellent' by Consumer Reports, and in fact beat out the Kirkland Toscano, which received a 'very good.' I have not tried it myself because I still have some or the Kirkland on hand to use up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been using Trader Giotto's Imported Olive Oil (Italian) for some time and it's fine with me for most purposes. Not much olive flavor; when I want that I use an extra-virgin oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Us also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I buy the California Estate extra-virgin olive oil for general use. It's fresh, with a nice, gently peppery finish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was at TJ today, pondering what olive oil, finally, to buy, and chose this one, happy to hear that you like it. I don't know why Costco discontinued the Kirkland Tuscano.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the Spanish Extra Virgin... cheap and just as good for everyday use as the Costco version

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Nay - TJ Spreadable Brie Flavored Wedges

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Saw these by the Laughing Cow spreadable wedges I normally buy and thought I would give them a try. I didn't notice until I went to actually try one that they were only Brie FLAVORED and was actually a Brie/Cheddar blend. I tried to eat them as a side with some pretzels and couldn't even finish half the wedge. I wish my nearest TJ wasn't 90 minutes away or I would definitely be returning these.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Yay - refrigerated shredded chicken in smokey barbeque sauce. Very good! Chicken was nice and moist, and it was a very good ratio of chicken to sauce. The shredded beef brisket is also very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My son (17 with a big appetite) gives the frozen breakfast burritos a big yay, too, although he would have liked more bacon in them. But they could have been 80% bacon and it wouldn't have been enough for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I have liked TJ ground beef, so I finally tried a roasting chicken - not the organic one. This one was about $1.29/lb. I only used MSG on it, since I wanted to compare its basic flavor to that of supermarket and Perdue roasters, which are now so bland that without aggressive seasoning they have almost no taste. The TJ roaster was marginally better in flavor. Not as good as birds from the local poultry farm, which cost over twice as much and, because they have more living space, have a lower meat-to-bone ratio than mass-produced chickens. The TJ chicken was very juicy and tender. I roasted it vertically, upside down with its legs in the air like a nymphomaniac's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That method protects and automatically bastes the breast. Henceforth I will stick with TJ for raw chicken unless I am feeling flush enough to visit the local the poultry farm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a nymphomaniac chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i don't think i will ever picture a roasting chicken again without thinking of that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I bought their steak at 7.99 which had really great marbling. grilled it and it was fantastic! really beefy and tasty! yumm..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I tried the Greek Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt in lieu of my standby Chobani, and couldn't believe my tastebuds when I tried it - it's the most delicious yogurt I've ever had. Then I looked at the nutritional information and realized why - 18g of fat in one 8 oz. serving! Big yea on the flavor but nay on the fat content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. With Hurricane Sandy coming (we're in the mid-atlantic region), the crowd waiting to run into TJ's right as they were opening up this morning was unreal. At our location, we normally don't have but a handful of people shopping the first hour or so on the weekends. I expected large crowds today at places like Wal-Mart for supplies/non-perishable foods, but was very surprised at how many were at TJ's stocking up. I guess people want to make sure they are well prepared with TJ's goodies to weather the storm with! Anyone who is in Sandy's path...stay safe this weekend and early next week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  plenty of non-perishables at TJ. It's an important stop when I'm preparing for a camping trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For example:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - bottled water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - pound+ chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - 2 buck chuck
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - boil in the bag Indian meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - 'healthy' cold cereal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - tetrapack whipping cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - cookies galore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - energy bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - low fat chips of all kinds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - fake-milk of kinds (soy, rice, coconut, almond ...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also lots of trail mixes, nuts, and dried fruit - and granola bars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Paulj---I liked the order of that.. water, chocolate, chuck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Haha, yeah I agree with GraceW on the order there. Those are great ideas paulj, thanks - we did pick up cans of the yellowfin tuna in olive oil, sardines, a tub of cookies, another bag of mandarins and apples, vintage cola...really wish that I had thought of the almond milk that isn't stored in the refrigerator section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Nay on the Trader Joe's Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli... just too sweet for me. Filling tasted like pumpkin pie but too sweet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is a terribly unhealthy thought, but I wonder if they'd fry up nicely as a dessert?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I almost didn't buy the Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli based on your nay, but I'm glad I gave them a shot. We balanced the sweetness of the ravioli by topping them with olive oil, parm, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and sea salt. I didn't find the filling overly sweet (I think there are 7g sugar per serving), but it was spiced with pumpkin pie-esque flavors. We had them for dinner twice last week :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Disclaimer: I love most things pumpkin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another Yea, we tasted these in store and both loved them which is impressive as they were being sampled unseasoned without any sauce. We don't do pasta in general or we'd have bought them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also didn't find them too sweet. I have noticed that many people read things with pumpkin pie and/or apple pie spices as sweeter than they are due to flavor profile association with desserts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Yay: Orange Peach Mango Juice (refrigerator section) - well rounded blend, the peach, mango, and apple juice (includes apple juice as well in the ingredients list) tone down the acidity of the orange juice nicely. Very refreshing and we went through a whole carton in two days!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. YAY- Mini blueberry cheesecake ice cream. don't know if that's the exact name of the product but it's something like that. creamy and sort of cheesecake like but kind of like ice cream but not really. not too sweet and hits the spot for me. they're small but coming in at 100 cal and 6 gms of fat it's not bad in the calorie dept.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Nay: Organic Frosted Toaster Pastries...even my 2 and 4 year olds hated these.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. conditional yay: macaroni and cheese in the box. What can I say, I had a hankering. It was good and cheesy, but quite salty. Each serving is 21% of your daily intake of sodium, and that's if you get 3 servings out of the box. I split the box with my son, so it was more like 30%. I hope my blood presure isn't high when I go for a checkup tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                nay: apple turnovers from the bakery section. The dough was really heavy, not at all flaky. Not many apples in them, either. I wouldn't get these again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                not great: the mini heirloom tomatoes in the produce section. They looked so pretty and certainly weren't rotten like much of the produce, but that's because they were so under ripe that they were hard and a bit bitter. Maybe this is because they're the first store-bought tomatoes of the season for us after many months of delicious home growns?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  re: the tomatoes, not only are they out of season, those particular ones tend to be bad even when they're *in* season - i bought and returned 2 rock-hard containers in August. if you can get the organic grape tomatoes, they're still good...but i'd skip the heirlooms altogether.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Guess we've been really lucky with the mini heirlooms as we've not had a bad batch yet. Not quite as good as some of the full size heirloom batches in the 2.25 lb boxes but definitely tasty and salad worthy nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Granted we only use all of the above once tender, with some taking a few days to get there, but we've been lucky enough to never get a batch that didn't have at least some ready to eat on day one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do still have some on the counter, so maybe the ones we eat later in the week will be better. I was just surprised that they were so hard when they looked so ripe. I'll definitely try the grape tomatoes next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, when we went to eat the remaining tomatoes tonight, three of them were rotten! I guess it's a very fine line between hard and rotten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Mac & Cheese is so cheesy I've actually taken to mixing it 50/50 with plain pasta. Kind of defeats the convenience of it unless you've got leftovers, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. yay Gingerbread Molasses Cookie Dough

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Yay to the pumpkin cranberry scones. Very easy to make and my family loved them...hubby just ate 3. I think they'd be nice with a sugary glaze as well...more dessert-ish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rizzo0904

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Those sound great. Is it a boxed mix, refrigerated dough, or frozen?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            boxed. all you do is add an egg, milk, and butter. they take about 15 minutes to bake. they produce a moist scone, so if you like dry, it may not be for you. i like all scones :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rizzo0904

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll be sure to look for them when I'm there on Saturday. Thanks for the recommendation!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Darn, my store doesn't carry them. The crew I asked there did say they sounded good, though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mine in SF Bay Area had never heard of this scone mix, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's all over the place here in Pasadena and area but then again we're in the home of trader joes so I think we may have a decent inventory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm in NH and we have them....so strange they way they do stuff...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Yay- Trader Giotto's frozen pizzas. We had the pesto pizza, the spinach pizza and the BBQ chicken pizza for dinner. Not bad at all for frozen pizzas! Nothing like fresh baked from a pizzeria, but certainly a big step above other frozen pizzas. I was impressed at how fresh the tomato and broccoli were on the pesto pizza. The sauce on the BBQ pizza was really good, but we picked most of the red onion off while it was still frozen because we're not big fans of onion. The sauce on the spinach pizza was very good but the spinach was rather finely chopped. We'd probably get all three again for a quick meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The spinach pizza is on weekly rotation in our house. I believe it, and the pesto pizza, are repackaged TJ versions of the Amy's brand. I am not as convinced that the TJ roasted vegetable pizza (no cheese) is a simple repackage of Amy's: while I love the Amy's version, the TJ's pie just didn't taste the same. Maybe I have to give it another try to compare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We also enjoy the Pizza Parlano, TJ's version of a supreme pizza. It's on the salty side, but I am not sensitive to salt so it's not an issue for me :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just about to write the review for the Gluten Free 3 cheese pizza and I thought it was excellent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Big yay, Toscano Cheese with Cinnamon - I want someone to make an apple pie with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Conflicted - Red Split Lentils. They are gorgeous in the bag and cook much more quickly than regular lentils, which is a plus on a busy weeknight. However, in my lentil soup last night they kind of - well, disappeared! They're so small (being split) and quick-cooking, they almost dissolved in the soup. Next time I'll try cooking them by themselves to see if I can make a dish with them where you would actually know they were there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that's characteristic of ALL red lentils regardless of the source - they disintegrate/dissolve when cooked in liquid. if you want then to maintain some integrity or texture, you need to use a different type of lentil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good to know! This was my first foray into red lentils. As I said, I did really like they cooked so quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As ghg said, these are almost always the split variety which will always dissolve and are the base for yellow dal recipes in indian cooking. Reds are nice for variety but do know that they are less nutritious than the green, brown, and black varieties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A good tip for all other lentils if you want them to remain toothsome (thanks to America's Test Kitchen) is to first sauté them in oil before adding cooking water which helps them to maintain their shape and firmness once cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A great way to use these is a Lebanese-style lentil soup -- simply flavored, with broth/onion/garlic and LOTS of lemon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was surprised that red lentils are the only dried bean/legume that Trader Joe's sells. I needed some split peas last week and had to get them at the regular grocery. Maybe it's because red lentils cook so quickly and TJ's is geared more toward quick, convenient cooking?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I too was surprised. I was hoping they would have black beluga lentils or lentils de puy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought a vacuum sealed bag of black beluga lentils at TJs many, many years ago. I'd forgotten about that until reading this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also bought the black beluga lentils and they are still in my pantry; I too have sort of forgotten about them. I think I used a little bit one time and wasn't thrilled with the outcome. All lentils are NOT alike!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I found cooked lentils in the refrigerated produce section this weekend! I don't know if they'd always been there and I just missed them, or if somebody at Trader Joe's Central is reading our comments and adjusting their inventory to suit our every whim (I hope it's the latter). I haven't tried them yet, but I was very excited to fin them there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They've definitely been there for at least a few months as we tried them on one of our first visits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Unfortunately they're on the overcooked side and were too mushy to be a full Yea. Just bought some organic canned lentils (westbrae) to see if they're any better, but if they're not I could still see using the TJ's in a pinch for certain applications. (soup rather than salad for example)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NuMystic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              they've been there for a a while now. far back as 2008. my friend turned me onto them when my son was born (2008) for an easy salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jah, I have mixed them with canned beans of all-types (especially butter beans), hot sauce, and barbecue sauce to make a lentil-bean "chili."