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

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: 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.

          2. 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: 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: 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: 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.

                      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: 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!)

                                              1. 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!

                                                    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.