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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - May 2013 [old]

April showers bring May *Trader Joe's* flowers...the latest installment of the Frequent Flyer features 7 roses for only $4.99!

What TJ's products have you tried lately, and would you rate them with a yay or nay?

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  1. The broths in 1-quart boxes are not new, but I've just been reviewing them, so for what it's worth:

    yea - Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. Made with chicken, aromatics, some salt but little more than half as much as in national brands like College Inn. For those who want a low-sodium chicken broth, TJ's makes it too, though I don't like it as much.

    yea - Organic Beef Broth. A fairly complex ingredients list; not low-sodium but not high-sodium either.

    nay - Organic Hearty Vegetable Broth. Not hearty at all, in fact almost flavorless, and the very slight taste didn't suggest any of the nine vegetables listed as ingredients. Definitely low-sodium - low-everything, I'd say, with almost no nutritional value at 5 calories per cup.

    Each costs $1.99. I cook with the chicken and beef broth all the time and sometimes just heat some up for soup, adding salt and pepper to taste.

    6 Replies
    1. re: John Francis

      I used that organic vegetable broth in a curried pumpkin soup I make every thanksgiving. I usually use College Inn canned vegetable broth in it, which doesn't taste like much, but is more like chicken broth. The TJ's vegetable broth had so many weird flavors in it that it ruined the taste of the soup. I'll never get it again.

      1. re: AmyH

        The Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth isn't too bad. Can definitely discern the herbs with the dominant flavor being onion and tomato.

        20 cal/cup 130mg Potassium and only 140mg sodium.

        Use it mostly when I'm doing a quick sautee of the bagged Organic Kale or cooking quinoa.

        I suspect the herbaceous quality would not work with certain recipes though. (like your pumpkin soup I suspect Amy)

        1. re: NuMystic

          Actually, that might be the one I used. I tend to buy low sodium products and I remember the dominant onion and tomato. It definitely did not work with the pumpkin soup, unfortunately. I think I'll still to College Inn.

          1. re: NuMystic

            My TJ's doesn't carry this, only the "hearty" vegetable broth, and I didn't know that it exists. From a comparison at FatSecret, I see that it's 20 calories a cup compared with the "hearty" broth's five. I'd try it if I could, but I can't.

            As for what's left of the "hearty" broth, which is little more than water with a slight off-putting taste, it's cheap and I could just throw it away. But maybe I'll use it to make some rice, have a taste, then cover it up with one of TJ's Indian Fare sauces. Which gives me an opening for something positive:

            yea - Madras Lentil. My favorite, since they no longer carry the dal I liked so much.

            yea - Punjab Choley. Chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, and over a dozen herbs and spices. Delicious.

            yea - Punjab Eggplant. The eggplant is grilled over an open flame, sez the package, and I like the slightly smoked flavor.

        2. re: John Francis

          The organic Free range not low sodium not nonorganic chicken broth is my FAVORITE go to chicken broth. I accidentally bought low sodium this week and I was crushed (though it wasn't bad - just not nearly as chickeny)

          1. re: John Francis

            I appreciate your review on TJ's broths - the only one I have tried and used many times is the Organic Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth. The OFR Low Sodium Chicken Broth is okay/average, and the only reason why I've been buying it is because I do not want an overly salty broth. Great to hear that the regular OFR Chicken Broth is not as salty as other store brands.

            Also, will now try TJ's Beef Broth based on your review as well.

          2. Yay! on the limited edition Ethiopian Peaberry coffee that is in the Fearless Flyer. Very characteristic of Ethiopian coffee with those distinctive flavors, medium dark roast, good price.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

              Glad to hear a yay review for this coffee...will definitely have to try it out myself. Fair Trade Ethiopian coffee was my first coffee that I tried a few years ago and was the one that got me hooked (before then I was always a "tea person") and although French Roast is my usual go-to lately, excited to try Ethiopian coffee again. Really great flavored coffee.

            2. Yay! Soft and juicy dried mandarin orange slices.

              These were yay-ed on last month's thread but I thought they were worth a repeat mention since they are fairly new. They were indeed soft and juicy, and perfectly tart... but they are VERY sweet. My guess is that if you are a fan of the soft and juicy mango, you will enjoy these as well! At $2.69 for a 6oz bag, these will be a repeat purchase, but mostly for hikes or other activities where all that sugar can be well utilized.

              Close-up photo attached.

               
              18 Replies
              1. re: ohmyyum

                Can't wait to try these then since I am a huge fan of the soft and juicy mango.

                1. re: ohmyyum

                  I thought these were a little bitter, and I wasn't a fan of the texture. We'll (probably) finish the bag, but I doubt I'd buy again.

                  1. re: Savour

                    I don't think these are bad, and I'll finish the bag, but I also won't buy again. They were just okay.

                    1. re: ohmyyum

                      Another Yay!

                      They remind me of candy orange slice candies, very tasty.

                      They would be fine on a cake but I wouldn't put them in cereal--much too sweet.

                      1. re: ohmyyum

                        I got one bag and thought they were delicious, but they were gone when I went back for another round! They're scheduled to return in a month or so, I'm told.

                        1. re: JulesNoctambule

                          They were gone from my store this week, too! I was going to get several bags and take some to work. Glad to hear they're coming back eventually.

                          1. re: AmyH

                            I went to get some today, and they were out :( so sad, totally craving them! Got some TJs fruit gems, so not the same...

                            1. re: schrutefarms

                              How funny, I also got some fruit gems when I saw the mandarins were gone! And you're right, they're really not the same.

                              1. re: AmyH

                                The fruit gems actually are pretty good though. My whole box is gone :) But yeah, not really a sub for the mandarins.

                                1. re: schrutefarms

                                  Without a doubt the best fruit gems I've ever had.

                                  1. re: AmyH

                                    But they give so few of the dark purple ones that they've tricked me into thinking those are the best ones.

                            2. re: AmyH

                              I was told they won't be back till July (NYC)

                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                They told me July in Las Vegas also. Can't wait. I had tried the crispy ones first, but I far prefer the juicy ones.

                                1. re: Steve Green

                                  Yeah, I tried again today, but no luck. They didn't tell me a date, just that they were out of stock and probably would be for a while. Boo. I barely had any ti e to get hooked on them!

                          2. re: ohmyyum

                            Another YAY on the dried mandarin slices but at 140 calories for 14 pieces I can see myself easily gaining back those 3 lbs that took like 100 yrs to lose. i'd rather gain weight eating ice cream or guzzling wine.

                            1. re: trolley

                              Whoa- that seems excessive, calorie-wise. Do they have a shit-ton of sugar added?

                              1. re: EWSflash

                                yes, i assume so. they taste like candy that's why they're so good but as i said, i'd rather gain weight eating ice cream and eating pizza, not on dried fruit. it just seems like the wimp way to gain weight.

                          3. Yay: Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Quinoa & Wheatberry Salad in the prepared salads section. Perfect lunch.

                            1. Yay - Trader Quixote's Garden Fresh Gazpacho

                              Needed a generous amount of red wine vinegar, a slug of olive oil, and a bit of water added but well worth that tiny bit of effort in the end.

                              Un-doctored it's so thick that it would work as a chunky salsa with a bit of fresh lime squeezed over it.