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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - July 2013 [OLD]

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Summer is now in full swing and Trader Joe's has some great foods to add to your summer picnics and celebrations. What products have you bought lately that stand out for you - would you rate them with a "yay" or "nay"?

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  1. YAY: Hobo bread (bakery section). Sweet and dark, with raisins, nuts and molasses. Excellent sliced and spread with cream cheese.

    15 Replies
    1. re: AmyH

      Yaaay, glad you like it too. I need to pick up another.

      1. re: AmyH

        Looked for this tonight but was unable to find it on the shelf - it was closing time so I will have to call up our TJ's tomorrow. Crossing our fingers that our store carries the hobo bread - I've noticed that it does not carry some bakery products that other areas of the country have.

        1. re: littleflower

          At my store the hobo bread wasn't on the bakery shelves. It was on the square bakery table with the cakes and pies.

          1. re: AmyH

            Oh I wish I was wrong AmyH, but I called up our TJ's today and the manager told me that they will not be carrying the Hobo bread. He said that he checked the computer and it was not orderable for our area. :-(

        2. re: AmyH

          Thanks for the recommendation and another YAY! here for the hobo bread. A nice dessert with cream cheese as you suggested. It recalls that date nut bread in a can that we had occasionally when I was a child.

          1. re: AmyH

            Finally found it and had to try it. Much denser and richer than Boston brown bread - more a cake than a bread, like Thomas's date nut bread. (We always had it in the house when I was growing up, but Thomas doesn't make it any more. Hey, another project for Trader Joe.)

            Too rich for me, I think. But I'll eat it anyway. :-)

            1. re: John Francis

              Thomas (or whatever company now owns them, Bimbo I think) does make the date nut bread but only around the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately it tastes very dry now to me, the recipe may have changed; and it costs around $6 for a surprisingly tiny loaf, which also seems to be a change, at least based on my recollection.

              1. re: coll

                How recently were you able to buy it? Quite a few posts on the Web, all with a despairing tone, and nothing positive since 2008. But thanks for the info, I'll look for it during the holidays just in case.

                1. re: John Francis

                  I got it a couple of years ago, it was in a free standing bin near the bread aisle. I believe it appeared around Thanksgiving and disappeared after Christmas. As a matter of fact, I think they advertised that fact somehow. But I think Thomas was owned by General Mills then, then a year ago they were bought out by Bimbo (this is off the top of my head, hard to keep up with the acquisitions!) If I wasn't so lazy/busy, I'd contact them myself just to find out the updated story on date nut.

                  If you do find it this year, let me know what you think. I have started making my own in an attempt to have some on hand when I want, it is one of my favorite things in the world. I'm getting close to the gooey goodness that was Thomas. Next time I'm in Trader Joes (a few times a year) I will see if they have theirs here in my area.

                  1. re: coll

                    The hobo bread is definitely gooey. :-) Enjoy!

                    1. re: John Francis

                      This is good to know. Hobo bread sounded like monkey bread to me, assumed it was white. I usually skip the bakery section, we have a local grocery that imports fantastic bread from NYC, but will check it out next time.

                      1. re: coll

                        It's really very similar to date nut bread.

                        1. re: AmyH

                          So glad you all told me about this!

                          1. re: coll

                            I hope you love it! Try it with some cream cheese.

                            1. re: AmyH

                              If it's like date nut, I can't imagine having it any other way!

          2. I don't know how new it is or isn't, as I usually make my own hummus, but we needed some in a pinch for an event we did yesterday and the Roasted Garlic hummus I bought there was devoured and complimented by everyone! I didn't even get to try it though I did manage to snag a quinoa-black bean tortilla chip, which guests were also putting away happily. They weren't bad, but I'm still glad I can eat all the gluten all the time instead.

            1. Yay to the mini precooked bratwursts - both of my kids are eating them like they're going out of style.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Savour

                I agree - those little bavarian bratwursts are outstanding. They make a great addition to a breakfast for dinner with eggs and hashbrowns.

              2. YAY that they are now carrying the Dark Chocolate PB cups in the small packages for 0.99 each year round (not just during the holiday season), but what about those of us who are Milk Chocolate PB cup fans? Perhaps wishful thinking but I would love if they would come out with small packages of milk choc. PB cups as well!

                3 Replies
                1. re: littleflower

                  Have you tried Costco's peanut butter cups? Those are my milk chocolatey choice, as I do like the individual wrapping.

                  1. re: Rilke

                    Hmm...no I haven't tried those found at Costco just Trader Joe's. Are they only available in a bulk size?

                    1. re: littleflower

                      Yup, they're in a big red bag. But I just keep it in the freezer and take a few out at a time, and don't worry about the expiry. They are delicious.

                2. YAY: Cinnamon raisin rolls (bakery) - yummy toasted with cream cheese, vegan
                  YAY: Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal - dessert for breakfast, also vegan
                  YAY: Zesty Nacho Kale Chips - $2 less than at WF; vegan, too

                  I also recently discovered that TJs doesn't sell sauerkraut.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Divamac

                    I like those Cinnamon Rolls found in the bakery section that you're talking about - great suggestion to toast them with cream cheese, usually I just eat them straight from the package. I like these cinnamon rolls because I don't find them overly sugary sweet - they have a nice balance between cinnamon and sugar in them.

                  2. MEH: Five Spice Chicken and Asian Style Noodle Salad. It was recommended by others on last month's thread, and while it was completely edible, it didn't do that much for me. Maybe I'm spoiled by all the great Vietnamese food we have here in LA, but to me it didn't even come close to the real thing.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: aching

                      I also found it to be meh and didn't understand what all the fuss was about.

                      1. re: AmyH

                        Thirded. I liked the dressing, but wasn't impressed by the salad. I'll stick with the kale one, the field fresh chicken and couscous, and the one with red quinoa and wheatberries.

                    2. YAY: still love the pre brined organic chicken. It's great spatchcocked, marinated and grilled (or any other way).

                      Dark chocolate almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt, only dare but them rarely.

                      1. Big "yay" for their Corn and Chile Tomato-Less Salsa. In a pint-sized jar. Tastes like a zippy sweet corn relish. We inhaled it with nacho chips. Next time I go I'm loading up. Would be great with burgers, ribs, chicken.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nlgardener

                          There used to be a corn relish on the market, made by Heinz, I think. Not sure. Loved the stuff. Then it went bye-bye. Found a recipe in one of my canning books and used to make a huge batch at the end of every summer when local corn was at it's best and cheapest. About a year or so ago I discovered TJ's Corn and Chile Tomato-Less Salsa. Not quite as good as my homemade, but considering time and effort saved, it will more than do. I especially love it on often otherwise tasteless turkey burgers. And sometimes, I just eat it right out of the jar with a spoon. Great stuff, I agree.

                        2. Yay:

                          Tabbouli - I don't know if it's a new-to-TJs product, but I've never seen it there before. It was excellent, full of fresh bright flavors. It made a great light dinner last night w/ pita chips and TJs hummus. This will be a regular purchase for me; just wish it came in a larger container.

                          Mixed Berry Scone Mix - couldn't have been easier to make; dump it into a bowl, add water, mix, drop spoonfulls onto a sheet pan and bake. They were moist, light and flavorful w/ nice scraggly crunchy tops. I could see making them larger and using them as shortcakes for dessert.

                          Meh:

                          Orange Chicken - this has been a staple item for me for years and is my 10yo DS' favorite meal hands down. For years, I've always had to cut up the pieces of chicken for him. The other night, for the first time ever, there wasn't a single piece in the batch that was larger than bite sized. My DS even commented that the pieces were all so small. I think someone commented on this same issue in a previous thread. Disappointing that the pieces were all so tiny which obviously means less chicken and more breading. I will still buy it but sorry to see they've lowered their quality on this very popular item.

                          20 Replies
                          1. re: HeyImBack

                            The scones sound great! Is it a seasonal item or something new?

                            And to be honest, I have never understood why so many people love the mandarin orange chicken. I've sampled it on two separate occasions, and both times I got soggy, excessively breaded pieces of stringy dark meat chicken in a cloyingly sweet sauce. Nay for me.

                            1. re: ohmyyum

                              Has anyone tried the scones that are already prepared, found in the bakery section? Any thoughts?

                              1. re: littleflower

                                I've tried them and we all thought they were quite good. Maybe a bit on the sweet side, but my kids don't mind that.

                                1. re: littleflower

                                  The cranberry orange ones are dangerous, but def a sweet treat

                                  1. re: Savour

                                    Hmm...tried the wild blueberry scones in the bakery section and wasn't particularly impressed with the flavor of them. I wonder if I would like the cranberry orange ones better - that was actually my first choice but I didn't see the cranberry orange scones on the shelf.

                                2. re: ohmyyum

                                  The scone mix was on the "new items" shelves at my TJ's. I bought a box and will be making them for Sunday breakfast. I'm glad to hear they're good!

                                  1. re: AmyH

                                    That's where they were at my TJs as well. Bright pink box.

                                3. re: HeyImBack

                                  I wholeheartedly agree with you about the disappointment with the Orange Chicken. I had been hearing such rave reviews for it and when I tried it a couple of months ago, I experienced the same as you did - the majority of the chicken pieces were tiny and consisting of mostly breading. It appears as though the quality of the product is declining, and hopefully TJ's will correct this soon!

                                  1. re: littleflower

                                    I just tried the Mandarin Orange Chicken a few months ago and was also quite disappointed with the chicken. I much prefer the Orange Chicken that Costco carries - more consistent pieces of chicken and the sauce has more orange flavor.

                                  2. re: HeyImBack

                                    Was eyeing that scone mix hey, now I will try it for sure. As soon as they stop selling the shortcake biscuits which I am now addicted to. My TJs stores the biscuits in two places so if I don't see any by the refrigerated berries I know to check by the baked goods as well.

                                    1. re: HeyImBack

                                      Updating my list . . .

                                      Nay:

                                      Mini blueberry cheesecake ice cream wedges. These sure sounded good but were really disappointing. The ice cream wasn't creamy, and the vanilla portion was flavorless. The only flavor came slightly from the blueberry swirl. Totally not worth the $$.

                                      1. re: HeyImBack

                                        I want to try those scones! It is just too hot to bake... thanks for the positive reports. I hope they don't get discontinued before I get to try them!

                                        1. re: HeyImBack

                                          Another YAY for the Mixed Berry Scones mix - I haven't personally tried them, but my brother and his girlfriend made them yesterday and confirmed they were really good. They ate a couple and froze the rest to use up later.

                                          1. re: HeyImBack

                                            I second the YAY on the mixed berry scone mix. Very easy and tasty.

                                            big NAY: fresh black figs. They sure looked good in the box, but they were really tasteless and not sweet. I don't know how they managed to do that. Maybe they weren't ripe.

                                            1. re: AmyH

                                              Sorry to hear that the figs that you picked up were not ripe...ours that we got from TJ's recently were pretty good. The fruit selection sometimes can be hit or miss there.

                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                Usually more miss than hit. And yet I never learn!

                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                  I left the figs out on the counter to see if they would ripen a bit. Well, today (Tuesday, and I bought them Saturday) they were all moldy. So I took them back. The woman working in the manager area said she had bought some too and hers were lousy, too. She noted that they had a weird spongy texture. Bleh!

                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                    In my experience, buying figs in general is tricky. In a taped up TJs box is even harder. My first few years in LA, bought black figs at TJs all season. They were ripe, sweet and luscious, oozing thick juice. I used to look for skins almost splitting. You had to finish them quickly though. They'd get moldy in two days, even in the fridge. Then my luck ran out. Tasteless, fibrous, or dried out inside and crunchy but still not sweet. I had so many misses, I haven't gone back to TJs figs. I just get them at farmer's market when they are oozing. Now I am in NoCal.

                                                    Sounds like I need to try green figs.

                                                    1. re: sweetTooth

                                                      It sounds like being in CA you are much better off getting them at the farmer's market. Those of us in other places (like me in upstate NY) have no choice but to get them at TJs and hope for the best.

                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                        :-( I hear ya. But even at the farmer's market, I pass more times than I buy. They're a lot more expensive - $5 a pint basket. I buy only if they're oozing goodness or skins have split open.

                                            2. MEH - the mini chicken tikka samosas in the freezer section. They were OK but not spectacular. The larger potato samosas are much better.

                                              1. NAY -- the frozen wild sockeye salmon. Yes, it's a great deal... but the flavor & texture were off and just not worth it.

                                                I'd rather spend more money on it at Wegmans and have a great piece of salmon than this. Feh.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  Interesting. We buy this frequently and prefer it over any other frozen wild sockeye we have tried. Always great.

                                                2. HUGE YAY: Mango! Mango! Fruit and Yogurt Gummies - Big thanks goes out to twinkie from the June thread who recommended these - these are great! There are three different varieties in the pack - 1) all mango 2) half passionfruit/half mango and 3) half mango/half yogurt. I like all three, with a slight edge to the passionfruit/mango one. They're not overly sugary at ALL, in fact they are actually kind of refreshing to eat - perfect for a trip to the beach or serving at an outdoor event. Easily one of my favorite TJ's products.

                                                  17 Replies
                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                    +1 for the mango gummies. Delicious! I was able to get a couple before my boys ate them all. I'll be buying more of these.

                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                      So glad that you and your family liked the Mango Gummies as well! We're planning on getting another package of figs tomorrow - wondering now based on your above post if they are going to be consistently more of a miss than a hit!

                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                        When you say "another" package of figs, does that mean you recently bought a package and it was good? If so, then maybe your store is getting better ones than ours. If not, well, caveat emptor.

                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                          Yes and this time bought the fresh green skinned figs - out of this world yummy. You may want to give these a try - one pound of sweet goodness for only 3.99!

                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                            Thanks for the recommendation. I'll see if I can work up the nerve to take another chance on the figs.

                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                              Good luck with them...I found the green skin figs that I just bought to be some of the best figs that I have bought in recent years. I would give those a try this time if I were you.

                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                I just bought some of the green figs this morning and they are indeed delicious! Thank you for convincing me. After that black fig experience I would have sworn off fresh figs forever and missed these gems.

                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                  Yay so happy you found these to be better than the black figs! These green skin ones really are the best figs that I have tried and the price is just right, too.

                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                    Do you refrigerate yours or leave them out? Not that these will last long enough to get moldy, but I was wondering.

                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                      I refrigerate them just to be on the safe side and then take a few out at a time to take the chill off before I eat them.

                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                        Thanks! I'll do that, too.

                                                                      2. re: AmyH

                                                                        I just bought some the other day, there were about six cartons but all had brown spots. I ate a few and they tasted great, but how many figs can you eat at once? It's a pretty big container.

                                                                        So I marinaded and grilled them that night to stop the over ripe process. Ate as many as I dared. Then I was making pesto the next day, so I left a little in the processor and threw the grilled figs in and gave them a whiz. Popped into the freezer, will make a good appetizer somewhere down the line. It's such a short season, at least around here.

                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                          i was just reading in the lee brothers' "charleston kitchen" cookbook about a quick pickle for figs. they then use the pickling juice with some olive oil over the figs, butter lettuce and toasted pecans.

                                                                          it is a lovely cookbook!

                                                          2. re: littleflower

                                                            Picked up some of the green figs today. They're not ripe or sweet at all. Maybe in a day or two?

                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                              Oh that's a shame, RTR!! Mine were ripe and sweet on day one as soon as I opened up the package. Perhaps giving it another day or two may help - I am not sure. The only thing that seems consistent is TJ's IN-consistency in the fig supply this year around the country!

                                                              1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                I tried leaving out the black figs to ripen but they were moldy in two days.

                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                  Hmm. They were soft and sweet this evening but one was getting some white mold on the side where it had a brown patch. I guess there is a narrow window of opportunity where they are ripe but not yet moldy.

                                                        2. A big YAY for the Driscoll's organic blackberries & raspberries at much lower prices than other stores.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            GHG, have you tried the organic strawberries this year? In past years I have heard varying reviews on the quality of the strawberries - hearing that the blackberries and raspberries are good gives me hope!

                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                              I wasn't going to weigh in on the strawberries because I've only bought them once so far & it was at the very beginning of the season. They weren't good - harvested too early so never got really ripe, not very sweet, pretty firm/crunchy & lots of white inside. I've been getting delicious Driscoll's organic strawberries on sale ($2.50/lb!) at another supermarket here so I haven't bothered trying them from TJ's again. Based on that one container I'd have to give them a resounding Nay. The blackberries & raspberries are an entirely different story - perfectly ripe, sweet & delicious.

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                Thanks - that is a fair assessment, the same thing happened to me this year with the watermelons at TJ's. I bought one early on in the season and it just was not ripe at all. I've heard the watermelons now are tasty so perhaps the same goes for the strawberries. In season, overall I have had good luck with TJ's fruits.

                                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                                We got a pack of the Driscoll's organic strawberries last week. no flavor, just sweet, lots of white inside. We're freezing them for smoothies because they aren't worth eating raw.

                                                                1. re: artemis

                                                                  Thanks for the update, artemis - I am already missing the freshly-picked strawberries that were available for only a short time at our local farmer's market. Looks like I will have to resort to TJ's frozen organic strawberries which are pretty good but of course not the same as fresh juicy strawberries.

                                                            2. Yay: One pound packages of thickly sliced roast turkey or roast chicken.

                                                              Nay: Their pre-sliced squares of American Cheddar. How bad could it be? Really bad. Somehow, they extracted every molecule of flavor from that cheese.

                                                              1. No - Pork Potstickers. Bland. Disappointed.

                                                                As a side note, we were happy to note that our store now carries unwrapped green peppers. We use four peppers of all colors each week, and green peppers in cardboard and saran never appealed [and usually went bad fast.].

                                                                Also, the store had wrapped iceberg heads, which my unadventurous spouse likes on sandwiches. The head we bought is good, and will hopefully last.

                                                                1. Yay - CA extra virgin olive oil, great oil for only 5.99. Will be using it a lot this summer on bruschetta!

                                                                  Yay - meatless meatballs, I eat meat but like the flavor and texture of these, almost tastes to me like eggplant. Great for a quick meal cooked in one of their sauces, roasted garlic marinara and arabiata are 2 favorites.

                                                                  Yay - raisin bran cereal, good price at 2.99 and good natural flavor with lots of raisins.

                                                                  Yay- mini rice crackers with soy sauce, great flavor and crunch, great with cheese and hot pepper jelly.

                                                                  I just bought the mango gummies so will report back later on those.

                                                                  I'm looking for feedback on their maple syrup. They had a plastic jug A and B and a tall thin bottle, I think was B. how does their syrup compare? Thanks!

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: geminigirl

                                                                    I've tried only the B in the glass bottle and like it a lot.

                                                                    1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                      Ditto for the Organic Maple Syrup, grade b, 12 fl oz in the glass bottle. Also the price is right, $7.99, compared with $9.99 for Brad's Organic grade a (same quantity) at the corner store. Haven't tried TJ's alternatives.

                                                                      1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                        Grade B in the bottle is the standard in my household. Can't beat the value, and the flavor is great.

                                                                      2. re: geminigirl

                                                                        I've been getting their syrup (B) in the jug for years, it's good.

                                                                        1. re: snippet

                                                                          I was leaning towards B so glad to hear
                                                                          they both get good reviews, thanks.

                                                                        2. re: geminigirl

                                                                          Grade B is darker, thicker, and has more maple flavor compared to grade A, which is lighter, thinner, and has a less robust flavor.

                                                                        3. I dont think these are new. But i am so happy to have found them. Snack packs of hummus and pita chips. So perfect

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Goatjunky

                                                                            A yay for these from me as well...they are so convenient as a healthy on-the-go snack.

                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                              Yay from me as well. Great for school lunches.

                                                                          2. Tried the hallulomi cheese. Very salty on its own, but amazing with fresh watermelon. I would like to try it grilled. Thanks the June tags:)

                                                                            1. Not new, but new to me:
                                                                              YAY - Pecan Pralines. Holy smoke, these are addictive.
                                                                              YAY - Dark Chocolate Mini Peanut Butter Cups - ditto. Dangerous.
                                                                              NAY - Double-cream Brie. I thought this was completely flavorless.
                                                                              YAY - as goodhealthgourmet mentioned, Organic Blackberries. Way less expensive than normal grocery store. Great sweetness. Used most of them for Blackberry Crumb Bars. Very good.

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: KrumTx

                                                                                Others gave a yay to the goat cheese brie and I thought that it had no flavor -- regretted adding all those calories for no flavor!!

                                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                                  If this is the small disk of goat brief in white opaque wrapper, you might want to age/ripen it a bit. I didn't like it when I first bought it - chalky and flavorless. Then it languished in the fridge for weeks. Tried it again and this time it was softer, tending towards runny and the transformation in taste/flavor was delightful.

                                                                                  1. re: sweetTooth

                                                                                    Goat briefs - ha!

                                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                                      And imagine how much better they get after aging them! :-D

                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                        Lol! Stupid smart phone! Grrr. I can't stop chuckling linguafood.

                                                                                        1. re: sweetTooth

                                                                                          Happens to the best of us (and I don't have the excuse of a StupidPhone).

                                                                                          But your tip is a good one. I was underwhelmed with the goat brie(f), and perhaps shoulda aged it in the fridge longer....

                                                                                2. re: KrumTx

                                                                                  KrumTx thanks for the pecan praline recommendation - they really are addictive and delicious.

                                                                                3. Just a heads up on a new one I found a couple of hours ago here in L.A.:

                                                                                  POPCORN BEURRE MENUNIERE

                                                                                  A new popcorn! French flags adorn the bag ...
                                                                                  Popcorn drizzled w Brown Butter, Herbs & Lemon

                                                                                  The bag is here, I'm just not hungry yet. Will let you know.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                    OK, finally broke into the bag and was not impressed.

                                                                                    Count me a "nay".

                                                                                    1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                      Yeah, we had that in the June thread. It's a pretty big fat NAY all the way. Stuff's nasty.

                                                                                      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                        I respectfully disagree. I just tried some and I think it's pretty good for a bagged popcorn. (Obviously, bagged is not as tasty as fresh hot popcorn.)

                                                                                        I usually like white cheddar popcorn for this kind of snack and this is a good alternative. It is a lot less salty. The butter flavor is fairly mild and not as artificial tasting as some of the microwave popcorn brands. There is a hint of lemon, but I didn't really notice the promised herb flavor.

                                                                                        i would buy it again if I was looking for a crunchy snack.

                                                                                        1. re: pamf

                                                                                          Opinions are split on this one. I was incredulous that anyone would like it (it tastes THAT nasty to me) but apparently a lot of people do - maybe it's like cilantro.

                                                                                          Anyway, I highly recommend the herbed popcorn for a crunchy snack - it's really tasty.

                                                                                    2. MEH: Wild Blueberry Scones (fresh-bakery section) - they were out of the Mixed Berry Scones mix so picked these up to try instead. They come three to a pack...they are just "okay", nothing really special jumps out about them. The taste of the scone itself was pretty decent but the flavor of the blueberries were muted. This most likely will not be a repeat buy.

                                                                                      1. MEH: Original Lemonade (fresh carton-refrigerated section) - I bought this all summer long last year, but have to agree with someone who posted a few threads back that this year's lemonade was a bit on the sweet side. It was noticeably more sweet and I miss that perfect combination of the tart/sweet flavor that it had last year.

                                                                                        1. I'm starting to get a bit frusterated with my local TJ's...They got me hooked on the Sweet and Juicy Dried Mandarins back in May...and haven't had them since!!! Anyone else having this problem? TJ's told me in June they would have them in July....bit nada so far.

                                                                                          24 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                            Same here, haven't seen them in mine for ages (in CA). Good thing though - I go through those things way too quickly.

                                                                                            1. re: toopie28

                                                                                              I'm in CA as well...grrr....they can't get me hooked on something then just take it away...

                                                                                              1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                They do that a lot, I find. AND they always tell you it's coming back in stock. They never do. Why do they lie to us? Whhhhhyyyyyy???:??

                                                                                            2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                              At least you got to try them, when I went to one of the stores in Charlotte, NC they said they never even got them in.

                                                                                              1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                No sign of them where I live, either; I was told they'd be back in June but they never came in. Discontinued already, I wonder?

                                                                                                1. re: JulesNoctambule

                                                                                                  I asked again yesterday, they just said "sometime in July."

                                                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                    At this point, I'll believe they're really coming back once I've bought them again!

                                                                                                2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                  They had them at my TJs this afternoon! The girl stocking the shelf said her order book said end of season so it was only back for a short run. I bought 10.

                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                    I'm putting on my shoes right now.

                                                                                                    1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                      I thought I had pulled a muscle in my leg I jumped off the couch so fast! Anyway, 3 Trader Joes, NO Soft and Juicy Mandarins. Sigh. I bought the Sweet and Juicy Mangoes because, well, I HAD to buy something. They're good, I suppose, but nothing like the mandarins :( Can I ask what city you are in?

                                                                                                      1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                        Aw that is a major bummer! Did you ask one of the employees or a manager?

                                                                                                        Where do you live that you have 3 TJ's in close proximity?! I live in Winston-Salem, NC and the next nearest TJs is a good hour away. I stopped in at "my" store today to pick up lunch and they had them on the normal shelf in the nuts/dried fruit/trail mix section, as well as on the new item shelf and up by the registers.

                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                          I actually made it to a 4th TJ's last night (for the record, I'm in L.A. and have...let's see...8 Trader Joe's within 5 miles or less, there's 4 under a mile away from my place.) The guy at the 2nd one I went to said they are not orderable at this time, but I'm still going to keep looking!

                                                                                                          1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                            That's what I don't understand - how can a product that is packaged and can be easily shipped across all parts of the U.S. be stocked in one TJ's region but not orderable in another. I can somewhat see how various bakery goods may be offered in only certain areas due to shortened sell-by dates, but with items that have a longer shelf life it doesn't make as much sense to me.

                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                              I know! It's not like it's some delicate produce or something--it's dried packaged fruit! And not even a fruit thats hard to come by!

                                                                                                          2. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                            I wish I could have gone to the one in Winston-Salem. I been to all the ones in Charlotte and none of them have it.

                                                                                                        2. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                          They had the sweet and juicy dried mandarins here in Albany NY today! Yay!

                                                                                                        3. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                          Overflowing baskets of them at my TJ's (SF Bay Area).

                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                            Can't they throw a few down south??

                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                              None here in Vegas either -- probably the same distribution center as L.A. I've been calling every day, because I get different stories, depending on who I talk to. Yesterday, it was "Call on Friday -- we'll know what's coming in for the next week"; tonight they said it was best to call every day. Latest info on the computer is "end of the month".

                                                                                                            2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                              I looked at the UWS Manhattan location tonight and nothing. I'm dying to try these, based on all the good reviews here!

                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                I've looked there every time I go and have never seen them.

                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                  I just bought them today in MA, first time I have seen them. I don't think I'm as big a fan as many of you...I liked them, but after a couple I started feeling a little off...maybe bc super sweet? I dunno. Not sure what I expected and they were interesting and different, but not sure I'd buy again.

                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                    I've looked for these at the Chelsea and Union Square branches, no sight of them :( Dying to try these bad boys

                                                                                                                  2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                    I had never tried them, but when I saw them at the Everett, WA location last night I grabbed two packages. They are awesome!!! Hubby enjoyed them too. Going back tonight to buy several more, just in case.....

                                                                                                                  3. Has anyone bought their fresh Atlantic (farmed, presumably) salmon?

                                                                                                                    Any opinions?

                                                                                                                    1. YAY: Grilled Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary Chicken (heat and serve/meat section) - thank you to AmyH for the recommendation, this will now be a go-to lunch option for me. The grill marks give the chicken a good depth of flavor and combined with the balsamic vinegar+rosemary this is an excellent option for an already prepared food item. It is close to one pound of chicken (mine came with two chicken breasts) already cooked for just a little over five dollars - a steal.

                                                                                                                      YAY: Fresh California Figs/Green Skin - one pound for only 3.99 such a steal...juicy and perfectly ripe. Can't wait to try one with a piece of proscuitto wrapped around it.

                                                                                                                      SMALL YAY: All Natural Fruit Jellies (candy aisle) - they come in six flavors orange, grape, mandarin, lemon, raspberry, blueberry with orange and raspberry as my personal favorites. They are a tad more sugary than the mango gummies were but still a good buy. I can see buying the mango gummies on a regular basis but it is going to take awhile to finish off the fruit jellies as I can only eat one or two at a time.

                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                        Speaking of prosciutto to wrap around the figs, has anyone tried the prosciutto sold at Trader Joe's? Is it a good buy?

                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                          The German one is awful. The domestic one is OK.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                            +1, the German brand is thicker-cut and all around weird. The house brand prosciutto is better, I haven't compared with the Citterio brand they also sell.

                                                                                                                            1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                              Thank you and thanks to Savour as well for your input on the prosciutto...I'll give the house brand a try then.

                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                            the Italian prosciutto is the best one that they carry. the German one is smokey tasting and I thought the domestic one was kinda bland.

                                                                                                                          3. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                            I'm glad you enjoyed the balsamic and rosemary chicken as much as I did! It's so delicious on a salad.

                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                              It's delicious and such a convenient option - I added just a little salt and pepper to it which really brought out all of the flavors. I was able to make three meals out of it - they were generous with the portion size.

                                                                                                                          4. YAY for the nectarines (box of a dozen). So so good.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                                                              The peaches are also really, really good. My go-to peaches all summer. A small notch down from the best ones at the farmer's market.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                The ones from Colorado later in the season have been knockout in the past.

                                                                                                                            2. Finally managed to snag the choc peanut butter cupcakes in the prepared baked goods section as I was also nabbing some more shortcake biscuits.
                                                                                                                              The cupcakes got left in a hot room for several hours so that when my friend and I got around to trying them the icing was practically melting. I think the heat made them even more delicious. Hope I can score some more. We ate one each (they come in paks of four) with TJs watermelon all cubed so that we could enjoy the fruit as a side to break up the intense peanut butter flavor of the cakes. Later we had the other two with the rest of the sweet juicy watermelon as a late night snack. /swoon

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                I liked the chocolate PB cupcakes but wow I thought they were incredible rich! I could only eat a half at a time, but agree that the PB icing on them is outstanding.

                                                                                                                              2. YAY: Smoked Fresh Turkey Kielbasa (Fully Cooked/Meat Section) - this is going to be one of the few times that I highly recommend a product but I myself most likely will not buy again. I have a lot of thoughts on this one so I'm going to list them out:

                                                                                                                                1) The turkey kielbasa smelled incredible as I was opening up the package so I had high hopes for it.
                                                                                                                                2) I truly was impressed with the quality and the flavor of the turkey kielbasa, in fact I am surprised I haven't seen more people recommend it!
                                                                                                                                3) It saddens me that I probably won't buy this again because it has quite a bite to it (hot!). Admittedly my threshold for spicyness is quite low, and the kielbasa is just a bit too hot for my tastebuds.

                                                                                                                                I really wish TJ's would have left out some of the heat in this one, if they did I would have purchased it often.

                                                                                                                                Conclusion: If you can handle and like a little heat, absolutely give this one a try. You will love it.

                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                  I've liked the turkey kielbasa for quite a while. Surprises me that you find it too hot - kielbasa contains nothing spicier than black pepper, no cayenne or chilis.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                    Oh it surprised me too, John...the last thing I expected was to taste any kind of heat to it. I may give it another go and buy a new pack of it in a few weeks to see if it was just an off batch.

                                                                                                                                    I really wanted to like the turkey kielbasa because I think it would be a perfect nitrate free substitute to a hot dog. I can't eat beef hot dogs and have tried TJ's turkey and chicken hot dogs which tasted horrible to me.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                      If you avoid beef hot dogs because of nitrates, TJ's Uncured All Beef Hot Dogs might be for you.

                                                                                                                                      http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl...

                                                                                                                                      That aside, they're delicious - as the turkey and chicken hot dogs definitely are not.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                        Thanks John for the suggestion...eh, it's for a number of reasons why I prefer to stay away from beef in general. I will just keep searching for a beef free yet meat based hot dog that actually tastes good!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                          Then you won't find it at Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                                                          That's a tough one in the United States, where beef is king and pork is subject to religious dietary objections. If you find something good, let us know! But not in the TJ's thread, I guess.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                            Whole Foods has quite a selection of hot dogs and there was one called Nature's Rancher that is made of pork and beef which at least cuts the amount of beef used quite a bit. I thought the smoked turkey kielbasa tasted a lot like a hot dog and had high hopes that it could be my TJ's "substitute" - I will give it another try sometime in the future.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                      My brother tried the turkey kielbasa and loved it. He paired it with red beans and rice and liked the fact that it was made from turkey not beef/pork.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                        Another pairing with red beans and rice would be the chicken andouille sausage. Not overpoweringly hot, just enough to qualify as andouille, and I'd say they're a success. Sometimes have one in a hot dog roll.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                          Thanks John - I will pass along the chicken andouille sausage recommendation to my brother. I have hooked my brother and his girlfriend onto TJ's big time - they now do the majority of their grocery shopping there.

                                                                                                                                  2. Yay- carrot cake cookies. My reward treat! These are like carrot cake flavored oatmeal cookies...two soft cookies with a layer of thick rich cream cheese icing in between. I can in,y eat 1/2 of one ad a time.

                                                                                                                                    Yay- packaged croutons. Big chunks of crispy croutons with a subtle garlic and browned cheese flavor. They are nowhere near as good as homemade, but compared to standard packed croutons they are a step above.

                                                                                                                                    1. YAY: Soft Bite Mini Almond Biscotti - These taste so fresh like they were just baked in an oven! They are the real deal - made with real butter, eggs, and almonds, these are definitely a step up from the usual packaged biscotti that you can find in other stores. As far as the name "soft bite", I didn't find them to be too soft or crumbly at all. They were just not rock hard like other biscotti that I have tried which is just fine by me - these are as close to homemade as you can get!

                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                        These sound great! Are they with the regular cookies or on the "bakery" display?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                          I found them on the shelves above the frozen foods along with the regular cookies/candy. They are in the same clear square plastic container that a lot of their candies are packaged in. Good luck finding them and let us know what you think if you do try them.

                                                                                                                                          Although I didn't see them (actually wasn't even looking for them so my store may carry them) I heard that they may also carry chocolate biscotti as well which I would love to try!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                            When you find the chocolate ones, good luck. I stopped buying them as I have no self control around them.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sweetTooth

                                                                                                                                              You were right...I can see where it's difficult to only eat just one or two of these at a time!!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sweetTooth

                                                                                                                                                The chocolate hazelnut biscotti are great! They're not tooth-breakingly hard, and they're fairly small. Great for a little tasty nibble.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                Thanks, I will look for these. I usually try to avert my eyes from the cookies while shopping the frozen food aisle, due to my inability to ration.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                  sweetTooth was right...the almond biscotti are wonderful but the chocolate hazelnut are like a dessert....very brownie-like, and rationing of these will be difficult to do!

                                                                                                                                          2. Yay:
                                                                                                                                            Spinach and kale pie. I know others have had problems w/ baking times so I took previous comments into consideration when I made it. At 50 minutes: still cool in the center. At 60 minutes: just warm in the center. At 70 minutes: perfect. I did bake it outside of the pan, in my toaster oven. But my toaster oven runs HOT and I don't usually have to increase baking times. Anyway, the pastry was super flaky, and the filling was delicious. I will definitely buy this again.

                                                                                                                                            Meh:
                                                                                                                                            Chocolate covered banana slices. The dark chocolate coating is tasty, but maybe I just don't care for the icy texture of frozen bananas b/c these didn't do anything for me.

                                                                                                                                            Nay:
                                                                                                                                            Breakfast burritos. The eggs have a horrible texture. I have one left and will be returning it on my next trip.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                              i liked those chocolate-dipped bananas (i sampled one), but i like frozen bananas. i think that regular frozen bananas turn creamy in the mouth. but anyhow, i didn't buy them because they were expensive, and i would eat too many.

                                                                                                                                            2. reporting from falls church, virginia.

                                                                                                                                              after inquiring about some items i've seen positively reviewed on this thread, i was told by a TJ's manager that the EAST COAST has a different bakery -- and therefore items offered -- from the MIDWEST and WEST COAST regions.

                                                                                                                                              this is the explanation why carrot cake cookies are only SEASONAL here, and other non -east-coast TJs have them now.

                                                                                                                                              that is a shame, but there it is. so i think it would be good if people mentioned what REGION they are in in each post.

                                                                                                                                              i found NO green figs in my store, but there were plenty of the black figs.

                                                                                                                                              i've never seen hobo bread, but will try and remember to ASK next time.

                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~
                                                                                                                                              pretty good, the dark chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. i thought they were a little coarse in the crumb, and that the PB filling was a bit dry as well. a whipped PB mousse would have been good. the icing was very good. i'm not sure i'll buy them again. (what i was thinking when i was eating it: i wish this PB were an intense raspberry jam, tunneling down into the center of this dark chocolate cupcake).

                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~
                                                                                                                                              huge YAAAAAY: five seed almond bars (located right underneath the almond mini biscotti that i did not buy because the manager tore open a bag of these five seed babies and gave me one to try). she said people really overlook them, but once discovered, they buy 4-5 bags at a time. anyhow, they are semi-soft (not like a hard biscotti) but strong enough to dunk, and taste reminiscent of the old-fashioned soft molasses-spice cookies with ground nuts. they have a chewy and pleasing texture (because of all the seeds and ground almonds). once i took my first bite, i was a very happy camper. i think you will be, too. <now that i think about it, it may remind me of a super-fresh and dense bar lebkuchen, moist and chewy -- not dry and light like the latest lebkuchens have been at christmastime.>

                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                              nay: pugliese bread-- a big, puffy, nothing of soft bread without any flavor. virtually impossible to slice, and even difficult to tear were one to use it to dip into a hearty soup. (in fact, make that a wimpy, liquidy soup, because a hearty soup would kick the butt of this wimpy bread). will definitely not buy again. (may use what i have to make a tomato-bread-custard -- or panzanella).

                                                                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                I'm east coast, too (Albany NY) and we do have the hobo bread. Maybe there's a mid-atlantic vs northeast division, too.

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the recommendation of the five seed almond bars. I'll look for those!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                  I'm on the east coast-- southeast region-- and we have no hobo bread. But we do have green figs. And carrot cake cookies.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                    In Southern California (Original Trader Joe's + 3 other local stores) I have seen no hobo bread. But we do have green figs and carrot cake cookies.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                      OK - I have to ask -- what is hobo bread?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sarah

                                                                                                                                                        It's a dark, sweet, cylindrical (like it was baked in a coffee can) bread with a taste reminiscent of date nut bread. It has molasses, raisins and walnuts in it (I think, I don't have it in front of me). It's delicious eaten with a smear of cream cheese on it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                          Sounds just like Boston brown bread, except for the walnuts. I'd buy it but I haven't seen it here.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                            Yes, but possibly sweeter.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                      I think you and I are in the same TJ's distribution center (southeast - specifically all of Virginia and south EXCEPT Northern Virginia whose items are pulled from the northeast distribution center)...maybe Rilke can confirm this, but apparently different TJ's distribution centers carry different bakery goods.

                                                                                                                                                      Ours does not carry hobo bread and it doesn't carry the beloved almond danish pastry in the bakery section.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                        "apparently different TJ's distribution centers carry different bakery goods"

                                                                                                                                                        Yes, among other things. Prepared salads, for one.

                                                                                                                                                        I have not seen these carrot cake cookies in the DE store. Are they in the bakery section?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                          yes, here in Northern Virginia we Do have the almond danish pastry but not the carrot cake cookies. so, littleflower, if i get out of NOVA, and go south -- say fredericksburg or richmond, will i find the cc cookies there? (may have to make a day trip down to the museum of fine arts, and bring a cooler to shop at their trader joes!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                            I am on good authority to let you know that the "South of NOVA" distribution center does indeed carry the carrot cake cookies, however I was told that they only stock a couple at a time and sell out quickly! Just to be sure I would call the Fredericksburg and Richmond stores to verify (also ask them to hold a pack for you) before you make the trek.

                                                                                                                                                    3. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      Second the idea for mentioning region when posting recs.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the rec on the Five Seed Almond Bars. I never would have picked these up on my own, but sought them out today at TJ's and they are excellent!

                                                                                                                                                        We have the Hobo bread here in NorCal though I have not tried it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                          I agree that the Five Seed Almond Bars are fantastic. Great texture, just the right amount of sweetness and spice. Love them!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                          I'm in Falls Church too. I saw the Hobo Bread at the Tysons location, with the other breads--on the top shelf, next to the breakfast section.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Erelgi

                                                                                                                                                            great! thanks, ereigi.

                                                                                                                                                        3. YAY to the organic Rainier cherries we bought recently. Fresh, juicy, delicious. They kind of pop in your mouth when you bite into them.

                                                                                                                                                          1. YAY -- This month's spotlight cheese, a gouda (don't remember the specific name). Creamy but kind of sharp and all around delicious. I'll definitely buy it again.

                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bax

                                                                                                                                                              Melkbus, I believe. It's a raw milk Gouda. I didn't like it at first but it grew on me!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bax

                                                                                                                                                                Big Yay. They were offering samples and I bought a wedge. Delicious. On my list now for next trip to TJ's. I hope it stays available for a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                  Go grab another. It's the July spotlight, meaning come August there will be a new spotlight cheese! I still miss the February unripened Brie.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                    Please educate me; Is a particular month's Spotlight Cheese limited -- as in, to just that month, and then isn't available thereafter?

                                                                                                                                                                    My TJ's is nearly an hour away and I don't get there as often as I'd like, but I may rush there to get a few wedges of Melkbus if need be. I absolutely adored it and thought the price per pound was quite reasonable for a cheese of that quality.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes. It's the Cheese of the Month and then it's gone. (Learned that the hard way in February...when I wanted more of the January cheese)

                                                                                                                                                              2. Finally baked up the berry scone mix. The scones came out gorgeous and my friend liked them so I refrained from commenting that I thought the berry flavoring was a bit overpowering. The scones might be lovely with whipped cream and fresh berries but I still have some TJs shortcake biscuits for that.
                                                                                                                                                                I'm still glad I tried the mix, now I want to try another scone mix or make some from scratch, but think I will wait out this heat wave first. I'm starting to think about that one twilight zone episode. You know the one I mean.

                                                                                                                                                                1. YAY: Soft Bite Mini Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti - I had to give these a try after seeing sweetTooth's glowing recommendation for them. They did not disappoint...very much reminded me of a cross between a brownie and a biscotti. There were bits of hazelnut throughout the biscotti which paired beautifully with its rich chocolatey notes. If you love all things chocolate definitely give these a try.

                                                                                                                                                                  I honestly liked both the chocolate hazelnut and the almond biscotti equally, but if you are looking for a "coffee dunker" you may be happier going with the almond biscotti. Save the chocolate hazelnut for a delicious dessert treat.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. oh, now i'm going to go look for those chocolate hazelnut mini biscotti.

                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower, all these sweet tooth items and i'm gonna call myself orca. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                    hey, does anyone know if there is a listing of what is available (bakery wise) in the different tj's regions? it would be great to know if i'm near a border -- LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                      I can't help it...lately I have been on this kick where I want to try a new goodie (sweet item) each time we shop there. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                      As far as a bakery listing per TJ's region, I am not aware of one but it's a great idea!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. YAY to a couple of items from the current fearless flyer:

                                                                                                                                                                      Crottin 3-pack. Includes a plain, 4-pepper and herb&garlic. Had the pepper one crumbled on a salad for lunch - very creamy, fresh and pleasantly peppery (zingy but not overkill).

                                                                                                                                                                      Chedder and Horseradish Chips - very horseradish-ey, which I love.

                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kinnickinnik

                                                                                                                                                                        Those chips sure pack a punch, man. I love horseradish, and these almost make my eyes water :-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                          I LOVED those chips. Bought a bag, and almost ate the whole thing in one sitting. So, you know, I'm going to try to NOT buy another one.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                            Those sound perfect! What's the point of horse radish if your eyes don't water?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                              You make a good point, Ruth!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Yay: Raisin Rosemary Crisps. Another one I stopped buying because I inhaled the box in two days. I've seen it for a few months now here in NorCal. They're not necessarily bad for you, but they cost a pretty penny and are very very addictive. Outstanding with cheese, but also pretty great without.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sweetTooth

                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with all your points...its been awhile, maybe I will pick some up. I have some really good Manchego that they would be fabulous with.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. YAY:
                                                                                                                                                                            Two flavors of the Just the Clusters cereal:
                                                                                                                                                                            Chocolate almond (found this on the New Items shelf) - I love this! The clusters don't seem to be as large as in the other varieties, but it has a great not-too-sweet cocoa flavor, and I love how it turns my milk chocolatey :)
                                                                                                                                                                            Maple pecan - this is a winner. My favorite part is the pecan halves. I bought two boxes of this last week and I am almost done w/ the second box.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                              LOVE the Maple Pecan Just the Clusters Cereal! This has been a multiple repeat purchase for me for over a year now. I wholeheartedly agree that the best part are the pecan halves - they actually taste fresh which is hard to find in most nut based cereals. I sprinkle the maple pecan clusters on top of TJ's greek yogurt - perfect addition.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Belgian Chocolate Pudding (in the refrigerator section)
                                                                                                                                                                              A big Yay and an OMG

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                i heard that pudding was pretty amazing but have yet to try it. Can only imagine how good it would be paired with some fresh whipped cream on top of it yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                  I second the recommendation, but it is exceptionally rich. I am on a weight gain meal plan and eat it for desert!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah- take off your glasses before you try to read the calorie count. We added a squirt of Cabot's whip cream too- hey, we're on vacation!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. YAY on the Greek feta and Greek olive oil. Fabulous for a good choriatiki!!

                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey lingua, glad you liked them both...and are you speaking about the crumbled Greek feta?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                    No, it's the one in brine. It comes in two slices in a box labeled "Authentic Greek Feta". Really good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the relatively new Danish Feta cubes in brine. The feta is in a cylindrical container with a handy little pull-up basket to drain the brine from the feta as needed. Handy for tossing in salads/grains/etc. I think it's priced at $2.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, that sounds cool. Flavor & texturewise, what's the scoop? Tart & salty? Salty & creamy? Crumbly?

                                                                                                                                                                                        That's a good price in any event. I'll have to give that a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm sure chinchi will give you a more detailed description, but here's TJ's take on them + a picture of the container.

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha! Well, "fresh-tasting" leaves a lot to the imagination....

                                                                                                                                                                                            But again -- at 2.99, I might as well give it a shot. It's such hard work to cut those slices into cubes :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                            It's tangy, but not tart. A bit salty from the brine. Fairly firm in texture. Give it a try!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Has anyone posted about the Chipins (white cheddar popcorn chips)? They're a tad salty, but I find them quite tasty. Sort of a more flavorful pop chip.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                      No you're the first one but I love popcorn chips! They were sampling them at Costco last week and liked the butter and caramel (I think it was caramel - it was sweet) flavors the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Big Yay for the mushroom raviolis w/truffle sauce and Yay for the almond bark and salted caramel butterscotch thingies that my DH won't even show me. From CH recs, got the spinach/kale pie but haven't tried it yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sarah

                                                                                                                                                                                        This has been mentioned before, but the Gorgozola Gnocchi are out of this world. The sauce is just perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                          my kid adores those. I thought it was really tasty, too, but avoid it because I'm trying to lose weight. But yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Sarah

                                                                                                                                                                                          yay/meh/nay for the mushroom raviolis with truffle sauce in my house. I thought they were good, so the little yay is from me. The husband said they were ok but don't buy them again, and the son said the sauce had too much truffle smell for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Nay to cranberry juice- Sampled it today, very tart. Tried a few drops of stevia and it was still too tart.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay to the Spotlight Gouda.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Very happy to have organic popping corn back on the shelves this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Yay - Almond meal at a great price
                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay - organic fruit spreads without sugar added
                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay - great California Olive Oil
                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay - good selection of goat cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                            Meh - produce is hit or miss. sometimes it's just not good.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay - bought frozen blintzes there once. One bite and they went in the trash. feh.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. YAY:
                                                                                                                                                                                              cowboy caviar, straight from the jar
                                                                                                                                                                                              papaya – took a few days to ripen, but delicious

                                                                                                                                                                                              MEH: reduced carb tortillas - a little more sour than I'd like, so I didn't end up using them for breakfast tacos. however, not bad with a smear of cookie butter and a couple minutes in the toaster oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                              any thoughts on the lattemiele and how they compare to, say, the ultimate vanilla wafers (or some other butter/vanilla cookie)?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                                                                                                                I did not care for the ultimate vanilla wafers. I didn't think they were crunchy enough. Maybe I got a bad batch?

                                                                                                                                                                                                I love the lattemiele cookies. The package contains several sleeves. The flavor is light and delicate, and not too sweet, but you can definitely taste the honey. The sign suggested dunking in tea or coffee, but I found that made them way too soggy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. HUGE YAY: Pecan Pralines - believe the people who say these are extremely addictive...you can't stop at just a couple. I can see putting these in a fancy dish and serving them to guests - that's how top quality these are. This is a must try if you like pecans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                YAY: Cinnamon Grahams - heard a lot of good reviews on this one, too. These definitely taste better than some of the other cinnamon graham crackers out there on the market. The flavor of the cinnamon is really highlighted here and tastes like they used high quality cinnamon not the stuff out of the can!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I may have mentioned these two on another thread, but just re-stocked up on them, although I'm hoarding until I have company. But I just have to mention them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  We were going to visit some friends from out of state and since they're vegan, I wanted to bring some kind of appropriate snack (as much for us as them, since they eat at odd hours, at least for us). So I went to Trader Joes and asked for help in choosing a couple of things. The woman who helped me was very knowledgable, and everything she suggested was a good choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  But there were two things I got that had the four of us fighting over the little bags. First, Savory Thin Mini Edamame Crackers. She likes to make hummus and they love edamame (which I had introduced them to many years ago) so I thought they'd be great with the dip, and for the memories. However we ate them all up, plain, quicker than you can blink your eye. Really really tasty. They have cashew and sunflower seeds, besides other veggies and the flavors, so maybe that's why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The other that we couldn't believe was Zesty Nacho Kale Chips. We ate them in the car while we were stuck in a traffic jam and they sure put us in a better mood. They might be the best "healthy" snack I ever tasted. I am getting into kale chips in general, both bought and home made, but these are the best I've tried so far. The next ingredients after kale are cashews and sunflower seeds, so maybe that's why? But also very nicely spicy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is there more than one type of the Savory Thin Mini Edamame crackers? I have the ones in the green bag, and the ingredient list doesn't list cashews or sunflower seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I messed up when I wrote that. The kale chips have the cashew and sunflower seeds, not the edamame; thanks for pointing that out, and sorry for the confusion! Looks like I copy and pasted that part but put it two different places.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yay: Pecan Pralines - yet another product I will not buy again - absolutely delish AND addictive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay: Trade Joe's Kettle Corn Lite (single packs). I really like these - more so than the full fat kettle corn. Subtle sweetness. And comes in 6 single packs (for those of you that have self control and can stop at one pack - which is not me)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay: Balsamic Chicken (fridge) - really, really good. Now I need to make it myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay: Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Raisin Cinnamon Rolls - something else I used to buy all the time and have not bought in years. Really hearty and not overpowering cinnamon (which is a plus for me).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay: Sweet Italian Sausage - this was really good too and only 100 cals per link

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay:Just Mango Slices (dried fruit) - I really tried to like these since I miss the mandarins ones. Did not care for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay: Carne Asada (find in the fridge) - really fatty and tough. I remember buying this years ago and this does NOT taste the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Toopie glad you also liked the Pecan Pralines and Balsamic Chicken...agree with you that I will need to restrain myself from buying the Pralines unless it's a special occasion!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't seen (although it may be there) the WW Raisin Cinnamon Rolls at my store but the regular Cinnamon Rolls in the bakery section are wonderful - not overly laden with sugar and icing. If you do not care for snacks with a lot of cinnamon flavor you may want to steer away from the Cinnamon Grahams. They are delicious but the cinnamon flavor is definitely pronounced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree about the sausage, which I buy often, and the carne asada, which I bought once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. YAY--Mint Chip Ice Cream--might be the best I've had. Super creamy and minty, with large chunks of chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY-single serve instant coffee "sticks" (long skinny pouches) with the creamer and sugar already added. Could have had a little more coffee, as it was kind of bland, but great in a pinch (like keeping at my SO's who doesn't drink coffee, and therefore has no coffee maker).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agree on Mint Chip. No phony coloring, clean taste. My favorite TJ's ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do two per cup! It's what I do with other brands of instant coffee that are in the little packets...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Only problem is that it's pre-mixed with powdered cream and sugar. So you'd get double of that too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eh. So you get a little extra... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                OR (and I realize I'm overthinking this like wow) you can get a box of plain coffee sticks (the Starbucks instant is quite good, if pretty pricey for instant coffee, or just the Nescafe which I use in a pinch), do one plain and one of the TJ's ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Starbucks ones are good-but soooooo strong. I'll bet 1/3 of the Starbucks added to the TJ's would be perfect. But that's too much work :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                              We love the mint chip too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Yay for the two pack of single serving pita chips and hummus.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Perfect beach treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Meh to Nay--Coconut Strips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I absolutely adore the roasted coconut chips, and pretty much love anything coconut, but these were just ok. It's not that they tasted bad, but they're just not worth the calorie bomb, and a little too sweet for my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you get them recently? Those have been out of stock at my store for well over a month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Got them last week at my store (Phoenix), and that's the first time I'd ever seen them. They were on an endcap at the cashier station.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My mom used to buy candied coconut for us when I was little, too. Didn't much like it then, either (or the carrots)--too sweet for me, even then! Give me salt any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I liked those -- the reminded me of the candied coconut sold in Chinese restaurants when I was a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. First time posting but have been reading for eons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay-Almond Croissants. I know these have been reviewed before, but I can't get over how good they are! Buttery, sweet, with the perfect amount of almond. They were out one day, so I substituted the chocolate ones, and it just want the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay- Frozen Beer Battered Cod. We cooked these up in the fry daddy and they were perfect. Great crunch, nice mild fish flavor, and stayed crunchy when doused with a healthy amount of malt vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay- Handsome Cut Fries. Perfect addition to the cod for fish and chips. Best bagged fry I have ever bought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay-Frozen Organic Brown Rice and Jasmine Rice. I cannot cook rice to save my life for some reason, and especially can never get brown rice as dry as I would like. These taste great and are done in 3 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Meh- Frozen Chicken Quesadillas. Had an odd taste to them, I couldn't put my finger on it. They were almost too creamy. At the 2 in the box, just won't buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay- Frozen Confetti Rice. Tasted like lemon pledge. The lemongrass was so overpowering, I could barely get through half a serving. Add soy sauce, garlic, and garlic chili paste, and the lemon was still not able to be masked. Had to pitch it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay- Carrot cake cookies. I know there was some discussion about them below, whether distribution centers affected their taste. I am in Virginia Beach, and they had no flavor. Literally tasted like nothing. The texture was good, chewy cookie and creamy filling, but there was no flavor to any component in this cookie. Very disappointing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Has anyone dared to try the new Many Clove Garlic Sauce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm dying to know what to do with that stuff!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a feeling it is going to be one of those TJ's items that is either going to be a huge success or major flop. I think it could be a great product if it is well made (and of course, if it tastes good)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds good. Is that a jarred item?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is...here is a picture and description of it from the Trader Joe's website:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.traderjoes.com/whatsnew.asp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I actually tried it last night. I'd give it a "meh." When I tasted it out of the jar I thought it was a total loss. But after using it to simmer some chicken, it was somewhat better. The flavor is very one-dimensional, though. It needs to be doctored (some pepper and fresh grated parm rendered it acceptable).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw this in the store tonight but the consistency and color (sort of gloopy, translucent white-gray) were really off-putting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                How attractive (not!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Had it for dinner tonight. Waste of perfectly good chicken. I would have been better off using the $2.99 to buy a container of peeled garlic (I think TJ's used to sell it or still does - I buy a big container from my co-op for $2.99) and sticking it in a crockpot with my chicken for actual 40 clove chicken for an easy dinner instead. It's certainly not the worst thing I've ever had, but it's defining characteristics were watery and salty - I predict it'll be off the shelves within a couple of months.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: amishangst

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks - based on your review and the ones above I think I will pass on this one. That's a shame...if it tasted good I would have definitely been interested in using it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bought it, but it's way too salty for me. SO wants to keep it though, for drizzling on roasted potatoes, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I just realized that everything I'm eating for dinner right now is from Trader Joes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              started with some Spicy Flaxseed Tortilla Chips (YAY)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              with garlic hummus (YAY)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              then sauteed the last of the asparagus/red onion/mushroom mix (MEH--has a two day shelf life, and the asparagus stays super hard, even after cooking) with a cut up Chicken and Sweet Basil Sausage(YAY), halved teardrop grape tomatoes (YAY) and kale (only thing not from TJ's). Added some cooked brown rice pasta (YAY, but cook it longer than necessary) Topped it off with TJ's traditional crumbled feta (huge YAY). The result is really terrific!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. YAY! for the fresh saturn peaches, very sweet with beautiful pale flesh, easy to eat. Clamshell of eight peaches for $2.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, that's a much better price than Wegmans, and those peaches are super awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, no more saturn peaches for my Trader Joe's store and I didn't even have the chance to try them! The manager said that they were only in stock for a few weeks. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you have a Wegmans nearby, they still sell them (both reg'lar and white ones)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the suggestion LF...I am just out of comfortable driving distance of the nearest Wegman's for a shopping trip (about 2.5 hours). I did manage to find another wonderful fruit treat instead, but found them at Costco...Black Velvet Apricots! They are sweet and so juicy, and are a gorgeous crimson red color inside. They taste like a cross between an apricot and a plum - if you have a Costco membership then do try them before they are gone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yay - Reduced Guilt Organic Tortilla Chips. Not as greasy as regular, but great thickness and crisp. Not too salty either, which is great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay - Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salsa (in the refrigerated section. More like an oily bean salad, good spice but pretty vinegary. Had the most anemically pale diced tomatoes I've ever seen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay - bagged Pink Lady apples. Crisp and sweet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the Pink Lady apple suggestion...those as well as Honeycrisp apples are two of my favorites. I have always been impressed with TJ's selection of apples that they sell for a decent price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I will agree they are inexpensive, but the apples at my store are almost always significantly bruised, especially the bagged ones. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Funny, just finished eating one. I always inspect my bagged apples and choose the best-looking bunch. They're small apples, but hey, more nutrients in the peel, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But yes, definitely worth inspecting and being choosy with all of Trader Joe's produce, at least in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. YAY--Parisian Macarons--I like the vanilla!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NAY--Mix Berry Scone mix--I want to love this, but all I taste is rye? It really tastes like rye-bread. I abhor rye-bread. I don't know if I got an 'off' box or if I just have hyper-sensitive taste-buds, but I am grossed-out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY--Spa Facial Cleansing Pads--These smell kind of odd, but they definitely seem effective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Also, does anyone know if there is a thread just for non-food items at Trader Joe's?--the cleaning/home products and personal-hygienic products? I'd be curious what else is good, but I know maybe that's not appropriate for 'chow'-hound.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Grace - I did a quick search and didn't happen to stumble upon such a concise thread, but try doing a Google search for "Trader Joe's skin care products" as well as "Trader Joe's cleaning" and you will find various product reviews on both. I came up with some great suggestions just based on those two searches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Made a TJ's run earlier in the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY! - Many Cloves Garlic Sauce - I reviewed it elsewhere in the thread. It's watery and salty and that's about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MEH - Gluten-Free Joe-Joes - YAY for g-free folks to have an option, so I can't call it a nay. But I was never the biggest Joe-Joes fan even before I went g-free so I may not be the best judge. The texture of the cookie itself was ok, but a bit...gritty almost. I would buy them to make an oreo-like crust for baked goods as a g-free alternative, but I certainly wouldn't crave them for just eating right out of the box. My guess is I'll be in the minority on this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY! - Fresh Green Figs! - Hot damn! Love me some fresh figs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY! - Strawberries - They turned to mush on me within two days

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: amishangst

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We've enjoyed quite a few containers of the green figs - perfectly ripe and delicious. Picked up the black figs (the second time I have bought and tried them) last week and they were inedible. The first black fig container we purchased was decent but the green figs - consistently delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have also bought the black figs twice.. horrible! They were not sweet at all. They tasted like vegetables--actually worse, because I love vegetables. I promised not to waste more money on figs there--but I suppose I will try the green. Are either of you in the midwest?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No...east coast/mid-atlantic, but they should be offered around the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm midwest - my green figs were delicious, though it looks like they've gotten mixed reviews in the thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: amishangst

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm in the Midwest and my black figs were hard and inedible, though I found a recipe for stewing them in spiced lemon sugar syrup until cooked and soft, and those were eaten. But never again - the one ripe fig on the top of the box disguised hard zucchini-like fig-shaped vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. A big fat nay to the canned asparagus. I don't usually buy canned but bf loves it. They were nice small spears and that made me very happy until we bit into them. They were rediculously woody and tough. And not just a random spear, nearly the whole can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting, I just bought the fresh asparagus/mushroom/red onion mix for my morning scrambles and thought the same thing about the asparagus. I tried sauteeing it, I tried steaming then sauteeing--nothing worked, it stayed very hard and stringy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the heads up. I think i just have to pass on asparagus there. Funny how the fresh and canned didn't pass

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. YAY to the buttery and crisp Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies - especially smeared with a bit of their salted caramel sauce. Now if only I had some ice cream....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kinnickinnik

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                these are my downfall. open a box, and it's gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. NAY to the cinnamon rugelach (bakery section). Tough, not tender, and I like rugelach with a little chocolate (this was fruit only).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm in L.A.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Further along this week's haul...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MEH/NAY to the tabouli salad I picked up from the deli section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If fresh, would be MEH at best as flavour just isn't that bright and fresh - could use more mint and fresh lemon. NAY or rather, BLEH to this one - what little mint is there is bruised and black. Tomatoes have no flavour and poor texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Another TJ's run. Not necessarily new stuff, but I did pick up a lot of "new to me" stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY! - Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Slices - perfect amount of sweet with creamy smooth banana (new to me)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY! - Champagne Grapes - they are just so cute and sweet and precious. I was actually looking for more of the green figs but they didn't have any so I got these instead (new to me for Trader Joe's, though I get them from my co-op occasionally)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY! - Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips - not new to me, but I don't see them get the amount of love they deserve. Not too salty, hint of sweetness but nothing that makes you think it's actually sweet, soft but satisfying crunch and it's sturdy enough for dips (I like pairing them with the spinach and kale dip, which is another YAY!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY! - Mango & Cream and Peaches & Cream yogurt cups (not new to me, but I forgot to get them on my last trip). I marginally prefer the mango, and I think this combo is the best of the options (beating the blueberry, vanilla, and strawberry banana by far). Creamy and almost dessert like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY! - the monthly gouda on special right now is fantastic, smooth with a hint of crystalline texture pop and great flavor. I regret not buying a bigger wedge as I likely won't get out to TJ's again for another month (new to me)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MEH! - Aged Havarti - this would be a yay if I hadn't just had the gouda which I preferred. However, it was still a nice havarti and will likely make a great omelet (new to me)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MEH! - Sweet and something Mandarins - after seeing so many raves I had to try them. I preface this by saying I'm not a huge dried fruit fan unless we're camping or living on the frontier and I GREATLY DISLIKE sweetened and sulphured dried fruit (they always have this weird texture, almost gritty, and have this underlying chemical flavor). So I almost put it down when I realized that was the case here to get my standby dried pineapple instead. I will say that for sweetened, sulphured dried fruit I found it tolerable. I likely won't buy it again, but I can see why people who are ok with sweetened and sulphured would really like these. I would prefer to just eat a mandarin (or clementine or orange or just about any piece of fruit).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NAY! - Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa (new to me) - sickeningly sweet. Yes, sugar is in the ingredients, but I was not expecting it to be this overpowering. When tasted alone it I got a tiny bit of cumin and a soft, slow burn kind of heat, but when eaten with a tortilla chip it was just sugar, smelling vaguely reminiscent of a sweet BBQ sauce with no heat at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: amishangst

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We always get so excited when we see that the champagne grapes are back in season! We usually buy a few extra boxes and throw them in the freezer for a tasty frozen snack after the fresh ones are gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I feel the same way about the Thomcord grapes, new last fall for just a few weeks. I hope they make an encore appearance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. HUGE YAY: Barbeque Popped Potato Chips - these will fool you into thinking that you are eating real potato chips, not popped potato chips. Huge on the barbeque flavor and unlike most barbeque potato chips on the market these have the perfect combination of being tangy, sweet, and spicy (not hot-spicy, just full of bbq spice flavor). I give it such a high rating not only based on their great taste, but the fact that we ate the entire bag in a little over one sitting AND went back the next day to buy another bag. What a craveable flavor - very addictive!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Yay: fresh green figs! I picked up a package last night in So Cal based on all of the rave reviews. Sweet and delicious. Can fresh fig be frozen? They are at the peak of ripeness and starting to ooze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nay: cheddar horseradish potato chips. The flavor was too overpowering for my liking. I couldn't make myself eat one serving size, which is rare when potato chips are in my cupboard. I donated the bag to a coworker who was also not a fan.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Funny how tastes are so different. Many here love the horseradish cheddar chips. But yeah, they are not for the faint of tastebud '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. NAY--Hootie and the Blowfish playing at TJ's yesterday. What happened? The great music is one of the reasons I shop there!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (note-I mean NO OFFENSE to Hootie fans-it's just not my cup of tea, and is very different from the music they usually play.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Speaking of cup of tea, I'm wondering if the new Tropical Sweetened Matcha Green Tea Mix is going to taste anything close (when put on ice) to Panera's delicious Iced Green Tea. Wishful thinking on my part, I know...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That caught my eye as well, though I don't usually drink sweetened tea. Also on the new shelf was clarified butter/ghee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big fat NAY for me. I haven't had Panera's iced green tea but I jumped with excitement when I saw the matcha green tea mix because I love matcha. I thought the price was too good to be true, and it was-- the first two ingredients are sugar. The green tea flavor was diluted, and the tropical flavor tasted artificial and floral, in an unpleasant way. It could have been such a great product, had they used quality ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  :-( That is unfortunate!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How would you describe Panera's iced green tea?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love real matcha and I love Starbucks green tea frap, so I am not a green tea snob. With all the added sugar, I would have wanted TJs mix to taste like Starbucks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's iced green tea that has been infused with passion fruit and papaya and it is one of the few things I actually like at Panera. It is sweet but not overly so. If you like green tea I think you will definitely love this one from Panera.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The TJs in the New York area play no music and that's how I like it. If I wanted to hear music in a food store, I'd listen to the music of my choice on my iPad (if I had one).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh my goodness, how I wish the TJs here did not play music! I don't know what playlist they use but it is always cheesey and sometimes downright annoying. Even worse is a certain girl who feels the need to sing LOUDLY and dance while carrying the ask me sign. Nay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have you told them what you think about it? Might even make a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My TJ's plays mostly 60's R&B, my favorite music genre. I will be very upset if this changes. Although I might save money, as I would no longer take my time wandering the aisles enjoying the tunes. I have been known to abandon my potential purchases at other places if the music irritates me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mine plays everything from '60's pop, '70's classic rock, and '80's punk/new wave/ alternative. It's a great mix, and usually makes me happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh yeah, they had a Mick Jagger tune (the one single album he had in the 80s) playing today. It's always something strange.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "My TJ's plays mostly 60's R&B, my favorite music genre."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mine, too. I shop at the Silver Spring, MD store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. "power to the greens" bagged baby greens with baby versions of kale, spinach and chard. had good flavor but was stemmy, though not unpleasantly so (baby chard?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i ate it raw as the base of a summer veggie salad, but think a little quick wilt would be good too for an omelet or with rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Nay: The sweet and juicy mandarins. I know, I know! I was super excited to see them today, thinking that finally I could try them after reading their praises for so long. But, to my palate, they're way too sweet. I at one, didn't like it. Ate another to confirm and yup. They're a nay for me.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As much as I love them, I would prefer if they were less sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Speaking of those mandarins, TJ sure has an uneven distribution system. Still can't get them here in Vegas, and no exact ETA either. I decided not to take the chance that they don't show up at all, and had my Bay-Area-residing daughter pick me up five bags. The guy I called at the store to set them aside thought I was being a lightweight for not getting a whole case, like he did. :o)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Re those sweet and juicy mandarins .. I honestly think this new batch is sweeter .. I liked them better the first go round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I FINALLY found some of the Thomcord grapes and they are really great, virtually no seeds. I almost didn't see them since they were not located near all the other grapes; what's up with that??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've never seen those green figs everyone is raving about; the SF Stonestown store said they had some a couple days ago. They were out of the gazpacho. I like to take a piece of the brioche toast and spread a little mayo then take a fork (so juice drains) and put some gazpacho on top. (Don't worry, I drink the juice later.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aw, bummer. Wish I'd had some earlier then!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, and I messed up - it's soft and juicy! My bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOVE those brioche toasts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. August is already here everyone - looking forward to some new (and hopefully good!) items in time for the Back-to-School rush!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let's continue the discussion here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911487

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Moved to the new thread.