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Aug 31, 2013 09:42 PM

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

Where did the summer go - fall is just about here! Soon Trader Joe's will slowly be trickling out their chosen foods for the fall season.

What items have you tried from TJ's recently - let us know whether you rate them with a Yay/Meh/or Nay!

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  1. YAY: Rice Orzo Pilaf Mix - think Rice a Roni times 100 in taste! I really enjoyed this - the best part was the seasoning that was added in. The seasoning added a ton of flavor to the rice and orzo, and I wanted to practically scrape the dish clean. It was a quick side dish and was a needed addition to the rotisserie chicken I was having for dinner.

    5 Replies
    1. re: littleflower

      Is this in a shelf stable box a la Rice-a-Roni?

      1. re: Rilke

        John is comes in a box just like Rice a Roni does, and it's shelf stable/in the grocery section. Very tasty and very quick to prepare!

      2. re: littleflower

        I've tried that and liked it too. Yes, Rilke, it comes in a box in the grocery section.

          1. re: littleflower

            Well I will have to buck the trend here. Just yesterday I sung the praises of TJ's Kimchee Rice and then later that evening I was having dinner with some friends at their house. We were served this side (unknown it was TJ's when everyone but the person who prepared the meal tried it) it did not go over well. It seemed greasy and strange tasting, although I liked the nuttiness of the toasted orzo everything else was pretty meh. Although we all ate some, only one person finished their portion but refused seconds of it. Later on the hostess/cook admitted that she didn't like it and was disappointed because she had gotten it from TJ's. Everyone else chimed in it was less than a stellar product. To each his own I guess.

          2. A big "yay" for me, that is now out of stock. ):

            Kimchee fried rice, product of Korea.

            I finally tried the Cheddar and Horseradish potato chips, and they are spicy but good. A modified "yay", from me though, I think the flavors conflict with each other and would just like the horseradish flavor.

            I think this was mentioned in the previous thread, but a big "yay", for the dark chocolate peanut butter cups. So glad I can buy the small pack at my store. :) I'd eat the whole tub of the large if not.... sigh.


            2 Replies
            1. re: mcel215

              Is the kimchee fried rice just out of stock at your store is it discontinued?

              I love that stuff!

              1. re: nimeye

                Hi nim,

                It was temporarily out of stock, but last Saturday they got a shipment in. By luck, I had called and asked them to put 3 bags aside for me, until I got there. They did and I am glad I asked, because when I got there, there weren't any bags left in the freezer section.

                I love it too!


            2. I finally found a store that had the green figs .. I thought they had no flavor compared to good black figs.

              I continue to love the Thomcord grapes; I wonder why stores other than TJ don't carry them.

              4 Replies
              1. re: walker

                Thanks to all who have recommended the Thomcord grapes! Used them to make grape rosemary focaccia this weekend, and love that I don't have to remove Concord grape seeds before topping the dough. Makes the recipe much less labor intensive!

                1. re: 4Snisl

                  Another YAY! for the Thomcords; I picked some up this morning thanks to all the recommendations here and they definitely get the thumbs up.

                  According to Wikipedia, the variety was only released to growers ten years ago and just started being planted outside of California five years ago so the supply is probably small. TJ's must have contracted with a grower or wholesaler.

                  1. re: 4Snisl

                    I'm so glad to still have chance to say "thank you", too. In all, I've probably bought 7 or so containers of those grapes. Eaten out of hand, they're sweet and delicious, but my favorite use for them is frozen. They freeze like a dream and are even sweeter. I like to toss a handful, still frozen, on my morning oatmeal. I still have two unopened containers in the freezer and will be rationing them before too long.

                  2. re: walker

                    I agree the black figs were much better than the green

                  3. Yay! Healthy 8 veggie mix. They were sampling a salad featuring the healthy 8, sesame soy ginger vinaigrette, and sesame honey cashews. It was a great crunchy combination of flavors, although I probably would have used less dressing. I had never bought the healthy 8 because it contains raw green bell peppers, which I dislike, but they were not overpowering in the mix. This veggie mix would also be great added to a coleslaw for a change of pace!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: ohmyyum

                      Ooh, how were the sesame honey cashews? I've been wanting to try but its about 7 or 8 dollars a bag at my store.

                      1. re: breadwinner

                        YAY! for the sesame honey cashews. I buy a bag every so often and happened to get some today. The bag tends to go fast. Adding them to a salad like that sounds like a great idea.

                        They are $6.99 for a one pound bag here, same as the regular cashews, but I noticed they were also taxed as a candy rather than tax-free like the regular cashews.

                        1. re: breadwinner

                          Another yay for the sesame honey cashews! They are quite sweet, but you can definitely taste the sesame and it nicely complements the natural sweetness of cashews. I actually think it is a pretty decent price ($6.99/16oz) because each cashew is very liberally encrusted in sesame seeds. They also sell honey sesame almonds for $5.99, but in my opinion, the cashews are so much better and absolutely worth an extra dollar!

                          1. re: breadwinner

                            Third yay. those things are crack. The subtle cocoa flavor is really excellent.

                            1. re: breadwinner

                              Meh from here, for the sesame honey cashews. Got some today, based on the good words here. But ours tasted flat. All of the flavors - sesame, honey, and cashew - were bland. Doesn't seem like a staleness issue.....the freshness date was sometime in 2014.

                          2. YAY: Refrigerated Limeade ($2 for 32 oz)
                            Utterly refreshing! Especially with these last sweltering days of summer. Wonderful with Vikingsfjord vodka too. It does have added sugar, but it's subtly sweet instead of cloying.

                            YAY: Puffins Multigrain ($4)
                            Crisp with just a slight sweetness. I can taste the different whole grain flours. Really tasty with TJ's original soy milk (refrigerated). Wish I tried this a long time ago.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: breadwinner

                              Thanks for suggesting the Refrigerated Limeade, breadwinner - I have tried the Original Lemonade that is refrigerated but have yet to try the limeade. It would be a nice change of pace from all the lemonade I have been drinking lately.