HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

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

Fall is now officially here, and the Great Trader Joe's Pumpkin Fest has begun! There are many new pumpkin products being offered this year, as well as a lot of our old favorites have returned.

What items have you tried recently, and would you rate these items with a Yay/Meh/or Nay?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Follow up from last week-

    YAY, YAY - Mediterranean hummus!! I formally tried it for dinner with chicken breasts but I really wish it didn't come in such a huge container. I woke up this morning and someone had stolen nearly all of it and left a dirty spoon on the table. SO is out of town so I should probably call the police or ask the car. oh wait, is that hummus on my chin?

    Any one have any other favorites from their hummus line up?

    37 Replies
    1. re: fldhkybnva

      I an addicted to the Horseradish hummus. I will buy three or four at a time, last trip they only had one left. Really good!

      1. re: harleyjt

        Wow, does it have a lot of bite or just mildly nose-burning?

          1. re: harleyjt

            Thanks for the suggestion. They didn't have the artichoke hummus so it was between chipotle or horseradish. I try to limit myself to one hummus a week to prevent serious binging. I ha a small spoonful of the horseradish hummus and it was quite good. I will likely use it this weekend as a dip for baked chicken.

          2. re: fldhkybnva

            Tried ours tonight. Liked it, but agree with the "mild" comment. We mixed-in some extra horseradish, and liked it that way even better!

          3. re: harleyjt

            I picked up some of this yesterday on your rec. what do you recommend for dippers? I'm wishing for a pumpernickel pita chip.

            1. re: Harts52

              I really like the whole wheat Lavash chips. I haven't tried the horseradish hummus. I usually go for TJs eggplant hummus.

              1. re: chinchi

                I wish that eggplant hummus was available over here. I've been hearing about it for years :-(

                Maybe it is time to visit my old friend living in San Francisco. . . .

            2. re: harleyjt

              I dug into the horseradish hummus and while it was apparently good enough for 3/4 of the tub to disappear, I felt it had too much tang for me so probably won't get this one again but definitely not a bad product. I have my eyes on the chipotle this week.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                The chipotle hummus is great! Nice and smokey, probably my second pick after the cilantro jalapeño.
                Do I recall you liking olives, fldhky? Because they have a Kalamata olive hummus as well. I haven't tried it because I don't like olives, but just thought I'd give you a heads up!

                1. re: ohmyyum

                  Oh no, no olives for me. I want to like them but we never get along or at least the last time I tried them several years ago. Given that I seem to like everything I try these days or at least discover a form in which I like it, I perhaps should try again. I think it'll be chipotle then jalapeno cilantro.

                  1. re: ohmyyum

                    I just inhaled a tub of the chipotle hummus alongside a chicken breast and it's great! Thanks for the recommendation, it has a wonderful smokey flavor.

                1. re: sweetestpea

                  That's one of my favorites too. It's barely hummus, though - more "dip"

                  1. re: Savour

                    I agree. There's a nice, subtle cilantro undertone, but except for that we thought it was a bit too creamy and bland. A generous dollop of Sriracha made it much more interesting.

                2. re: fldhkybnva

                  They are all pretty fabulous. The spicy red pepper one is great, also with a hint of cilantro. I'm not a hummus fan by far, but I can suck this stuff up like there's no tomorrow.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I am similar to you, in fact I just started recently being a hummus connoisseur and it was only after finding a few that I find particularly good. I've tried a few which just sit around because it has to be just right for me and then I become addicted.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      See what happens with hummus in the film YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN. Shows people obsessed with hummus.

                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                    Oh my goodness, the cilantro jalapeño hummus is so delicious. I could go through it in one sitting, easily.

                    1. re: ohmyyum

                      even the plain organic hummus is equally as delicious as allthe above mentioned( love the med. hummus+1)

                      1. re: kewpie

                        I agree, the tub of Mediterranean hummus has nearly disappeared in less than a week in my house.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          Please try the cilantro jalapeño as your next pick!

                          1. re: ohmyyum

                            I'm not really a huge fan of cilantro but if the flavor is not overwhelming I can handle it.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              To be honest, I'm not sure what cilantro tastes like so I can't say whether it's a dominant flavor in the hummus. Clearly, it does not taste like soap to me because I don't find it offensive. Maybe others can speak to the cilantro flavor?

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                It only has a touch of cilantro: I think the little bit of heat actually overpowers it.

                              2. re: ohmyyum

                                I just bought that one today. Can't wait to try it!

                            2. re: kewpie

                              Would you recommend the plain organic over the Mediterranean? It's almost TJs day - well it's not really almost Friday but I'm pretending - and I need a new tub to satisfy my fix.

                            3. re: ohmyyum

                              You are so right about the cilantro jalapeno hummus! Delicious! Probably the best hummus they sell.

                              1. re: AmyH

                                Pft no way, that honor goes to the Mediterranean . . . :o)

                                1. re: Rilke

                                  I like the Mediterranean and buy it when I need a "safe" option to bring to a get together but in my opinion the Mediterranean is almost grainy compared to the thick, smooth, silky texture of the cilantro jalapeño.

                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                    I still haven't tried it in fear of the cilantro but perhaps this week it'll be the hummus of choice. I was pondering the tomato basil.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      The cilantro is not overpowering, but if you're one of those cilantro soap tasters then you might not like it.

                            4. re: fldhkybnva

                              I LOVE that Humus.... It's always a hit at parties...

                              For a lower fat humus, I like the Artichoke Humus...

                              --Dommy!

                              1. re: Dommy

                                Artichoke hummus? Eggplant? I feel so deprived as I have never even seen them in my store (NC).

                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                +1 on the Med hummus - bought it for the first time today. I proceeded to eat the whole top layer of the container w/ the parsley, pine nuts and oil, so now I'm basically left w/ a 3/4-full container of the "plain" hummus. I love their plain hummus so that's not a bad thing, but I wish all the yummy stuff wasn't gone! Btw, no horseradish hummus at my store.

                                1. re: HeyImBack

                                  I mixed all the goods in which was probably a bad idea because then I just had to eat the whole thing to find them.

                              3. YAY-Pumpkin pancake and waffle mix. Pancakes were very light and fluffy!
                                YAY- Pilgrim Joe's Clam Chowder, not sure if this is a new item, I have never noticed it before..
                                Also, they are now selling cinnamon sticks for the low, low price of 1.99!

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: andieb

                                  The cinnamon sticks, as well as the pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg are seasonal, so stock up if you see fit! It was wonderful to have the pumpkin spice on hand this summer for peach cobbler and cinnamon coffee cake.

                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                    I have the pumpkin pie spice and I agree, it is wonderful. And I did stock up on the cinnamon sticks! It really sticks in my craw to spend $$$ for cinnamon sticks that will end up in a boozy drink! LOL...

                                    1. re: andieb

                                      Are the cinnamon sticks and pumpkin pie spice reasonably fresh? I hesitate to buy the pie spice blend or the cinnamon sticks at the local supermarket as often they are a bit stale there.

                                      1. re: buzzardbreath

                                        I am assuming they are since they are both a seasonal item, and have just been brought back. But I could be wrong. I can say I have no complaints with the pumpkin pie spice. I have not used the sticks yet, will do this weekend, but for the purpose I use them, they will be just fine..

                                  2. re: andieb

                                    +1 on the Clam Chowder.

                                    Used it as the base for an easy fish chowder, with TJ's salmon filet as an add-in (bought frozen, then defrosted, microwaved, and tossed in the chowder).

                                    Amped-up with a tsp. of Pimenton and a squirt of Sriracha, it was a hearty bowl of Yum!

                                    1. re: pugsam

                                      Interesting! Is the clam chowder in the canned foods aisle or is it a refrigerated product? (I've never noticed it)

                                      1. re: Mellicita

                                        Canned. (Photo attached, I hope!)

                                        Before we added the nuked salmon (cut into chunks), we nuked and stick-blended the chowdah (including milk, per instructions). I'm sure that other fish/seafood would be good, too. Seasoning is essential.

                                         
                                        1. re: pugsam

                                          Thanks! I'm going to try your idea! Im working a lot of hours lately so I really appreciate quickie meals that taste good

                                      2. re: pugsam

                                        We added some leftover TJ's argentian shrimp that was previously a scampi. It really is a good chowder!

                                    2. UNRIPENED BRIE (February Spotlight cheese) is back! I try the spotlight cheese every month just to expand my cheese palate (unless it's a blue), and this was my favorite. So glad it's become a part of their regular offerings. If you haven't tried it before, it's a small round of fresh, young, Brie with no rind. Deliciously milky and mild.

                                      Also noticed the chocolate cheddar and huntsman are back, for those that like them.

                                      21 Replies
                                      1. re: ohmyyum

                                        Chocolate cheddar, that's um...interesting

                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                          YAYAYAAYAYAAYAY!! That was one of the best cheese I've had all year... which says a lot because my local Cheese Monger knows me by name..

                                          --Dommy!

                                          1. re: ohmyyum

                                            Picked up 2 rounds yesterday and am halfway through one. I was really sad when Feb was gone and this was no longer available. I made sure to rave to the cashier and the store "captain" abiut how happy I was to see it return.

                                            1. re: Pwmfan

                                              Not sure which of the mentioned cheeses you and Dommy are talking about!

                                              1. re: pugsam

                                                The Unripened Brie... Stunning cheese.

                                                --Dommy!

                                              2. re: ohmyyum

                                                We tried that chocolate cheddar today.
                                                GF: Big NAY
                                                me: milder nay. The cheese itself seemed like it would have been good, _without_ the added chocolate -- it was kind of like the caramelized onion cheese, minus the onion.

                                                1. re: Steve Green

                                                  Us too, I bought the chocolate cheddar last fall for some stay over guests. Not a big hit at all, very weird. They still mention it, jokingly.

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    A cheddar that's not so weird is the Red Fox Red Leicester cheese, October's Spotlight Cheese. Big flavor, great texture, awesome to pair with bold red wines like the Bogle Phantom ($15.99) which is much improved by the addition.

                                                    Value Alert: Northern CA
                                                    Schramsberg Mirabelle Pinot Brut Rose
                                                    Suggested retail: $27, our price $15.99
                                                    Bright strawberries, nice bubbles and acidity with a pleasant finish. Once I kick this cold, I'm bringing home a bottle to share with my hubby.

                                                    1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                                      I hope the Red Leicester you mention is the same thing from about two months ago ----- don't recall if it was the Spotlight cheese from perhaps August? All I know is they were giving out samples = I liked it and bought a wedge.

                                                      The sad part of the story is that as soon as I got into it at home I became addicted, and upon return to TJ's there was no more. The employee who checked indicated they didn't expect more. Sad, sad me.

                                                      Might have to call my local store to see if it's back in. I am in love with that cheese.

                                                      1. re: Dave B

                                                        Are you talking about the Red Leicester with two kinds of peppers? That's back, as is an aged red fox Red Leicester which doesn't have peppers and is delicious in its own right.

                                                      2. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                                        Do you think this cheese would pair well with chipotle? I thought it'd be nice with the chipotle hummus.

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          Since they've got both plain (Red Fox) Red Leicester and the one with chilis in it, it all depends how much heat you want. It's a crumbly, cheddar type.

                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                            Yea, I guess I just grabbed it, not realizing there was a version with chilis in it. I tossed into eggs yesterday and it's very cheddary but tangy as well.

                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            i typically pair chipotles with cheddar , smoked jack, pepper jack or chevre, but i like it most with cheddar.

                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              It might, depending on how much chipotle was involved. If you have access to some smoked paprika, that could be tasty with the Red Fox as well.

                                                              1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                                                Thanks for this great idea. I just put together a few stuffed chicken breasts with mergeuz lamb sausage, Red Fox, Aleppo pepper and smoked paprika.

                                                      3. re: ohmyyum

                                                        I looked for this today but didn't find it at the NYC UWS location. Must try again - it sounds delicious.

                                                        On a related note, does anyone have any opinions on the various gruyeres offered by TJs? I saw three today; 2 imports (one $14.XX a pound, the other $11.99 a pound) and a domestic that was around $10 a pound. I'm looking for an alternative to the Comte from Costco, which isn't quite sharp enough for my taste.

                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                          I love comté, and TJs carries it as well in smaller quantities than Costco. I haven't tried any of the gruyeres, but if you're looking for something sharper, you may enjoy the cheddar mélange. It's a cheddar and gruyere blend (but the texture is definitely more cheddar-ish).

                                                          Also, I've attached a picture of the unripened Brie!

                                                           
                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                            I love the gruyere that they sell in thin wedges wrapped in paper that costs $14.29 a pound! It's really sharp, tangy, and just really delicious. I've attached a photo of what it looks like. Definitely give it a try.

                                                             
                                                            1. re: yummfood

                                                              Good to know - that brand is pretty widely available but TJ's price can't be beat. I'll definitely try it next time!

                                                        2. I also purchased the pumpkin cranberry crisps, but I have not tried them yet. Has anyone tried them?

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: andieb

                                                            The pita ones? I got those this weekend - they were great!

                                                            1. re: andieb

                                                              Yes, I got them to pair with the unripened Brie. They are quite like the rosemary raisin crisps, but I think I might prefer the those to the pumpkin, only because I love rosemary. They weren't overwhelming "pumpkins spicy," which I liked.

                                                              1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                Are they as sweet as the rosemary raisin crisps? (not a fan of the sweet...)

                                                              2. re: andieb

                                                                Are these located with the chips or crackers? I looked in the pita chip section (snack aisle) and didn't see any. I didn't look by the crackers though, which are in a separate section in most TJs.

                                                                1. re: chinchi

                                                                  I found them on an end cap with several other new products. In my store, it's located near the cracker/chip aisle and the produce. They weren't with the rest of the pita chips.

                                                                  1. re: chinchi

                                                                    My local store finally got the pumpkin cranberry pita chips (bagged) and pumpkin cranberry crisps (boxed, with the crackers). I went with the pita chips, since they were $1.50 cheaper. They get a YAY from me -- crunchy, flavorful, sweet, and salty. That said, they don't taste like pita chips. If the word "pita" wasn't on the box I never would have made the connection. They taste more like graham crackers to me (maybe because of the whole grain flour & flavorings?). Regardless, I enjoyed them!

                                                                  2. re: andieb

                                                                    I loved them. I like the Rosemary ones as well, but like these better. And yes they have some sweetness.

                                                                    1. re: brilynn79

                                                                      Good to know. I still. have not opened them yet...

                                                                  3. One of my regular frozen entrees is the pesto tortellini bowl. Good pesto flavor and unlike many frozen entrees, it's filling too. So Yay!

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Bob W

                                                                      Is the tortellini filled with anything else (cheese)?

                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                        Sorry -- yes, cheese filling. 470 calories for the whole bowl (which you will eat).

                                                                        Here's a good review: http://thefrozenfoodfairy.blogspot.co...

                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                            If this is anything like the Amy's pesto tortellini bowl, add Ina bag of frozen steam able broccoli. There's more than enough sauce...

                                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                              I believe Amy's manufactures the bowls under the TJs brand name. Tastes exactly the same. I'm a fan :-)

                                                                              1. re: chinchi

                                                                                Could be! The photo on the box looks exactly the same. I've never tried the TJs version (not kosher)

                                                                      2. re: Bob W

                                                                        Tried this today and it's a Meh/Nay for me. Most of the tortellini were way too soft (some were mushy), and it needed a serious dose of salt to have any flavor. I was disappointed b/c I love tortellini. Not a repeat purchase for me, unfortunately.

                                                                        1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                          I'm right there with you. I had it today for lunch and wasn't impressed. It needed salt, some parmesan cheese, and maybe a few sprinkles of shredded mozzarella or something to make it more interesting. Unfortunately, I was at work so I didn't have anything on hand to doctor it up. I won't be buying it again.

                                                                      3. Yay! for the Morello Cherries in a jar.

                                                                        Just enjoyed a small Manhattan (straight up). The soused cherry at the finish was a nice palate-perker.

                                                                        More character than the standard cocktail maraschino cherry.

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: pugsam

                                                                          Glad to know the Morellos are back! Now I can make some jars of soused cherries for gifts. After I "quality assurance" test them...hic! ;-)

                                                                          1. re: buzzardbreath

                                                                            They are absolutely delicious! I tried them last week when I made a cherry sauce for some roast pork. Usually I use the TJ's Fresh Cherries preserves, but they're gone for a bit. I bought another jar today because I want to try a cherry shortcake...mmmmm....

                                                                          2. re: pugsam

                                                                            Agree! I bought them to add to Greek yogurt. So good.

                                                                            1. re: pugsam

                                                                              Are these Morello cherries a seasonal item? I picked up two jars yesterday but didn't know if I should stockpile more.

                                                                              1. re: FlyerFan

                                                                                i don't think those morellos are a seasonal item, because i seem to recall that i purchased some back in spring.

                                                                                1. re: FlyerFan

                                                                                  They are year-round at my store (Pittsburgh). The jarred peaches are phenomenal also. Freshest canned peach I've ever had (and I'm including dear departed grandma's in the mix).

                                                                                2. re: pugsam

                                                                                  I love these cherries and Manhattans are exactly what I use them for! They have them year-round at my Trader Joe's.

                                                                                  1. re: Briek

                                                                                    And lets not forget, tart cherries like Morello are also extremely good for us... unti inflamatory, great for those with arthritis pain and good for those who can't sleep as they contain melatonin

                                                                                    1. re: HealthNutForever

                                                                                      I didn't know that! I love the dried Montmorency cherries - is that true for them as well?

                                                                                3. Somewhere between meh and ok: Maryland style crabcakes. Someone had written about them months ago with a big nay, but I had forgotten about that when I spied them in the freezer and thought they'd make a good quick meal. I didn't thaw them, and baked them at 400 for about 10 minutes on each side instead of 5-7 so they did crisp up on the outside. They were mostly filler but there was some crab flavor. They reminded me very much of the "deviled crab" they would sell in the supermarket somewhere that I have lived (maybe Pittsburgh). They did make a decent dinner with some soy-cotash on the side and a salad.

                                                                                  1. YAY for the Trader Joe's All Natural Uncured All Beef Hot Dogs. We'd been spending twice as much on some local and regional uncured fillerless brands, and found that we weren't ever really *that* happy with them. The TJ's dogs, while a little on the salty side (but I like that), were far juicier and snappier than the others we'd tried. We both grilled and broiled them; I preferred the broiled marginally. We even nuked one just to see, and the result was very satisfactory. I think it's the juiciness (and the relatively finer texture than you get in a lot of comparable dogs) that is making this my new favorite hot dog. And: eight plump sausages for $4.99.

                                                                                    22 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                      My choice for years. Accept no substitutes; TJ's turkey and chicken hot dogs are failures, limp texture and off flavors.

                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                        Agree with John on this one...stay far, far away from the turkey and chicken versions of the hot dog.

                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                          John Francis and little flower, thanks for the heads-up! My husband will often veer off into chicken/turkey sausage exploration, and, aside from a very few shining handcrafted examples, I have not met a poultry sausage I care for, let alone a hot dog-type sausage. I will keep an eye on things so the "wrong" TJs hotdogs don't slip into the cart!

                                                                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                            I eat a lot of poultry sausage but have to think of them in a different category than "sausage." I consider them seasoned ground meat as they are pretty much the same as throwing some ground chicken/turkey in a pan and some spices, the fat isn't there but if the seasoning is good it works.

                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                              The Uncooked Chicken Sicilian sausages are actually pretty good. They have cheese, which ups the fat.

                                                                                            2. re: cayjohan

                                                                                              I think Savour is saying this as well - the TJ's chicken sausages (well, some flavors) are pretty good, personally have heard of good things from family members on them and can vouch for the Sweet Italian version. It's the turkey and chicken hot dogs specifically that are horrible in my opinion.

                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                Yes. The pre-cooked chicken sausages (like the mango chicken or the spinach fontina) are fine and what you would expect. Most of their uncooked sausages, both poultry and pork are affirmatively quite good. The chicken and turkey hot dogs are complete dreck and barely deserve to be called food. The beef ones are great though - one of my favorite brands of hot dog. A nice spice profile.

                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                  Thanks all; what I am going to be avoiding is the chicken or turkey *hot dogs* specifically. We have had a number of the other chicken sausages from TJ's and from elsewhere and, while Hub seems to be fine with them, I just can't get them out of some limbo region between Nay and Meh. But that's a *Cay* thing; I'm not even a big poultry fan in general, but when I partake, it's likely to be straight up recognizable chunks of bird, rather than ground or ground-and-encased, the latter of which I have always found to be dry to my tastes.

                                                                                                  Are the non-hot-dog chicken sausages at TJ's of a moister texture than most others of the ilk? Disclosure: when the Hub wants chicken sausages, it's usually when he's cooking and I am not, so I'm not entirely certain what he's doing to them! (Results are dry, for my taste.) Those of you who like the other chicken sausage varieties: how do you prepare them? Are they juicy?

                                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                    The chicken sicilian sausages are pretty juicy, IIRC, as are the chicken breakfast sausages. I think precooked sausages generally may have a tendency towards dryness. I use the uncooked sausages without the casings, though, usually - I use the Sicilian ones to make a sausage and white bean casserole, and the turkey sweet Italian as a mix in for meatloaf.

                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                      Ah, I think precooked is likely a contributor to my meh-ness on the issue. My most frequent exposure to chicken sausage is the Bilinski's brand, and they are indeed precooked. And dry. (Or at least, dry however my Hub prepares them, not to be too bus-under-throwy!)

                                                                                                      The chicken breakfast sausages sound interesting, and I see they have no gluten ingredients, so would be a *go* for me. Savour, I'm always looking for a nice peppery, sagey breakfast sausage to have on hand without me doing all the work - would you think of these chicken breakfast sausages as filling that bill?

                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                        I don't think they're super sagey, but it's been a while. You could try them and if you don't like them, take them back!

                                                                                                        1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                          In my experience, the TJ's precooked chicken sausages are not dry, but it may depend on what you do with them; I tend to simply put them in a skillet with a dab of oil until hot and well browned all over. They are quite juicy, in fact.

                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            Thanks, CMcG. After all the favorable recommendations on TJ's chicken sausages, I think I may have to sample and see.

                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                              I put 'em on a pan or baking sheet in the toaster oven and "grill" for 10 minutes - nothing could be easier. How juicy they are varies from one sausage to another, but none come out dry.

                                                                                                    2. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                      TJ has an excellent turkey kielbasa that I use in cooking or just heat and eat. And some of their chicken sausages appeal to me too - the sweet Italian and andouille, and one of the chicken sausages made with apple, I don't remember which. It's just the chicken and turkey hot dogs that are badly off.

                                                                                                      I liked the mango chicken sausage too, but unfortunately it was discontinued a couple of years ago.

                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                        The sweet apple chicken sausage is great for breakfast.

                                                                                                        1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                          The Smoked Turkey Kielbasa is a favorite. They would make a fine hot-dog substitute for those wishing to deviate from the traditional wiener.

                                                                                                          While made with turkey, they aren't really what I would consider to be "low-fat" Which is why they are so darn tasty. I'm now buying two packages every time I pass through TJ's -- and it doesn't hang around for long once I get it home.

                                                                                                        2. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                          we like the aidell's garlic and gruyere chicken sausages. http://www.aidells.com/product/34

                                                                                                          does anyone know if aidell's makes the TJ's chicken sausages?

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        That would be my best guess as well, and my guess is that the chicken sausages in their various flavors are Aidells brand. Again, just a hunch.

                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                          I was wondering the same thing as I was googling around on the TJ's brand. It seems plausible.

                                                                                                          Aside: despite my general lackluster response to poultry, I do really like the Applegate Organic Herb Turkey Breast slices at TJ's, surprisingly. Moist and flavorful; I'm particularly fond of the forward herb flavor. So: Yay on that one!

                                                                                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                            Applegate deli meat fills my fridge - I really d o enjoy them all except the BBQ turkey/chicken it's too sweet for me with an really unnatural BBQ flavor.

                                                                                                      2. The pumpkin bread mix (boxed) is excellent. A big yay for me!

                                                                                                        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                            Hahaha I personally love pumpkin, and always have, but it does seem to have become exceptionally trendy. That video was hilarious and I will definitely share far and wide with my pumpkin-hating friends.

                                                                                                          2. HUGE YAY: Petite Cocoa Batons - um, HOW have I missed these in the store? These are incredibly addicting - think chocolate crispy piroulines but the mini version. I mean, they are TINY but are like pillows of chocolate heaven. Seriously, they are that good. They are crispy on the outside (kind of like a butter wafer consistency) and the inside is filled with soft melty chocolate. Absolutely will be a repeat buy.

                                                                                                            YAY: Pumpkin Biscotti - these are pumpkiny but not too overwhelmingly so, and would be excellent dipped into some cream cheese or mascarpone. I have to admit that I am not a huge pumpkin fan but these were good.

                                                                                                            MEH: Italian Breadsticks with Olive Oil - they were just okay, crispy but they didn't have much if at all any flavor to me. I was actually going to nay it but once I dipped it into a little vinaigrette it helped. After re-reading some of the other posts on it, I can see that the plain taste of the breadsticks was what TJ's had in mind, but have to say these just aren't my cup of tea.

                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                              Those petite cocoa batons are addictive, though I find the name misleading..they are not batons at all, just crispy chocolate pillow of deliciousness.

                                                                                                              Yay: Just the Clusters Chocolate Almond granola cereal - I put this into my homemade yogurt for a bit of crunch and sweetness.

                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                OMG - YES - Petite Cocoa Batons - they are EVIL and I am weak.

                                                                                                                I bought them 3 times and thought - okay, I can do this - just a few at a time... somehow they all found their way into my mouth...

                                                                                                                Like nutella with a crunch.

                                                                                                                1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                  Yeah, I am already three-fourths the way through one bag and I am a tiny person who can't eat a lot. Plus I think they were priced incredibly at 1.99/box if I am not mistaken.

                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                    How do I acquire this "can't eat a lot" trait? :) I'm not big on sweets but it sounds like SO would love these as he can inhale a bag of pirouettes.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      Anyone who likes the pirouettes will go nuts over the Petite Cocoa Batons. Plus, you can't go wrong with 1.99/box. As far as not being able to eat a lot, it's all relatively speaking when compared to the average person. Fldhky be thankful that you have such a great appetite, mine fluctuates but eating frequent smaller meals seems to be best for me.

                                                                                                                  2. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                    Add me to the wall of shame. Opened a box of batons, to give them a try...... Settled down to watch a movie...... By the time the movie was done, so was the box........

                                                                                                                    1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                      Don't worry, it could be worse: you could have been dipping them in that new combination jar of cocoa-spead/cookie-butter... at least you ate them on their own. (Not that I have done this, but I am just reminding myself another reason why not to ever try that jar or the batons.)

                                                                                                                  3. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                    Totally agree with you littleflower: those breadsticks are completely flavorless, NAY. I have them sitting on the counter to return for my $ back.

                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                      Agree on the biscotti. I do like pumpkin, and love the texture of biscotti. I think they're great.

                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                        Yay! I got the petite cocoa batons today, thanks for the suggestion, very delicate and a nice treat.

                                                                                                                      2. + for the pistachio white chocolate cookies. Another reason to thank Persian immigrants in California.

                                                                                                                        + to the coconut cranberry granola. The coconut, while present, doesn't overpower, and it's this subtlety that makes the granola a welcome addition to frozen yoghurt.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                          pistachio white chocolate cookies? that sounds promising! is it like a butter cookie/sablé cookie with chunks of nuts and chocolate? or is it a soft and chewy kind of cookie, like many of theirs?

                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                            Those are not new - they are the first style you imagined. Sold in the large clear plastic tub, with a green label. There's a clever name riffing on pistachio but I can't remember it.

                                                                                                                          2. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                            Agreed on the coconut cranberry granola. It has become my go-to TJs granola. Nice firm crunch, not overly sweet, and great flavor combination.

                                                                                                                            1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                              Ditto for the Yay on that granola. Great in vanilla yogurt.

                                                                                                                          3. I'm sure someone has mentioned this in previous threads from around this time of year, but I finally tried the Pumpkin Ice Cream.

                                                                                                                            MEH to NAY

                                                                                                                            way too sweet, not nearly enough pumpkin flavor...it was mostly just very sweet to me. I know many products are just Pumpkin Spice and have no actual pumpkin flavor, just the pie spices, but this ice cream is supposed to be straight up Pumpkin Ice Cream. I was very disappointed.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

                                                                                                                              i tried the pumpkin ice cream two years ago -- the ice cream that so many raved about -- and it was terrible to me. of course, this is useless information now (unless it is the same flavor). LOL.

                                                                                                                            2. HUGE YAY: Country Pumpkin Spice Granola - excellent, I think I really liked it because the taste of pumpkin was subtle. You could taste it but I also could taste the honey and oats as well.

                                                                                                                              YAY: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups - I am in no way a huge dark chocolate fan but decided to give these a try at only .99 per small bag located near the checkout stand. These are good but can only eat one at a time (probably due to the dark chocolate) because they are very rich! The peanut butter filling is creamy and out of this world good - I have tried the mini milk chocolate peanut butter cups before, but definitely want to try the regular sized milk chocolate peanut butter cups now as well.

                                                                                                                              YAY: Organic Pops - at only 1.99 per container I had to give these a try. Nice to have a little something to satisfy those times when I have a sweet tooth craving. Naturally flavored and come in five fruit flavors - watermelon, pomegranate, raspberry, orange and lemon.

                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                those mini peanut butter cups are so delicious, i agree. even the milk chocolate ones are very rich. a few go a long way!

                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                  Are the dark chocolate peanut butter cups you mention the same as the ones that are sold in a 16 oz. container? Just got some........they're like a little Reese's Cup -- except darker, richer and smoother. $4.29.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                    Pugsam,

                                                                                                                                    I'm not littleflower, but the answer is yes, they are the same. I was going to buy a large container, but didn't trust myself with all of that goodness. When I was at the cash register, I spotted the small bag with the foil wrapped ones. The clerk told me that they are sold both ways.

                                                                                                                                    www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                      by the way, i bought a tub of those a good while back, and they keep very well in the fridge. they surpass reese's quality in chocolate, flavor, texture, filling -- as pugsam suggests.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                        Those dark chocolate PB cups are the devil, especially if you add a flake of Maldon sea salt to the top before eating. Pure evil.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                          Haha yeah absolutely agree...I tried it with just a sprinkle of regular sea salt and had to close my eyes it was just that good. Hmm...perhaps I could learn to like dark chocolate candy after all........

                                                                                                                                2. NAY to the pumpkin bar mix with chocolate chips. There is a perfume-y quality to the spices that doesn't work for me, at least in this particular blondie type of bar (and I love pumpkin bread, the TJ's pumpkin ice cream that I think a lot of people aren't that into, and many other spiced/pumpkin products). The chips seem sort of clove-y or something in a way that reminds me of soap.

                                                                                                                                  On that note, YAY to the pumpkin ice cream, which is very sweet and very spicy but also very pumpkin-y, in my opinion. The intensity of flavor and smooth texture remind me of Italian gelato.

                                                                                                                                  YAY to the pumpkin toaster pastries as well. A tad dry, but good flavor that pairs well with the graham cracker-like whole grain crust. These are the same as Nature's Path brand toaster pastries, but I haven't seen pumpkin flavor at other stores yet (and they're cheaper at TJ's).

                                                                                                                                  1. Balsamic vinegar -- is there a Big Yay! at TJ?

                                                                                                                                    I'd like to give a bottle of balsamic as a gift. It doesn't have to be totally precious, snooty, pretentious, and ridiculously expensive.....but it should be GOOD.

                                                                                                                                    Recommendations?

                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                      I buy the large jugs to dress salads and for cooking. The white balsamic is nice on cut fruit; it has a lighter taste.

                                                                                                                                      However, they also have some smaller, more expensive bottles of aged balsamic--that's what you would want to get if you are giving it as a gift.

                                                                                                                                      There is also a pack of three flavored olive oils and that would be nice to go with it or a bottle of any of the virgin olive oils would be nice to go with it, as well.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                        Have you tried the flavored oils? I was thinking of buying them for myself.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                          Last year I bought them and gave away the red pepper and lemon, keeping the basil for myself. The recipient of the lemon never mentioned it, but the red pepper recipient loved his and "put it on all manner of things".

                                                                                                                                          I kept the basil closed until tomatoes begin arriving this past summer and put it on my caprese salads. Very nice.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                            No, but I bought a pack today. Since they are lemon, basil, and red pepper, it's hard to go wrong.

                                                                                                                                            I used to put a few crushed cloves of garlic in the last couple of inches of olive oil left in the bottle and let it sit for a few weeks to use in simple pasta dishes or on pizza--I'll have to start doing that again.

                                                                                                                                            The triple packs of flavored mustard still weren't on the shelves. I regretted not getting those last year before they were all gone and hope they have them again this year.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                              russ, good news, they will have the mustards.

                                                                                                                                              bad news, it is unsafe to put raw garlic in olive oil for any length of time other than pretty much immediate usage, because oil is an anaerobic environment (no air) and any botulism spores in the raw garlic can create bacteria which in turn create toxins, which do deadly work on your dear body. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulism

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                Ah, I'm glad you posted this. I was pretty sure that was true, but didn't want to post it myself without being sure.
                                                                                                                                                Tis a sad thing, not to be able to steep garlic in oil. :-(

                                                                                                                                              2. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                What? Flavored mustard? I don't know the flavors, but I'm in.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                  Last year they had basil, Chablis and Provençale -- the latter being some mustard / red pepper concoction.

                                                                                                                                                  Neither blew me away, and I ended up using mostly the Chablis mustard.

                                                                                                                                                  Now... if they would sell a walnut mustard, I would *totally* get that.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                    I really liked the Provencale - it was great in deviled eggs and on turkey sandwiches, or in vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                      I think I gave that one away. Maille makes a Provençale I had in Germany, and it did work well in vinaigrettes!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                            I get the 8.5 Fl Oz. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena in the squarish bottle. It's my go to for vinaigrette, and reduced with lemon juice to top avocado toast.

                                                                                                                                          3. trader joes arrives at Ashevile <NC
                                                                                                                                            The town is ecstatic=Long lines opened Friday Been there 3 times
                                                                                                                                            I came from North Cal - Bay Area
                                                                                                                                            Two products I hate Tuna Fish And wine country chicken salad
                                                                                                                                            Really Sucks
                                                                                                                                            I have been shopping at Tj's since the day they went to Bay Area ( San Rafael) in 1990
                                                                                                                                            These two items have been the only in my 23 years that I found distasteful
                                                                                                                                            we love the wines in in Asheville

                                                                                                                                            1. Sandwich makings - you might do better at a deli but not at a general food store.

                                                                                                                                              Sliced Smoked Gouda - my favorite, with a flavor sharper than normal Gouda and a hint of smoke. Ought to be good on a burger but I don't do cheeseburgers and don't know.

                                                                                                                                              Sliced Sharp Cheddar - the real thing, convenient for sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                              Sliced Muenster - actually has some cheese flavor, unlike some Muensters I've had (including deli).

                                                                                                                                              Note - the low fat cheddar and Muenster are short on flavor and have a kind of plastic texture.

                                                                                                                                              TJ's doesn't do much with cold cuts, selling other brands instead. These are worth a try:

                                                                                                                                              Uncured Black Forest Ham - not the richest ham flavor but makes a good sandwich on its own or with cheese. "No nitrates or nitrites added."

                                                                                                                                              Uncured Pastrami - surprisingly good, nice and peppery, though it would never be mistaken for deli - cut thicker, for one thing. Again, "No nitrates or nitrites added."

                                                                                                                                              Lots of choices for sandwich bread. I like the Honey Bran Country Bread and the generic whole wheat. Those who prefer Ezekiel wheat-free breads will find some of them at TJ's at lower prices than in the health food stores.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                Ooh, hint of smoke? I've been looking for a smoked Gouda that doesn't knock me off my feet. There's a great local one available here but sliced sounds really convenient.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                  my fav cheese there is the sliced fontina; soft and creamy; slightly nutty; works well in all things Italian: subs, baked pasta dishes, pizza, other sandwiches. melts beautifully.

                                                                                                                                                2. "a pumpkin walks into a bar" -- meh! seems gummy to me. would not buy again.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                    Agreed. We got some of the sliced smoked Gouda this week. It's pretty decent in a toasted or melted role (for example, on a burger or as cheese toast). But meh-minus on a sandwich, with crackers, etc.......anything where you care about the initial texture.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      I liked them, and apparently so did my housemates because the two boxes I bought last week are gone!

                                                                                                                                                    2. Has anyone tried the canned clams? Thoughts?

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                        My opinion on those is not bad, but not spectacular. Cooked into chowder or clam sauce they do just fine, but don't really stand out on their own. Good if you're in a pinch!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JulesNoctambule

                                                                                                                                                          Yea, I grabbed them on a whim but since it's something they can put back on the shelf, I think I'll return in safe keeping. I am assuming they put unopened sealed items back like other stores do. Argg, you remind me I forgot to scope out that chowder discussed above.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                          Haven't tried the canned but the steamers in the freezer are
                                                                                                                                                          good.

                                                                                                                                                        3. Woohoo, another successul trip to TJs. Of the new items I bought today,

                                                                                                                                                          YAY:
                                                                                                                                                          Green Goddess Dressing - I make roxlet's version of this but I like this alternative with Tahini and I actually added lettuce to the grocery list because of this dressing. Any other good uses other than as a dressing?

                                                                                                                                                          Horeseradish Hummus - I've only tried a taste but it's delicious. I put the spoon away to save some for later but I think this will be a hit in my book

                                                                                                                                                          Greek Feta in Brine - I haven't popped the lid yet but from the reviews here it's great. How long will it stay fresh in there? A while right?

                                                                                                                                                          Potential YAY - yellowfin in oil, it's back in my store at least in a bright blue can with a bright yellow fish for those hunting it down.

                                                                                                                                                          BTW, they were more than accepting of my returns. I actually had a few - rotten zucchini and a cheese I didn't like. This was my first time returning something to the store that I just didn't like and they didn't even ask questions. I had pictures of the zucchini and information on the cheese ready to go and they just grabbed them and told me to show my receipt at checkout without even looking at it to check off anything. I guess it works out for them either way, I bought more zucchini and they are perfectly fresh.

                                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                            I've been using the Greek feta in brine for years...and love it. Because the expiry date is usually many months away, I keep a container of it in the fridge at all times. Once opened though, I try to use it in a week or two, but really don't know if it will keep longer.

                                                                                                                                                            Yay for the new (I think) Iced Mini Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti! They go great with a cup of espresso!

                                                                                                                                                            Yay for the return of the pre sliced French Raclette cheese. The quality is great and the square slices fit our raclette machine perfectly!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                              Oh wow, pre slicd Raclette!! Raclette is one of my top 3 favorite cheeses and always in the house. It's quite a hassle to grate or slice to pre sliced would be wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure I have to worry about the Feta lasting long, it's already been assigned to be used in a merguez sausage tomato sauce. I look forward to trying it. I'm really hit or miss with Feta but seem to love all sheep's milk cheeses. The last Feta I had which I really liked was Mt. Vikos as Whole Foods, I think this might be a similar.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                Hey, could you leave a yay/nay after you try it? I love Mt. Vikos feta and if the TJ's version is similar, I'd be a really happy camper. :D

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Canonical

                                                                                                                                                                  Super YAY - Greek feta in brine - wow, yes and double wow! I really have never been a fan of Feta but I think I could inhale this whole tub. Although, the cheese is so flavorful that a little goes a long way, I think that tub might last a little while. Thanks to all who recommended it. I actually liked it better than the Greek Feta I bought at Whole Foods a few weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  I always loved the Mt. Vikos feta (pricey at WF, etc.) but from CH heard about the Israeli feta at TJ .. in the white/yellow plastic pkg. I open it and put it in a glass container .. lasts quite a while, love it. It's from sheep milk I think.

                                                                                                                                                                3. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                  Ooh another yummy sounding biscotti to try - thanks for letting us know! I love the selection of TJ's biscotti...almond being my favorite but also like the chocolate and pumpkin one as well!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with the Greek Feta in brine for the same reasons - expiration, quality and price. It lasts a bout a month or so in my house.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                    I love that feta, but I find that it doesn't keep very long at all once opened - maybe a week at most. And I've had the unpleasant experience of finding it spoiled upon opening as well, even when it's months before the expiration date. However, I keep buying it because it's so delicious. The Athkenos (sp?) kind sold at my regular grocery store keeps forever, but it's not nearly as tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh boo, that's disappointing to hear. It's a huge tub and I still have nearly 50% of it left. It's been open 2 weeks, I had some last week and it seemed to be OK. It seems weird to go bad so quickly given Feta usually lasts forever in brine or at least it seems like forever. Anyone noticed it goes off that quickly?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                        No, but we generally have it within 2-3 weeks. It's not that much cheese, after all. Two slices. That's, like, four salads.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                          True, I've had it in 2 dishes so far and it's at 50% so 2 more to go :)

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                        I agree, mine went bad quickly but the israeli one lasted longer and was great!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HealthNutForever

                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting, I just realized I've had mine for 4 weeks now and it's holding strong.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HealthNutForever

                                                                                                                                                                            Hmm, well I just checked it and perhaps I should ask - does anyone remember if the original brine was light yellow? The cheese is still white but the brine is a nice bright yellow.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HealthNutForever

                                                                                                                                                                              How did you store the israeli feta once you opened it?

                                                                                                                                                                        2. NAY ... the new TJ brand of Organic Oats. They seem to have a lot of small pieces included... they look like floor sweepings.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. A surprising YAY for the coconut cashews. Cashews are hands down my least favorite nut, but the cashier lady practically forced me to try them and poured a couple in my hand.

                                                                                                                                                                            My man will appreciate these more than I as he loves cashews.... but then again, probably not a great idea to have around the house '-)

                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                              I spotted the cashews out of the corner of my eye today, and literally only the corner because I'm a cashew fanatic. I guess I'm going to have to try them and put up with some extra pounds :)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                Husband ate the whole bag!!! I think he just about inhaled them while I was out today. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RUK

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oops, I hate when that happens...the food just disappears. I'm pondering not buying the garlic marinated mushrooms this week as they never seem to make it home. I must have really perfected the driving and inhaling mushrooms technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RUK

                                                                                                                                                                                    Mine just barely stopped himself from getting them. Probably a good idea '-)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. I don't think it's new but any thoughts on the artichoke and red pepper tapenade?

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                  Very salty. Way too salty to use straight, languished in my fridge till remainder pitched the one time I bought it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                    I missed this comment a few days ago, thanks for the reply. It's good to hear it's not worth a buy especially if super salty. One of the reasons I make a lot of my own homemade sauces and condiments is a serious water-retention issue as well as a very low threshold for salty tastes so this seems like a no go for me. I'm headed there tomorrow, so glad I read this.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Big yay to the pumpkin spice coffee. I generally hate flavored coffee but I do love most things pumpkin and this was no exception. Basically bought all the pumpkin mixes too but have yet to have any, will need to report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. BIG FAT HUGE YAY (tho not sure that this is a new item per se): the salmon dip. Oh my goodness -- creamy, yet light as air with a nice salmon flavor. The capers are kinda lost in it, but nobody's stopping you from adding a few chopped ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Really delicious. Won't be buying it for ourselves, for sure '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                      I heartily second this YAY; love the stuff...and we did add some additional capers to good effect.
                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood, do you recall if your container had a plastic film-seal under the lid? I opened my most recent container and it had no seal, but had glue-like tracks around the rim like it had had a film seal at one point. I can't remember if my other purchases of the salmon dip had the film; am a little wary of digging in if it had been opened in the store. Any recollection?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                        I think it may have, but our friend who brought the dip over opened it, so I can't say for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                        And since I don't plan on buying it any time soon because fatty-fatty-fat-fat-fat..... I likely won't find out in the near future.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                          Z'awright. Thanks anyway - it's probably saving me from eating half the container right now! On the fatty-fat-fat front: we've often used it as a base and mixed in a lot of smoked lake trout to sort of stretch that fattiness with some more fish. Might be overkill, but sooo good.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                            That sounds like a great idea, cay! There's no overkill for me, generally, when it comes to smoked fishy goodness :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                              Although I could eat the smoked salmon dip with a spoon (and have), once I started thinking of it as a smoky, fishy mayonnaise, things started rolling. One of our favorite uses so far has been to use it in a riff on Finnish rosolli. Diced beets, potatoes, gherkins, some leftover steak, tart apple if we have, then dressed with the salmon dip mixed with some sour cream or yogurt. The salmon dip is a really nice addition to something already pretty high in my food pantheon.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree: no such thing as too much smoked fish!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Yay-um to the pumpkin bagels! Sweet pumpkin flavor, but not too much. And not overly orangey in color either.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I ate mine toasted without the pumpkin cream cheese, and it was yummy. Haven't tried the pumpkin cream cheese yet this year, but if you want to increase that flavor, by all means do so :]

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Yay:
                                                                                                                                                                                        Pita Bite Crackers. I normally eat hummus w/ Stacy's Pita Chips, which, even though I like, I often find them too thick and filling. I *loved* these pita bite crackers. They don't have a ton of flavor but what they lack in flavor they totally make up for in texture - light and crisp and just perfect w/ the hummus. I couldn't stop dipping. I will be buying these regularly.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups. All I can say about these is I'm glad I bought that little $.99 bag or I'd be in serious trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Meh:
                                                                                                                                                                                        Garlic marinated mushrooms. They were good but not OMG-good and I bought them more out of curiousity than anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Nay:
                                                                                                                                                                                        The "regular" JoJos (chocolate cookie w/ white cream filling). Now, I buy the Peppermint JoJos every year and just love them, and this was my first time trying this variety. I was expecting a taste similar to an Oreo and was seriously disappointed. The chocolate cookie part has very little flavor, and I couldn't see any of the advertised "vanilla bean flecks" in the cream filling. I bought them to use in a recipe (I always use Oreos in this recipe but happened to be at TJs so bought these instead) and then on a later trip to the grocery store found that the Oreos would have been not only much tastier, but also cheaper than the JoJos. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't the oreos have transfats? Do the JoJos? But if you prefer the taste of oreos, so be it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                            I honestly don't know if the Oreos have transfats and I eat them so rarely that I really don't care. Taste is worth it to me :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                              If you can locate them, you may want to try the Back to Nature brand of chocolate sandwich cookies (no HFCS or artificial preservatives). I personally have never tried them, but have heard good things about them, and they scored pretty high in a Serious Eats taste test for tasting very similar to an Oreo cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/07...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                The Back to Nature's are all on sale right now at Drugstore (dot com).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great! Thanks for the tip on the cookies, Harts52.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                            HeyImBack I absolutely agree with you on the regular JoJos...I too love the Candy Cane JoeJoes each year but tried the regular ones, ate one and took the rest of the box back, they were that...ugh. I think I was expecting like I think you did a taste that was at least *similar* to regular Oreos but these just didn't cut it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The Garlic "marinade"/juice leftover in the jar is wonderful...I personally don't eat the mushrooms (I give them away to family that do!) but keep the marinade liquid in the jar to use in a variety of dishes. It really gives a special "umph" to a variety of dishes that call for a garlic/mushroom base.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                              Littleflower, yes, that's it exactly -- I figured the regular JoJos were just TJ's take on Oreos. Same flavor, different brand-kind-of-thing. Doesn't the chocolate cookie part of the Candy Cane JoJos have that distinctive Oreo taste? I'm sure they do. I ended up using the box of regular JoJos today b/c I didn't have time to go back to the grocery store to buy the real deal; otherwise I would have returned them like you did.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Good to know about the garlic juice leftover in the jar -- unfortunately, I ate all the mushrooms and poured the liquid down the drain. Maybe I'll give it another try and figure out a good use for the juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I am not sure if it's the candy cane/peppermint flavor that brings out the chocolate taste in the Holiday JoeJoe's or what, but the chocolate sandwich portion in those has that distinctive chocolate flavor very similar to the Oreo cookie. The regular JoeJoe's to me fell flat in the chocolate flavor in the cookie portion of it. It is a shame because if my memory serves me correctly the ingredients list does read a bit more natural than Oreos.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                              Sort of OT, but for that kind of cookie, I really like Whole Foods' 365 Sandwich Cookie. They taste like Hydrox used to, if that means anything to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                I do remember Hydrox cookies!!! They are close to the taste of an Oreo cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. YAY! As noted in a post above... Unripened Brie is back!!! I took it to a party recently that had plenty of fancy cheese and it was a hit!! I love how it's so creamy and soft and has this wonderful mellow flavor. So much better than Chevre which is often chalky and flavorless...

                                                                                                                                                                                              Suprisingly Yay: The Apple Cinamon Chevre... my gosh it look scary and wrong... but it actually is REALLY good... especially on baguette rounds...

                                                                                                                                                                                              NAY!: The Pumpkin Cranberry crisps.... I LOVE the Rosemary Raisin crips and thought these might be good... but the flavor is muddled... like stale pumpkin pie. Bleh. Even worse, I found these while I was looking for a box of the Rosemary Crips and they were no where to be found!!!! I hope they don't stop stocking the rosemary crisps which are one of my favorite crackers ever!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              MEGA NAY!: Rarely does trader joes has a product SO VILE, I can't figure out a way to make it taste better.... But the Superfood Kale, Quinoa, god know what else melody was just horrid. I had two bites and then tossed it! I love the Quinoa with veggie they used t have and was hoping this would be as good... not the case...

                                                                                                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                Dommy I think we have similar tastes in cheese because I also quite liked the apple cinnamon goat cheese, and of course adore the unripened Brie. I also thought the pumpkin cranberry crisps were meh. Not terrible, but I will definitely be looking for the rosemary raisin next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I bought the unripened brie yesterday after reading so many raves about it here. It is delicious! We drive an hour to get to TJ's so we won't be back there for another month or two. I hope they still have it then because I will load up on it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I laughed out loud at your description of the apple cinnamon chevre. I felt exactly the same way about its appearance but it's delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Briek

                                                                                                                                                                                                      yes, that apple cinnamon chevre log did look bizarre! ;-). i'm wondering how it would be slightly warmed, and then smeared on …what? crostini? ..or wrap it in puff pastry flutes and bake it? serve the flutes with goats' milk ice cream?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm curious about this apple cinnamon chèvre, too. Sounds like it might be good in a roasted pork/ salad greens combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i'm trying to think of how chevre would work with pork…….maybe blend it with some cream cheese or to go another way…some fontina? use it in a pork roulade (maybe with grated apples, too -- and toasted hazelnuts or pecans?), and serve the sliced roulade over some braised greens?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          just thinking out loud.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i'm thinking that little chevre roll has a nice future. LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Crostini is good... it's be like cinnamon toast but creamy and appley...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          At the dinner party mentioned above, most of the folks were enamored with the unripened brie to really try the apple cinnamon chevre so most of it was left for the hostess to enjoy as left overs...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The day after the party, we received a text from her DEMANDING to know where we got. We said TJs and she was in shock...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Yay! for TJ's Moisturizing Cream Shave, for men and women. Smoothes and soothes the sensitive epidermis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Accidently posted this in the Sept thread just a little while ago.....meant to put it here.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                        at checkout they had a pump bottle of a body/hand cream that was very nice. i can't recall the name, but it had a very light, pleasant scent and absorbed very nicely into the skin without any greasy feel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        $3.99 seemed like a reasonable price when i asked. white bottle, pump top, about 6-7" tall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds like the Midsummer Night's Cream. This was one of the first things I discovered at TJs long ago, and it blew me away because I'd been paying at least $7 for the same stuff (Nature's Gate) at the health food store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                            YES! that rings a bell. nice stuff. although i have too many lotions, i really think i have to get this one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I saw a pumpkin body cream last week displayed in multiple places, I'm wondering if its scented or involves pumpkin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe.........but it sells better than the onion- and garlic-scented body creams.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I already smell like onions and garlic :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought it would be odd to smell like a pumpkin. I talked to one of the staff and he said it has an even milder scent than the coconut body cream. So it could be very nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the check-out gal told me that it is really nice, and then mock-swooned -- even though she said it wasn't real "pumpkin-y." i asked her if it made her want to chew her fingers off (i had recently seen the film "jack reacher" for the second time), and she was startled, and said, "oh no! then i would taste lotion!" LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just bought some today, will have to try. I think the sign said it had some pumpkin seed oil in it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the smell, what's wrong with smelling like pumpkin? I recall reading in a teen mag (years ago ha) that the #1 scent that men fell for was pumpkin pie (!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And I thought it was vanilla!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Around meal time, it's garlic and onion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it smells great. Sweet, cinnamon-y, but not overpowering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hlk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, just tried their pumpkin body butter today as it was sitting near the register. I put some on my hands and was surprised at how quickly it absorbed, how inoffensive the smell was (ok, on the pleasant side for pumpkin), and how soft it made my hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I may have to start looking into their non-food products.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmm, tomorrow is my TJs trip. There's not much on the list but I might have to look into this pumpkin body butter. I have notoriously dry skin so can use all the help I can get in the winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Try rubbing some of their coconut oil into your skin. It's nice and has such a nice subtle coconut smell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think we had a mini discussion on this in the September thread, I love it for skin and hair.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The midsummer night's cream moisturizer is great with an extremely light inoffensive scent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Reporting back on the pumpkin body butter: YAY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Smells more like mulled spiced apple cider than pumpkin to me. Pretty thick and solid-seeming, but absorbs into skin immediately without feeling greasy. Quite impressed! Will have to try the regular coconut version, as holiday (Christmas) spice isn't really my favorite smell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just picked up a box of shea butter hand cream for $7.99, probably a holiday item. Three 1 oz tubes, every similar to similar in look and ingredient list to hand cream from L'Occitane.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I purchased this as well, and had the same thought regarding the packaging..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gnomatic is correct. Per a TJ cashier, this is a holiday item. If you like them, stock up, because they will be discontinued. Each 1 oz L'occitaine tube costs $12. So 3 would cost $36. TJ's is charging $8!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. NAY - Diced pancetta (i think it's Citterio brand). To me, it had no flavor though that could be because it's diced so finely, but didn't really wow me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Meh: pita crisps with cranberries and pumpkin seeds (not the same product as the pumpkin cranberry crisps). These are the ones in the bag. They're sweeter than I was expecting, but a little salty, too. They aren't a "nay" because once I got past the initial sweetness they were ok. But I won't buy them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Trader Joe's has at least two kinds of chicken broth with almost the same name, but they're not the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea - Organic Free Range Chicken Broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay - Free Range Chicken Broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The organic is opaque, has several aromatic ingredients, and comes out with 1g fat and 1g carbohydrates more per serving (1 cup). It makes a decent chicken soup, though it needs some help for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The non-organic has few ingredients besides the chicken, is as transparent as water and has almost the same calorie count as water (5). Almost no flavor, though it has the same amount of sodium as the organic (570mg).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For me, then, the organic is a good broth to cook with, but the non-organic is pretty much a waste of money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's also a low sodium organic free range chicken broth with 140mg sodium but my local doesn't carry it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I bought the organic TJ chicken broth yesterday because it was the exact same price as the non-organic version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's also, as John Francis said above, significantly better - more flavorful, more chickeny, and more aromatic. It's my go-to broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This might be a big 'Duh' for you, but if you reduce down that chicken stock (any stock) it will be much more flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe, but you'd also have much less than a quart, and such flavor as it has isn't promising. Besides, why would anybody want to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John thanks for clarifying this...for some reason I end up sometimes buying the Free Range not the Organic Free Range and think to myself - no flavor!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The one I turn to often because for some reason our store ALWAYS has it in stock is the Low Sodium Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. It is decent, and like the fact that I can control the sodium count in it for some dishes that already are salty to begin with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's worth knowing. My local store doesn't carry the low sodium ofrc - maybe they think that two products with almost the same name is enough. But if it appears on the shelf, I'll give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Big Yay! for Ponti Italian Vermouth (red/sweet). A perfectly balanced, straight down the middle, Italian vermouth. Great in mixed drinks (Manhattan, Negroni, Rob Roy, Americano, etc.) or as an aperitif (straight or with tonic). Better than the most heavily-advertised brands (Martini & Rossi, Noilly Prat), and at a fraction of their price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Ponti dry vermouth (white) is very good also, in Martinis or straight. It makes a very interesting, and subtly herbal, substitute for white wine in cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm in total agreement on both of these. The dry is my standard cooking wine and the sweet is the daily vermouth for cocktails. We keep some higher quality stuff around for mixing with higher end booze or for company, but the Ponti are fantastic, affordable options for regular use. Their Marasalas (sweet and dry)....Incanto maybe? They're also good and a great value.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ccbweb, thanks for the Marsala reminder. We don't think of that enough, despite it having so many excellent cooking applications. (And being pleasant to sip, also!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Re the vermouths, what do you like, as higher-quality stuff? I've come to the belief that TJ's Ponti is about as good as it gets for straight-ahead vermouths, and is a terrific value. I've tried several of the more esoteric (& expensive) vermouths, and felt that the best ones are not better or worse than Ponti -- just different. They bring different flavor elements to the party, which are fine, and even delicious.....but deviate from pure, classic vermouth. So, to me, it's an apples and oranges comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But that's not to disrespect your opinion -- and I'd like to try your favorite(s)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We love Vya vermouth (both sweet and dry) from Quady winery in CA. ( http://www.quadywinery.com ) but it's relatively expensive by comparison. We also quite like Dolan vermouths. Their sweet vermouth, especially, is very good though also comparatively much more expensive than the Ponti. $5 for a full liter is just such a steal. The Dolan is more like $10-12 for 750ml. Not awful, but definitely not something we stock for day to day quick cocktail making.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Vya sweet is my favorite overall. It's spicy, which I like a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh boy, I wish grocery stores could sell alcohol in Maryland especially at TJs prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wish the same for Pennsylvania. Stupidest law ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I keep skipping over these few replies, because I'm too jealous to read them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We used to live in Bethesda, MD, and cursed the county and state ABC laws there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe you're not too far from the VA (and DC?) stores..........

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are all pretty far. The laws are quite interesting here...liquor sold on Sundays but only from Thanksgiving to New Year's, that was always my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      va has state-run liquor, too. so…no great deals here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But Va TJs are allowed to sell beer and wine, and they have pretty much the full TJ selection at TJ prices. Makes US happy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now we're determined to hunt-down some Vya!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the Ponti rec, ccbweb. I'm a big Vya fan and am glad to hear the Ponti is an acceptable daily sub.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Huge YAY: Belgian Chocolate Pudding. Thank you to John Francis and others who recommended it last month. My gosh, it's good, and a little goes a long way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MEH: Pumpkin Walks Into a Bar. Pumpkin-y, but texture was too soft and the outside of the bar too grainy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay: Colombia Supremo Coffee. All I could remember from a CH recommendation was the toucan on the front. That was enough to get the right one, though. I drink coffee daily but am no expert. After using up gift certificates to Starbucks the last couple of months, this not-bitter coffee was a great change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KrumTx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that colombia supremo is my favorite tj's coffee, too -- by a long shot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How does it compare to the French roast? Stronger? Milder? I've been hooked on the FR for a while but this sounds tempting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      not as dark as french roast. mellower, smoother. well-balanced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: KrumTx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bought this today, and my son ate close to half of the container in one go. "I could easily finish the whole thing," he remarked as he put the lid on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eat it quickly, it is so good but it disintegrates in a matter of days. Turns into pure liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Will it last till Monday? We're leaving tomorrow and won't be back till then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought it for the first time two weeks ago, opened it last Friday for my grandson. He didn't care for it and I didn't try it myself until Wednesday this week. I didn't care for it either - too much of a powdered cocoa taste - but the real disappointment was that it had little tiny pieces of what seemed to be scrambled egg throughout. Bad batch, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh yeah, a week or two, but then suddenly it's liquid chocolate! Not that you can't drink it.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Never had that problem. I suspect someone in your home double-dipped. A speck of saliva on the spoon, in contact with the contents of the container, triggers extra-corporeal "digestion" of puddings. I believe it's the cornstarch that breaks down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hasn't happened for me, and I keep a tub going for a week or more. I do notice a little liquid around the edge, but that's all. Is your refrigerator temperature below 40°?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do give him the whole container with a spoon lately, to discourage myself from eating any. Fridge is 40-50, can't seem to get it stabilized.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway maybe one of those is the reason, but this is only recently it seems; I've stopped buying it because it takes him a while to finish it and I'm always throwing half out. Such a shame, because it IS the best chocolate pudding I've ever tasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You probably know this, but I read everywhere that for safety's sake, to inhibit the growth of bacteria, the temp in the main compartment of a refrigerator should always be no higher than 40° F, while the freezer compartment should be 0° or even lower. So it says, for example, on the FDA's web site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForY...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If your fridge can't be set to maintain these or lower temperatures consistently, it may not be safe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes I was in the restaurant business for many years and I know all the rules by heart. I would think we had built up an immunity but never had a problem with guests either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That temp is just the top shelf anyway, where I keep the bacon fat and jams, so I figure the lower shelves are cooler. The temp is very consistant though, and running fine; I occasionally fiddle with it but not obsessively. I go more by smell or color, the old fashioned way!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The freezer is another story, I try to keep it at zero but it keeps going to minus 10 or 20. Maybe it all evens out? Anyway I dealt with enough health inspectors to know that they do tend to go overboard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Coll, try it again and have him put it in a bowl or use multiple spoons. I had the same problem with the tapioca pudding. Had a few bites and the next day it was completely disintegrated. Came here for answers and learned about the saliva thing, maybe from GreyG.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On my next pudding, I put some in a little bowl and the remainder was completely fine for over a week. Same with the chocolate pudding I bought last Saturday. It got a bit watery, like John F. said, but no more than you'll see in an open sour cream container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I feel like I'm admitting to something atrocious. It's a little embarrassing, but I live alone and when I want a bite before bed, no way I'm getting a bowl out. And if I want a second bite, I just pull a new spoon out of the drawer. You'd be surprised how just a tiny bit of saliva can break down a perfectly good batch of pudding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Okay, now I'm icked out by my own behavior. Please report back if you try it again:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KrumTx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not icked out, it's just me and him. If I ever buy it again, I'll be more careful. It's partly that his tastes aren't the same lately, so he doesn't eat the whole thing in a 24 hour period anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You got that right. An adolescent boy ATHLETE. I tell him to enjoy it. It won't last.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. here in d.c. metro area, there are no pistachio and white chocolate cookies nor has there ever been (in the manager's recollection) an artichoke hummus. bummer on both counts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Oct 7th FLYER.... (As a pumpkin hater, I am not interested in mostly ALL of the pumpkin products.. but I am excited for you pumpkin-lovers.)

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ha...I thought the same thing as you did about the flyer, GraceW - over half of it featured pumpkin products! I don't hate pumpkin stuff per se, but after one or two foods with pumpkin that I buy this time of year I have had my fill and am looking forward to Thanksgiving/Christmas items to come out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On a positive note about the flyer, I did see a few new products and some returning favorites that absolutely will be making its way into my basket over the next couple of TJ's trips!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never understood the pumpkin fanatic (as discussed on another popular thread around here) so most of it didn't appeal to me either, but there were a few things, namely the flavored oils, whole fully cooked turkey breast, coconut cashews for SO and the Beurre Meuniere Popcorn. I'll be back on Friday so we'll see what looks good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, the whole Fully Cooked Turkey Breast caught my eye as well, as did the Parisian Carrots, Organic Gold Potatoes and Peanut Butter Cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        while not a brand new item, you remind me that we have enjoyed the frozen French Country vegetable Melange of potatoes, green beans and mushrooms. I sautee garlic in oil before adding the bag to the very hot pot, and we also add alot of TrJ frozen haricots vert, for less starch/more green veg balance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Popcorn is one of my favorite foods, but I have heard that the Beurre Meuniere Popcorn is bad. People even returned it. (Although I love the TJ Herbs & Spices popcorn. It is AMAZING.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I was one of those who absolutely hated that beurre meunière popcorn. Vile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh good to know what was it about that people didn't like, it sounded like an herby popcorn to me. Thanks for the info!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To me, it was reminiscent of Pinesol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Get the Herbs & Spices popcorn instead. (If only they would make a 'Chicago-Mix' popcorn of cheddar and caramel corn!--actually maybe not. Too tempting.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't have any tasty popcorn around the house these days -- too dangerous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't even buy the kernels anymore (I like my homemade the best, actually), because I can't stop myself from making it every evening. Gah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I share your popcorn addiction, linguafood. I also stopped buying kernels to prevent the post-dinner popcorn ritual, but I do treat myself to TJs Kettle Corn (a little too often). A bag doesn't last for long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gah. A good buddy of mine brought a few different flavors of popcorn back from Indy -- ginger-curry (which was delightful after another buddy of mine toasted it in a hot pan), bloody mary (meh) and "chocolate"... which isn't just chocolate, but it has a bit of candy and a very distinct orange flavor that I really like with chocolate. Damn him >shakes fist<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's also a brand (don't recall the name right now) that makes a seasonal chocolate-peppermint popcorn. The 'dressing' is never overkill & that stuff is ridiculously addictive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yea, this was my thought on the suggestion of the herb version. Fldhkybnva, dobt even think about it, it will be inhaled in the car on the way home and then you'll "need" it every week. Surprisingly for a girl who can do without most carbs, I am weak against popcorn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am stronger against the kernels, bought 10 lbs a while back and they only slowly disappear. If already popped or my favorite premade local version with herbs and nutritional yeast I'm powerless. Linguafood, you live reasonably close to Baltimore, if you see Life By Dallas brand you should give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think TJ's Movie Theater Popcorn is the best pre-popped popcorn I've ever had- corn, oil, butter and salt. I like my home-popped better, but this is a close second.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow it must be early-I just tried to translate that as PinAsooul as if it was some French word, PinEsol...got it! The smell of Pinesol can be delightful but not on my food :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      GraceW: I'm a big popcorn fan too, but this popcorn had no flavor - returned it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, I am glad I put it back. For me, I bought the Movie Theater Popcorn once and it didn't have flavor either (although many people seem to get tastier bags).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I buy Movie Theater Popcorn all the time and there is indeed marked differences between batches. I sometimes have to add butter or salt or both; other times it is good as is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I sometimes get fantastic bags and sometimes they are almost too salty to eat. Weird quality control on these. But when the are good, they are very very good! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i'm just wondering if they have made the iconic joe-joe's in a pumpkin version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No; they have them in jack-o-lantern shapes with orange filing, but they're still just chocolate & vanilla flavored.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Meh to the pumpkin macarons in the frozen section. The filling was pretty good. A nice pumpkin flavor with some tasty spices. My problem with the macarons is that the almond shell was very soft and didn't have any bite to it. They sort of fell apart. The flavor was there just not the texture of a good macaron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. NAY to the pumpkin waffles (frozen). No pumpkin or spice flavor at all, which was odd b/c they had a nice spicy smell while they were toasting. I stuck the remainder of the box back in the freezer and will return them on my next trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Noooo, I just bought these :(. Eh, I guess even plain waffles are good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While not a part of the pumpkin scene, I have to say here that TJ's Belgian Waffles (4pk - frozen) are incredibly good, and a staple in our freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ooo thanks for the suggestion. I'm sure they'll be another thing I can't buy anymore because I can't be trusted with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JTP - they're insanely good...I let them thaw out for a couple of minutes then press them (I just press each waffle using two paper towels just to be quick - they are a bit too wide to fit into my toaster) to "squish" them so that they fit (I do not yet own a toaster oven).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I lightly toast them until just slightly tinged golden brown, then I spread them with Kerrygold butter and sprinkle them with sugar. Um...ridiculously good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had the pumpkin waffles for breakfast this morning and thought they were pretty good. I detected the pumpkin flavor, but very little spice flavor, which was fine by me. Many of the other pumpkin products are overwhelmed by cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for this, Amy. I like pumpkin; it's the "pumpkin pie spices" I don't care for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These sound like a good candidate for an autumnal treat I discovered by accident a few years ago. I found myself in the frozen food aisle at Target with a sample of a pumpkin waffle in one hand and creamed spinach in the other. Needing a free hand, I dumped the spinach on the waffle and scarfed it down. It was unexpectedly tasty! I bought both and recreated this "dish" at home, upping the game with a generous sprinkling of bacon. It's now a seasonal breakfast favorite for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting! I'm not surprised it was good, though, because there are a lot of butternut squash and spinach lasagna recipes on the interwebs and your creation is same flavor combination just in a different form. I think you'd like these TJ's pumpkin waffles very much for your autumnal treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The TJ butternut and creamed spinach casserole (fridge section) is excellent. Generous amount of parmesan, makes an ample side for two, or entree for one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've never seen that! Do they have it year round?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Same here! Am always disappointed when a "pumpkin ______" tastes just of cinnamon, etc. and no actual pumpkin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              These waffles are sounding perfect, will have to try them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The ravioli tasted very much of pumpkin, and no spice. Almost a little TOO much. They needed some ricotta to tone it down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh ha, I was referring to the pumpkin waffles, but good to know about the ravioli. I always find that butternut squash/pumpkin-filled pastas always veer on sweet in general (even in high-end restaurants), and this is coming from someone with a sweet tooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Reporting back on the pumpkin waffles: they're fine, pretty light on the spice (yay) and any pumpkin flavor (boo). As far as frozen waffles go, they're totally fine, but probably won't pick up another box. Would be good for anyone just looking for a hint of fall flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Amy, I'm glad you enjoyed the waffles. When I think of pumpkin in baked goods, I look for the cinnamon/nutmeg flavor too, so I was expecting that in these waffles. I could probably sprinkle them w/ some cinnamon sugar to up the spice flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good idea Hey. Or even some TJ's pumpkin pie spice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, these are pretty meh AND they have that awful aluminum baking powder sting, blechhh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. honey roasted pumpkin ravioli -- has anyone tried it? i was worried it would be too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                if you like it, do you think it would be good with a brown-butter-sage sauce, perhaps with some chopped pistachios or toasted pecans ton top?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Might as well go all the way and put a spiced pumpkin sauce on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This may be the sample we tried today, was it different colors on each side? Should have some ricotta in there too, it was solid pumpkin, no sauce..... too weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We liked the Pumpkin Ravioli, had them yesterday. 2 minutes simmered and then slightly browned in butter with some Basil added.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 to 1, that filling will be sweet, so imo, important to counter the sweetness. slivered bacon or smoked poultry or canadian bacon,plus parm and some cream or not. Bl pepper, sage fine, wild or shiitake mushrooms. And onion/chives/scallions if none in the filling. That's what we do with Whole Foods Roasted Butternut Squash ravs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just tried them last night. Way too sweet for me. Almost like eating pumpkin pie. It does say honey in the title so I should have know better. It is not bad just not good for someone who does not like too much sweet with their savory. I would have liked it better if I cooked it as opinionedchef recommended I was thinking it might be good deep fried, topped with powdered sugar or chocolate and service with icecream. Bacon might work there too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Question for those of you who like TJ's frozen tamales: I've lived in AZ for almost 15 years and never had a tamale till a few weeks ago (crazy, I know!). I've worked my way through all of TJ's flavors and I like the beef tamales the best. But they seem a little dry and like they're missing something, but I don't know what. Normally when I eat Mexican food, I need guac or (lots of) sour cream, but I don't know if those condiments go w/ the overly corny flavor of the tamales. How do you serve/eat your tamales?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I usually just put a little hot sauce on them, plus sour cream, if I have it. I like the both the chicken and cheese tamales, and the new sweet corn ones are nice for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The tamales are not as good or as inexpensive as the ones you buy on the street that are homemade but are good enough for frozen food that makes a quick snack or a nice base for a meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i make a chipotle sour cream to go with them:when i find the recipe i'll add it if you want.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chipotle Sour Cream:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 ou. Sour Cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2-3T. Hellman’s Mayo – optional
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1-3 T.pureed canned Chipotles in Adobo** (no seeds)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1-2T. Frozen OJ concentrate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 tsp.Fresh Lemon Juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 tsp. minced garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kosher Salt to taste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mix together thoroughly , starting with the smaller
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              amounts of chipotle and O.J.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adjust to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ** frozen pureed chipotles keep well. Scrape out amount w/ fork tines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              as needed. this is also delicious w/ the tasty TrJ steak burritos and Beef Taquitos.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm a fan of the tamales and try to keep plenty "in stock" in my freezer for a quick, easy meal. I don't find them to be dry...... not sure if my method of cooking them helps keep them moist (it may):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I poke a very small hole in the bag they come in with the tip of a knife and then nuke them right in their bag (contrary to package instructions). Maybe 3 min on high.... then flip and continue nuking until bag swells with steam pressure for another 30 seconds or so. Let sit in microwave for a couple of minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I only add sriacha as a condiment (not TJ's, as I find TJ's very sweet with virtually no spice), and that works for me. Between the cooked-in-bag steamy method and the sriacha, the word dry never enters my mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for that - I will give your cooking method a try next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. YAY: Le Grotte Lambrusco Bianco - not a huge wine drinker, but sampled it and really liked this sweet, sparkling white wine. Thumbs up, and it came highly recommended by a Trader Joe's employee in that section. Would be a great choice around the holiday season for that type of sparkling wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY: Organic Gala Apples - crisp and full of flavor. I just wish that they offered Organic Apples in the bag, not just individual apples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NAY: Organic Pink Lady Apple - it was crisp but was surprised that it really lacked in flavor. I personally can't wait for the Honeycrisp Apples to come back in stock this season...they are my all-time favorite apple and always crisp, juicy, and carry a huge amount of flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I love the Salute 21, any thoughts on the African Smoke seasoning?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My mom loves the African smoke seasoning. She sprinkles it on salmon before cooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great, thanks for the review. I've become a spice mix hoarder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have you tried the everyday seasoning? We really like it on steamed vegetables