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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - November 2013 [Old]

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Daylight Savings Time will soon end for most of us, which some consider the official start of the fall to winter transition and the ushering in of the wonderful Holiday Season. I'm sure TJ's will have a bounty of holiday products, both new and old to highlight the season.

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

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  1. I'll start!

    Yay to the milk chocolate salted caramel shortbread cookies. They're like a little tiny candybar stuck on top of a crisp little cookie. Delicious and the caramel isn't too salty, which I appreciate.

    8 Replies
    1. re: AmyH

      These sound amazing! I'll be putting my holiday pounds on before the holiday!

      1. re: AmyH

        You had me at "salted caramel". I can't resist anything with that phrase in the name, especially from TJ's :o(

        1. re: AmyH

          They remind me of a more sophisticated twix bar! Same flavor combination.

          1. re: ohmyyum

            Oh there you killed it! I just got a new bag of coffee beans and for sure these are the cookies to go with!!

            --Dommy!

          2. re: AmyH

            Are these in with the "tub" cookies, or are they a special holiday item?

            1. re: Frosty Melon

              No, not in the tub cookies. I believe they are seasonal.
              In a red box.

            2. re: AmyH

              Agreed - these are amazing!

              Unfortunately a no-no for me now - once they are open - there is no stopping.

              1. re: AmyH

                Agreed, huge yay on these. Dangerous, though. I'll easily eat the whole lot in one sitting if I'm not careful.

              2. I'll say yay to Trader Joe's Vintage Ale as an ingredient in soups. I haven't had it in a glass, but I add it into cauliflower and root veg soups and it adds a nice level of spice. It's a "dark ale brewed with spices and natural flavor added." They start having it this time of year.

                7 Replies
                1. re: sandiasingh

                  Hmmm!! I wonder how it would go with Chili! I love adding a touch of beer to my chili...

                  --Dommy!

                  1. re: Dommy

                    My mom dumps two bottles of Yuengling in each (enormous) batch of chili. I don't like beer but the one time she left it out, the chili was not the same. I wish my TJ's had booze.

                    1. re: Rilke

                      When family visits from PA we always have them bring some Yuengling! I too use it in my chili.

                    2. re: Dommy

                      It has a very nice flavor. A bit spicy and stouty, but not bitter. I would definitely try it with chili.

                      1. re: sandiasingh

                        Not bitter... EXCELLENT! Such a problem when I add stouts to soup or chili! Will give it a shot... this year will be epic for Chili making!

                        --Dommy!

                        1. re: Dommy

                          I often put stout or dark beer in my chili, along with dark chocolate, so any bitterness is cancelled out by some sweetness. Besides, both bitterness and sweetness really bring out the flavor of chili pepper.

                          1. re: Dommy

                            I love cooking with beers and stouts but after several failed dishes that turned out too bitter I learned to use a lager. You get the nice beery taste without the bitterness. But I still think the TJ's holiday Vintage Ale would work too.

                    3. Yea - Seville Orange Marmalade. Not new, but the jams and preserves were all taken off the shelves a while ago, and I'm glad to see this one back. It might be slightly less bitter than before (I like my marmalade to have a bitter edge), but I may just be misremembering. Still excellent, and a lot less expensive than the comparable Keiller's and Dundee from Scotland.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: John Francis

                        I think the last batches were getting increasingly bitter.

                        1. re: John Francis

                          Yes, this is excellent. This has fine flavor with a little pleasant bitterness from the peel. I mix it with plain yogurt. Interesting that I've never seen orange yogurt sold in stores.

                          1. re: elise h

                            Chobani has a blood orange and an orange vanilla Greek yogurt.

                        2. Yay! November Spotlight cheese is called barely buzzed and has coffee grounds on the rind. It sounds odd but it is delicious and really brings out the rich nutty flavors in the cheese.

                          Yay! This cranberry walks into a bar cereal bars. Sweet and slightly tart. I was disappointed that the pumpkin bars sold out so quickly so I will be back to pick up a few more boxes!

                          Yay! Picked up some gorgeous purple asparagus spears for $2.99. Their flavor isn't distinctive but it is beautiful on the plate!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ohmyyum

                            Hmmmmm. One of our local artisan cheese makers here in Utah (Beehive Cheese) makes a coffee-rubbed cheddar called Barely Buzzed. It's been around for a few years now. I wonder if it is the same cheese? It's available in most local markets here. It really is a good cheese!!!

                            1. re: chowing kat

                              I bought that on a Woot deal a couple of years ago, and I always say it's the only cheese I've ever eaten that bites back! It's pretty different.

                            2. re: ohmyyum

                              I only had a nibble but maybe I'll just buy a chunk next week.

                            3. I'm just back from my ewekly trip to TJs. I din't get much but thought I'd comment on a few things I spotted. Also, thanks to whomever suggested I call to reserve the Red Fox ahead of time - they had a few left but not many so I was grateful to get one. The November featured cheese is a cheese rubbed with coffee and Lavendar an dground Coffee. It was interesting but I'm not usually a fan of Lavendar, but it seems like a wonderful choice and a unique combination of flavors.

                              Nay - Bresaolo, it's Citterio brand so I can't blame TJs but the flavor just didn't work for me or lack of flavor. It just tasted like salty meat to me, rather than other salamis with a nice flavor as well. I did spot many rolls of salami from a Chianti to Pinot Grigio which I'm looking forward to trying over the holidays

                              Yay - bagged pre-washed greens, sometimes in other stores these greens are soggy and wilted but I have both arugula and spinach which were great right out of the bag

                              Yay - Cheddar trio, this is a great mix of cheeses for a great price

                              Has anyone tried the guacamole hummus?

                              20 Replies
                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                Glad the Red Fox call ahead worked out :-D

                                The guacamole hummus is vile. One of the few items I've returned simply because I hated it.

                                1. re: Rilke

                                  It seemed like an interesting concept, your review sealed the deal. Many other things to try before that :)

                                  1. re: Rilke

                                    I second the nay on the guacamole hummus. I don't know why it hasn't been discontinued already. Terrible.

                                    1. re: Rilke

                                      What is Red Fox?

                                      1. re: josephnl

                                        Cheese. Awesome cheese.

                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          It found it's way into pimento cheese today, delicious!

                                        2. re: josephnl

                                          It's a Red Leicester cheese which was the October spotlight cheese.

                                        3. re: Rilke

                                          I also have to say... SO GLAD to have found it recently at my TJs... and it was eagerly snacked upon this afternoon! :D

                                          --Dommy!

                                          1. re: Dommy

                                            I planned to move on from it since it's mid-November and I assumed it'd be gone. I couldn't resist though and saw a few still there Friday morning and grabbed one. I'm leaving it wrapped until the holidays because we know what will happen if I don't.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              RED FOX ALERT, NASHUA NH!!! I was there today. Bought 5 pieces of the Red Fox red leicester cheese that they still had left from October. It's expiry date was a few days ago, not that that matters to me. I did not point that out because one time when that happened with the caramelized onion cheddar, I asked if there would be a markdown. Not only wasn't there one, but they whisked all of it away so I couldn't buy ANY! There were still a few packages on the shelf when I left.

                                              I routinely use their cheese many weeks past their date without a problem. One of the clerks said the Red Fox freezes well so I will try that for a couple of the pieces, though I'm skeptical and would expect it to crumble. That would still be fine for cheese sauces.

                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                It's still in Towson too as of Friday at least. It's Cheddar-ish, to me it lasts forever though I eat it before then. It's pretty crumbly as is so I wonder what freezing will do. I'm planning to keep mine wrapped for a fe weeks, they are vacuum sealed at least at my local store so should be OK, perhaps you can try that and then freeze whatever is left in a few weeks.

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  There was still at least 15 pkgs of the Red Fox at the Santa Maria, CA store when I went the morning of 11/11.

                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Yeah the guacamole hummus is just....wrong. But i'm a cali born girl aka guac snob. Love most of their hummus (hummuses? Hummi?)

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              damn, i'm not remembering the name of the other brand TJs carries, that offers a trio of Spanish cured meats, which are absolutely delicious. time to make a trip.

                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                The Celtic Cheddar Trio is great. I'm kinda stockpiling them while they're around.

                                                My favorite TJ's hummus is the eggplant hummus - kind of a cross/combo of hummus and baba ganouj.

                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                  I forgot about the trio on my list for tomorrow! Thanks for the reminder.

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Do you have a favorite of the Trio?

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      Just when I think I have decided....They are all great!

                                                      1. re: brilynn79

                                                        I'm loving the Collier's, I didn't really like the Irish much so saving it for SO or the holidays.

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          The Collier's and the Scottish are terrific, the Irish good but not as good, to me.

                                                2. Spotted many seasonal returns (cream of mushroom soup in tetrapak, garlic mashed potato flakes, cranberry sauce, gravy, fried onions, etc.) and a few new items. A new frozen entree caught my eye, but I did not purchase: acorn squash stuffed with a pot-pie-esque filling and topped with flaky crust. I'd appreciate any yays/nay reviews.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: chinchi

                                                    Have you tried the mushroom soup?

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      I had it last night, made a gravy out of it with some sautéed fresh mushrooms added. Worked very well. It is a tad salty, but otherwise good. I'll keep buying it as a convenience product.

                                                  2. Yay to the Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli - I thought it would be way too sweet, but I mixed some sage and TJ's garlic/parsley/sea salt with some ricotta to use as a sauce, and it was a really delicious dinner.

                                                    Yay to the Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps - really nice with brie or with the Syrah-soaked cheese (which may also be a new item - so again, yay! The syrah brings out the sweetness in the very nutty cheese.)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: thursday

                                                      Waaah. My store is already out of the Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps. We got one box and loved them, but I waited a few days before going back for more. Too late :(

                                                    2. NAY -- corn & chile salsa. Not sure if this is a new item, but I love corn so wanted to give it a shot. Way too sweet for me. I'll return it on my next trip.

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        Try the cowboy caviar. It was what I had hoped the salsa you mentioned would be.

                                                        1. re: Rilke

                                                          That's interesting, b/c the guy at the register mentioned the cowboy caviar and I thought I had remembered from some TJ thread that people thought it was too sweet.

                                                          So I asked him if the corn salsa was also sweet. He said the cowboy caviar was sweeter than this.

                                                          Hmmm. I don't have much tolerance for sweet "savory" foods, so it also could just be me.

                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            Huh. I thought the corn and chile was definitely sweeter. The cowboy caviar is sweet too, but not as sweet.

                                                            Oh well.

                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              In my opinion, the corn salsa is *much* sweeter than the cowboy caviar salsa. But both are definitely too sweet for my tastes. Both salsas seem to want to be better, but they fall short of the mark for me. I still stare intently at the display of salsas, willing them to be less sweet, so I do what I can. <grin>

                                                              I have seen the "too sweet" criticism of these salsas more than a few times. I can make my own, I know, but would love to have a pantry item like this. TJ's: listen up: they're salsas, not jams.

                                                              1. re: cayjohan

                                                                I like the corn and chile salsa but I really treat it more like a relish - it's about the same sweetness as sweet pickle relish and is good in similar applications - I like it a lot on hot dogs, for example.

                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                  Y'know, I think it might have been from you, Savour, that I picked up that tip to use up the rest of the corn relish and cowboy caviar that I purchased. It was a good tip, and worthy of recognition. While I didn't like the salsas as salsas, they were indeed worthy as ingredients, when one needs sweet. I would say that I would buy the salsas in question again, if I needed them as a condiment/ingredient/sweet element for a salad. To be honest, inclusion of the TJ's sweetish salsas have actually gotten raves around here in the potluck realm.

                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                    I do like a bit of sweet with my savory (not ALL the time, but sometimes) and I can also imagine the corn salsa being a nice addition to chicken salad, or a cream cheese dip with crackers. But if you're expecting something to top your quesadilla -- yeah, I'd go elsewhere.

                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                      what i do with those corn salsas is to mix them with other salsas/black beans, etc. PLUS (and this is the key to me), my very hot Habanero or other hot peppers! Then i *need* the sweetness in order to even be able to eat it LOL

                                                                    2. re: cayjohan

                                                                      I like the corn and chile salsa BECAUSE it is sweet, and not very hot. I use it as relish. I haven't had the cowboy caviar and assume, given my palate, that I would not like it. I think that mixed with cream cheese and shredded vegetables like cuke or carrot, the c&c salsa would be a dynamite crudite dip/spread.

                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                        Oh my, greygarious...I think I am going to have to get the corn salsa again. Cream cheese to the rescue! I'm guessing that would tamp down the, for me, heart-burn-inducing sweetness and tame the heat a bit. I actually do find it a little spicy, but I think I haven't been keeping up my certification on spicy foods lately, so I blame that. But mmmm, cream cheese. My hub's going to roll his eyes when I pick up yet another jar, but I starting to think the corn salsa might be tasty in that sort of retro cream cheese-cocktail sauce-shrimp dippy sort of way. Thanks for the inspiration!

                                                          2. They were sampling the roasted red pepper tomato soup today in the little paper cups with a big dollop of sour cream. Anything is tasty when it comes with a big dollop of sour cream, right?

                                                            Wrong! It was so sweet that I couldn't imagine eating a whole bowl of it. I have had dessert soups that weren't so sweet. Big nay!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                              It has been awhile since I have purchased the roasted red pepper tomato soup but in the past considered it one of my favorites...wondering if they changed recipes or perhaps you just got a bad batch??

                                                            2. A Definite Yea to the non-fat Pumpkin Greek Yogurt. It contains actual pumpkin puree but is not too sweet nor reeking of fakey pumpkin spice.

                                                              I hope it stays for awhile but I fear it will be gone by Christmas.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: HokieAnnie

                                                                That sounds amazing.

                                                              2. Big Yay: ginger spice cake in the bakery section. Nice and moist, just the right amount of spice, with some cream cheese frosting and bits of crystallized ginger on top. Really good.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                  Yay as well. Yummy for a store bought cake at that price. The calories pile on....

                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                    I won't buy this again, after I devoured the entire cake in less than 24 hours. It was that good!

                                                                  2. A big yea for the Gala Apple Stoli for 5.99 in St. Louis. Great with spiced cider.

                                                                    1. MEH for the milk chocolate peanut butter cups. Much too sweet for my taste and not nearly as good as the dark chocolate ones. (Yes, I got the wrong ones by mistake!)

                                                                      YAY! for the dark morello cherries in light syrup packed in a jar. So far have had them with chocolate ice cream and in a salad with pears and raisins over lettuce, etc. I poured some of the liquid over the ice cream and used some in the salad dressing, as well. Not syrupy at all, good cherry flavor and texture.

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                        I chopped up a few of the Morello Cherries and threw them in my fudge recipe last weekend.

                                                                        Tasty.

                                                                        1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                          Oooooh what a good idea!

                                                                          We make easy fudge using the classic Eagle Brand recipe. The cherries would be nice flavor variation.

                                                                          1. re: pugsam

                                                                            Today, we did make that easy fudge (using the classic Eagle Brand recipe, based on TJ's sweetened condensed milk and TJ's semisweet chocolate chips) with chopped Morello cherries added-in.

                                                                            WOW! Awesome flavor combination. And the cherry chunks retained their juiciness, so it was resembled chocolate-covered cherries, but in fudge form.

                                                                          2. re: DoobieWah

                                                                            As an aside, when I finished off the jar of cherries, I strained the liquid, added just a bit of sugar, (maybe a Tsp), and reduced over a low flame for about a cup of cherry syrup.

                                                                            It's not *too* sweet, but has that nice cherry tang for adding to iced tea, ice cream, or even that fudge we're discussing here.

                                                                            1. re: DoobieWah

                                                                              One of my thanksgiving guests did something with a jar of Maine blueberries to make a sauce for the cheesecake she brought. She strained out the blueberries, cooked the liquid with some cornstarch, then added the blueberries back in. It made a lovely sauce for her delicious cheesecake.
                                                                              Interestingly, I looked for the jars of Maine blueberries in my local TJs in upstate NY and they didn't have them. She had bought hers in the DC suburbs.

                                                                          3. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                            I love those morello cherries. I agree, they're great over ice cream. They also are great in cocktails. I'm definitely going to try throwing them into fudge. Thanks for the idea!

                                                                            1. re: Briek

                                                                              Try a Manhattan with a Morello cherry. Add 1/2 tsp. of the juice if you're in the mood.......

                                                                               
                                                                          4. Nay to TJ's jarred pesto. Since I was all out of my homemade pesto, and the basil plants had died, I decided to try TJ's pesto. My son likes to use pesto as a sandwich spread, so I always try to keep some in the house. This one has a very unpleasant mintiness. In terms of jarred pesto, I think that the one at Costco is superior to this one.

                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              Have you tried the refrigerated version?

                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                Refrigerated version?

                                                                                1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                  They have a tub of pesto in the refrigerator case as well as a jar on the shelf with the other pasta sauces.

                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                  I'll have to look for it next time I'm there. Is it in the area with things like yogurt and pudding? Or the area with cheeses and meats and other prepared foods?

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    It was next to the meats, right before the prepared wraps and sandwiches and salsa/hummus.

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      The refrigerated pesto isn't bad, and way better than any jar pesto I've ever had. I sometimes toast up some pine nuts and add them to the refrigerated pesto to "freshen it up" a bit.

                                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                        I bought some of the refrigerated pesto and tossed the jarred one. I really didn't like it at all.

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          As in you liked the refrigerated one? I haven't tried so would be interested to hear what you thought?

                                                                                        2. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                          Has anyone tried the frozen Hashbrowns? My husband, who is not a fan of TJ's, loves hashbrowns, so I bought some for him, and I am hoping they're a success. They will likely come out to play this weekend.

                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                            they're a regular item in my freezer. 30 seconds in the microwave then onto the cast iron pan on low/medium heat - brown til desired doneness. Rest on a rack.

                                                                                            The microwave releases some of the oil so you don't NEED any additional oil if you want to be healthy. Me? IDGAF so I basically pan fry it in bacon fat.

                                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                                              LOL. :)

                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                    I've been buying their jarred pesto for a long time. I rarely use in large amounts, so the small jar lasts me a while. It's handy for adding some extra flavor.

                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                      Same here. It's a staple item for me. Adding milk/cream jazzes it up for a change, and it's also good for pesto pizza.

                                                                                  3. Organic Beef Sirloin Roast. Easy peasy and a Yay from me but DC said Nay it had a distinct a metallic taste

                                                                                    1. The canned tuna is great, any favorites of the canned salmon? I love it as a quick snack but usually buy cans at whole foods which are pretty pricey for what they are

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                        The canned tuna (water pack) at Costco is excellent. Very solid and not mushy at all.

                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          I like the canned salmon - the one in the small tin that looks like tuna. It's lovely mixed with avocado for salmon salad on toast or crackers.

                                                                                          1. re: thursday

                                                                                            Thanks, is it sockeye or pink if you remember?

                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                              In my local store, the salmon in the 6 oz tin is wild Alaska pink, in 7.5 oz sockeye. They also sell "red salmon" in 7.5 oz tins.

                                                                                              I'll put in a word here for the Premium Salmon Burgers, seasoned and frozen. Sautéd and served, they're delicious.

                                                                                              1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                Thanks for the recommendation, I tried the canned salmon and it's great, tastes and looks the same as what I usually buy at Whole Foods although now I can't seem to remember how much I pay there.

                                                                                        2. Yay to 2 new products:

                                                                                          Black Garlic - I've seen this but never mail ordered it but for $2.99, I thought I'd pop it in the cart (the genius of Trader Joe's!) This is fermented garlic - a little sweet, mellow and funky. I haven't figured out everything to use it on, but I added it to a Japanese style beef and potato stew and it was great (beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, wine, soy sauce, ginger, broth, black garlic) and I imagine it would make a really great compound butter for steak.

                                                                                          Thai Dried Chile Paste - Not exactly what I had hoped (there's a local Thai restaurant that has a similar dish) but still good - a mix of fried mushrooms, lemongrass, dried chiles, salt and sugar. I added olive oil to it and used it as a dip for rice crackers. I can imagine it would also be good as part of a marinade for shrimp or chicken or tofu.

                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Savour

                                                                                            They have black garlic?!?!! That's a great price! How do they pack it? I get mine at the spice shop and they pack it in a baggie and it's quiet pungent...

                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                                                              In a resealable thick plastic bag with a dessicant pack.

                                                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                Okay... the black garlic price is even better than I thought because there are TWO heads included in the resealable package! So it's much better packaging than my spice shop and you get double!!

                                                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                  I know what you meant but for the benefit of other readers - there are two heads with several cloves each in the black garlic package.

                                                                                                  What are you using it for, Dommy?

                                                                                                  1. re: Savour

                                                                                                    Thanks so much, I fixed it in the posts... I always think of Garlic in spanish terms...in Spanish the word for clove is teeth. So I always tell people, "Oh, I used two teeth of garlic..." and they look at me like I'm crazy.

                                                                                                    I use it in lots of different ways.... I add it to my soups. I add it to top pizza (LOVE THIS!). I add it as part of a rub (It also helps the spices stick) and I add it when I whiz up a salad dressing....

                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                      Until now, I've never heard of black garlic; I used to live in Central and South America .. do they use it there, too?

                                                                                                      What is it? Can you describe the taste?

                                                                                                      1. re: walker

                                                                                                        Spanish is my first language so no matter what cusine I always tend to think of the Spanish word first... For some reason Garlic is one of those things we use a lot in background (Yucatecan) and I always think of it in Spanish terms... Then there are times I also do like to mess with my Asian friends when I pull up a bowl of ramen and go "Oooo.... Fideos... ) ;)

                                                                                                        I don't believe Black Garlic is prevalent in Latin cusine. although my Spanish grandfather always liked his mojo de ajo extra crispy... But I first heard about it related to Korean cusine, which is rather pungent so an assertive flavor like black garlic would work well. Savour does a good job of describing the flavor in the post above. Sweet. Savory. Deep.

                                                                                                        --Dommy!

                                                                                                      2. re: Dommy

                                                                                                        Yum! We're having pizza salad for dinner tonight and I think black garlic might play a role.

                                                                                                2. re: Savour

                                                                                                  What section of the store did you find the black garlic in, Savour?

                                                                                                  1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                    I saw it in the "new items" section which is at the end of an aisle in my store.

                                                                                                    1. re: emily

                                                                                                      Thanks. I'll look when I go.

                                                                                                      1. re: emily

                                                                                                        Yep - I picked it up on the "new Items" shelf. I want to say it was with the spices, too, but I could be wrong.

                                                                                                      2. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                        In my store it was with the regular garlic in the produce section.

                                                                                                        1. re: marketpeach

                                                                                                          Dumb question-what is black garlic like?

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            See Savour's post.

                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                              Duh, thanks.

                                                                                                      3. re: Savour

                                                                                                        Also a YEAH on the BLACK GARLIC. Perfect on my morning egg white omelet. It adds a great dimension to the rather healthy veggie filled morning meal.

                                                                                                        1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                                          Hmm I wasn't even thinking about the black garlic but perhaps I can try it out with my favorite egg white breakfasts. Do you saute at the beginning or add it raw at the end?

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            I just chopped it and added it at the end.

                                                                                                      4. Big YAY to the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks. Almost 60% cocoa. I much prefer chunks to chips in my baked goods and this saves me some elbow grease. Will be stocking up.

                                                                                                        Also will be stocking up on another baking YAY, the white chocolate chips. Cocoa butter is the second ingredient. Most white chips on the market don't even contain cocoa butter anymore.

                                                                                                        MEH to the Everything Pretzel Slims. Flavor is okay--nothing special--but the texture is off. I wanted a delightful snap like with other hard pretzel products, but these don't have it.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                          Oh, I'll second the yay on the chocolate chunks. Made pretty freaking amazing chocolate chip cookies.

                                                                                                          1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                            I haven't see their white chocolate chips recently, but when I last looked, the label showed that they were quite a bit higher in (real) cocoa butter than the usual white 'chocolate'.

                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                              bought some white choc chips last week (for pumpkin white hot chocolate). don't have them handy to check the bag, but at least i can tell you that they are currently a stockable item.

                                                                                                            2. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                              I second your nay on the Everything Pretzel Slims but do love and purchase often the Everything Bagel Chips

                                                                                                            3. Yay-cat treats, I ran out and just decided to try the brand at TJs instead of trucking to PetSmart and he loves them, though he loves nearly anything he can chew and swallow.

                                                                                                              1. i'm not a big frozen veg person, but could not resist the new bag of parisian carrots. too adorable! they are not whittled from big carrots (like those bagged "baby carrots"), but are an heirloom varietal. roly poly balls of adorable. i simmered them in pear cider with some fresh ginger, tossed some cranberries in at the end, along with some butter and a tablespoon of coconut sugar (also new). the carrots kept their shape and didn't go to mush as i had feared. no one knew they were carrots at first, but everyone loved them.

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                  Love these! We call them the "cute carrots" in my house.

                                                                                                                  1. re: FlyerFan

                                                                                                                    YAY! I love carrots ! Those are Orbit Carrots (although now I might call them roley poley from now on... LOL!)

                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                2. A Yea for peach raspberry pie; tart from the fruits, and sweet from the crumble. Good textures all around.

                                                                                                                  A meh from the fake Lu, the butter shortbread with salted caramel. I got that it was Lu-esque, but didn't taste much of the banal filling.

                                                                                                                  1. candy cane joe joe alert! saw the regular candy cane joe joe's being shelved at my so ca store this morning. no sign yet of the chocolate dipped candy cane ones---those are the ones i fight to resist--but they can't be far behind.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                      Our store already has them. Your local store is probably working on their Holiday Guide/Flyer set up as we speak. Keep checking back and stock up while you can.

                                                                                                                      1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                        Got the Candy Cane Ones...I was told in 10 days the peppermint joe-joes would be here. I am marking my calendar. I LOVE those!!!

                                                                                                                        1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                                                          they are here!! I got a box yesterday from my store (Mount Pleasant, SC).

                                                                                                                      2. YAY -- the TJ tomato paste is fab. Their pizza dough is pretty awesome, too. I like it better than Wegmans' dough.

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                          I have tried the paste and it's great. I'm planning to buy their jarred marinara and/or vodka sauce this week to give that a taste test.

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            Do you mean the one in the tube? It was discontinued; I'll be elated if it is back.

                                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                              No, it's in a can. I much prefer tubed paste (mostly for practical reasons), but this is very, very tasty.

                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                As is the basil marinara I bought yesterday, wow it's really good.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                  I honestly have never bought tomato sauce at the store. I always "make" my own.

                                                                                                                                  But good to know it's good and not packed with sugar like 99% of them.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                    I usually do too but I'm lazy this month it seems so decided to try it. It's pretty simple standard ingredients, this is the organic not the others as I think the ingredients vary between the tomato basil, regular basil marinara and organic basil marinara. I plan to add some Italian sausage and a splash of wine before using it for chicken Parmesan likely with that unexpected cheddar so I guess that makes it chicken cheddar.

                                                                                                                          2. I took a cooking class last night called "whats for dinner-the trader joe's edition". While there were a few new-to-me items what I really liked and what inspired me was that with rare exception every recipe was composed of TJ's items, they were all delicious and most could be pulled together easily for weeknight meal.

                                                                                                                            The new-to-me items that I liked were
                                                                                                                            -prepared garlic/onion/shallots. A great short cut! I have often grabbed their mirepoix in a pinch but have never seen this mix
                                                                                                                            -boxed ginger miso broth. This was the basis of a quick and delicious soup
                                                                                                                            -korean marinated short ribs. These were in the soup as well
                                                                                                                            -21 season salute seasoning-nice addition to the racks of lamb.

                                                                                                                            disclaimer-I am sure one of you will call out that most of these are easy to make your self, can be found elsewhere for cheaper/better, etc. I am sure that is all true. But a shiny new TJ's opened up across from my office and knowing I can run out at lunch and in one stop get what I need for dinner? That is huge plus in my book!

                                                                                                                            The recipes were:
                                                                                                                            Langoustine Scampi
                                                                                                                            Chicken Curry w/ basmati/saffron rice
                                                                                                                            Korean Hot and Sour Soup
                                                                                                                            Pasta Fagioli
                                                                                                                            Rack of lamb with fondue potatoes (talk about decadent! the taters were unreal if not a little "Sandra Lee")

                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                              Eh. We all want our little shortcuts every once in a while.

                                                                                                                              We're making pizza tonight with TJ's pizza dough, TJ's shredded mozza and quattro formaggio mixes, and there's a bit of TJ's tomato paste in the sauce.

                                                                                                                              It'll be tasty. Their dough is a huge YAY!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                Gonna have the first freeze of the season tonight so I'm also making pizza with TJ's dough. I don't like it as much as the dough I get from the Italian store, but it is passable.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                  Do you have a pizza stone? Makes a huge difference.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                    yes, I have a pizza stone. What I've discovered that works best is I start the pizza on the pizza stone and then move it to the rack. That seems to give me the crisp crust I like.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                      Interesting method. I preheat my stone for at least an hour at 450 so it's screaming hot when the dough hits it.

                                                                                                                                      Generally takes between 15-20 min. tops to get the crust perfect, but I don't move it -- it's usually a big rectangular crust that would be too unwieldy, and I haven't found it necessary to achieve the results we like: crispy with a little chew.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                    The pizza dough really depends on the freshness, and when you use it. When it's good, it's wonderful, and close enough to a fresh dough (and the pan you use does make a difference), but other times you'll have to really work at it, add olive oil and flour, let it sit out longer, roll it with a pin, whatever works.

                                                                                                                                2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                  The Salute seasoning would be pretty hard to make at home given it has so many things in it and in some secret proportions.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                    hence the term "most" <grin>

                                                                                                                                  2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                    That sounds like a fabulous class!! Was it offered through your trader joes store? Or through some other unrelated group?

                                                                                                                                    I would love to have recipes for short cut meals with trader joes stuff!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mellicita

                                                                                                                                      Check out their website:

                                                                                                                                      http://www.traderjoes.com/recipes/ind...

                                                                                                                                  3. YAY to the Kingle! I spotted OH Danish Bakery's almond kringle at my local Bay Area TJ and grabbed one, despite the price (about $8? Tossed my receipt). I've always wanted to try a kringle but didn't have the notion to fly to Racine nor mail order one. Mmmmmm, it was good. The checkout clerk said they've only had it for a week. I hope TJ will keep this around for a long time, but have a feeling it may not last.

                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: stilton

                                                                                                                                      I think many of the baked goods are regional but I had an almond danish a few weeks ago (northeast U.S.) and it was very good. I'll check for the kringle next time--they look good from Googling! If you have them where you are, there's no reason they shouldn't be here, too.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: stilton

                                                                                                                                        Oh yes....Oh Yes! it was the sample of the day here today [SoCal], and we sampled and purchased. The woman running the sample booth wasn't sure if it was just a holiday item. SO good

                                                                                                                                        1. re: stilton

                                                                                                                                          I saw these in Indiana tonight. Last Summer we did a road trip of WI. We stopped at the bakery where they are made in Racine and tried a few of them. I am not a pastry fan, but I did enjoy theses- esp the Key Lime.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: stilton

                                                                                                                                            Us too--we are from Wisconsin and I was so happy to see they had fresh ones from RACINE--home of the kringle. My Wisconsin friends tell me it was just made the official state pastry :-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: stilton

                                                                                                                                              I bought one in Albany New York today. When you wrote about them I thought they might only be in the Midwest. I was so happy to see the display of them here in the Northeast! They were $6.99 here.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: stilton

                                                                                                                                                Oh, I've wanted to try kringle, too. Thanks for the tip!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                  I saw it last Friday at the Emeryville TJ.

                                                                                                                                              2. A big Yea to the K-cups coffee. good coffee for a fair price.

                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: ALITIN

                                                                                                                                                  Are there different flavors or just regular?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                    I've only seen the one medium roast flavor.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ALITIN

                                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately the fit in my off-brand (manual Cafejo) is tight. I managed to squeeze the cup in, but I probably won't buy more. Taste is ok.

                                                                                                                                                    Price is $3/7

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                      I bought some of the Cafe Cups (not at TJs, but the dollar store) and they work great in my Bunn k-cup type machine. It's great being able to put my favorite coffee in them. You might try something like that. I've seen them also at the grocery store hanging on those little displays they sprinkle up and down the aisles. These are the ones I have.

                                                                                                                                                      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Four-4-Cafe-C...

                                                                                                                                                  3. I told myself I didn't need much from TJs this week, but alas I left with a nice heavy bag.

                                                                                                                                                    I haven't tried everything yet but thought I'd report back since I have nibbled on a few things and there were a few new holiday items I spotted.

                                                                                                                                                    YAY -
                                                                                                                                                    Cheddar Trio - They were actually tasting it in the store today as well as the 1000 day Gouda. The cheeses were great so I picked up a box. I thought I'd save it for the holidays but given that we eat cheese at least twice a day in pretty large amounts I imagine it might go quickly. Any favorites among the trio?

                                                                                                                                                    Unexpected Cheddar - I wish I could figure out the corresponding brand for this wonderful cheese. It reminds me of Cabot's Catamount cheese but I think that's a Whole Foods exclusive. This cheese will likely be the go-to daily cheese for a while since I didn't get any Red Fox this week.

                                                                                                                                                    Israeli Feta - this cheese is pretty mild, so I'm not sure how much I'll use it but I imagine it lasts a while in the brine, do others just seal it in the same bag and try to keep as much brine in as possible. I'm glad I inquired about it becuase the original package I picked up the employee seemed to think there must be a whole in it as it had literally no brine.

                                                                                                                                                    Organic Basil Marinara - I had heard good reviews about this and didn't expect much, but I popped it open to get a sense of the flavor before I plan the week's meals and I have to say this sauce is among the best jarred that I've tried including the ever-so-pricey Rao's.

                                                                                                                                                    NAY-
                                                                                                                                                    Chicken liver mushroom pate - I had no reason to buy this and likely only bought it because I heard some lady say mushroom and I was hungry and just thought that as a mushroom freak I should try it, I've never liked pate so not sure why I thought I'd like this. Not a TJs product per se but great price if you're into it. I've seen the same at Wegmans for 2.5x more. Now what the heck to do with a tub of pate?

                                                                                                                                                    New items I noticed in the store they were highlighting -

                                                                                                                                                    Cornbread box stuffing mix - I didn't try it but it smelled good like it might have some potential.

                                                                                                                                                    Fried onions - now front and center, I bought a can to be used on our Thanksgiving macaroni and cheese but wonder if I should get a few more if they are seasonal.

                                                                                                                                                    25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                      The fried onions are great. We eat them as snacks, but I also used them in Mujadarrah (spiced lentils and rice with fried onions) and it made it a pretty quick and easy meal.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                        I am no longer allowed to open them unless a meal is planned because I will inevitably just eat the entire can in a few days. I stashed the can from today in a closet, I really should just take it to work to stash :) It is designated for Thanksgiving and I am banned until then. Yea, it's clear I have a serious addiction. The same with the rosemary almonds. I pondered stocking up but they told me they are there year round so I bought a bag for Thanksgiving day nibbles which is in the back of the fridge to hide.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                          They are seasonal. Buy more. I'm serious. I toss a few into a bowl of soup during the winter and it's most tasty.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                                                            I went back to buy more today...uh oh!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                        We tend to prefer the Greek feta in brine to the Israeli. The flavor of the Greek is more assertive, and for whatever reason the labelled shelf life of the unopened Greek is much longer than the Israeli.

                                                                                                                                                        Although they are not seasonal, a big yay to the frozen croissants (chocolate or plain). It's amazing how much they rise when left out overnight per the directions.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                          I love the Greek feta and wanted to try this one that was also highly recommended, but I think it's too mild for me as you mention it's much less assertive. Too bad it's sold in such a large block :) I was thinking of using the unexpected cheddar in holiday macaroni and cheese so maybe I can add some Feta.

                                                                                                                                                          Do you know if they have any regular rolls like this?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                            Don't know if they have frozen unbaked rolls.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                          The Unexpected Cheese reminds me of Kerrygold's Dubliner.

                                                                                                                                                          Also Nay on the chicken liver pate.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                            This was my second thought after tasting, is this Dubliner? They also sell that though so that wouldn't make the most sense although the packaging is eerily similar to the Dubliner in other stores.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                              It reminds me of another Kerry Gold cheese that's only available at my local Irish shops. Had it at SFChefs a few years back and its really delicious.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                                                                                                                                                Skellig? Haven't bought the unexpected cheddar - I get a monthly shipment of Kerrygold cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                  The Skellig is pretty sweet, this cheese is quite sharp. It actually reminds me of Cabot's Catamount cheese which is a mix of Swiss, Cheddar and Parmesan flavors similar to Dubliner but less sweet. Either way, it's great.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                            In my experience, there is very little brine in the pkg of Israeli Feta. When I open the pkg, I place the feta and brine in a glass container, like pyrex, has a plastic lid. I've never had it go bad.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                              Wow that's impressive! How long just out of curiosity?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                You are taking a risk by keeping Feta for an extended period of time without it being covered by brine. Even an opened package of Feta can be stored safely for 3 months if covered in brine. I don't believe it's a big deal making additional brine, if needed...so I see no point in taking any risk. I love the Greek Feta in brine which is packed with very ample brine.

                                                                                                                                                                By the way...the Still Tasty website is a terrific resource for knowing how long it's safe to keep food. It's well researched and it's sources are authoritative. See: http://stilltasty.com

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                  Yea I thought it needed brine too. My Greek Feta is still holding strong after 5 weeks. Bright white and still delicious. It has so much brine, I never understood the Israeli that barely has any but I guess it works somehow.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                You could try making Bahn Mi with the pate.

                                                                                                                                                                I personally like it as it is. But if you're not into pate then I can understand how it might not be your thing. I like it on Vinta or Ritz crackers or better yet on a crispy toasted, buttered, english muffin.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ariadanz

                                                                                                                                                                  I like it on apple slices.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  Re the pate: doctor it up with some onions and bring it to a Hanukkah party. Someone will eat it. (I'm not a big chicken liver fan myself, but I'll eat it when I'm in the right mood.)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                    Favorite of the Cheddar Trio - Collier's Welsh Cheddar. I've had this one before but not for a while but this was a welcome treat. I also opened the Mull of Kintyre Irish Cheddar which was too mild for me so probably saving that for Thanksgiving use.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                      Even after opening the fried onions keep well. It's from Holland, possibly Dutch-Indonesian.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                        If you like the Unexpected Cheddar, try the English Coastal Cheddar. Generally similar (and excellent!).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: drmoze

                                                                                                                                                                          I think that's the same as another cheddar I've tried which is great! I love the Unexpected, just bought another block today. They also had the Red Fox still as well a the Red Leicester with chilis and peppers which is new to my store at least.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                            I tried Red Leicester with chilis and peppers for the first time yesterday. Made an egg bake for myself and my niece with some of it. She liked it so much I left the rest for her.

                                                                                                                                                                            Very tasty and melts beautifully.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                              Good to know, I didn't buy it because I wondered if I'd like the mixed in bits, but maybe I'll try it.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Nay to the bake-from-frozen sweet potato biscuits. They didn't rise much and were dough-y and overly moist; not at all flakey or buttery like a good biscuit should be! They are not a TJ's branded item. I am probably going to be returning these.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I've tried the turkey and chicken which have been great quality but does anyone have any experience with the steak, particularly the regular individual cuts?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Probably not new but new to me: YAY on the Battered Halibut!

                                                                                                                                                                            The batter was very crunchy, the fish was delicious and didn't have that fish stink that frozen fish can have. It's a bit pricey at like $9 per box but I would definitely buy it again to keep in the freezer for a quick meal.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                              I really like that halibut for fish sandwiches, but it has definitely gone up in price.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                It's been $9 ever since I first bought it, which is at least 5 yrs.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Just FYI since trader joes meals and recipes have been mentioned recently-I made a Mac and cheese for work with the Red Fox Leicester and a mix of the cheddar trio and the reviews were great, it's 10am and it's gone so perhaps a holiday idea.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                Whoa.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. A surprised Yay for the new-to-me chile lime chicken burgers. I'm not much of a "patty" buyer, but we've been needing some convenience around here lately, so thought we'd try. I was expecting bland for whatever irrational reason, but was pleasantly proved wrong. The lime isn't a real forward flavor, but I didn't mind, as the overall taste was good and savory. They might be a little on the salty side for some palates, but I have a pretty broad range of salt tolerance, so I was okay on that front. My only reluctance was that the ingredient list said "natural flavor," which can often mean "hidden gluten," but the TJ's website is pretty friendly about listing what products do not use gluten ingredients, and this was one. The ingredient list is: ground chicken, onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, natural flavor, salt, lime juice concentrate, red pepper flakes. Nothing I wouldn't use making it myself, excepting the "natural flavor," so I was pretty pleased. These burgers will be welcome into the freezer for convenience meals, definitely.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another convenience option are the frozen turkey burgers. They're seasoned lightly and are pleasantly savory. Four to a box.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Went to TJ's today and very happily found the black garlic. I had to ask for it and the woman was quite enthusiastic about it. She said they just mix it with a little butter and have it on bread. She also said she's trying to tell everyone about it because she wants our store to continue to carry it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  So I got home, bragged to my DH about it and he looked at the package and said "it's from Japan. Sure you want to eat it?"

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have been the recipient of 36 radiation treatments and am not eager to eat anything that may be radiated.

                                                                                                                                                                                  What do you think? Is there any way to find out where in Japan this came from? It's one of those "Dist & Sold Excusively by Trader Joe's" products.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandiasingh

                                                                                                                                                                                    The allowable radiation level in Japanese food is 1/10 of the USA standard.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                      How just about when the government shut down was when that black garlic was at the port getting inspected. They found Tuna on the California coast that had radiation particles for still leaking reactors.

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/1...

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/0...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Funkalicious

                                                                                                                                                                                        USA does not routinely test imported food for radiation. And based on the Organic Blueberry jam thread, Japan doesn't either. But also based on that thread, there are groups, agencies, and publications in Japan that keep an eye out for these things. So if the Japanese have reason to suspect a product like this, then it will be tested (for their domestic market).

                                                                                                                                                                                        But I don't see why every product from Japan should be suspect.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yay! Weissella Lebkuchen in stock! Probably my favorite holiday item carried by Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay: Spicy Szechuan Beef with Broccoli. The beef is battered and deep fried and needs be cooked separately on the stovetop while the broccoli is microwaved and the sauce is thawed. Flavor is OK, but 75% of the point of a frozen dinner is not to use 3 separate dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                      The beef and broccoli is one of my favorites but I don't expect it to be a Swanson's frozen entree. After all, you need to make rice or noodles to put under the completed meat and veg. I love that sauce but only use half the packet, saving the rest for stirfrying pork or chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                        I think I wasn't expecting the beef to be deep fried. I also would have been OK with baking the beef in the oven, like you do the orange chicken. The stovetop prep was fussy to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                          I hated the beef and broccoli. I followed the stovetop directions and found the meat to be very much of the "mystery meat" variety - gristly and tough. In fact, I have the empty bag sitting in my freezer to return on my next trip. Maybe I got a bad batch since I know it is a popular item.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it's much more gristly than it used to be. We had some this week and I was really disappointed by the chunks of mystery meat. It used to be really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                        Love lebkuchen. They also have a marzipan stollen, and both products are *way* cheaper than at Wegmans.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh no! Not the marzipan stollen! As I recall, last year I ate the whole thing in one day.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                          Just picked up the Weissella chocolate covered soft gingerbread cookies- very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Also got the sweet potato gnocchi - my 14 yr old chow pup is devouring it as I type.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ceekskat

                                                                                                                                                                                            Never seen the chocolate covered Weisellas. But, I did buy a pack of the sugar-glazed soft gingerbread cookies yesterday. Ever since an acquaintance brought me a package over from Germany back in 2001, I eagerly await their return every year.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I also give a "yay" to the sweet potato gnocchi - bought more of it yesterday, too :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowing kat

                                                                                                                                                                                              I much prefer the chocolate ones over the sugar-glazed. Our TJ thankfully has them :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Finally tried the frozen beef pho that I've had in my freezer for a quicky lunch. HUGE nay! I'm no pho expert by any means, but this was just completely tasteless. The "broth" had almost no flavor - faint green onion and the slightest hint of cilantro. Otherwise it was just water. The beef slices were better than expected, tender and flavorful, and the best part of the dish. Won't waste money on this again.

                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DarkRose

                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with you...horrible!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DarkRose

                                                                                                                                                                                              No flavor th the frozen won ton soup either. I find I like TJs best for ingredients, not for prepared food (with the exception of the frozen mac and cheese - that I really like!).

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've found I get much more flavor by filling up to the bowl line with my carton of chicken broth rather than water as directed by the instructions.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: DarkRose

                                                                                                                                                                                                the frozen tom yum soup is pretty decent - not authentic by any stretch of the imagination, but at least there's a decent amount of herbs/spices (lots of lemongrass).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DarkRose

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree, it was awful. Really, really bad and the broth was just so flavorless. I even added my own Sriracha and lime juice, but nothing was going to help that stuff. Avoid at all costs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. YAY- Pumpkin bagel. But for me right now ANYTHING from TJ's is a YAY since we've moved to a state with no TJs. Just visiting LA and ducked into a TJ's and almost cried bc I wanted to buy everything. Maybe I should eat a few NAY's before heading back home to make me not long for TJ's as much as I do :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Yay - marinated mozzarella bocconcini

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Suggestion: buy the regular ciliegine (aren't those the ones that are marinated?) and marinate them yourself. Save buckage and you can use whatever flavor floats yer boat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I get them and toss in olive oil, the 21 seasoning, some basil, some hot pepper... voilá: marinated mozza balls at half the price :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Great idea, this usually always works out better. My list of commonly purchased pre-made items is slowly dwindling which isn't a bad thing but the variety and control of homemade rarely disappoints. I like the idea for the 21 seasoning, next time :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I buy these all the time to keep at work and top on my work salad... my current fave work salad...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ Organic Hearts of Romaine
                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ Endive
                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ Persian Cucumber
                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ Roasted Chicken Breast (So much better than that Just Chicken Scary Crap)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ Mini Marinaded Mozz Balls and a drizzle of the marinade
                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ Balsamic Glaze
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Twists of TJ Pink Salt Grinder and Mixed Pepper Grinder

                                                                                                                                                                                                        --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow you need a TJ's commercial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha! Thanks... I do most of my grocery shopping for my home at the Farmers Market and Local Natural Foods Store, but for Work, since I often have to eat in. I love Trader Joes... Much better options than even the Fast Food places...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Yay: Something new that I picked up yesterday: Chocolate & Cranberry Rolls. They were in the bread section. Look and taste just like the ciabatta rolls, but with lots of chocolate and cranberry bits. Warmed one up tonight in the oven - yummmm!
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meh: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Carmel Truffles. The filling was kind of a bland peanut butter and carmel, not real taste of either. A little disappointed. I'll have to stick with my Peppermint Bark that I picked up, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. haven't tried it yet, but they are selling palm sugar! and it looks granulated (so thus easy to use). bought two bags. thai food, here i come (also, sri lankan food).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          noticed the l'occitane hand creams are nowhere to be seen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          looks like all the christmas stuff is in!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          27 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I saw the palm sugar. It's from Indonesia, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            What's the sugar make up - sucrose, fructose, glucose, etc?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Looks like I found the answer to this last year

                                                                                                                                                                                                              'The major component of Sweet Tree organic coconut sugar is sucrose (70-79%) followed by glucose and fructose (3-9%) each'
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://coconutpalmsugar.com/Health_At...
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8463...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to protect those unborn coconuts and stick with pure organic evaporated cane juice. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Christmas stuff seems to be coming in slow doses here in SF (Soma store). The dark chocolate stars and the peppermint hot cocoa are in, but no gingerbread coffee yet (for instance). I'm thinking this week and next everything will be in (and probably selling out).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Frosty Melon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                How is that Gingerbread coffee? I wish I had bought another can of the Pumpkin coffee which was far more interesting than the usual flavored oil novelty beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you liked the pumpkin spice coffee, you'll like the gingerbread. At least, to my taste they are very similar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Frosty Melon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks. I'll stock up this time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like the extra cloves, and spices tossed into the pumpkin, so I might like the Wintry blend too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I prefer to brew my favorite 'regular' TJ coffee (Cafe Pajaro these days) and then add a dash of TJ's Pumpkin Spice. Tastes fresher than the pre-flavored beans and you can control the amount of spice, from just a hint to heavy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: drmoze

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Great idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I did try the Gingerbread flavor, which does have the spices I liked, as recommended, but something about the flavor it bitter, and offputting for me. I felt the same way with a Starbucks gingerbread latte, so it could be I've grown out of the flavor and need to stick to pumpkin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    While TJs Pumpkin Spice coffee is my favorite flavored variety, the Gingerbread runs a close second. I am not a fan of the Wintry blend (too peppery).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Frosty Melon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In addition to the dark chocolate stars that i LOVE, they now also have some "mini" dark chocolate MINTY stars. I bought a box, but haven't tried them yet. I have a small arsenal already of holiday TJ's items (just in case any of my favorites run out early). Only one of each item though !! :-) But plenty of holiday goodies!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: beachgallisa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, those sound yummy. I bought my box of dark chocolate stars last weekend. I had to ask a crew member to help me because the only ones left were at the back of the shelf. When I pointed this out to the crew member, he said oh yeah, those are really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yummm, as well. Our TJ's now has (I have not seen these before), little waffle-cone like disks (only about 1 1/4" across) that have dark chocolate on top with crushed peppermint candy embedded in the dark chocolate. Inexpensive, small and light (?) so somehow I rationalize away any guilt about have a couple every so often.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    haven't seen palm sugar but have seen (and purchased) coconut sugar, which is nice--less sweet than white sugar, with a nice caramelly note.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think that's what others are talking about 'coconut palm sugar'. Apparently it is from nectar drained from the flowers, ones that would otherwise mature and produce coconuts. This is different from the palm sugar we get in blocks from Thailand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The hand creams are very good for this dry skin time of year. I was planning to buy another set, so will have to look next time I'm there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        yes, if you find some, caitlin, buy a couple, because i think they were whooshed up quickly by certain individuals (ahem) who recognized their great value. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My hands are on fire they are so dry, I need this. What's the packaging look like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's a box of three lotions in tin tubes. Think they are based on Shea lotion. If you ask an associate if they have the lotion giftset, they should be able to find it for you. (TJs must screen its employees for patience and detective skills because so often I've gone there and said. "My 'friend' said I had to try this cookie with salted caramel and banned addictive substances..." and they always find it for me...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              look in the arts supply section, along with the paint brushes and palettes :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The employees are quite enjoyable and always willing to help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The employees at TJ's (at least at the one we frequent) do deserve a YAY on this. Reading these TJ's CH threads means I need to ask about product sometimes, and the response has always been nothing short of startling compared to some purveyors. I am not used to getting helped so well in other stores. It's staring to spoil me, honestly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Haha Dommy yesterday I heard a customer ask an employee for a "mush roll that you fry." She meant polenta...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's a picture of it. Next to the a l'Occitane shea butter hand cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Great, thanks. Ooh it's in a foil tube, that looks like good stuff just from the picture. I might have to go to TJs early this week instead of my usual Friday afternoon. Given I work in a hospital, I wash my hands or use Purell at least what feels like 100 times a day and the winter cracking woes are in full swing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gold Bond makes a sanitizing lotion that's excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.goldbondultimate.com/hand-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That being said... I'll try the lotions from TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OT but try the Walgreens complete moisture lotion with E for $1.00.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YES, I think the creams are good. They have actually helped me not have bleeding hands.. so far. I endorse this product--despite that it is more expensive than the $1 Gold Bond mini-cream available at convenience stores (which is what I usually use).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I bought a can of the stuffed dolmas but haven't opened yet, any one try them yet?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah the green chile simmer sauce, have used with chicken and lamb chops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also bought the fresh Brie ( last time it went bad very quickly so I didn't get to try) and the red fox- first time with this as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tried the dolmas and really liked it. Rice isn't super-tender, but good flavor with a hint of mint. It's in oil so you may want to blot them dry if you don't prefer them 'wet'! Great picnic snack!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Pumpkin Butter - YAY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Funkalicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How do you use it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My favorite use is swirled into oatmeal with some whipped cream cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I stir it into plain Greek yogurt. Much, much better than the TJ's pumpkin yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with Rilke, but I stir it into the organic fat-free European style yogurt. Just my personal preference. I think I might try topping it with some of their pumpkin spice granola tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I just got the TJs Thanksgiving email, has anyone tried the pull-apart rolls in previous years? I'm tempted to make rolls for the holiday but really don't feel like it. If they are good, I'll pass on the local bakery as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just bought some for sliders. They were a little soft for my taste, but some people like it like that. My favorite of their rolls are the parmesan rosemary rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow, those sound like great rolls and a nice option to add to the bread basket. Rolls are an important item on my Thanksgiving table, it's probably 1 of 5 days of the year I eat bread. Are they fresh or frozen just so I know where to look?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They're fresh - with the artisan bakery breads. They're like mini ciabattas with parmesan. We love them for sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought them last year and really liked them. They were dense and yeasty and moist. I used them for mini ham sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good to know and there will be many leftover sandwiches so they sound like they'd be useful. We usually buy Hawaiian sweet rolls for that but sometimes they are too sweet for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They're similar to one Whole Foods sells. They're a little dry, and kinda bland, but that's fine for some Thanksgiving meals. They're similar to something you would see at a local bakery for a lot more money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm actually getting a few sides from Whole Foods but specifically didn't get the rolls as they are always dry and bland :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I LOVE the "Crown Of Rolls", which is about 12 or so rolls stuck together in a circle. Flick a little water on them and a few minutes in the toaster oven later, I'm in heaven. :) Crispy crust, soft inside...mmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. oh my god whoever recommended that kimchi fried rice...it is freaking epic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I use the TJ's black forest bacon and make myself kimchi bacon fried rice...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Egg, onion, other add-ins?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For my first run it was kimchi fried rice + bacon + bean sprouts I had laying around

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next round it'll probably be the above + egg - I think I'm going to try something bibimbap inspired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another yay on the kimchee fried rice. I just had it with some crispy thin-sliced pork belly, bok choy and actual kim chee, topped with a fried egg and sprinkled with nori crumbles. Awesome! But I think it would be very good just fried as is with a fried egg on top as a 10 minute dinner on Those Nights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. New item and a big YAY - Reine Dijon Moutarde à l'ancienne. If you like sinus-clearing hot mustards, this may be up your alley. Mustard can be very individual, but it's a YAY here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also enjoyed the samples of the frozen Pumpkin Pie - very fresh tasting for something boxed. Brought one home, so another YAY for the convenience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wanted to try the mushroom turnovers mentioned in prior threads, but as I approached that part of the freezer section to pick up a box some fellow was pulling out EVERY.LAST.ONE. Didn't see how many he had already in his cart, but watched the last 8 boxes disappear. A little peeved, I almost asked for just one box, but figured someone like "that" wouldn't be a person to approach about "sharing". I know the type. Ugh, I hate it when someone does that. I live an hour from T.J.'s so my trips are infrequent to say the least. Oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If anyone could tell me the ingredient list, I could attempt them from scratch. We are a mushroom-LOVING family, especially the 11 year old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gardencook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <someone like "that" wouldn't be a person to approach about "sharing". I know the type. Ugh, I hate it when someone does that.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    IMO that's harsh. For all you know, this fellow was catering his own wedding, or his child's. He might ot might not have shared. In either case, TJ's has not chosen to limit the number of packages a person may purchase. Given how often they discontinue items, I don't blame anyone for stocking up on favorites, though I would personally feel guilty if I bought every package when there were a bunch available. But if it's something I use regularly, and there's only 2 or 3 boxes left, I'll get them all. I only get to TJ's every 6 wks or longer. If I shopped there weekly, I would not clean them out of an item that lasts me longer than a week unless I knew for sure it was about to be discontinued for the season, or forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've gone to TJs for throwing inexpensive parties and get togethers. If what they have is what I need... I will take it. Although I will often let one of those awesome TJ Associates know if I wiped out something so that they restock if they have the items on hand..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's worth a) asking the guy if it was possible to get one of his boxes (I would give it up as even in heavy party planning mode, I always have a plan b.) and b) asking TJ Associate if they have any in the back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, before your trek... if there is an item you MUST have, give the store a call. The managers are also saints and will hold items (I think someone mentioned up thread about a hold for that awesome red fox cheese) or at least it'd save some TJ heartbreak (Which we are allso too familar with...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I would have asked a clerk to check in the back; there's only so much they can put on the shelves. When I call to ask for something to be put aside for me, it's always there when I go in, very dependable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When inquiring today about some seasonal items which had not yet arrived at my TJs, the crew member helping me encouraged me to call ahead to determine they had arrived and request these items be held for me, as some would "fly off the shelves".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ooh what were these items?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Specifucally, I was asking about the mustard sampler. Some things mentioned on this thread as already available in other stores (fried onions for one). My store is brand new; perhaps this explains why they do not have some products yet that other locations do. i am too lazy to drive the 30 minutes it would take to check out another local location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can always call the next nearest store and ask about items. Save yourself the drive if they don't have it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: gardencook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sorry that happened gardencook. I've had similar experiences and they are jarring. I guess the puppy dog eyes didn't work? If I saw someone sadly watching me I'd like to think that I would throw a fellow hound a bone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This does make me feel relieved that I have done my Christmas shopping early though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. A big nay... The cinnamon broom things they have in every isle of the store.. Just makes me want to leave!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: firecooked

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Imagine having to work around them all day...not my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I worked in a kitchen ware shop that had cinnamon stick braids year-round. After a while your brain just edits out the smell -- it just becomes part of the background.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I mentioned this to the guy checking me out, his comment was that they didn't bother him that much, but that he was not looking forward to Christmas music ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: firecooked

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i don't recall christmas music.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: firecooked

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              they only have them at the entrance in our regular TJ's. and outside of the sliding glass doors, so where the carts are kept.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: firecooked

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For some reason I pondered buying one as my great grandmother always had them around and that smell just reminds me of her in a good and bad way because the smell really is annoying :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i like it but have to keep it IN the plastic to control the scent. nice to keep in the garage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TJ had mini cinnamon brooms, about the size of my palm. I got two of them a few weeks back (haven't seen any since, so they might be sold out)..I think the full size one would be too much for my little apartment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: firecooked

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love these!!!!! But it was a little over powering when I left it in the car for a couple of days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: firecooked

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was in there today and it gave me a headache while waiting in line and I couldn't even see any of the brooms. The whole store is permeated with the odor. I like cinnamon, but it was like a cinnamon biological weapon exploded, some kind of terrorist attack on people who like food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am allergic to cinnamon oil and those brooms make my life hell from Halloween until New Year. Every store has them and if I am around them too long, I am in pain for 2 days. Shopping becomes a speed sport for me this time of year. I hate it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. YAY dried mango slices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY egg white salad (chives, healthy, great if you add a lil Sriracha and fresh ground pepper. if salt...only a little..it gets very salty very fast)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY lime seltzer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY smoked tinned trout - i eat it out of the tin or put on sourdough toast with a little arugula and the tiniest spread of mayo under)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY they have a trio of cheeses they are in acute triangle form very cheap very good I have no idea what they are or what called b/c i moved away from any Trader Joe's :(
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY their prosciutto, salami, and something else (pepp?) combo package
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY chicken salad (country style)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY coconut popsicles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY their shrimp cocktail sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY pitas (the small ones) ...grill on stove with butter and make ANYTHING. breakfast sammies, avocado/tomato/arugla, grille cheese, whateva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY corn salsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ok. I'm done

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lilhungryhippo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyone got any creative ideas for the egg white salad? I like it, I just don't know wtf to do with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We always stock up on the Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad. Usually 3 containers/week between DH and me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He likes to eat it straight out of the container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like it on a toasted sandwich thin -- 1/2 container of salad to 1 sandwich thin (2 halves). I've also made sandwiches with it, with just some lettuce for crunch. Nothing fancy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: lilhungryhippo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I spotted the salami trio last week adn plan to pick it up for the holidays I think it was prosciutto, genoa and cappocola if I remember correctly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the spanish trio is good, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: lilhungryhippo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the egg white salad a lot - it's handy and great calories for the whole container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          However the egg salad does not like me. No idea why.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I usually mix it in with a salad or make a wrap with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilhungryhippo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Love the unsweetend mango slices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lilhungryhippo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, the smoked tinned trout is a-mazing...always on my weekly list to restock!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the pita recommendation will have to try them out...I like the fact that they are small which is perfect for my appetite!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. For me, a nay on the trio of hand creams; I'd love them if it were not for the extremely strong scent .. I'd prefer unscented. I gave them to a friend who loves the scent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not sure yet on those 4 mustards; I tried the most weird one, blackberry? and was not happy with it; gave it to the same friend who is not as picky as I am.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big Yay on the eggplant hummus; I've stopped buying prepared hummus because it's so inferior to home prepared with dried chickpeas but that takes too long. Bought this one on rec from here and it's very good, not too thick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What scent(s) are they? I almost bought the mustards 2 weeks ago but 2 of the flavors didn't seem so great to me so I left it. I wish you could buy them separately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hand creams: It's a nice refreshing scent, just way too strong for me. I've prefer a hint of scent or no scent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The mustards are back? I'd buy them - keep the flavors you like and give the others as stocking stuffers or token gifts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I assume this means you tried them last year. I spotted them a few weeks ago, there was only one left. I'm headed that way tomorrow but didn't see them last week

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3/4 flavors, love them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the hand creams: one is olive oil, one is argan oil, and i forget the third. i do not think they are strong scents, but everyone has their own preferences and sensitivities (obviously).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i liked the mustard quad, and found that the berry one was good on a roast pork sandwich. i bought several quad packs and gave them as christmas gifts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Correction: I though I was buying eggplant hummus; I just went to have another bite and discovered it's edamame .. so have yet to try the eggplant one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, I didn't like the blackberry (or something like that) last year, either. Gave it away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's blackcurrant. I actually bought the trio specifically for the blackcurrant, it's pretty hard to find it (I got hook on it after bringing a jar back from France). I mix it with balsamic vinegar for salads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, now I'm sorry I gave it away so quickly!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I remembered later that it was blackcurrant. I was also hoping to use it for vinaigrettes (most of my mustards are used for vinaigrettes, dressings and sauces), but found it WAY too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't seen the mustard set yet! Are they with the other mustards?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hlk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea, right between Dijon and Hot & Sweet in my store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Any yays or nays on the low sodium chicken broth?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JennS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's not my favorite, but I'm not generally a fan of LS chicken broth. The organic (Not low sodium) chicken broth is my favorite commercial broth though. Super chickeny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JennS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do use the low sodium chicken broth and like it...what you may lose slightly in robust chicken flavor you gain in the fact that you can control how salty you want your food to end up tasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I tried the Pumpkin Bread Pudding (freezer section). Not too heavy on the spice, a soft but not mushy consistency. Especially good warmed with a little vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. the greek stuffed grape leaves are OK. they are smallish and not as oily as other canned dolmades i've had. i put a good amount of lemon juice to give them some flavor. so…i don't think i'd buy them again, as i think they were around $4 for the can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used to really love the ones in glass jars (from Greece? Turkey?) that were discontinued. I bought the canned ones the other day but have not tried yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I found them similar. A little smaller, and the leaves are tougher, but less stringy. Not sure I'd buy again, but they're close to the jar. The jars are probably a little more flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never seen canned ones there. Only the refrigerated ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          New product :o

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks. I'll look for them and see how they compare to the refrigerated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought the dolma a couple weeks ago, but haven't opened them yet. I love stuffed grape leaves, and try every kind I can get my hands on. Luckily I live in an area with a large middle eastern population! I'm not fond of the super oily ones so I'm glad these aren't too oily -- I usually end up blotting them a bit to get the excess oil off. I like dolma with a squeeze of lemon and some tzatziki to dip them in. I think I know what's I'm bringing for lunch tomorrow to work!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. YAYs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mustard trio - I couldn't help myself despite the blackcurrant flavor. I also couldn't resist popping them open to taste a few. I love the basil and the Provencal. I might buy another quartet to keep throughout the year. It's mustard, should last a while in the fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Harvest tea - sipped on a cup this afternoon and it's great, just fall flavored enough to be overwhelming

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whole wheat rolls - the store manager actually let me taste them when I mentioned I was thinking of getting them for Thanksgiving. They are soft and just nondescript enough to sop up gravy and potatoes with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Black garlic - next to the spices for anyone looking, I have never used this before but it's intriguing, perhaps I'll try the egg idea in my scramble tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also eyed the English muffins, has anyone tried them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Other items I noticed that were new to me - quartet of seasoned kosher salt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like the multigrain English muffins. Nice flavor, good protein and fiber content (for bread). Need to be kept in the fridge, but keep a while in there (I don't worry about a little staleness, they're going to be toasted).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like the whole wheat British muffins. I keep them in the freezer and take one out to thaw the night before I want to eat it for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do they have that English muffin tang? Thomas have been my go to for years because of that but the TJs looked good. I was gonna go for the whole wheat. It sound perfect. We use them at the holidays for quick breakfast sandwiches to tide us over to dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the whole wheat ones but wouldn't call them tangy. They are soooo much cheaper than Thomas' and healthier so it's a tradeoff. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kt1969

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the British muffin and whole wheat rolls will be in the holiday cart next week. Easy enough to pick them up there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kt1969

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree, they don't have that Thomas's tang. But they don't have that weird moisture on the inside either. And, as kt1969 pointed out, they're much cheaper. They do go bad pretty quickly because they're not laden with preservatives, so I keep mine in the freezer and pull them out the night before to thaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Try a cheeseburger on English muffin. So good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Any good ideas for the mustards? I think they'd be great spread on chicken but any other ideas. I'm excited to test them out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, my store was out of the hand creams :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They call them "British muffins" and they come in several varieties. I like the whole wheat, haven't tried the others. Use them for hamburger rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can vouch for the regular British muffins (not ww/multi-grain). I always have a pack in my freezer for homemade egg and bacon "not-Mc" Muffins. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Speaking of mustards, any opinions on TJ's Hot & Sweet? Saw it last time, and was sorely tempted........

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I quite like it, but I definitely would not consider it to be hot, at least not compared to the Dijon. I use it along with the whole grain mustard to make honey mustard dressing and it's great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like it, although I agree it isn't what I would call hot. More perky. Nice with ham.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't care for it, it was too vinegary for me. I returned it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Okay, apparently Harris Teeter sources their 7.75 oz. jar of hot and sweet mustard from the same manufacturer and it also has 2g on the label. I'm guessing it is supposed to be 0g and it's an error on the part of the manufacturer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://grocery.harristeeter.com/pd/H-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With sugar as the first ingredient, it sure looks like the sugars and protein numbers have been switched.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sugars 0g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Protein 2g

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This Beaver sweet hot mustard label is probably correct

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nut...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's exactly what it is. It has honey and 2g of carbohydrates so the sugars should probably be 2g as well. Protein got switched by accident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We love the Hot & Sweet mustard in our house! We don't really use it on sandwiches -- we use it more of a dip for things like pigs in a blanket (easy lunchbox item for the kids), or meatballs or sausage rolls. We also love it as a condiment on a cheese/cracker/sausage tray -- it reminds me a little of the Hickory Farms sweet mustard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Found a photo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wonder if that is "honeycup" mustard? is it sweetened with honey?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It does have honey as an ingredient.......but, it also has sugar -- as the first ingredient. Interestingly, the label says it has two grams of protein per tsp. Is that plausible?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mustard seeds are about 25% protein so there is some protein but that sounds a little high for a teaspoon of prepared mustard even accounting for rounding up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        honeycup's ingredients: Brown sugar, cider vinegar, canola oil, mustard flour, honey, spices, salt, xanthan gum, natural tocopherol added to protect flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tj hot and sweet ingredients: sugar, white vinegar, water, ground mustard seed, yellow mustard (vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika), honey, soybean oil, salt, cornstarch, ginger, white pepper, allspice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i wouldn't call it hot. tj's dijon (a fresh jar--it mellows pretty quickly once opened) is where i go for heat. but this mustard is my hands-down fav--rarely do i make a vinaigrette, glaze or sauce that doesn't get a little sploosh of this stuff. it was "seasonal" for a while. (what "season" is mustard season, you may ask? why, "ham season", of course! nov-april according to the calendar of joe.) but this year, it was on the shelf all year. i've been fooled by joe too often to be lulled into that sense of false security, so i keep a 4 jar backstock at all times. come the zombie apocalypse, i'll have the goods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their regular dijon has 0 gm protein, 5calories per tsp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I contacted TJ's twice about the ingredients/protein-count... and both times they backed-up the nutrition label (even after it was re-released)... I don't buy it any more, because I (personally) no longer trust the label entirely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We have a couple other mustards. One label says 0g protein, the other "<0.5". The TJ's claim is curious.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pugsam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe it is supposed to be 0.2 g? I don't trust labels at all. Every time I read about independent analysis of foods, the calories are always much higher than on the label. Even if they are truthful, the realistic portion size is often 2-3 times larger than what is suggested--or even more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I wrote to them, the individual that wrote back did NOT even try to explain it.. just stated that their labels were absolutely correct. The tone, syntax, and diction of the message did not read (in my interpretation) as a polite message. --As if, it was wrong or rude to inquire/question the label...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Portion size is dictated by the FDA; manufacturers don't get to choose that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Values are rounded to the nearest gram.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My guess is that it should read 'sugars 2g'. Usually sugar is a subcategory of 'carbs', but due to the compactness of the label that is not fully shown. So I'd classify it as a minor error, not deception.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In any case, who is buying a sweet mustard for its protein content, or worrying about the sugar content?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, the "AT THIS POINT, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!!!" defense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      if you hunt around Chowhound, there is actually an old discussion of this very subject.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Huge, resounding NAY for the Brussels sprouts with Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. With the two cheeses and toasted onion topping, you'd think these would be super flavorful. But, no. They were BLAND, flavorless and gloopy. Not even any real sprout flavor. Such a disappointment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DarkRose

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh darn, it sounds so good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DarkRose

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agree. Major miss compared to last years sprout side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay to the Red Leicester with bell peppers. Super tasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay to the Himalayan salt with truffles. The tin isn't full, but it's super cute, and you're more likely to make your way through this trifle salt before the truffle flavor is gone. $5.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Another yay: Check your liquor shelves. Mine is stocking up for the holidays, and I was able to snag a bottle of Calvadosfor $20. The liqueur selection was great - Frangelico, Amaretto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. So this black garlic sitting on my table...I was planning on making a spinach yogurt spread with garlic, lemon, herbs (think Tzatziki style), do you think it'd work well in this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. A TJS inspired snack fail - I opened my super exciting Red Fox find from last week and not only the surface moldy but the flavor of mold penetrated throughout the cheese I imagine because while it's aged the texture is pretty open. I guess a snack was had as I ingested a lot of moldy cheese convincing myself but just FYI to others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds uhhhh... delicious...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh yea, very tasty, complex flavors

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Same experience here. A package I'd had for about 3 weeks started getting a couple of small white mold spots. I just did some cheese surgery, re-wrapped it and was sure to finish it quickly. I guess I caught it just in time to not let it go to waste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great cheese, and if available would buy it again -- I'd just be certain to use it promptly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought I'd read that someone here was pondering how well it would freeze and keep. I love to know myself. Some cheeses just don't seem to survive being frozen without negatively affecting the quality. I'd hate to ruin a block of it with the experiment, which is why we need a guinea pig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had pink mold like the gross kind that grows on old blue cheese. I would see definetly buy it again too, great cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. A TJ's just opened about 10 miles from me, so yay! I checked it out yesterday and saw most of the items already mentioned in this thread. They were sampling the corn pudding -- sweet but not cloying, and lighter than I'd expect a corn pudding to ordinarily be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pumpkin butter! I mostly use it as a schmear on my morning bagel, but I've also put it in oatmeal and plain yogurt. Can't get enough of the stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Salted caramel chai latte! I bought this on a friend's recommendation. It's the perfect evening drink. It's sweet with chai undertones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pumpkin bread mix and cornbread mix! Hands down the two best mixes I know of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chocolate peppermint bread mix! The cashier was telling me that they tried it in the break room (I guess it's new?) and everyone swooned over it. It certainly looks dark and chocolaty on the box and it has peppermint candy chunks embedded in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dukka! I've been looking for dukka for some time now, and I was getting to the point where I'd have to buy the spices individually in bulk. I happened to stumble upon this and I was estatic because there's a couple of recipes calling for it that I've been dying to try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MEH:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most of the frozen items. Have a lot of them been discontinued or perhaps the frozen section of this particular TJ's is smaller than other stores? Where's the roasted veggie pizza?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NAY:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I still won't buy their produce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for produce, it depends on your alternatives. Here in Las Vegas, most of the organic options are either awful or crazy-expensive, or in the case of WF, sometimes both. For celery, bell peppers, bagged salads, that sort of thing, TJ is our best option.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Some of the produce is fine, like the carrots, romaine hearts, grape tomatoes, and a lot of the fruit. You just have to examine it carefully before you buy. They will also accept returns if you aren't satisfied.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Some of the frozen items are very good. If you like Mexican, try the tamales and burritos. The frozen shrimp and tater tots are good and all of the frozen vegetables and fruits are good quality, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            About the only frozen items that I buy are plain vegetables and fruit. Also small meat balls, naan from India, and ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Meh to the Cauliflower Gratin. Cauliflower was too mushy, and way more breadcrumbs than needed. Somewhat improved by adding some plain cauliflower, but still.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. NAY to an old favorite. Fresh spinach ricotta ravioli. The pasta was like cooked plastic. Yuck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. NAY to the frozen confetti rice. Why? It tastes like Froot Loops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is it just me? Years ago, we had a similar Froot Loop flavor issue with some frozen TJ's appetizers - can't recall the product precisely (some crispy pan-Asian roll, I think), as all anybody remembers is the Froot Loop flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I cook with lime leaves and lemongrass on a semi-regular basis and have never had such a flavor come through; is it a freezing issue? I like the idea of some convenient seasoned rice right now, but this confetti rice is just too Toucan Sam for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                haha! i've noted a froot loop flavor with some of their cookies--very thin--i think they may have been labeled meyer lemon thins, but they were froot loopy to me. not in a terrible way, just in the "what the hell is that flavor? i alllllmost have it---aha!" way. i wonder if you are referring to the lemongrass chicken rolls? we found those to have a distinct pine-sol thing going on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aha! Lemongrass chicken rolls sounds right! I remember pulling the tray from the oven and having my family of vultures diving in, then all pausing in unison with a weird look on their faces. After a bit of back and forth, my son finally proclaimed "Froot Loops! Those rolls are remembered more for their comedic value than for being delicious or YAYworthy. I was disappointed to find a reprise of the flavor in the rice. The list of ingredients on the rice is nothing frightening; I just don't know how they go from those ingredients to Froot Loops!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL! It's probably too much citric acid as a 'natural flavor'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Y'know, I had wondered if I had missed some "natural flavor" in the ingredients (I'm pretty cautious with that because of hidden gluten), but nope: "water, rice, onion, baby corn, palm oil, tomato, sugar, lemongrass, garlic, sea salt, ginger, white pepper, Thai lime leaf, spinach, turmeric (color)."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like a decent set of flavors, right? There was admittedly precious little (visually) of any of the flavoring ingredients in with the water and rice, though. And that Froot Loopiness that comes from...where?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am starting to think that perhaps I just don't roll, palate-wise, with anything other fresh lemongrass. A number of years ago I tried a lemongrass paste for convenience and it was Not Good (yet still, not Froot Loopy), so maybe the rice uses some paste-ified lemongrass that is not so fresh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On the plus side: those that like Froot Loops can get a nice dinner-time fix from this rice!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        lime leaf can have a floral character.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i don't know if that qualifies as fruit loopy, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's a mystery, to me at least! I stockpile lime leaves for my freezer when I can find them, and I've never had them go Froot Loopy on me, even when a bit "over" and desiccated in the freezer. I might possibly be a little too fascinated by this (ya think? ;-) ), but maybe it's the inclusion of sugar? Although, at 2g per serving, I don't know. I'm tempted to make my own confetti rice with these ingredients just to see what happens!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Meh - this cranberry walks into a bar. Tried it out as a possible Thanksgiving snack - pleasant enough but I couldn't taste any cranberry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Yay: French brie with truffles. Maybe I should have put this on the holiday topic because apparently they had it as a limited time item last year. The one I bought was just about perfectly ripe, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The frozen half acorn squash filled with chunks of turkey and veggies with a puff pastry crust--I love the idea. The squash turned out to be cooked to the right texture and the puff pastry was pretty good. However, the filling--chicken and veggies was horribly under-seasoned. Almost no salt and nothing else that I could taste. Since the puff pastry crust is fixed on top of the filling (while it is frozen), it is not possible to add some spices before baking. So, alas, a Nay.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: wrldtrvl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You must like a fair amount of salt in your food. I have used very little salt in my own cooking for decades now, and NEVER add it to restaurant/prepared food. I found the filling and the puff pastry lid to be too salty on their own, but better when I dug down into the (unseasoned) squash so all three things blended on the tongue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was thinking the same thing, assuming that most packaged foods are loaded with salt. I found it interesting that it'd taste under-salted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But did you taste anything other than salt in terms of seasoning? That was my point. I definitely do not like salty food and I never add salt to restaurant or prepared food as well. The acorn squash actually tasted great, it was the filling sauce with the chicken and veggies that seemed to have no seasoning. I was thinking if I made it I would put in things like thyme or rosemary or sage or garlic or SOMETHING.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. One big YAY to the Mini San Marzano Tomatoes... They actually are sold under their original brand name at Trader Joes (Since they are trademarked):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.villagefarms.com/OurProduc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had first heard about them last year, so I was THRILLED to find them at my neighborhood Trader Joes:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://live.gourmet.com/2012/11/the-n...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I roasted them and they have that WONDERFUL MEATY San Marzano Flavor. They are almost like tomato paste bombs... really rich and flavorful. I look forward to add them to my grill basket as well. One of my favorite things is to grill a tomato and onion wedges and then cut them into already cooked white rice. These would be excellent addition to for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        --Dommy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow. Sounds great. Will check if our local TJ's has these!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh thank goodness! I just boiught these - they looked amazing but I've had bad expernience with TJ's produce so really glad to hear this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: toopie28