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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

Happy February, we're moving right along through 2014! Punxsutawney Phil will soon let us know whether we should prepare for more polar vortex temperatures or look forward to warmer weather. It may be the shortest month of the year, but February brings many special days to enjoy the unique offerings from Trader Joe's. Perhaps you'll be buying a few extra treats for a Super Bowl party, dark chocolate or a nice fish filet for a special Valentine's Day celebration, or some unique and different International items to celebrate the Winter Olympics.

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

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  1. Surprised at how big last month's thread got. Do you think we will have to start making new threads every week? Thanks for the job you are doing, flkhkybnva.

    27 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      And remember how much pushback there was about making a monthly thread from a quarterly one"? Geesh!

      1. re: shaebones

        when I said it was a good idea i got shot down like a dog!

        1. re: trolley

          Well, if it's any consolation, you can now say I TOLD YOU SO!

          1. re: Tripeler

            yes, i remember John Francis was really against it. or maybe he was the only one for it with me? hmmm...it's been so long. ok, here i go...I TOLD YOU SO!!!

            1. re: trolley

              And I still don't think its a good idea, as the merchandise only changes quarterly. It makes it harder to track discussions.. WTG.. NOT.

              1. re: cwdonald

                all the continuing big threads should be broken down like this, in my opinion. just like the WFD thread on Home Cooking. so much easier to manage a shorter thread than having to scroll through hundreds.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  I cannot disagree with you more. There are threads that have been going on for years. Having four versus twelve threads a year makes it impossible to follow a conversation, and you will end up getting repetition upon repetition. I predict rather than four threads, you are going to have 12 threads of equal size but in fact you are going to just find the same people repeating the same thing over and over and over. This could be mitigated if there were only four threads per year.

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    But how would it be mitigated? You'll get repetition no matter what - new people exploring Trader Joe's for the first time will be talking about TJ's brown rice; the roasted corn, the Kerrygold butter, the new filled pastas, etc. All stuff that has been discussed in previous threads - even if threads was broken out on a quarterly basis.

                    This thread is over 500 posts. Add another two months' worth of posts for one full quarter (Jan through March), and one could assume it would go to about 1200 to 1500 posts. No one's going to scroll through a thread that long, especially if they have a slower connection.

                    I actually think it would be much more painful to try and deal with a thread that long rather than less painful.

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      that is exactly what happens on those monster threads - people can't be bothered to read through 500 posts so they repeat. they even repeat themselves. volumes have been working great on the WFD thread, and on this one too. it's easy enough to visit an older volume and address an older question. most don't seem to have a problem at all.

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        How about having a Yay thread AND a Nay thread?

                          1. re: Tripeler

                            And when the same products wind up on both threads? Talk about disjointed conversations.

          2. re: Tripeler

            Not sure that would go over well :) I'm enjoying my minuscule role, I'm a devoted TJs fan now.

              1. re: Harts52

                Me, too. But I think it may have been asked facetiously.

            1. re: Tripeler

              I think last month (and December) was just bigger because of the holiday/seasonal products.. now that those are gone, perhaps the number will go down.

              1. re: Tripeler

                Part of the problem is the drift and chitchat - recipes and talking about other stores that sell an item. It's natural, people are enthusiastic and want to be helpful so the threads tend to wander a little.

                1. re: MplsM ary

                  Yes, there's no limit to how long a thread can get when people constantly go off-topic. Speaking just for myself, I wish we could go back to the time when every message was yeas and nays about specific TJ products. The other comments, however interesting, get in the way of what I want to learn from this thread, which is what to try and what not.

                  1. re: John Francis

                    I find the context of the rating very valuable, I really hope people don't stop commenting. Plus, we're human beings and we interact naturally. I find value in that, too.

                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                      My first thought "I'll check my human at the door next month." Pretty much impossible for me, so I probably shouldn't participate.

                    2. re: John Francis

                      I'm a big offender when it comes to chitchat, drift and recipes :-( I'm not sure that anything I ever have to say is value-added but I will say that, without others' chat, I wouldn't be so interested in following. Just yesterday I added the spinach artichoke dip to my list only because of the ideas on how people are using it. I would have, otherwise, continued to pass it by.

                      1. re: Harts52

                        Btw spinach artichoke dip mixed with a can of tuna last night-delicious!

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          Oh yay! I get canned salmon from Costco all the time and I bet it will be good in that also! Thanks!!

                      2. re: John Francis

                        A list of yeas/nays without any explanation of how the product might have been used -- either in the "normal" way for that product or differently, based on an idea had by the poster/user -- makes for an extremely boring thread.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          totally agree. and without knowing anything about the poster's other likes, dislikes, restaurant choices, cooking chops, etc., a yea or nay is very arbitrary, and means nothing. Can you imagine a restaurant reviewer just saying "This restaurant was good." or "This restaurant was bad."??? You don't trust and follow a reviewer without having to gotten know their tastes.

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            Very true...for instance you all have probably gathered by now that I can't handle spicy foods and think that some chocolate items are too "rich" for me to enjoy LOL. I enjoy getting to know everyone's varying tastes and pallettes. Hard to believe that not too long ago these used to be quarterly threads. I am glad they went to month to month because for whatever reason more people are posting their yay nays which is the whole purpose of why we love this thread.

                            Suggestion that I know some of us use: let's try using the recommend button if you simply agree with the comment.

                            1. re: littleflower

                              I hit "recommend" the way I hit "like" on Facebook. As a matter of fact, I'm doing that right now to your post littleflower!

                  2. I roasted a pork tenderloin last night and remembered I had bought aioli garlic mustard sauce that someone had written about a few months ago. Served it with the pork and it was a big yay.
                    Working on my TJ list from last months thread. Driving 3 hours to get to TJ and don't want to forget anything!

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: BeachCookie107

                        My husband loves that mustard and takes a turkey sandwich daily in his lunch. It is a staple on my list.

                        Excited 2 days until the Fearless Flyer, sad that I did not find the cheese of the month for February today. It was so crowded and I was on sensory overload by the time I made it to the cashier, I forgot to ask.

                        between super bowl and the forecast calling for lots of snow and ice. The store conditions were unbearable.

                      2. Cowboy Caviar. Nicely nuanced.

                        Vegetable Fried Rice. Four of us knocked off two pounds, net wt, last night. Good stuff!

                        1. YAY to the organic maple syrup. However, it is so thin! I've had this issue with every organic maple syrup I've purchased in the last few years and I know from reading that it is normal. I also know I could cook it down until it's thicker. I'm wondering, though....would chia seeds thicken it up? Or is that just plumb crazy?

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: Harts52

                            I think you want to ask that question on Home Cooking.
                            Guar gum might work. Cooking it down might make it too sweet and too caramelly.

                              1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                And I just happen to have a ton of guar gum (my grandsons and I make slime a lot).

                                Since they are also the eaters of the maple syrup, they will appreciate an edible experiment!

                              2. re: Harts52

                                If you are used to a Log Cabin style syrup, any pure maple syrup will be too thin.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  The grandsons are used to stuff similar to Log Cabin (Mrs. B, etc.). Their chief complaint was that it soaks into the pancakes rather than laying on top but they know that when they come to "Nannie's," they are going to get a different food experience. They do appreciate "organic" and "real." I asked if they thought we should try guar gum or chia to thicken and they both gave a resounding "leave it alone." <shrug>

                                  1. re: Harts52

                                    I keep a bottle of inexpensive 'pancake syrup' on hand for family members who prefer that lay-on-top experience. Maple syrup is nice (and expensive), but it is not a health food - not even if it is organic and local produced.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Have to respectfully disagree with you on that one! Maple syrup is a natural anti-inflammatory and has a good amount of anti-oxidant properties. Still sugar but, as sweet things go, a better choice than many!

                                      1. re: Harts52

                                        Speaking of sugar, has anyone tried the coconut sugar? I heard that it does not taste like coconut and it supposedly contains a lot of nutrients in it.

                                        1. re: littleflower

                                          It doesn't taste like coconut at all because it's from the sap of the coconut palm, not the fruit.

                                          I like it and think it works as a brown sugar type substitute.

                                          1. re: littleflower

                                            just bought some, but haven't tried it yet...........will substitute it in my next round of banana-blueberry bread

                                            1. re: littleflower

                                              Haven't tried TJ's specifically but have bought other brands, no coconut flavor, and no molasses flavor like brown sugar either. Great in baking or coffee

                                    2. YAY: Honey Roasted Peanuts - 1 pound of peanuts for only $3.99! The honey roasted flavor really comes through - sweet, salty, crunchy...great for snacking!

                                      YAY: Villa Italia Italian Grapefruit Soda - I love the Blood Orange Soda so I decided to give the grapefruit soda a try. I really like it, it definitely is not as sweet as the bood orange kind but very refreshing. Definite repeat purchase.

                                      22 Replies
                                      1. re: littleflower

                                        The grapefruit soda makes a nice drink with gin, too.

                                        Nay x 1000 Reduced Guilt Filet of Sole. The fish had gone bad but still made it into production. Really makes me question everything TJs after 2 rancid jars of peanut butter and now this.

                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                          I this the frozen sole. I bought 2 packages last week but have yet to eat them.

                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                            i was speaking with a cashier at the columbia, md, tjs and was told that there have been issues with product freshness and texture because the delivery trucks have been becoming stranded and delayed because of the weather (snow, ice, etc)

                                            1. re: Vidute

                                              That would explain last week's inedible green beans.

                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                A friend in Charlotte said her local store's shelves were bare earlier in the week. And at my store, there was evidence that they had been bare given the number of employees stocking when I went in that same day. You could barely make it through the aisles.

                                                1. re: Leepa

                                                  I went the day after a snow last week and the shelves were bare and they were frantically stocking.

                                                  1. re: Leepa

                                                    I was there when they opened yesterday and was surprised at the bare shelves in the fresh breads/baked goods/meat sections. An employee told me truck was running behind the past few days and hasnt been arriving to restock until around 9:30am.

                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                Love, love, love a grapefruit soda so I'll definitely pick this up on the next TJ's run. If you've tasted the San Pelligrino grapefruit soda, is the Villa Italian similar in flavor?

                                                1. re: FlyerFan

                                                  I was just going to ask the same thing! We love the San P. grapefruit sofa and wonder how the TJ's compares?

                                                  1. re: FlyerFan

                                                    Flyer and joseph, I wish that I could make the direct comparison but have been unable to find San Pelligrino Grapefruit Soda where I live. I CAN tell you that the Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda tastes very much like the San Pelligrino Aranciata Blood Orange Soda - I wouldn't at all be surprised if that is who makes the Villa Italia sodas.

                                                    Regardless, if you like grapefruit sodas you should definitely give this a try. I already have gone through half a bottle in one day!

                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                      Thx! Will definitely try it and report back on the comparison.

                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                        Littleflower, Costco stocks San Pellegrino sodas and has a coupon for them every so often. I've also seen them at Harris Teeter for an exorbitantly higher price.

                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                          Thanks ohmyyum, we have a Costco membership and I bought the multipack San Pelligrino sodas however they do not carry the grapefruit soda! Started going (don't judge here) to Walmart where I can buy the San Pelligrino blood orange soda for $4.99/6pk because with Costco multipack was always left with a bunch of Limonata sodas which I do not care for.

                                                          We also have HarrisTeeter here...do you know if they carry the San Pellig. Grapefruit soda?

                                                        2. re: littleflower

                                                          Thanks - will be on my list this week!

                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                            Anyone have a great non-alcoholic punch recipe with the TJ's grapefruit soda? Sounds like it would make a great base, and I have an event coming up that requires a good punch, since it's a "dry" event :(.

                                                            Lori

                                                          2. re: FlyerFan

                                                            I've just tried the TJ's Italian grapefruit soda, and although it's not bad, it is definitely not nearly as good as that made by San Pelligrino...not even close. Since the SP soda is readily available where I live, I doubt that I'll buy the TJ's brand again. If the SP soda was not available, I might get the TJ's soda occasionally, but I'm not sure.

                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                              Thanks for the comparison, joseph! I'm headed to TJ's this weekend and may still pick up a bottle to try. I can find the SP in my area but not at my normal shopping spots - if the TJ's version is fairly close, I may stick with it...

                                                              1. re: FlyerFan

                                                                josephnl -- I was hoping that they were made by San Pelligrino but it looks like it most likely isn't! Thanks for the update.

                                                                FlyerFan -- I haven't yet been able to try the SP Grapefruit Soda, but I liked the TJ's version so much that I already bought another bottle of it.

                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                  Try to seek out a source for the SP grapefruit soda. I really think that if you like the TJ's grapefruit soda, you'll lve that made by SP!

                                                          3. re: littleflower

                                                            if you're into the honey roasted peanuts, have you tried the salty, sweet, & nutty trek mix? rather munchworthy, imo.

                                                            1. re: rynnyb

                                                              Thanks rynnyb for the suggestion...was also eyeing the bag (albeit tiny bag!) of candied walnuts!

                                                              1. re: rynnyb

                                                                That salty sweet nutty mix is SO good! I'm convinced there's a typo on the servings per bag......;)