HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - May 2014 [old]

Weather is still dominating the news, but from April showers come May flowers. A new Fearless Flyer is out and is "fruitful, that is, it is full of fruit in a variety of formats – pressed, fresh, frozen, freeze dried, juiced – and just generally abundant."

What items have you tried recently and would you rate them a YAY or NAY?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I like the new Roasted Plantain Chips. They are not too salty, a little sweet. Not as crisp or thin as a potato chip but would still be nice accompanying a sandwich. They were with the nuts and dried fruit, NOT with the other chips and puffed snacks.

    1. The frozen organic green figs are awesome! They're soft enough to slice while frozen so you can make nice neat, even slices without it squashing like it would fresh. Paired with caramelized onions, goat cheese and fresh basil last night they were fantastic! At $2.79 a bag (there were 12 large figs in the bag, a pound,) its a great deal and will be a regular purchase for us when the fig tree isn't ripe.

      10 Replies
      1. re: weezieduzzit

        Oh wow heading to a TJ tomorrow night and I am going to search for this!

        1. re: weezieduzzit

          There were only eight large ones in my bag but they are very big. I checked the other bags and they seemed to have about the same number by volume. I have four left and just weighed the bag and it was 8.4 oz.

          Two of mine (or three of yours!) and some milk in the blender makes a nice small milkshake, no defrosting needed.

          Another YAY! here.

          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

            Thanks for the tip! I'll try that with the next batch of kefir.

          2. re: weezieduzzit

            I love them! I have one bag opened with three in my freezer, ready for when the mood strikes. I don't usually hoard three bags in the freezer at once of anything (except their frozen sliced leeks!) but I have the feeling these may be a very temporary item. I hope I'm wrong!

            1. re: weezieduzzit

              also on the frozen fig bandwagon! and speaking of figs, a YAY for the dried black mission figs – sweet, chewy, and moist. any thoughts on the dried smyrnas or calymyrnas?

              1. re: rynnyb

                I saw the dried ones and thought of buying them but passed them up. I may have to get them next round!

              2. re: weezieduzzit

                Really? I never figured frozen figs to be edible- thanks for the heads-up!

                1. re: EWSflash

                  They are great but they will defrost as soft and changed in texture from fresh - I would recommend using them in cooking and in smoothies! I actually made a really great fake ice cream (like a sorbet) using them in my vitamix!

                  1. re: RabbiBeth

                    Well- now I need a Vitamix too... of course

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      To this, I must reply, YES, YES, YES, YOU NEED A VITAMIX!!! Best kitchen appliance ever!

              3. I have to give a NAY to a newly-reformulated item, the aloe vera. This used to be a big favorite of mine. It's great for sunburn, itches, scrapes, etc., or even just shaving in place of shaving cream (and I've accidentally swallowed it with no ill effects, though I wouldn't say it makes a good chow). But now they have added a pungent fragrance. It smells like strong aftershave. NAY! Make it unscented again, like before!

                Also, I'll second Greygarious's YAY for the plantain chips, although I'd be more enthusiastic if they were cut a little thinner. Still, a nice item.

                And a huge YAY for the Collier's Welsh cheddar cheese. This has only been around for a few weeks. It's one of the best cheddars I've ever had. It is savory (some might find it a bit salty-tasting perhaps) and has nice layers of flavor.

                1. I purchased their pepperoni and prosciutto on a recent trip, and both turned out to be quite good. Also, the unfiltered apple cider vinegar makes great salad dressings!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: biondanonima

                    I love that pepperoni. Perhaps I'll try the prosciutto this week.

                  2. Nay to the pesto gouda. I love pesto & I love gouda, but it just was "overpowering", for lack of a better word.

                    Yay to the Thai spicy "seasoning" in the little jar for only 99 cents. It has a mushroom base & has to be refrigerated after opening. I guess it is brand new, never saw it before. Anyone else try it?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Barbara76137

                      Yes, I got some of the Thai mushroom/chile paste a month or so ago and finally used some last week.

                      I sauteed some of the frozen haricots verts in it with a little olive oil. It was good and I guess I would give it a yay! but don't feel any strong need for it on a regular basis.

                      1. re: Barbara76137

                        The Thai chili paste was really good, though like RussTheRaccoon, it's not a must-have. I had no idea what to do with it for a while but now just add a little bit to various dishes usually sauteed veggies. It's been there a while I think.

                        1. re: Barbara76137

                          i thought it was more like $2.99 for the jar of thai spice paste.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            It was $0.99 at my TJ's, too. This is a little jar of flavoring, not a jar of simmer sauce.

                             
                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                              I just paid 99 cents at my Los Angeles Trader Joes for this... :D Can't wait to try with my chicken and brocolli lunches!!

                              --Dommy!

                            2. re: alkapal

                              Not sure why, but when I first saw this item a couple months ago, it was priced at $2.99 on the shelf. A few weeks ago, I saw it again, and it was marked $.99. I picked up a bottle since it was only a buck, and ended up getting rung by a friend who works there. I asked her about the price change (I thought maybe it was marked down as a discontinued item), and she said they originally came in at $2.99, but they weren't moving, so corporate changed the pricing to $.99.

                              Taste wise, we thought it was just OK. I was expecting to have a lot more heat to it, since it was marked as a chili paste. We tried it with homemade pork and veggie stirfry one day, and with some homemade asian noodles another. We couldn't quite figure out what the taste was -- it didn't taste like mushrooms or chillies, but we could get a hint of the tamarind. Not quite up our alley -- I ended up tossing the rest of the jar.

                            3. re: Barbara76137

                              I agree. I tried the pesto gouda, and it was too overpowering for me to enjoy on its own. I wound up including it in a pasta dish, which worked well.

                            4. A Yay, and a ?

                              Went on a TJ's binge today and did some damage. First report, as we can't eat everything all at once.

                              Yay for the Cambozola cheese. Described on the label as 'Triple cream softened blue cheese.' And if you like brie's and blue cheeses there's a good chance you will love the Cambozola. I had it once before and forgot how awesome it is. Just be sure to bring it to room temp, as with most all cheeses of this type.

                              ? for the Pomegranate vinegar. I think it is wonderful as a BEVERAGE. Once I drink the bottle down about half-way I'll try topping it off with apple cider vinegar and see what happens. Great flavor, but if you are looking for a vinegar twang, it isn't there. I absolutely could drink all of the cute little 6.75 oz bottle on a dare, and probably enjoy it. I'm sure there are good uses for this product based on the nice flavor. Would love some ideas on what to do with it other than thinking of it as a vinegar.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: Dave B

                                They once had a pomegranate glaze that was a great baste for poultry and pork but I liked to drizzle it over citrus fruit as a dessert. You could simmer the pom vinegar down to a syrup and probably have the same thing. Worst scenario would be that it might need some honey.

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  They now have Balsamic Glaze which we love!!

                                  --Dommy!

                                  1. re: Dommy

                                    That balsamic glaze is good! Sometimes I make an array of toasted Italian bread with dipping/schmearing goodies on the side. One is the TJ's bruschetta (jarred product) which is sensational, one is this balsamic glaze and the other is olive oil with lots of herbs. Dip, spread, yum!

                                    1. re: RabbiBeth

                                      Oh we love that TJs Bruschetta!! Definitely the jarred one... the one in the refrigerated case tastes off. :P

                                      --Dommy!

                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                    Excellent - some really great ideas there. Thanks!

                                  2. re: Dave B

                                    bet the vinegar might incorporate well in a cocktail

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Great idea. First thing that comes to mind is to add a bit to a bloody Mary.

                                    2. re: Dave B

                                      Love the cambozola--it's our default cheese if we're having, say, some cheese & crackers with our pre-dinner cocktails.

                                      It's especially good on TJ's rosemary-raisin crackers.

                                      1. re: Dave B

                                        I buy pomegranate/ plum drinking vinegar at an Asian supermarket by my house. I think i'll keep buying it there, because it's local, but i'm interested that TJ's has a version of it.'
                                        I pour some into a glass with some tequila and ice, that's how I use it. It's tasty stuff. I hope it doesn't have HFCS in it, but I haven't looked

                                      2. I used the coconut cream (unsweetened) in a Thai curry tonight - it is FABULOUS, especially for the price. Thick and creamy and delicious, and about half the price of the best brand I can find in my neighborhood (which isn't actually that good; it's Thai Kitchen, which is acceptable but not great).

                                        2 Replies
                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            No, I think it was $1.49. Still a steal!

                                        1. YAY/MEH - Fruit Frenzy II: My favorite of the three flavors is the tangerine, the grape was a bit sweet and the blood orange a bit tart but the tangerine was just right. Overall will probably buy again.

                                          YAY -Lemonade (shelf stable): Really refreshing over ice not too sweet like some lemonades can be.

                                          1. day 1 and we are already up to 16 postings.the devoted continue

                                            1. Yay to the chocolate covered sea salt caramels! (Yes, I gave into temptation, it's been a long week, what can I say?!) They are truly delicious. KIND of the the texture of milk duds but not quite as hard to chew. The flavor is great.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                are those regular chocolate covered salted caramels or the chocolate covered salted butterscotch caramels they mention in the fearless flyer? I've been trying to cut back on my candy consumption, but those are just calling out to me...

                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                  Amy, sorry....the voice is getting louder! They are the salted butterscotch ones!!!!

                                                  1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                    I know what I'll be picking up this weekend!

                                                  2. re: AmyH

                                                    I love these for a special treat! they are awesome. like a really sophisticated milk dud, but soooooo much better.

                                                    1. re: MAH

                                                      That's the perfect description of them!

                                                  3. re: RabbiBeth

                                                    Oh darn it those chocolate covered sea salt butterscotch caramels are GOOD! And they're small so it's easy to pop one in your mouth pretty much every time you walk past the bag! I don't think I'll be able to buy these again. No self control.

                                                  4. "mild yay" to the Polenta Provencale with Peas and Spinach (frozen)

                                                    I like the texture, the ingredients and the ease of preparation. I wish the flavor were a little more intense. The vegetables in here are really good. It's pretty good but a little mild relative to what I expected.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                      I agree with your assessment, it does seem to have extra sauce so I mix in some of their organic frozen peas.

                                                      I'm obsessed with the chimchurri rice, I could live on that stuff.

                                                    2. Not really a yay or nay, but I was disappointed when I looked at my newest bag of the dried white peaches and saw that sulfur dioxide is now in the ingredients list. It used to be a single ingredient list: peaches. I like them so much I will probably continue to buy them, but I'm not happy.

                                                      Edit: I just looked up the product on Fooducate and sulfur dioxide is listed there. Has it been there all along?? I could have SWORN it wasn't before.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: Rilke

                                                        I believe that almost all dried fruit has sulphur dioxide as an ingredient. I think it has something to do with the process of drying fruit. TJ's policy is that no preservatives are added to any product, so I tend to believe that this is not an added ingredient, but part of the process.

                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                          Those dried white peaches, I thought there was not a lot of flavor very lacking in sweetness.

                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                            Sulfur dioxide is in a lot of dried fruit. One of the things it does is keep it from turning brown. If it weren't in the peaches, they wouldn't be that light color.

                                                            TJ's does have some sulfur-free dried apricots. They are a deep golden brown color and have a honey-like flavor and are definitely worth trying.

                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                              The organic Turkish apricots? I LOVE those.

                                                              1. re: Rilke

                                                                You know what's amazing, grind the apricots up in the food processor and add them to a butter cookie dough. The contrast of sweet rich smooth cookie and tart sharp chewy apricots is wonderful.

                                                            2. re: josephnl

                                                              I wouldn't buy the white peaches, but I think that preserving the fruit is a mandate for most people. I have no sensitivities to it, so I think it's okay.

                                                            3. re: Rilke

                                                              The earliest I remember buying the dried white peaches was for a backpacking trip in '07 and they were sulfured even then.

                                                              1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                Yes, sulfur dioxide has been use on dried fruit for a long time -- I couldn't find anything about it's historic use on fruit, but it's use in wine goes back to the Romans. It's an antioxidant that keeps the fruit from browning and tasting off. There's nothing scary about it, except if you are sensitive to sulfites in wine you might also be sensitive to sulfer dioxide in dried fruit. I sometimes wheeze if I eat dried fruit when I'm already sensitized by an allergen.

                                                            4. Yay on the puffed wheat with agave cereal. It's ever so slightly sweet and light as air. Yummy mixed into yogurt or as a snack. Pretty low calorie, too.

                                                              1. Yay to the Spinach & Kale Bites. They are so good! I think they'd be easy to make from scratch so I'll try that soon but for a quick something yummy, they are delicious.

                                                                1. YAYS
                                                                  Guacamame spicy edamame dip – continuing the guacamole convo from april, I wasn't expecting to like this but did. if you're craving guacamole, however, this is not it.
                                                                  Veggie and flaxseed tortilla chips – not bad but flavorwise, nothing special. I couldn't detect much of a difference between the spinach vs red beet and onion chips.

                                                                  MEH: lemon poppyseed greek yogurt muffins – moist and lemony, but too sweet for my taste.

                                                                  1. A double cheesey YAY -

                                                                    Toscano cheese with black pepper
                                                                    Gruyere Cheddar Melange

                                                                    Also, the cashews were returned without a hitch. They were confused at first since I had to package them in my own bag but as usual once they realized I was trying to return them, no questions asked.

                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                      Good to know. I'll be returning my ham next week.

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                        love the melange. combine with double cream gouda for great mac and cheese.

                                                                        1. re: wonderwoman

                                                                          Great idea. It's the cheese of choice for this week's quiche.

                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          I agree the toscano cheese with black pepper is fabulous. Really, it doesn't seem to matter what they put on the outside of that toscano cheese, it's always good.

                                                                          The spotlight cheese of the month was something with a lot of rosemary in it. It didn't sound good to me, since rosemary can be so strong. At $10.99 per pound I didn't buy it.

                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                            I agree, I wish it was throughout the cheese but I'll take what I get.

                                                                            I think the cheese of the month is a goat, sheep, cow cheese or at least I remember reading that and dismissing it since I hate goat's milk. http://m.traderjoes.com/digin/post/ci...

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                              My TJ's has wine tastings on Saturdays and today, the accompanying cheese was the spotlight with rosemary. It was quite good - like Iberico with fresh rosemary. I'd buy it.

                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                Ugh! I really hate goatmilk cheese (yogurt, milk, etc) as well- and ive tried a ton from fresh to flavored and aged. Sucks since it is one of the very few dairy products i can tolerate

                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                  Cheese of the month is cheese with herbs or spices.

                                                                                2. re: AmyH

                                                                                  First tried the black-pepper toscano a couple of years ago on a backpacking trip, and it was a huge hit. That and the goat gouda are my default backpacking cheeses now.

                                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                                    If it was the rosemary & olive oil Toscano, it really is good and one I almost always keep on hand. I don't think the rosemary is too strong, but then, I like rosemary.

                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    If you liked the Toscano with black pepper, try the Toscano soaked in Syrah. a YAY from me on both of them.

                                                                                      1. re: chowing kat

                                                                                        I just tried the Toscano soaked in Syrah I picked up last week. Great cheese! This goes into my rotation as long as it continues to be available. A pleasing flavor and texture.

                                                                                        1. re: Dave B

                                                                                          I like this one a lot, too. Just for a change, I bought the Black Pepper Toscano but I like the Syrah one better.

                                                                                    1. Today I saw a frozen fruit item that I had not seen before, whole figs. They were disappointing, not like fresh figs at all---they were mushy. The only way I can imagine using them would be to soak them in something alcoholic---port wine?--- or maybe poach them.

                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                                                        So good in a smoothie! Or see weezieduzzit's post above for a savory application.

                                                                                        1. re: Querencia

                                                                                          I used them in a savory dish and they were great. I caramelized onions to make a sort of tart and added slices of these figs (sliced frozen). They were the BEST addition to the onions! It baked up so perfectly (used phyllo dough on a cookie sheet). I also imagine they will be great in smoothies!

                                                                                          1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                            Mmm. Wonder how they'd be sliced and baked on pizza dough with some ham product, the onions, and gorgonzola cheese?

                                                                                            1. re: Leepa

                                                                                              I'm not a ham eater personally, but YES, do try the figs in savory applications and enjoy!! They were amazing with onions. They would be GREAT with gorgonzola as well!!! : )

                                                                                              1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                They'd be great! Fig, goat cheese, prosciutto and basil is my favorite pizza.

                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                  Fig, brie or cambazola, and ham with spring greens is my favorite sandwich. Great combo.

                                                                                            2. re: Querencia

                                                                                              I understand your disappointment. These are not for eating straight like a fresh fig. From frozen, they become mushy quickly. Not as sweet as black mission figs either. I mixed slices of them in yogurt. Ok, but not phenomenal. I can see how they would make good texture and sweetness in a smoothie. Although you end up with all the seeds floating around!

                                                                                              1. re: elise h

                                                                                                I just made an awesome green smoothie using these frozen figs! Figs, dried majoul dates for sweetness, spinach, banana, ff yogurt and a bit of skim milk. Toss in Vitamix and it is smooth, sweet, the prettiest light green and delicious!

                                                                                                1. re: elise h

                                                                                                  I absolutely agree. When you eat a fresh fig it's like biting into a bonbon---your teeth bite through the outer skin or "coating" then the inside is sweet and squishy. The frozen figs don't work that way---after they thaw they are mushy and sort of slimy. I could see using them in a cooking application or maybe marinating them in port wine. But just for eating plain I found them disappointing.

                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                    I can't think of a single fruit that is the same after it's been frozen as it was fresh so I didn't have that expectation of the figs. Plus, even the Fearless Flyer described them as soft.

                                                                                                2. re: Querencia

                                                                                                  I also had high hopes, and my bag, defrosted, had a weird taste and aroma (maybe picked up from the plastic bag?). I have a strong stomach but could not take a single bite when that odor hit me and returned them - my TJ's cashiers didn't like them either. I'm just going to stick to fresh and dried figs.

                                                                                                  1. re: HillsofBeverly

                                                                                                    I used them frozen straight out of the bag for smoothies and didn't notice any off odors.

                                                                                                    1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                      I just bought another bag, no odors in this one, either. I wonder if yours had thawed in transport and then refrozen, hills.

                                                                                                3. NAY NAY NAY NAY to the 100% blueberry juice. I had high hopes for this. I LOVE fresh and frozen blueberries. The 100% juice really didn't have very good flavor. Not sure what to do with it...either will dump it or add it to smoothies in small quantities.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                    My TJ's was offering smoothie samples today of the blueberry juice, plain Greek yogurt and frozen fruit blend. It was good or good enough - your smoothie idea is probably a good one.

                                                                                                    1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                      Smoothies or blend with other juices and wine for sangria :)

                                                                                                    2. Yay for the frozen bag of hash browns ,also the frozen latkes.

                                                                                                      1. MEH/NAY-Frozen stir fry vegetables--over half the bag is carrots.. ew (which I don't care for in asian stir-fry dishes at all).. contents do not match bag.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                          I have a bag in the freezer I haven't used yet. Now I'm interested to see if it's full of carrots. I'm not a big fan either.

                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                            I recently discovered the fresh stir-fry vegetables (in a round container in the veggie section), and it's great. It has peppers and broccoli and mushrooms, but also baby corn and other things you would never be able to buy in small quantities. I guess if you were very fussy with your stir-fry and wanted to add different vegetables at different times you might find it frustrating, but I liked it. I don't remember if it had carrots, but it wouldn't be hard to pick them out.

                                                                                                          2. nay to organic white basmati rice. turned to mush! will be making it into rice pudding.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                              Alka, That's a big Yay for us. we've been buying that OWBrice at TJ's for years! Never a problem. In fact there's a bag of that and TJ's brown basmati in the pantry right now.

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                In general, I find that basmati rice needs a lot less water than other types. Do you find that?

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  Frankly, our method for cooking rice lo these many years has been 1 cup rice to 2 cups water or broth. That ratio has stood up for all rices. When we have deviated per a recipe, for example, we have been disappointed. OTOH, when cooking a pilaf, we have adhered to the recipe without deviating. I have no idea why this works, but it has for many years.

                                                                                                            2. A Yay for the all natural uncured chicken hot dogs. No nitrates/nitrites.

                                                                                                              I noticed these in the new Fearless Flyer and grabbed a package to try. Quite tasty. and better nutritional specs and ingredients than normal hot dogs. I'll definitely keep getting these. Fully cooked so just heat 'em up in a skillet or on the grill.

                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                Do you happen to know how many calories per dog?

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  60 calories/dog. I really like the Apple Gate grass fed beef dogs which are also pretty reasonable 90 calories/dog.

                                                                                                                2. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                  I wonder if these have been changed since I tried them a year or two ago. Didn't like them at all back then - strange flavor and floppy texture. The only TJ's hot dogs I like at all are the uncured beef and I like them a lot.

                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                    <<I wonder if these have been changed since I tried them a year or two ago. >>

                                                                                                                    One way to find out!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                      Well, since I really didn't like them then, I'll pass. The beef hot dogs for me.

                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                        I haven't tried the beef version you like, but now I will.

                                                                                                                        Send me your address or bank account # and I'll send you the $3.99 so you can try the current chicken dogs. It's the only way I'll be able to find out if they are the same or different from the version TJ's sold in the past.

                                                                                                                    2. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                      Lol "floppy" is an accurate description-- they don't have the snap of a beef hotdog for sure.

                                                                                                                  2. It's been a full day of TJs eats. I don't think any of the following are new, but new to me and I figured worth another endorsement.

                                                                                                                    All YAYs -
                                                                                                                    Quick cook steel cut oats - love, I really liked the texture and they were super easy to cook

                                                                                                                    Low sodium roasted red pepper and tomato soup - delicious paired with the corn and rice

                                                                                                                    Whole kernel canned corn - great quality. I've read it is also sold in no salt added version but I can't find it at my store.

                                                                                                                    Frozen brown rice - Hallelujah!! I'm saved from rice hell! I can't make rice to save my life. No tips or tricks have helped. This is a super duper product.

                                                                                                                    Mini bagels - I'm not particular with bagels, but these will certainly work for me. I can't remember the price, but I think there are 12 in the bag which will last me probably a full year.

                                                                                                                    23 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      I can't make rice either and I love the frozen rice! The brown used to be my go-to, until I tried the rice medley-- brown, red, and black barley, iirc. Chewy, nutty, and delicious! Comes in a purple box; give it a try!

                                                                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                        Great, thanks for the recommendation. I eat rice like...never, but it would be nice to have options when I do. I can't believe how great it turned out and now I can avoid repeated rice disappointment.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                          I like the rice medley as well (BTW, I learned a long time ago that the key to making foolproof standard rice is NO PEEKING1 Do not open the lid to check unless you do that in the final few minutes)

                                                                                                                          1. re: foodiefan6

                                                                                                                            No "keys" will help this girl...rice has won the war :) Thanks, rice medley on the list. I love stockpiling TJs items in the freezer. I think I'm developing a hoarding disorder.

                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                Have you tried the pasta method of making rice? Bring large pot of salted water to rolling boil, add raw brown rice, boil uncovered for 30 min. Dump out through sieve, then right back into pot, slap the lid on, and let it sit off-heat for 10 minutes. The remaining water clinging to the exterior of the grains is absorbed, for perfect separate grains.

                                                                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                  Yup, tried it all. I'm OK with losing the war, I surrendered :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                    I was like you, but a $10 el cheapo rice cooker (I think I've had it for +20 years!) saved the day. No fuzzy logic, just an on/off switch. Also works for steaming veggies like artichokes and cauliflower.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                      Good point, that is the solution that would probably work. I eat rice about once every two to three months but if it's good for other things that might be a good investment...as if I needed another appliance :)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                        My place is overrun with cooking stuff; if you only make rice 4 + times a year, don't bother with a rice cooker. Just buy the frozen stuff from TJ since you like it.

                                                                                                                                        If you ever want to learn how to cook rice, go over to the home cooking section. I use a simple recipe from the late Barbara Tropp's cookbook "China Moon." It always turns out perfectly:

                                                                                                                                        http://books.google.com/books?id=smQn...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                            Tis the season at least in Boston when graduate students move on and sell off stuff cheap on Craigslist. I picked up a top of the line Zojirushi 10-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer for peanuts a few years ago.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                            We got a cheap Black and Decker Rice cooker and it is amazing. Before that we could never get it right. Totally worth the money!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                              I got a microwave rice cooker from Amazon after seeing it on ATK as one of their favorite gadgets. I just love it - it makes perfect rice every time (after much trial and error to find the right combination of time and settings for my microwave). I especially love how I can store the leftovers in the fridge right in the same container, and pop it back in the microwave to reheat.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                What brand? I think a rice cooker is the only gadget I don't have and I've vowed to avoid getting one but maybe....

                                                                                                                                              2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                I think a rice cooker is an awesome and inexpensive investment. I got one at Costco a few years ago for about $30. I think the brand is "Aroma." It works so well - perfect rice every time, no matter the variety of rice I use. It's no fail! A miracle! : )

                                                                                                                                                1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                  Mine's a 10-cup Zojirushi fuzzy logic model that's perfect in every way.It was pricey but we use the heck out of it and therefore it was absolutely worth it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                    If you eat rice a lot you can cook a huge potful and freeze individual portions in plastic sandwich bags. This works MUCH better if you use golden rice aka converted rice aka parboiled rice--the grains stay apart. A quick zap and you're done.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                      i don't know what rice you have compared to your golden rice, but ime brown basmati, basmati, brown short grain and TrJ multigrain mix- freeze just fine (no clumping problems.) Since learning that white rice is not a very nutritious choice, i have changed to brown rice and other whole grains- pretty completely. Delish!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                        I love that rice medley too. I use it to make a crustless quiche , in case you might like it:
                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8198...

                                                                                                                                      3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                        Love that roastedred pepper soup, and the frozen brown rice is awesome! I would never cook brown rice for just one or two servings so i love that. Also perfect for curries and such.
                                                                                                                                        My poor le creuset is relieved i gave up on burning rice into it :)

                                                                                                                                      4. Hope i can save some of you before trying these: The Mushroom Mochi dumplings are possibly the single worst thing I have ever tasted from TJ. I simply CANnot imagine the tasting panel that approved this product.
                                                                                                                                        Just imagine chewy sweet mochi that is wonderful filled with sweet red bean paste, but now imagine it filled with shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, oyster sauce. grooooooss.

                                                                                                                                        The pad see ew worked out pretty well tonight when I stir fried the chewy rice noodles and veggies& tofu cubes with my own minced ginger, chopped broccoli , and sauce. I had tried the provided sauce before and not liked it, plus it has a horrifying amount of sodium, and sugar, so i mixed up my own concoction of tamari, rice wine vinegar, curry powder and cornstarch and used 3-4 T. for a whole package , and got a good dinner out of it. Next time i'll add some TJ stir fried veg too. My fav thing is the chewy rice noodles but you CAN overcook them, in which case they get a bit too soft...

                                                                                                                                        20 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                          Actually, savory fillings inside mochi wrappers are common in Chinese cooking. In addition to vegetables, you will find ground pork and shrimp fillings. Sorry you did not like the mushroom dumplings.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: elise h

                                                                                                                                            elise, in CHINA? or here? i've been eating dimsum in boston for 40 years and in san fran for 15 yrs and never saw it (or on a menu either.)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                              Mochi are not exclusively for sweet fillings.

                                                                                                                                              There are numerous dumplings that has thick chewy translucent wrapper and savory fillings in Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese cooking.

                                                                                                                                              Pan fried chive dumplings and fun gaw, are probably the most common chewy wrapper, savory filling for dim sum. There is also a deep fried one, but the name escapes me, it's something "gok".

                                                                                                                                              1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                                                                                yep. i'm with elise and gnomatic.

                                                                                                                                                gnomatic: you might be thinking of "ham siu gok" or "gai loong." alternative names / romanizations are "haam seoi gok" or "haam seoi gaau," although i'm most familiar with the first two.

                                                                                                                                                i love the contrast between the savory filling and slightly sweet, chewy, deep-fried rice dough. yum.

                                                                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dim_sum#...

                                                                                                                                                edit: to be fair, i'm not sure the dough used in those chinese dumplings could properly be called mochi. i think mochi refers to a specific sort of japanese food item. a more accurate / generic term might be glutinous rice.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                  i've had tons of glutinous rice dim sum, steamed, deep fried, etc. and I have made them myself. But i have never had a sweet mochi dough with a savory filling at any chinese restnt in boston.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                    sure, i believe you [i'm being sincere btw]. maybe dim sum in boston is different than dim sum in new york, which is where i've always had it.

                                                                                                                                                    dough made with glutinous rice flour may not always be sweet but the wrapper for ham sui gok certainly is, and as far as i can tell it's widely available in NYC chinatowns. quick googling suggests that sugar is actually added to the dough (just a little bit) so it's not only the natural flavor of the rice flour. that might sound weird but if you ever see it, i'd encourage you to try it! :D

                                                                                                                                                    maybe that same sorta sweet-savory combination was what trader joe's was going for. maybe they made a mistake and went a little too far with the sweetness. i can't say as i haven't tried the mushroom mochi.

                                                                                                                                                    i'm just sayin' chewy sweet dough with savory filling isn't completely unheard of.

                                                                                                                                                    [if you're interested in bonafides, i am chinese and have been eating dim sum since i was old enough to take the subway without bursting into tears :]

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                      thx so much for educating me about there being some examples of Chinese sweet rice flour dough containing savory fillings. Indeed, the dim sum you refer to,ham siu gok, IS served for dim sum here- a football shaped sticky rice dough, filled with pork, shrimp and water chestnuts, and deep fried. I honestly believe i blocked it out because i dislike it so much! But, to me, the wrapper is not like mochi in texture or flavor.Now i guess i need to understand the difference between japanese mochi and chinese rice flour dough.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                        I'm glad we can learn from each other and expand our chow experiences. Dim sum can vary so much in quality and is often confusing if you don't read chinese. For example, the wonderful pan fried mochi dough wrapped shrimp and chive dumpling is called a "chive dumpling" at my favorite dim sum restaurant. There's no inkling of the plump shrimp inside. I encourage you to try ham siu gok at other restaurants and bakeries. You might take a fancy to it!

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                      hello! long time reader first time poster, so i hope i'm doin' it right. some of these aren't new / have probably been mentioned before but i thought i'd add in my two cents.

                                                                                                                                                      YAY:

                                                                                                                                                      - Garlic and Herb Butter
                                                                                                                                                      - Clarified Butter / Ghee
                                                                                                                                                      - Organic Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
                                                                                                                                                      - Frozen Edamame [in the shell, unsalted]
                                                                                                                                                      - Frozen Soycutash: i like TJ's frozen veggies in general :]
                                                                                                                                                      - Kansas City BBQ sauce: bold and smoky, but maybe a touch too salty.

                                                                                                                                                      - 2% and 0% Greek Yogurts
                                                                                                                                                      i like the plain 2% for recipes and the 0% for snacking. i can confirm that the 0% vanilla is delicious, but slightly too sweet for my taste. 8 ounces of plain 2% drained overnight + extra virgin olive oil + za'atar = delicious labne! i've tried to make the same thing with supermarket brands like chobani and fage and for some reason they never seemed quite right.

                                                                                                                                                      - Spinach, Fontina, and Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage
                                                                                                                                                      i love how moist and juicy this cooks up. maybe it's my technique, but i've found that some of the other chicken sausages can be relatively dry. i'm lookin' at you, sweet italian style.

                                                                                                                                                      - Fruit Frenzy Bars in raspberry, lemon, and strawberry
                                                                                                                                                      i am seriously addicted to those popsicles. the strawberry layer is my favorite, with the lemon layer a close second. there are seeds in the berry layers [made with real fruit!] so you might want to avoid these if that kinda thing bothers you.

                                                                                                                                                      Mango Sorbet
                                                                                                                                                      so tasty! i've been looking for a good mango sorbet and i think this might be my favorite. haagen dazs is also pretty good, but a little sweeter / without that hint of tartness. TJ's mango sorbet tastes like straight-up fresh mangos whereas haagen dazs reminds me more of mango candy.

                                                                                                                                                      SOMEWHAT YAY: Reduced Guilt Stuffed Shells.

                                                                                                                                                      the filling is on the goopy side but the pasta seemed al dente and the nutritional data looked good. i added a few dollops of TJ's tomato sauce for extra flavor and it made a decent meal.

                                                                                                                                                      YMMV. please note that i am a tiny size asian person with zero decent italian restaurants in my neighborhood :]

                                                                                                                                                      [someday i will just make and freeze my own manicotti and/or stuffed shells. today is not that day.]

                                                                                                                                                      MEH / NAY:

                                                                                                                                                      - Tartar Sauce
                                                                                                                                                      i dunno man. i thought it had this rather off-putting, too-sweet flavor. i guess i like more savory / less sweet tartar sauces?

                                                                                                                                                      - Caramelized Onion Dip
                                                                                                                                                      i know tons of people love it, but i wasn't a fan of the creaminess [both texture- and flavor-wise]. for some reason i think i'd like it more if it were yogurt-based. as it stands i think i prefer onion jam and homemade caramelized onions for getting my daily dose of onion-y goodness.

                                                                                                                                                      - Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins
                                                                                                                                                      another popular treat that i'm not a huge fan of. i think this has taught me that i like things that are more aggressively lemon-y and/or tart. bring on the lemonade and lemon bars!

                                                                                                                                                      - Cinnamon Almonds
                                                                                                                                                      would've been better with a mix of different spices, and they weren't very cinnamon-y anyway. they mostly tasted like almonds covered in sugar. one-dimensional and meh.

                                                                                                                                                      of course this is all according to personal taste, so don't feel obligated to try / shun something based on my say-so! :]

                                                                                                                                                      looking forward to trying: frozen breaded cod, frozen rice medley in the purple box, salsa autentica, plantain chips, citrus gummies, and some sort of olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                        woops. guess i'm doin' it wrong :D i didn't mean to post that there, and could've sworn i wrote it up in the right box. oh well.

                                                                                                                                                        also: apologies for the giant wall of text!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                          Welcome to CH!!
                                                                                                                                                          The soycuttash is one of my favorites, and TJs price on edamame can't be beat

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                          Great post! Thanks for your comments! I love this board!!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                            I agree with the yay on the marinara, and I like that fact that it's in a real mason jar that can be re-used.

                                                                                                                                                            You have convinced me to try the mango sorbet. I'm an hour from TJs but I'll plan accordingly so it will stay solid until I get home.

                                                                                                                                                            No apologies on posting long or wrong. It's all good at the end of the day :-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                              I've become a jar hoarder. The almond butter jars are overflowing...perhaps it's a sign I need to eat less of it :)

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                              Lovely post, please continue! Your sparkly personality really comes through in your writing, by the way.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                                Welcome, and thanks for the report! I love the lemon curd (jarred, usually with the jams) and the frozen lemon bars! And if you're looking for an olive oil to try, the California estate EVOO is by far my favorite one!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                                  The cinnamon almonds are good in a biscotti recipe posted over on Serious Eats. I haven't tried eating them out of hand yet.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: angeblah

                                                                                                                                                                Yes..that's the name. My chinese is very rusty, much to the dismay of my mom.

                                                                                                                                                                I have seen it at dim sum in Toronto, NYC, Hong Kong, Vancouver, and San Francisco ( I actually just saw it today when I went to pick up some dim sum in Chinatown).

                                                                                                                                                                I suspect the sugar in the dough help it get that golden brown, slight gloss once fried.

                                                                                                                                                                I think Trader Joe's version might be their fusion take on the Vietnamese banh it tran.

                                                                                                                                                        3. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                          I enjoy the mushroom mochi. Have bought them multiple times.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bax

                                                                                                                                                            Me, too. Love the savory mushroom taste.

                                                                                                                                                        4. I finally had a chance to try the Green Olive Tapenade I brought home from Chicago last month and unfortunately we'd have to give it a NAY.

                                                                                                                                                          I admit the tapenade had visual appeal and looked quite promising but in the end it was the lingering rosemary flavour that put us all off. We felt it gave the tapenade a somewhat of a medicinal aftertaste. The good news is I won't have to schlep any more home in my suitcase!!

                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            Oh no, I love that stuff. Rosemary? Wow, I've never detected rosemary. I need to have my palette checked. It's the one in the jar right?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                              Is this the stuff in a little plastic tub in the refrigerated spreads section? I don't recall any rosemary, but I do remember being put off by a strong marjoram flavor.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                I don't like the version in the little plastic tub in the refrigerated section. I, however, love the shelf jarred version. They were very different to me.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, me too. Very different--that's why I wanted to clarify.

                                                                                                                                                            2. YAY! Manuka honey.

                                                                                                                                                              Thick, creamy, herbal and not so sweet. This isn't a honey you'd drizzle over something but if you have a sore throat this is a life saver!

                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                I got mine too! :DD NOTE: This is a very pricy honey... I think TJs has it for $10.99. Much cheaper than most places, but it's still kicks up your final ring! LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                  What is this sort of honey like? I am unfamiliar with it! What makes it different from most other honeys? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                                    It's super thick, almost like creamed honey but not as sweet. It's supposed to have some magical health powers, but I don't buy into it... It's just the perfect honey for my green teas (most honeys are too sweet sharp)

                                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                  WOW! I'll definitely pick some up.

                                                                                                                                                                  Manuka honey is more of a first aid than something you'd eat for breakfast. It's got a faint medicinal flavor, sort of a light menthol taste. In New Zealand it's widely used as a folk remedy -- people put it on cuts to heal them, stir it into tea for sore throats, or just eat it on toast to help prevent colds. It's great stuff and usually costs about $25 for a little jar.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                    It's not just a folk remedy: there are FDA-approved commercial wound treatments based on manuka honey. Google "Medihoney".

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                      I've heard that it's recommended for acid reflux relief, too.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                      Manuka honey is the result of bees feeding on the pollen of the plant from which tea tree oil comes.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. YAY/NAY, overall NAY - Quattro Fromaggio Cheese Blend, great mix of cheeses, great flavor, awful melting properties. I decided to stop buying shredded cheese a long time ago but I really wanted to try this mix and forgot how much I dislike the effect of cellulose on cheese. I should have known when the cheese texture was like stiff hay as I poured it out. I'll probably freeze it and throw it into something for a holiday meal sometime in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                      I quite like the habanero pepper jack-- it comes in a green bag. It's the only pre-shredded cheese I buy, and I've never noticed a problem with meltability.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                        Hmm I'll look into that, sounds tasty. Have you tried the Quattro?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                          It melts fine, but, for example, the cabot pepper jack melts even better. I use both for quesadillas but when I want a nice melted top layer I go for the cabot. The taste of the habaneero pepper jack is pretty excellent, though, I almost always have some in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Bought a few new things this trip but haven't done much tasting so will report back as I use.

                                                                                                                                                                        I did get a bag of the frozen figs, and reading the reviews, I think I may try them mixed into quick break or scones.

                                                                                                                                                                        Also saw the cracked pepper snack sticks which I haven't seen before so I grabbed a couple.

                                                                                                                                                                        Picked up one each of the frozen basil and garlic cubes, as I've heard so many raves about them. I typically make loads of pesto in the summer, but this seemed like a nice short cut to have on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                        Soy chorizo, which a sales clerk raved about. At first I thought I could throw it on the grill but it needs to come out of the casing so I think I will cook up with some eggs and hash browns for breakfast burritos. How does everyone else use it?

                                                                                                                                                                        I love candy so had to get a bag of mango gummies and the candy coated licorice, which I'm guessing are similar to good and plenty?

                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah...Couldn't pass up a bag of the sour cream and onion puffs, I'm a salt addict and these are a great nighttime snack!

                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, the CA EVOO, very good.

                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, frozen leeks, great roasted with potatoes. Also bought a bag of the artichokes, again after hearing good things here.

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for all the TJ input!

                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                                          I cook the soy chorizo in a cast iron pan with olive oil, onions, the frozen tri-color bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, and frozen artichoke hearts or asparagus and then add whipped eggs and buttermilk to the pan, sprinkle it with cheese, and put it under the broiler to make a fast "Mexican" frittata. Serve with salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                          The candy coated licorice is similar to Good & Plenty but has more candy in proportion to licorice and the shell is different.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, that sounds good, thanks for the recipie! Sounds like dinner one night this week....

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                              The candy coated licorice was a nay for me, for just the reason you mentioned (proportions)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                I second that. I'm not thrilled with the candy coated licorice (which I picked up today to try out because of this discussion), but like it enough to off the box of them.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                                              How can you shop at TJ's and not pick up frozen croissants? They are wonderful...perhaps the very best TJ's product. We alternate between the almond and chocolate croissants each Sunday, and can't imagine a Sunday breakfast without them.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                                                                I still have some plain and almond in the freezer and yes they are very good, I'm just not a huge croissant fan. And after a week of indulgence in New Orleans, my body needs a breather:)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                I break up the chorizo and cook it with spinach and other greens. And of course in dishes that call for chorizo.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  I chop and sautee the soyrizo with mushrooms and whatever veggies for tacos.

                                                                                                                                                                                  TJs larger italian soy sausages are excellent and perfect for grilling fyi

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ok, Nay for me as well on the candy, the description about too much candy coating is spot on....

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah on the soy chorizo. Cooked some red pepper, onions, mushrooms then added the 1/2 the package to heat, added eggs and cheese and into the broiler. With tortillas and hash browns on the side, a very good dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Here's a tip for anyone who buys a TJ Chicken Pot Pie. Cook it in the oven. I followed the microwave instructions and the top came out burnt around the rim and not done in the middle. Tasted ok, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree, never done it in the microwave, and oven takes a bit longer, but it's worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                                                                                                                        I have to give the Chicken Pot Pie a NAY. I thought the filling was gluey, underseasoned, and bizarrely lacking in chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I agree, Breadcrumbs. While I didn't identify it as rosemary, there is a definite aftertaste which I find unpleasant.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Huge YAY for the Black Forest Uncured Bacon. Delicious!
                                                                                                                                                                                          Pretty decent sized NAY for the Lobster Ravioli. Good flavor but too many shells in the filling. I hate having to pick through my food for inedibles.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Yay: superfruits organic fruit spread. Very tasty mixed in with some plain (European style non-fat) yogurt. I'm always looking for new, not too sweet things to mix in and this was great. I had been scared to try it because one of the fruits is pomegranate, but it wasn't seedy at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                              It has pomegranate concentrate, so it shouldn't have seeds. Looks like it's made by Crofter's.

                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Cinco de Mayo dinner:

                                                                                                                                                                                              --TJ's carnitas (longtime favorite)
                                                                                                                                                                                              --TJ's corn tortillas (pretty standard for pre-made corn tortillas)
                                                                                                                                                                                              --TJ's Wisconsin extra sharp cheddar (not as sharp as billed, but okay)
                                                                                                                                                                                              --TJ's sour cream (a staple)
                                                                                                                                                                                              --TJ's double-roasted salsa (very nice flavor, though not terribly spicy)
                                                                                                                                                                                              --TJ's Avocado's Number Guacamole (my favorite supermarket guac, which may sound like damning with faint praise, but it's actually pretty good)
                                                                                                                                                                                              --Onion, tomato, lettuce

                                                                                                                                                                                              On the whole, some damn good tacos. You could do better making your own tortillas (which is more work) and your own carnitas (which is a hell of a lot more work), but for a weekday dinner it's really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                +1 on the Number Guac - I love it, and it freezes really well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Had some of the leftover guac last night with TJ's Organic Corn Chip Dippers, which have become a staple for us. Like big Frito's, only better. Really good with the guac.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                  TV, where are the corn tortillas please? Are they in the frozen section? I've been loving Whole Foods organic yellow corn tortillas ($1.29 per pkg of 12)...but am open to trying TJ's...just have never seen them...thank you in advance!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The likely reason that you have never seen them is that they disappear off the shelf. One of the employees told me to call ahead and ask them to hold a bag for me on a day when I will be shopping there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are in the baked goods area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                      As EM23 says, in the baked goods section. I don't recall the exact price, but I don't think they were much less than $1.29 (for 13). Never occurred to me that they fly off the shelves (and that may vary by geography--here in California they may make more of point of keeping the tortillas stocked), possibly because I always go to TJ's at 8 am or shortly thereafter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They also have "hand-made" corn tortillas that are much more expensive (something like $2.79 for a dozen); I haven't tried them, so I have no idea if they're worth more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought the handmade corn tortillas were good-- they are corn and wheat, and much more soft and pliable as a result.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                          No - there are corn and wheat ones (which are my favorite that they have) and there are also handmade corn ones, which I don't like as well as either the corn and wheat or the regular corn tortillas. The handmade flour tortillas are worth the markup though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree - I love their handmade flour tortillas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I made the trek today..promised myself I'd try and keep it under a C-note. Not wanting to be among the "faithful' as they filled the aisles with their lavish quests, I got there at 8:30AM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    What a dream! Maybe 20-25 ppl in the whole store! Never more than one or 2 in any aisle blocking traffic as they read every ingredient on the label in 3part harmony..

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Best of all.right into checkout and not a single gushing comment other than "thank you"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Seriously, I enjoy TJ and like to browse, but on most days that is impossible. I did get the chicken sausage featured on this months flyer and had one for lunch....very tasty, hint of spice. Picked up some of the other "yays" here to try and got swept up by some of the flyer pushes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Two big YAYS for me are TJ has Grade B Maple Syrup which I much prefer for its bold color and flavor. Price on the shelf was $13.99 for a qt but I checked my receipt and got tagged for $16.99. Still good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The other is their "many Cloves Garlic Sauce" which is part of my beef bourgignon /stew tonight. I love its versatility

                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I only go to TJs at off hours, usually early morning or random early afternoons. Wow no convo even when the store was pretty empty?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is that the kalbi sausage? It's on my list of potential new items.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If it's that one being touted as Korean BBQ influences....yeah! It was good, stayed "meaty" with a bit of sausage "squirt" to the casing. I pan fied it with some onions and had it on an amoroso roll. didn't really need anything more

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My last visit came to $6.47. Love it! I would have spent double that at Fairway for the same haul.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Laughing because now we are 50 miles away and it gets pricey. A year ago I lived with 1/2 mile and then went frequently on foot and used the express line so never dropped the kind of money we do now. Agree you can't beat the prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "What a dream! Maybe 20-25 ppl in the whole store! Never more than one or 2 in any aisle blocking traffic as they read every ingredient on the label in 3part harmony.."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sort of OT, but just last week I found out my TJ's was the busiest in the country up until they opened one in Manhattan (and it's still the busiest store in CA). What you describe is a distant fantasy for me, alas...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. BIG YAY to the new (?) dried Mandarin orange slices. Not the 'crispy' ones -- though those might be good too, I don't know -- but the chewy 'juicy' ones. They're my new food addiction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love both. I crumble the crispy ones up in my morning yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Are both in the dried fruits area? I've never seen either but would certainly like to try both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have only seen (and tried) the crunch, fully dehydrated ones. Have not seen the chewy ones! Where are they in the store? Wonder if all stores carry them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In my store, the soft and juicy mandarins are in the trail mix aisle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think all stores carry them but they've gone missing for months at a time and I've been told they're somewhat seasonal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm late to the party but I found these chewy dried mandarins yesterday! They truly are delicious! I got two bags, knowing they can be hard to find. In fact, as I was searching for them, a mom with her little girl was looking, looking, looking and said to me, "are you also looking for the mandarin oranges? They are always out of stock!" And then we found them! Hooray!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Meh to the salt water taffy. Definitely a nay to the red licorice flavor. Still not 100% sure on the other flavors. Wish that they had a flavor guide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Last week at TJ in San Francisco area they were selling 2 kinds of artichokes .. the best ones were perfect, 99 cents each. (I roasted them, my new favorite way to cook them.) Went back today for more and none of the "best" ones, found out they come in on Thurs, Fri, Sat only and those are days I don't shop. They said they'd save some for me when I go again in a week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gazpacho is back .. I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Masonic? I love the big, meaty 99 cent artichokes they often have...none there last weekend, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't have the fortitude to fight my way into the parking lot at Masonic. Today I was at Stonestown; they said they'd run out. Last week, Thurs? I got these special ones at Westlake. Maybe you could call first but Stonestown claimed every store around here would get them Thurs, Fri, Sat. Make sure you specify these special ones, I don't know what they're called.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really like the vibe, spaciousness of the Hyde/Cal store. This place sparkles .. it's so clean and workers are great, as usual. I live in the Sunset so I don't shop downtown that often. Wish we had a TJ and WF in outer Richmond, Sunset!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like the Hyde/Cal store as well. Days when I'm not too busy at the office (and weather permits) I can take the cable car up there and buy some lunches for work, which is kind of a fun excursion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you tried the Super Spinach Salad? I buy it every week. I don't really care for the carrot puree miso dressing that comes with it so I discard it and put olive oil and black raspberry vinegar. I add lettuce, avocado, cucumber.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Haven't tried that. I do really like the salad with blue cheese, walnuts, & dried cranberries with raspberry vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought the blue cheese in that one was WAY too strong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. FINally had the new Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni.tonight. One pkg. serves one. Cannelloni has a meat filling and these are really manicotti, but they are still very good. The Pasta is fine, the filling is very good and flavorful, including spinach and ricotta and mascarpone + more, topped w/ both a tomato and a beschamel sauce which are very good. I do think they should have more tomato sauce and less beschamel, but i will just supplement with my own next time..400 calories- not bad i thought, and I found the portion size to be just right- for me, anyway. 6 min in the microwave. Wow, pretty darn good. So I'm psyched!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    **These boxes can be very difficult to find in the freezer section: they are black, so they receded from sight, and are only 5 1/2" square.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Big Yay for this month's spotlight cheese -- Himmel Bla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A cheese probably suitable for lovers of blue cheese and strong, pungent cheeses only. I feel the label is somewhat inaccurate. It reads; "Mild, sweet and wonderfully creamy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a fairly bold and aggressive blue, not mild at all. And while the texture certainly isn't crumbly, I wouldn't describe it as all that creamy either. The texture is right in the middle. So what if I believe the label description to be wrong....as a lover of strong blue cheeses the Himmel Bla is a big yay for me. Love this stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dave B

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are you sure it's "Himmel Bla" and not "Himmel Blau?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is indeed "Himmel Bla", which made me giggle in TJ's as I imagined a German vampire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "blå" = "blue" in Danish. The cheese originates from Denmark, not Germany.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Thai Chicken Citrus Salad- Meh. The dressing was too tangy for me and I'm still hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DH and love this salad! But we both like sour/tart stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had an expectation so that was the problem. I was hoping it would taste like a salad I love at a Cambodian restaurant aptly named "Cambodian Salad" - a bit sweeter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. The high-protein tofu is great - super firm texture and almost no moisture at all. I'll definitely buy it again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So glad you posted this as I have a block of it in the back of my refrigerator that I forgot about. I have very little experience cooking tofu. Any advice?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I shredded it and used it in a stir-fried, mock fried rice dish, where it worked very well due to its dryness. I think it would be great in any type of stir-fried, deep-fried or grilled application, because of its nice meaty texture. I wouldn't use it in mapo tofu or anything like that, where you want the tofu to be a little soft.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good to know -- I just bought a block of it a few days ago!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also great crumbled and used for tofu scramble, or for chili or tacos!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yep! No pressing or draining required...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I swear its the only tofu i buy anymore! No more pressing for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is great to know. This tofu has stymied me for how I could use it. No pressing? Count me in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. They have some very very thin flatbread crackers- sorry, don't remember the name, it's probably Italian, French, or geographically close- that I cannot stop eating until they're gone. DAMN those crackers are good. They look sort of like matzos, only much thinner and more delicate. I owe DH at least three packages, and must get more for myself tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yep! Great with cheese (I loved them with last months' blue) and just plain on their own... I am a Cracker SNOB (I transport my favorite all time crackers, Judy's Country Crackers, which USED to be TJ's Somewhat Seedy Toasts) and I always have a box on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just demolished a box in a couple of days, they are wonderful and addictive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            will these replace my pita crisps in addictive versatility?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think so. These don't have the same satisfying crunch of pita chips and the also don't do well as dippers because they are so thin. They are wonderful with a touch of sliced cheese or meat and for being so thin they do hold up quite well. But it'd be unfair to think they could replace a good dipping chip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wont buy them anymore they are literally so addictive. Too expensive then imo. If the box was twice the size I'd reconsider them again. But I've ate the whole box in 1 sitting twice now - enough! lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: daver9000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I bought another box to have with cheese, as the first box disappeared immediately upon opening. Took the cheese out of the frig to come to room temp bu by the time it did, the crackers were gone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These crackers are addictive. I can't buy them anymore!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I think babka is a new item in the NYC stores, so I'm in trouble now...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bought it, and finished in two days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What kind of babka? And all I can hear in my head right now is Jerry and Elaine's conversation about chocolate vs. cinnamon babka :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. Chocolate is the superior babka. I haven't tried the TJ's version yet, but only because my darling daughter brought me one from Zaro's in NYC for mother's day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wegmans carries babka from Green's in Brooklyn. The chocolate is ridiculously good. The cinnamon is almost as good (but not quite, of course).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sadly Wegmans has no stores in Albany, sigh... But I do go past the Dewitt one a couple times per months, and may just have to swing in and get one! Thanks for the heads up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I swung by the Dewitt Wegmans and picked up a chocolate babka made by Green's. Amazingly, it was pretty much the same as the TJ's babka. Very chocolatey, not much dough. The look and taste were nearly identical, and I wouldn't be surprised if Green's was supplying the babkas for TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How does it compare to the one sold at Russ & Daughters? (The only one I've tried and I adore it.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hmm, this article seems to indicate Green's makes Russ & Daughters' and Dean & Deluca's babkas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.grubstreet.com/2013/11/gre...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The one at TJ's is significantly cheaper than what the article says is the wholesale price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The one at TJ's is also much more chocolatey and has chocolate chips on top but they could have requested it to be made that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are dangerous. I bought another one and it only lasted 2 1/2 days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We thought they were pretty equivalent in chocolatey-ness. You're right that the top of the TJ's is darker and has chocolate chips, though. But inside we thought they were the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Has anyone seen the Babkas on the West Coast? I'm in SoCal and asked a clerk at my regular TJs, and he had no idea what I was even talking about...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I got one today. It is very good, lots of chocolate, nice and fresh. DANGEROUS!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It does have an odd ingredient list: tofu?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The chocolate babka is really good but I decided today while eating a slice for breakfast that it has too much chocolate to eat early in the morning. It is really more like a dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I never thought I would say "too much chocolate" about anything but it's too much for me before lunch even with black coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There is almost no plain pastry inside not drenched in chocolate. There is literally one thin line running through the slice that is untouched. The chocolate chips sprinkled on top are overboard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now for dessert, on the other hand, it's perfect!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The loaf is 18 oz. and was $4.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've always thought of babka as more of a brunch dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes but this is so chocolatey, I don't think I would even like it after an early eggy brunch. It would have to be after a later brunch with a more lunch-like main course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Russ, you are absolutely right. That's some chocolatey babka! I like to have a bit more dough between the chocolate, as does my husband. My boys, however, wolfed it right down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's hard to believe, isn't it? =8O

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Does anyone know if the babka is available elsewhere in the TJ's empire?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Not a resounding yay but a fairly happy yay for the scallion pancakes (frozen section, comes with four nice sized ones). They have great texture and appearance but are slightly bland. My daughter and I are eating them now with dipping sauces which brought them to life a bit more. I am using plum sauce from our local Asian market and she is using soy sauce. I would say they need a little more zest, but they are good nonetheless. Lots of scallions in there, also a bit of carrot and leeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I liked the scallion pancakes on first bite, but as I continued to eat it, it just seemed greasier and greasier, and I got really turned off. I composted the rest of the bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: christy319

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I hear ya. I would say to those who want to try them, cook them in a tiny amount of oil....just enough to get them browned but not greasy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or cook them in the oven with no added oil, and blot it all up when you take them out. I like them a lot, but I agree they need a sauce. The Gyoza Dipping Sauce is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I just tried the mini ice cream cones, 8 for $2.99 (I think). Tiny, less than an ounce each. But a thin chocolate coating, over the ice cream and inside of the cone. Sugar cone stayed crispy out of the freezer. I tried the chocolate ice cream -- also come in vanilla. I will buy them again, perfect for when you just need a taste of something sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Don't know yet: frozen fried zucchini. Saw it for the first time today, bought it on an impulse. If it's any good, this could totally change my life*.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              *In the sense of being one more good Trader Joe's product for me to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like those! They are kind of oily but yummy all at once. I dipped them in BBQ sauce. Kind of a treat, though - it's a way of taking poor innocent, low calorie zucchini and really globbing it up with calories!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i really dislike the froz eggplant slices because the coating is thick crackermeal and you can't taste the eggplant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  However, the zucch is coated w/ flour, makes for a thin crispy shell and you can really taste the zucch. Just add lemon juice before serving. And watch the oven to make sure you don't over or undercook them. Will need oil blotting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just for balance, I'll chime in with a Yea for the eggplant. Maybe I can't taste the eggplant - what does eggplant taste like, anyway? :-) - but I like the taste it has.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the eggplant slices, too. They're very convenient when I want a little on top of a pasta dinner while others in the family are eating meatballs with theirs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I usually have the eggplant slices in my freezer. I agree that they don't have that intense and slightly sharp eggplant flavor and are relatively mild but I still enjoy them with the marinara either in a sandwich or with pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Frozen pad see ewe - NAY. Nay beyond belief. Noodles are gelatinous blobs, tofu tastes and feels like a wet sponge. Taste is bland, the whole thing has a bitter aftertaste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Karat Cake - outstanding. Can't believe it came from the freezer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Yay for the "Ginger Chews." They are not a TJ's brand but are sold at TJ's. They come in a mint green bag and contain about 25 "chews."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The bag describes them as "sweet-hot ginger candy, natural, stimulating and delicious." I would say this is an apt description. They start off sweet but as you get into it, you feel some strong gingery heat. Kind of a fun little item if you dig ginger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or if you're pregnant - very helpful for morning sickness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RabbiBeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Excellent if you're on a boat in choppy waters as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Chicken Parmigiana with Marinara Sauce - refrigerator item. Had high hope for this but it was MEH. The chicken was dry (I used the oven method so maybe a microwave would be better?) but it was kind of underwhelming in general.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You are brave Berheenia to give it a try. Wondering if there are any refrigerated prepared meals that are tasty (chicken piccata? Greek chicken with orzo?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really like the Rosmary Chicken with Wild Rice Pilaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. This is a shout-out for the Amarone della Valpolicella 2010. Delicious red wine that came highly recommended from a TJ crew member. I can taste why. I decanted and let ours breathe for an hour before serving with bolognese. Excellent. Our guests raved, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A bit pricey at $18.99, but very good quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A good Amarone is always pricey, and I'd say you got it at a very good price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agreed! Still more than I usually pay for a bottle, except for special occasions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I bought a package of the Applewood smoked bacon ends and pieces last week - delicious, although very fatty. Luckily I can always find a use for bacon grease, but I would say that I got maybe 5-6oz of edible (and still fatty) bacon bits out of the 16oz package. Tasty stuff, though. I bought a package of the regular slices as well, but that is NOT a steal, at $4.99 for 12oz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I bought the ends-and-pieces and got even less edible bacon out of the pound. Half of it was whole bacon-shaped slices of pure fat; the rest was mostly fat. So, a NAY for this (unless you are just looking to get some bacon grease!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. It must be luck of the draw on the bacon bits. I got a full lb of rolled up bacon. Looked like different slices from maybe another full 12 oz pkg when they had 1-2 slices left over. Marginally fattier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I tried to pick through and find one that looked meaty from the outside, but no dice. I'll try harder next time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i tried that once years ago and never got it again. was really a bunch of junk pieces. (and i love bacon). will look again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Its great for us because we rarely eat bacon as bacon- it's an ingredient/ seasoning or I'm just looking to render it for the fat anyhow so the ends and pieces are perfect for us. If you're looking to use it as bacon slices you're bound to be disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What about for just bits of bacon? Not just for the fat? I thought it'd be handy for when you want to sprinkle bacon but my first package several months ago was pretty much all fat. I have jars upon jars of bacon fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          no -- i didn't even find it satisfactory for that. as i recall, it was extremely unevenly cut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, I'll find out tonight. My first package was useless. We'll see how this one fares when I open it. If it's like the first, it's going back...perhaps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i can get 12-16 oz. of bacon for @$3.50 on sale. really decent whole strips of bacon. and i can eat the crispy slices after rendering their fat -- on a good old BLT. not much finer than that! if i want small pieces for black eyed peas, i just chop up three slices or so….then render those, and keep the crispy bits in the peas. YUM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I tried it once, hated it and of course since someone brought it up right before my shopping trip yesterday, I bought it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I buy this occasionally and then chop it up (raw) and freeze it in small portions. I toss it in when I need some bacony flavor in something, like green beans, kale, and other recipes that call for a small amount of bacon. We don't eat it like regular bacon, I only use it for cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now I feel less stupid for spending time sorting through the bacon ends and pieces. I just opened the pack and it's 75% full sized slices of bacon. The discovery was useful as I find the nutrition facts on the ends and pieces super confusing so will use the regular sliced bacon information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OR..............just uses as you want and enjoy the taste. Worrying about...or even deciphering nutrition "facts" about bacon is a bit superfluous

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Yay: new Korean-style spicy kalbi chicken sausages. A little greasy but very tasty. Spicy, soy saucy, a little sweet. Very nice grilled with the Korean pancakes (done in the oven with no extra oil, blotted, on paper towels and served with gyoza sauce) and the Japanese fried rice (because the kimchi fried rice has been discontinued, hopefully temporarily for reformulating like the cashier said) and a bit of steamed broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Edamame "Hummus" anyone had this? Blech blech, oh so I guess that would be a nay. I don't normally play this game since I never shop at TJ's (I'd like to, just too far for me) but my brother does and I had some of this yesterday at my parent's house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not surprised. Never bought it, because well, what I've always wondered is: why do edamame exist? Seriously, what is the point?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have no problem with edamame in itself, just not in this "hummus." I can't even describe the taste of it honestly. Just not to my liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  edamame exist to put atop salads! and when you want a break from lima beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ah, that explains it. I hate lima beans with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns, so I never eat them, so I never need a break from them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ooh, a white hot passion. well, that explains it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ahhh, FINally, someone who understands how i feel about butter beans (what they are called in VA.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry - butter beans and lima beans are not the same. I am a legume addict, and love both. They are about the same siz(except for baby limas, which are adorably smaller) and the taste is similar but just slightly different. Butter beans are a bit creamier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love edamame too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's because the translation of "lima" is "bean". So things get screwed up, and what's canned as butter beans is, in dry form, sold as Large Lima Beans. But they are not the same taste, at all, as the smaller, green lima beans you'll find frozen and in succotash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              harts, i have no idea where you got that info. My mom was a VA girl and in my house butter beans was what lima beans were called. just like spoonbread was what VA people called " batter bread".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i do love edamame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                no scientific support - just know that I can buy a bag of frozen or canned green beans, large or small, in succotash or not, labeled as "lima beans" and I can buy a can of yellow beans, large, in the same shape as a lima but yellow or beige, and they are labeled butter beans. The tastes are not the same. If I cared, I'd maybe google things to see if there's a real difference. Don't really care, don't care what they are called. I just love anything "bean."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Butter beans are smaller than lima beans and don't have that bright green color. They aren't as chewy and they don't take as long to cook. Picky children tend to prefer butter beans over lima beans. Lima beans go in succotash. Butter beans are usually served alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Russ, you need to qualify that your definition is location-specific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I live in New England. Butter beans here are off-white, sold canned. They are about an inch long. Lima beans are green, sold canned or frozen, plain or in succotash. They are half the size of butter beans. Butter beans have a milder taste and tender texture than lima beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Greygarious, that's the butter bean I've come to know and love here in PA, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think you are talking about large or giant white beans. I guess it is a regional difference in terminology.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But what do you call the smaller white beans frequently called butter beans? Baby white limas?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have never seen a baby white bean. I buy frozen green limas, large and baby. I buy canned butter beans, large and pale yellow white and much creamier texture than the dry, mealy texture of a lima. I buy dry white beans that are similar in shape to limas and butters but I don't know what they are - I get them at a bulk store that doesn't use labels. By the time I'm done with them, baked with lots of other bean varieties or i to be regional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And now let me take a moment to apologize to everyone who is sick to death of this bean discussion :-/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cream peas would be a type of baby white bean, I'd think, though some of them are very pale green. Cream peas are the best. Baby limas are second for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.mommyskitchen.net/2010/05/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They're a terrific, tasty, fresh snack -- I love to eat pods of edamame or put them on salads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The hummus just basically tastes like their regular hummus, with a sort of greenish tinge and aftertaste. I much prefer my edamame as-is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I made the pesto marinated chicken breasts on the grill pan, and they were very good, so yay. But the vampires say, "Nay." Lots and lots of garlic on those babies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Just tried the lentil crunch curls and finished the bag in less than a day...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Hopefulone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and I ate 2 and returned the bag. Ah, what makes the world go 'round!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Hopefulone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This might be odd, but I always liked them with ketchup.. like mock french fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. "Shaved Cheese Blend" - YAY! Yet another Parmesan blend but this one includes Toscano and "unexpected cheddar" whatever that is, it tasted great on ratatouille. However the fat content is much higher than the "Freshly Shaved Parmesan, Romano and Asiago" which is listed as 20 calories a tablespoon. "Shaved Cheese Blend" is 55 calories a tablespoon but I think it tastes richer and is probably worth an extra 5 minutes on the treadmill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The unexpected cheddar is great if you haven't bought it on it's own. It's a Cheddar with a big hit of Parmesan taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't opened it yet but this week as I was reaching for the English Cheddar with Caramelized Onion, a piece of it "unexpectedly" fell off the shelf. Truly, I hadn't touched it. I thought, "Why not?" and put it into my cart. Not the priciest splurchase I've ever made, by a long shot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like the Unexpected Cheddar a lot. Note, though, that it crumbles readily so not the best choice where intact slices are part of the presentation. Very nice flavor, similar to Dubliner but with less tang.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You had me at "the fat content is much higher".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I tried lots of new items this past week.. some yays some not so much...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Coconut Cranberry Granola - soooo delicious. I've been making parfaits with fresh blueberries, vanilla yogurt and this cereal. It's very high in fat so I'm not sure it'll be a constant purchase but I'm 8+ months pregnant and not worrying about it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dried Fuji Apples - picked these up in the new items shelf. Love them! They are actual apple wedges as opposed to rings. I keep them in my desk and snack on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shrimp Nuggets - repeat purchase, still loving them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rice Pudding - I can't believe I've never purchased this before. I love rice pudding. Enjoyed it much more than Kozy Shack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Horseradish Hummus - yum! Has a kick - delicious with fresh veggies or pita chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexican Quiche - loved this! So easy to heat up for a quick breakfast/lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Meh....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BBQ Chicken Pizza - it was okay. The BBQ sauce on the pizza wasn't great. I probably won't buy again. Especially because I love that Tarte D'Alsace so much and would rather eat that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Veggie Chips - I found these to be very greasy. They are really just potato chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Briek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That horseradish hummus is potentially my favorite one!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And yeah, those "veggie" chips are grease bombs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Briek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh YAY for the Coconut and Cranberry Granola AND the Rice Pudding from me, too!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was there 2 days ago and, besides those 2, I have:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. In the plastic bin. Hard to keep my hands out of the bin!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay: the Frozen Rice Medley. 3 to a box. Nuked up just fine and nutty/chewy the way I like it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY again: the pecan-crusted Norwegian Salmon in the refrigerated section. Pan-fried it last night (using some of the Coconut Oil Spray) and it was once again very moist and crusty when done. Twice I've bought this and twice it's been excellent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NAY: the soft dried mandarins. I really wanted to like these, based on all the talk, but they were just way too sweet for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowing kat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I lovvveeee the pb cups. I'll have to look for that salmon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowing kat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am also disappointed in the mandarins. Based on the talk here, I bought both those and the other dried mandarines. Both are a nay for me. The squishy ones would be better if they had left out the sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The dried coconut chips, on the other hand, are delish. The only downside is the chips are so small, so I guess they are most suited for adding to granola, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Agreed - the coconut chips are fantastic! I forget to buy them sometimes because they migrate around my store, but I love them simply right out of the bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Uh....YAY YAY YAY - Jalapeno Cheddar Pub Cheese. Wow, delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yup. Very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you tried the horseradish? I like those two about equally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nope. This was my first tub, I was torn between the two perhaps I'll try the horeseradish next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TVHilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              +100 for the horseradish pub cheese. My favorite hands down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love this too...all of them. On a side note- I found horseradish cheddar in a tub that was very similar if not the same at Aldis. It was only 2.69 a container, where as it is 4.99 at the regular grocery and slightly more at TJ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't buy this anymore. It barely lasts a day. However, I give a NAY to the horseradish flavor. (And I generally like horseradish, wasabi, etc.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: drmoze

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I tried the horseradish this week and it's also a NAY for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What do you do with it? Eat it on crackers?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Nay. Frozen organic green figs are "temporarily out of stock." If they are seasonal and I missed the chance to stock up, I will freak out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Out of stock at my store today, too. Last time they were out of mango chunks. Several kinds of frozen fruit were out of stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay! for the Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookies with walnuts. They would be better if they had chocolate chunks instead of chips but still a yay! Nice and soft. Zapped them for a few seconds and they are almost like homemade cookies out of the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Was that the Organic Mango they were out of or the regular Mango? And what State do you live in if I may ask?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: daver9000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That was the regular mango chunks out of stock. They had the organic chunks in stock. The regular chunks were back in stock on Tuesday, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm in the NE region and the store is busy and is frequently out of at least one or two items I buy regularly. I have to stock staple items at home or do without frequently.