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Apr 30, 2014 05:56 PM

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?

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  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!!


                            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.