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Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - August 2014 [OLD]

It’s August…already? The last days of summer are in the near future and kids will be headed back to school soon. Never fear, there’s still plenty of time for plenty of summer fun and relaxation.

What products have you tried recently? Would you rate them a YAY, MEH or NAY?

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  1. Crunchy Curls lentil-potato snack: Big YAY!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Bob W

      The crunchy curls are back?! YES!!!!!

      --DommY!

      1. re: Dommy

        This might be odd.. but I used to eat them with ketchup whenever I had a taste for french-fries. Try them with ketchup!

        1. re: Dommy

          Never heard of or saw these. They are on the list for next trip!

          1. re: Dommy

            I tried the Crunchy Curls on the basis of these two YAYS, and am chiming in to make it three. I ate them before looking at the ingredient list. To me, they taste ever-so-slightly cheesy, in a good way, though they contain no dairy.
            They are exceptionally crunchy but not very salty, which is a plus in my book!

            1. re: greygarious

              We tried these after all the raves and they were fantastic. Thanks for the recommendation!

        2. Just bought the Diet Lemonade and it's definitely a NAY. It's going back tonight, ugh!

          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

          23 Replies
          1. re: mcel215

            Are you speaking of the low calorie lemonade in the shelf stable juice section? I ALMOST bought that today because I wanted to see what it would taste like with the stevia in it. Looking to try to reduce my regular sugar intake since I drink so much lemonade, but decided to go with the sure bet, shelf stable Organic Lemonade instead.

            1. re: littleflower

              I agree with mcel - definitely a nay. I tried it once when they were sampling it and it tastes overpoweringly of artificial sweetener. (And I'm a regular diet soda drinker, so I've got quite a tolerance - but this stuff is just gross tasting.)

              1. re: littleflower

                Yes, it is the low calorie lemonade in the shelf. I bought it because TJ's has a great return policy. I also want to lower my sugar intake, but I'd rather not drink anything before I drink that stuff, it's awful.

                Now don't get me wrong, I am thrilled with lots of products from Trader Joe's, just not this one.

                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

              2. re: mcel215

                And here I thought I have been imagining things. I gotta agree. Unfortunately Trader Joe's is way to far for me to return it. I wonder how I can make it taste better.

                1. re: mcel215

                  It's a NAY for me too. I alwyas buy the regular organic lemonade, although I find it is really strong and dilute by half. Grandsons, the regular lemonade drinkers, don't have any issues with the dilution ratio and they are pretty critical.

                  After I tasted the diet variety, I thought, at best, I can use it sparingly to make a lemon flavored water. That seems to be the best, but it still has that heavy citric acid taste/feel to it. FYI to gildeddawn, it does not have any artificial sweetener. It's sweetened with regular organic cane sugar and stevia.

                  1. re: Harts52

                    Oh, sorry, you're right - I was classing stevia as an artificial sweetener, because it tastes like one. My mistake, though.

                    1. re: gildeddawn

                      Funny how some things stick in your head. All last night I was thinking "gildeddawn is right, it tastes like artificial sweetener."

                      I think it's the stevia that gives it the horrid taste!

                      Not ever being a fan of stevia, I had a container of unused truvia in my pantry. I also had an abundance of cucumbers and a pack of "make your own bread and butter pickles" mix. I made them with the truvia and they have the EXACT crappy taste.

                      I have resolved to stop avoiding sugar. I'm putting the "avoid sugar" advice from nutritionists in the same category as the "avoid fat" advice. My cholesterol didn't go down until I ditched the pretend fat foods and started eating real butter and real cheese. So much for the smarty-pants nutritionists.

                      1. re: Harts52

                        I'm not exactly avoiding sugar but I often use Splenda instead of the real stuff, because it dissolves quickly in cold liquids. Real sugar for baking etc.

                        1. re: John Francis

                          Has anyone tried the coconut sugar that TJ's is now carrying? I picked up a package of it on my last trip there - haven't yet used it, but it smells kind of like brown sugar to me. Wondering how it will taste if I used it in place of regular sugar in coffee?

                          1. re: littleflower

                            Its great in coffee! I use it in mine once in a while- anywhere you would use regular sugar. It doesn't taste like coconut.

                            1. re: littleflower

                              I haven't tried the TJ's in particular but in general, it has a mild and distinctive flavor. In coffee, it reminds me a little of chicory if you use enough.

                              The flavor is somewhat like a cross between brown sugar and sorghum or cane syrup or molasses. Ttrockwood is right, nothing like coconut.

                              Nothing wrong with it, but I don't really have any particular use for it that regular sugar or unrefined sugar won't work for. Mostly I use it when I cook Thai food because I don't keep palm sugar.

                            2. re: John Francis

                              domino now makes a superfine sugar. works great in cold drinks.

                              http://www.dominosugar.com/sugar/quic...

                              1. re: Vidute

                                domino's overpriced superfine has ben around for decades. to make your own: put some granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and turn it on:)

                                1. re: wonderwoman

                                  For sweetening cold drinks, the easiest and least expensive solution is to make simple syrup and keep it in the frig. 1 cup of regular sugar and one cup of water and simmer until sugar disolves. Keeps at least a month in the frig.

                                  1. re: wonderwoman

                                    I read that a few years ago and it does work. I rarely use powdered sugar but when I need some, I just but some regular sugar in the blender or the electric coffee grinder.

                              2. re: Harts52

                                Yeah, agreed - the taste of stevia is just...terrible. I bought the powdered stuff from TJ's once, actually, a million years ago, and returned it because it was just so gross. So, that's a retroactive nay, too.

                            3. re: Harts52

                              I also cut the Organic Lemonade with half water/half lemonade and pour it over ice. Super refreshing combination.

                              I also occasionally buy the Organic Pink Lemonade and combine 1/4 cup pink lemonade, 1/4 cup TJ's sparkling limeade, and 1/2 cup water over ice.

                              1. re: littleflower

                                Have you ever mixed the mango with the lemonade? I bought some mango lemonade from an organic farmer in my area and the grandsons loved it but it was pricey. When I saw organic mango nectar at TJs, I grabbed it. I'm hoping the guys like it. Not sure what ratio to use, though.

                                1. re: Harts52

                                  Nay on the mango nectar. Ugh. The grandsons liked it okay. They cut it with soda water. I sent it home with them. It seemed like it would work for a reduction for chicken, but who needs 64 oz. of mango nectar for that? I won't be buying it again but I have a request for a case of the lemonade :-)

                              2. re: mcel215

                                I didn't try the regular one but I liked the low calorie pink lemonade. I got a bottle last week. But I always dilute bottled beverages and juices a touch and add ice too so maybe that's why it didn't seem overly sweet to me?

                                1. re: mcel215

                                  yeah..........I have had some bad ersatz lemonades and this is right up there

                                2. YAY - 100% Cherry Juice. So rich and delicious. Perfect with vodka AND with whiskey.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: huntandharvest

                                    Makes a wonderful base for Hungarian cold sour cherry soup. Just need good sour cherries (frozen are ok), lemon juice, cinnamon stick, and a little sugar. Cook briefly then chill well and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Delish on a hot summer night! Also good for dessert...over vanilla ice cream!

                                    1. re: josephnl

                                      Would TJ's Morello Cherries work for this? Are they sour enough?

                                      1. re: Harts52

                                        Never had them, but if they're reasonably sour they would. You could also up the lemon juice. Fresh cherries (of course) are the best, and pitting with a potter is not too much of a chore. Frozen are acceptable. Depending upon what cherries use use, adjust the cooking time carefully. You do not want the cherries to taste raw, but neither do you want them mush.

                                        1. re: Harts52

                                          They work great in any sour cherry recipe really. I love those things!

                                          1. re: Harts52

                                            Yes--I use those all the time and they work great. I strain the juice and cook in flavored water (sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon peel). The make a sour cream slurry to thicken.

                                        2. re: huntandharvest

                                          On a *somewhat* related note, sampled the Sweet Cherries today - really good quality - Yay.

                                          1. re: littleflower

                                            I bought a box. $5.99 for 2 lbs. They are very good, definitely a YAY! They are from Washington.

                                          2. re: huntandharvest

                                            And tequila- a nice inexpensive Cuervo Gold or similar with cherry juice, and my favorite guilty pleasure, a little Cherry Republic's cherry juice concentrate, over ice and stirred to blend. Heaven in a glass.

                                          3. Yay! for Salsa Autentica. Great smokey chile flavor.

                                            1. YAY for the Pane Guttiau. It certainly lives up to all the rave reviews. I doubt that I'll buy it again because I just couldn't figure out what to do with it, but it got me googling recipes so I might try that and make small manageable pieces. I'm thinking it'd be heaven topped with thin slices of cheese and fruit and prosciutto.