The Trader Joe's Product Discussion Thread (S/D)

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do you have to microwave that?

He grew in Pussyville. Population: him. (call all destroyer), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 03:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

s: that white cheddar w/ the carmalized onions in it (<---- my favorite shit ever)

The Reverend, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 03:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

s: mango mochi

The Reverend, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 03:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

classic:
vege medley w/balsamic butter dressing
vege medley w/potato wedges
^both great tossed with spag and oil
vegan choc chip cookies
almond caramel clusters
chocolate ice cream (some of the best ice cream and it's CHEAP)
hashbrowns
frozen vege lasagna

just1n3, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 04:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

i wish trader joe's was not so crowded so i could go more often and buy cheap delicious things.

yur twit (tehresa), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 04:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

their fresh fruit is shit - every time we get stuff from there it goes rotten in a couple of days

just1n3, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 04:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

no one's mentioned the dark chocolate ginger pieces...they're...delightful

dbro, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 04:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

oh i had a party and put out the dark chocolate covered almonds rolled in dark cocoa and ppl were like omg nommmmm

yur twit (tehresa), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 04:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

lacey cookies A++++++ not sure if they're TJ brand though

just1n3, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 04:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, produce is generally hit or miss. I like buying their big bags o' mixed chard or "southern greens." I love cooking greens and cleaning/cutting them is such a pain, especially in my tiny-ass kitchen.

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 04:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

As far as crowds -- best time to go is 10AM or earlier on a weekend (well, excluding going on a weekday during work hours, which you probably can't do). Another good time -- dinner hours, Friday evening.

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 04:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

their fresh fruit is shit - every time we get stuff from there it goes rotten in a couple of days

the way they treat their apples makes me want to cry. you can paw through a whole shelf of apples and find none that aren't bruised

i always feel sorry for the people who are holding the signs that shepherd the line. at first i thought it was a pretty good lazy job, then i realised that it's queueing, ALL DAY LONG, never getting anywhere. when you're at the bank and there's a massive line, you always rely on that schadenfreude of other people piling up behind you and having to wait longer. but if you're the trader joe linesman ... always at the end of the line.

they also call it 'twelve items or fewer' which is nice

deveraux billings (schlump), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

I always find the cashiers super nice -- do they pay unusually well or something?

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

their bagged greens do seem to last really well - we get the baby spinach a lot, it's a big bag and stays fresh for close to two weeks.

just1n3, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

dinner hours?? no way. that is also known as 'after work' when everyone in the world goes!

yur twit (tehresa), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

dinner hours?? no way. that is also known as 'after work' when everyone in the world goes!

But Friday night it seems to work, like maybe 7:30 or later.

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

good:

bread
peanut butter (also almond butter)
three cheese frozen pizza
sole filets
sharp cheddar (cheap!)
chocolate-covered edamame
tomato soup (okay, not as good as Amy's)

always disappointing:

anything salsa-related
produce

i stay away from the frozen dinners and pre-marinated crap too, and the overpriced meats.

Tracy Michael Jordan Catalano (Jordan), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

they have nicely prized frozen meats.
i prefer whole foods' frozen fishes.

yur twit (tehresa), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

cheeapest clif bars off the net!

can u do me a kindness (jergins), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

"good:

bread"

But not good, the plain-old "Whole Wheat Bread" (the one with very small slices) -- cardboardy. Same with the bread that comes in imitation Alvarado Street Bakery packaging.

It's funny how TJ will have like five different brands of the same product that are all TJ's and all knockoffs of other brands, and then they compete against each other.

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

classic x100:
free samples of coffee

iatee, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

i always feel sorry for the people who are holding the signs that shepherd the line. at first i thought it was a pretty good lazy job, then i realised that it's queueing, ALL DAY LONG, never getting anywhere. when you're at the bank and there's a massive line, you always rely on that schadenfreude of other people piling up behind you and having to wait longer. but if you're the trader joe linesman ... always at the end of the line.

Suggest Ban Permalink
― deveraux billings (schlump), Tuesday, March 10, 2009 10:02 PM Bookmark

I have never seen this

The Reverend, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

I like the "New Zealand Grass Fed Organic Cheddar" -- very cheap! (not as yummy as Cabot, but, you know, in this economy...)

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

i have never bought any of the cheese/fresh meats because the line wraps around the store and makes it impossible to get to anything in that case

yur twit (tehresa), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have never seen this

do you live in somewhere with a breezy, unencumbered open plan trader joe's? like one in arizona where they test out new products?

i think there is a bit on the website dedicated to regional variations, if anyone is keen for more idiosyncratic tj innovation

deveraux billings (schlump), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

I like the "New Zealand Grass Fed Organic Cheddar" -- very cheap!

That stuff's good -- it's a little earthy-tasting, though. I usually just get the Wisconsin sharp white cheddar.

You know what's pretty good, and new I think (at least in my neck of the woods)? The edamame hummus.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

My favorite of their hummuses is the Mediterranean Hummus

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

should be its own thread/poll, but i have come to the conclusion that all other houmouses are bullshit. i have been burned too many times. original is BEST, though red pepper is sometimes acceptable.

deveraux billings (schlump), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

Do you specifically mean Trader Joe's original or are you just against flavored hummuses in general?

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

The cioppino is the absolute most refined, delicious, and clutch frozen dinner I have ever had. Throw it on some spaghetti and you have an even bigger meal.

― throwbookatface (skygreenleopard)

One of my all-time faves too. I put it on rice at first but it's even better on pasta. And you can cook the seafood/sauce in a pan - no microwave necessary.

Also the Chicken Gorgonzola in the frozen section is classic. Make a sandwich with their cibatta.

nickn, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 06:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

A lot of their frozen stuff works in the toaster oven if you can wait around for a little while.

Bonobos in Paneradise (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 06:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

their veggie meatballs are awesome. also, their wheat tortillas are shit for everything EXCEPT making enchiladas, we discovered today, in which case they are the best tortillas you can possibly buy.

akm, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 06:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

Do the frozen stuff (entrees & such) on the stovetop with a little oil, maybe a little water--set it on medium-low and stir.

WARS OF ARMAGEDDON (Karaoke Version) (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 06:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

best:
chocolate covered pretzels
chocolate mint hot chocolate
chocolate covered fruit
lacey cookies
brie - good price compared to Whole Foods
some of the frozen appetizers - mushroom turnovers I remember being pretty yummy, though I haven't had them in awhile
greek style yogurt
decent prices on fancy brand hard liquor
big jugs of juice
spiced apple cider

what happened? I'm confused. (sarahel), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 07:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

they have nicely prized frozen meats.
i prefer whole foods' frozen fishes.

agreed - Whole Foods has frozen soft-shell crab. They spent almost a year building a Whole Foods down my block, and I resented it a lot. Then I saw the frozen soft-shell crab. Best sandwich I've ever had was a soft-shell crab prepared burger like. Sorry to derail TJ thread with WF talk.

what happened? I'm confused. (sarahel), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 07:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

I fuck w/ the mushroom turnovers

as per diddy's twitter (The Reverend), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 07:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

i don't really buy stuff from the freezer aisle much, but the frozen naan is classic! dud: i bought some frozen egg rolls recently and they came out kinda mushy and greasy. but classic: frozen puff pastry. and their pizzas aren't half bad, esp. the roasted vegetable one.

i'm stoked that they have the winter loaf fruit and nut bread right now! it's super-delicious, esp. the bits of candied orange peel.

one of my other favorite things is the nitrate-free pastrami, which has a very beefy/briny flavor.

if i buy pre-sliced sandwich bread at all, i buy the milton's whole grain bread or the new repackaged TJ's version of it (it's cheaper).

the cheese selection is somewhat meh, but i'm all about that cotswold cheddar. and i've been keeping little hunks of their grana padano around to grate on pasta, etc.

they used to have these triple-shot cans of iced espresso at a very good price. i'm deeply dismayed that they've stopped carrying them.

NYSE:JAH (get bent), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 07:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

so many things i've had from TJs were good or great the first time, horrible the second. the veggie chorizo, for instance. i hardly buy anything but staples there these days, the occasional lazy can of veggie chili... my wife loves their frozen pizzas. i find them pretty disgusting. they got rid of a lot of my favorite stuff in the past year or so.

quinoa bread - yum. not good for toast, though, just making sandwiches. everything bagels are okay. i'm really straining to think of anything exciting... um, chili-lime pistachios.

the balsamic veggie medley - blarrgh. canned soups - blarrgh.

WEREWOLF CONGRESS (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 08:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

when has something called a "veggie medley" EVER been good?

NYSE:JAH (get bent), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 08:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

they had this half-round of sourdough bread, might've been whole wheat sourdough that was awesome.

what happened? I'm confused. (sarahel), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 08:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

when has something called a "veggie medley" EVER been good?

maybe if it was fried veggie medley, it'd be good. However, most things called "veggie medley" tend not to be fried.

what happened? I'm confused. (sarahel), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 08:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

veggie medleys/mixed vegetable mixes are never good, this is true

pretty good -
moroccan salted olives
greek yogurt
baby beets
ginger cookies, the small ones that come in a round plastic container
some of the frozen enchiladas (chicken chile verde)
relatively inexpensive walnuts, almonds, also almond butter

football consultant, oakland raiders (daria-g), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 11:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

yes:
veggie meatballs (addicted to these)
garlic hummus dip
coffee

no:
produce (obviously)
"soy nuggets"

congratulations (n/a), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 11:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm still into soy nuggets, though my girlfriend has gradually lost interest in them.

Other likes, with caveats:

margarita pizza (though it's no substitute for the great goat cheese pizza, which has since been discontinued)

frozen mildly spiced vegetable burritos (though I stopped buying them after I realized how calorie-laden they are)

fresh mild salsa (though it tends to get overly acidic after a couple of days)

I guess I have no complaints about the frozen seafood I've bought there.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 12:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

My gf also just walked into the room and said, "Did you mention BRITISH MUFFINS?" I said no because I don't give a shit about them, but for posterity, I should mention that she eats the cinnamon raisin variety pretty much every day.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 12:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

^different from English muffins?

f f murray abraham (G00blar), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 13:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not that I can tell.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 13:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

Wait, I take that back: I guess they don't have Thomas-style nooks and crannies.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 13:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

That's the Welsh influence.

f f murray abraham (G00blar), Wednesday, 11 March 2009 13:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

What if you took that and put it in a burrito

“Yeah. Huh, thanks.” (los blue jeans), Sunday, 19 March 2017 21:20 (four months ago) Permalink

chicken AND rice? get the fuck outta here

musically, Monday, 20 March 2017 18:03 (four months ago) Permalink

I mix either spinach or the "cruciferous crunch" bagged blend into anything I deem vegetable-deficient.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 20 March 2017 19:59 (four months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Did Trader Joe's discontinue their all time goat mvp, crushed garlic in a jar? Last two times I've gone they've only had diced garlic which isn't nearly as good.

musically, Friday, 14 April 2017 16:56 (three months ago) Permalink

Answer seems to be: yes, they discontinued it.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Friday, 14 April 2017 17:20 (three months ago) Permalink

Visit any Indian grocer. Great big jars of crushed garlic, crushed ginger, or both for much less than the fresh forms. It loses some pungency from the processing, but its easy enough to compensate.

behavioral sink (Sanpaku), Friday, 14 April 2017 18:00 (three months ago) Permalink

Christopher Ranch brand crushed garlic is the best and is sold in major US supermarkets. Dunno if TJ's is US garlic or Chinese (which is possible).

sarahell, Friday, 14 April 2017 18:25 (three months ago) Permalink

It was missing from ours for awhile, but eventually it returned, but in a different jar.

Jeff, Friday, 14 April 2017 18:30 (three months ago) Permalink

Luckily I still have some garlic left but I'll check out the supermarket brands when I run out. The new garlic tj's has is diced rather than crushed, imo it's not as flavorful.

musically, Saturday, 15 April 2017 01:01 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

The coconut cold brew coffee concentrate makes a nice iced coffee with some coconut milk and coconut water. Maybe serve it in a coconut.

Puke and Other Poems (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 08:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The "refried" black beans (really just puréed) are bland, the soy chorizo too spicy and greasy by itself, but mix them (4 oz chorizo/can), and they make an excellent vegan taco filler.

The Audacity of Taupe (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 15:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

the soy chorizo is... too spicy?!?

mh, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 15:32 (three weeks ago) Permalink

As a standalone taco filling, yes, and heavier than Mexican pork chorizo in chile, garlic, cumin, oregano, etc. It's probably great in soups, scrambled eggs/breakfast burritos, etc.

The Audacity of Taupe (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 16:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

soy chorizo is great in scrambled eggs but it is not spicy

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 16:28 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i always mix it with rice and vegetables, much more palatable that way. i have stuffed poblano chiles with this mixture and it's pretty good. not great, but passable. not too picante-spicy for me but i can see how it would be too overwhelming/one note

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 16:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

spicy like too much spice, or spicy like hot?

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 17:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The former. It's basicaly TVP and soybean oil, drowning in salt, chile & garlic powder, cumin & oregano, squirted into a plastic casing.

I grow and eat habaneros recreationally. Too much capsaicin never bothered me.

The Audacity of Taupe (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 17:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I made chorizo breakfast burritos for a camping trip one time, and the next time since we were taking mostly vegetarians I used the Trader Joe's soy chorizo instead. No one could really tell the difference. That seemed like the perfect application for it, where texture is not even an issue.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 17:36 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ah, overseasoned. I get that.

mh, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 17:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yeah a little goes a long way. i decant it into tupperware on purchase, then put like a teaspoon per person in eggs. i would never eat it on its own.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 18:03 (three weeks ago) Permalink

related: i just moved from the east coast to the west coast and i feel like i must be doing something wrong because the TJs handmade flour tortillas here are awful compared to the ones i got in new york.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 18:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

There's at least 3 recipes/suppliers from the GIS evidence:

Handmade Flour Tortillas:
unbleached enriched flour, water, high oleic sunflower oil, honey, wheat gluten, salt, soy lecithin, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid
Handmade Flour Tortillas:
unbleached enriched flour, water, olive oil, salt, distilled vinegar
Truly Handmade Flour Tortillas:
high gluten enriched flour, safflower oil, honey, baking powder, sea salt

Tastewise, I can't imagine any of them compare favorably with Hispanic grocer tortillas made with lard or tallow.

The Audacity of Taupe (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 18:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i used to buy the smoked andouille chicken sausage on occasion and that's fairly spicy

i n f i n i t y (∞), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 19:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yeah, that's a decent sausage.

sarahell, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 19:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

good toofpaste

Dean of the University (Latham Green), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 19:22 (three weeks ago) Permalink

all of the tjs tortillas i've bought have been terrible. they taste fine but fall apart if you put anything in them.

na (NA), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 19:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

actually i'm not crazy about most of their bread products.

na (NA), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 19:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

TJs corn tortillas are generally retrograded and brittle out of the package. Toast them in a flat pan and they become usable, and much tastier. However, the TJs still more geared to tacos than other Latin dishes. I find non TJs corn tortillas (like the La Providencia brand) much better.

The TJ's baked good I buy most trips is their Lavash bread. Good ingredients, and great for hummus + salad wraps.

The Audacity of Taupe (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 20:51 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I think the bread products vary by location -- I think some is made by local bakeries and then packed as TJ's brand?

sarahell, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 20:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I like their California style sprouted wheat bread.

Jeff, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 21:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink

that's what i get usually

i switch it up sometimes and get the flourless whole wheat berry one or another orange label one similar to the sprouted wheat bread one

i n f i n i t y (∞), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 21:44 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i decided to try the organic bolivian blend coffee and it's pretty disappointing. I've heard decent things about a couple of the other ones, but not decent enough that I necessarily want to give them a shot. i agree w/what was said upthread by dayo about TJ's leaning too much on the darker roasts at the expense of lighter ones. if they could get a solid light roast that's not too floral, maybe even skewing towards the more smooth, nutty, chocolately side of things i'd definitely try it.

nomar, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 22:02 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I have one like that but it's not from TJs alas.

Conic section rebellion 44 (in orbit), Thursday, 6 July 2017 01:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i think we can all agree the soy chorizo is v v spiced and you can't use much, it almost feels more like a seasoning vehicle than an actual ingredient?

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 6 July 2017 01:19 (two weeks ago) Permalink

all of the tjs tortillas i've bought have been terrible. they taste fine but fall apart if you put anything in them.

― na (NA), Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:43 PM (five hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

sry not to be a dick but you're heating them up in like a skillet or something first, right?

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 6 July 2017 01:21 (two weeks ago) Permalink

these are still the best tortillas I've had from a grocery store but they're hard to track down but damn if you can find them....

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/best-flour-tortillas-tortillaland.html

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 6 July 2017 01:22 (two weeks ago) Permalink

All my local stores carry those, they're fantastic. Downside is that you'll eat half of them warming them in the skillet.

El Tuomasbot (milo z), Thursday, 6 July 2017 01:43 (two weeks ago) Permalink

frozen korma fish curry: it's good!

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Tuesday, 18 July 2017 03:15 (one week ago) Permalink

test

maura, Tuesday, 18 July 2017 04:24 (one week ago) Permalink

I really like Trader Joe's cornichons. I'm oddly opinionated about cornichons.

Most of the rest of TJ's I can do without tbrr

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 18 July 2017 22:59 (one week ago) Permalink

The Giant Peruvian Inca Corn tastes exactly like Fritos. Still satisfying and convenient for taking to parades/fireworks.

полезные дурак (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 19 July 2017 01:37 (one week ago) Permalink


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