Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stuff I like at Trader Joe's

When you get to Trader Joe's, a seasonal display usually greets you before you reach the door.
TJ's tweaks lots of products to fit the theme: this month is pumpkin spice, of course.
I haven't tried the Halloween Joe-Joe's but like many people, I can't wait for the peppermint ones they do for Christmas!
So what do I like best at Trader Joe's?
The California Slab Apricots are the tastiest dried fruit
I know of. Last week they ran out and I feared it was a disaster!
Luckily it was temporary -- though TJ's often discontinues
products without explanation.
Marinated artichoke hearts are less expensive and no different
than more expensive ones -- I haven't tried the cherry peppers yet.
Cereal -- another delicious and cost-conscious item from TJ.
Consumer Reports recently tested various O-shaped cereal and wrote: "The winner of these tests? Trader Joe’s version, called Joe-Os, which had slightly lower flavor ratings than Cheerios, but is much cheaper. It’s interesting to note that Trader Joe’s 'Honey Nut O’s' have ground almonds, while the General Mills version doesn’t." (See "Different Brands Of O-Shaped, Oat-Based Cereals Don’t Taste Alike," by Laura Northrup, September 22, 2014)

Chocolate-covered EVERYTHING is the TJ mark of distinction. The "pound plus"
chocolate bars are good too, even though it's just chocolate covered chocolate.
Hard to resist almost any candy they sell.
I like this mango chutney. Also at a good price.
TJ's salsa and "Cowboy Caviar" are both too tempting,
especially with TJ's blue corn chips.
Oddly enough, TJ's sells very useful dish rags.
I like many kinds of cookies and other sweets at TJ's -- especially the vanilla wafers and ginger snaps.
The crystallized candied ginger is a great price, fun to eat if you like HOT candy, and a useful ingredient...
... and as I said ... the Joe-Joe's
Coffee Bean Blast is my favorite of TJ's ice creams.
Zesty red juice! Nice for breakfast. Handy ingredient, too.
TJ's has lots of other good stuff too -- though I don't really like the produce -- it's mostly plastic-wrapped items from distant fields, never local. There's even free coffee. I'm amused that most parties I go to have one or more of the TJ frozen snacks, cakes, or dips for refreshments. I rarely buy them, though, as they really aren't what I see as everyday foods.

The samples on offer provide a hint of what to do with various
mixes and ready-made stuff. Today was pumpkin spice
corn bread with bacon. Seasonal, of course.
It's entertaining to shop at TJ's unless you don't like suddenly realizing that you have a huge pile of chocolate-covered everything in your basket along with the milk, bread, and soup you came for. I consider myself lucky that TJ's is less than a mile from my house. I could walk there but I couldn't carry all those extra cookies.

UPDATE: other people's recommendations:
  • Adam: "Roasted/Salted Marcona Almonds with Rosemary ... a bit pricey, but highly addictive." 
  • A fellow yoga student: Pumpkin ravioli -- another seasonal special that was out of stock when she looked for it. She asked TJ's to save her 4 packages.
  • Alice: something for your chocolate-covered collection.
  • Another friend: NOT the Irish tea!
  • Louise: Dark Morello Cherries (see her comment)

1 comment:

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mae!
Oh my goodness, I LOVE Trader Joe's! I was just there the other day and would you believe, one of the managers offered me a job, lol...I'm not kidding!

It's a long story but the jist of it was, I was helping a husband and wife team select a few things because they were never there before. I showed them a few of my favorite things and the manager overheard my enthusiasm and offered me a job, lol...

I see you have a few things on your list that I have never tried. I will be giving them a look at on my next trip. Have you tried the Dark Morello Cherries. Both Marion and I love them! Marion swears they help her gout, lol...

Thanks for sharing your choices Mae...

P.S. Don't get too upset about the latrst comments on my geleatin post. Sometimes it takes a while:)