“CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY SWIRL” (NEW PRODUCT) An excellent new addition to Trader Joe’s ice creams containing two flavors which are so perfect together, namely chocolate ice cream plus an intense raspberry sorbet, both swirled together into one super tasty treat. This stuff is so delicious. Super gourmet premium ice cream/sorbet. Its $3.99 a pint.




“Old Fashioned Blister” Roasted Peanuts and OMG these are Oh So Good. Maybe these are THE BEST roasted peanuts you ever had. Old Fashioned like ones I remember when we were kids we could go to a real “Nut Store” and buy them just out of the roasting pan. These taste super fresh and are seriously delicious. If you like peanuts you must try these. I promise you will not be sorry, they are just so yummy it’s hard to stop eating them. These are $2.99 a bag (15 oz). INGREDIENTS: Extra Large Water Blanched Virginia Peanuts, Peanut Oil, Salt. Simple and delicious.



NEW PRODUCT – “Seasoned Cold Smoked Salmon with Dill Pickle Flavoring”. Trader Joe’s is really fond of dill pickle stuff. Now I just love (fresh) dill and I especially love a sprinkle of fresh dill on top of smoked salmon. I am also crazy about Gravlax (Scandinavian dill cured salmon). However I didn’t love this new smoked salmon, I found it really to be just OK. For one thing I am guessing that they do not use fresh dill but use dried dill (they even list “dill weed oil” as one of the ingredients in this. That means they are trying to emulate the taste of fresh dill). Furthermore the smoked salmon here seemed to me to be a bit tougher (thicker cut?) then other seasoned salmons I really at TJ’s, namely the Everything Smoked Salmon as well as the Pastrami Smoked Salmon, both of which I think work way better than this seasoning. I really like both of those smoked salmon offerings. I wasn’t impressed with this and would not buy it again. The 4 oz. package was $6.49. For me a miss. I give this a “MEH”. My advice would be to just try the other two good seasoned smoked salmon Trader Joe’s offers.

Ingredients: farmed Atlantic Salmon, salt, seasonings (granulated onion, vinegar powder, sugar, granulated garlic), dill weed, citric acid, rice concentrate, safflower oil, dill weed oil, natural hardwood smoke


This is a tasty cream cheese spread with chives and onions. It was quite good spread on a toasted bagel and some crackers. Its pretty good on pretty much anything. I’ve even put some into things, for example it’s great mixing some into mashed potatoes to zing them up (try!). Or you can toss a tablespoon into a vegetable like some cooked French Green Beans. You can add a spoon to sauces or pasta. It’s too thick as a dip but if thin it a bit with some milk or sour cream, or maybe warm it in the microwave to get it looser it could work as a dip. Its $1.99 (8 oz.) I would buy it again.


Trader Joe’s CHICKEN MEATBALLS “Seasoned – Fully Cooked – Gluten Free”

INGREDIENTS: All Natural Chicken, Sea Salt, Oregano, Basil, Vinegar Powder, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Parsley

I saw these in the refrigerated section, they’re a kind of New Product from Trader Joe’s. They looked interesting enough to try out. They are fully cooked, seasoned chicken meatballs made from “all natural minimally processed chicken”. They state these are “gluten free” meaning they have no breadcrumbs or other binders (more on this later). They are certainly convenient, just heat and serve. Basically I liked these. I found them to be fairly tasty and seasoned pretty well. The ingredients are simply ground chicken and seasonings. They have no binder / filler even though personally I think they would be better if they did contain a wee bit of filler like a bit of bread crumbs and/or eggs, If you’ve ever made meatballs you know the finished texture can sometimes be a little hard or rubbery if meatballs are made with only meat and nothing else. Adding a bit of a binder and a few veggies will make the meatballs softer and not rubbery. These ones contain no filler, just ground chicken. So be careful to not overcook these; cook them too much and they may become too rubbery. These are already fully cooked, ready to eat, so you just want to basically warm them up or best I think brown them up a bit. I found browning these improved them. See the directions on the package re: “Stove Top”. I found they were good cut up into either slices or small pieces and then seared in butter or olive oil (or a mix) until they got a bit of brown on them. A sprinkle of lemon juice perked them up nicely too. These meatballs can easily become dinner with some rice or potatoes or pasta and a veggie. So good for an easy dinner, or lunch. I think these might match well with any one of TJ’s simmer sauces (Thai or Indian). You could brown the outsides and the add them to the sauce and simmer for just a minute or two and serve. Maybe toss in some frozen beans or peas too. What about using these little meatballs in tomato sauce, ie Italian style? Brown them up and put them in your favorite jarred tomato sauce and toss on to some pasta and you have a nice easy dinner. Or maybe brown them, slice and and make a pita sandwich, with some lettuce and some tahini sauce, or to that on top of a salad. So you might find these a handy thing to have in the fridge. TJ’s Chicken Meatballs are $3.99 for 12 oz. with about 16 meatballs in the package. I figure maybe 4 per person/portion?

Now on the other hand, with just a little effort you can make something better and a bit cheaper easily! Just get a pound of Trader Joe’s (very useful) fresh ground chicken ($3.99 and its a full 16 oz). Mix in one egg, a tablespoon of milk, 1/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs or panko…Maybe a little chopped onions or scallions and parsley. Mix all in a bowl adding salt and pepper to taste. Form into little meatballs (use wet hands). Brown them in a pan in oil and butter. Turning / shaking the pan every few minutes to brown all sides. See? You can make this kind of thing yourself pretty easily. The cooked ones are convenient of course but I’m sure your homemade ones will no doubt be way better and softer.

Trader Joe’s Cleansing & Conditioning HAIR WASH

NEW ITEM: Trader Joe’s “Cleansing and Conditioning Hair Wash” – “Gentle + Moisturizing. Generally Suitable For all hair types. Detergent & Paraben Free. Non-Foaming. Grapefruit Mint Scent. Reduces tangles, buildup, frizz and dryness. Enhances texture and volume. Reveals soft and shiny hair. Get more days between washes. No conditioner needed”

DIRECTIONS: “Wet hair. Coat all hair with hair wash. Massage in vigorously. Will not foam, and feels more like a conditioner. Rinse very thoroughly. No need to use a conditioner”

So this kind of seems that is is neither a shampoo nor is it exactly a conditioner… its something in between the two, they call “hair wash” and is something that you use between shampoos. My wife says she uses it after washing her hair as a conditioner (?) and she gave this a thumbs up (note, she’s tough to please with hair products). Now most conditioners say something like “leave in for three minutes before rinsing” This stuff doesn’t mention anything like how long to leave it in, therefore I assume that means you can rinse it out right away. No waiting!. This is something men like as we are well known to hate having to wait three torturous minutes for our conditioner to work. All kidding aside, this stuff seems to work, it has a pleasant scent, it has some ingredients that sound good, such as evening primrose, castor seed oil, sunflower oil, aloe leaf, soy, wheat and corn proteins, and flower extracts. I would buy it again but this is kind of unusual so its every man (or woman) for themselves on this “hair wash”. The nice thing is Trader Joe’s will give you a refund if you don’t decide you didn’t like it. How many stores do that?!! It’s $4.99 for the 8 oz tube.

Trader Joe’s Zamora Ecuador Small Lot Coffee

My go-to standard at Trader Joe’s for an all-around coffee is their very good COLOMBIAN SUPREMO. In fact many consider the Colombian Supremo coffee as the best coffee TJ sells. Still this nice looking package in the NEW ITEMS section caught my eye the other day, as I saw this coffee said it was from Ecuador. Reading the label, well they made it sound worth trying, plus I am not sure I’ve ever had a coffee from Ecuador before and was curious what it might taste like. In short, I was pretty disappointed. I didn’t like this coffee. Now it had a nice aroma and smelled really nice when I ground it. However when I brewed it up (in a Moka pot) I found it not at all what I expected to taste like and thought it tasted off somehow. I found the coffee to be thin and bitter, and way more acidic than what I was expecting. I tried it a few times with slightly different grinds and ratios to see if I could improve it, but still found it turned me off somehow. Especially by comparison to the balanced coffee flavors in their Colombian Supremo. If you’ve want a good tasting medium roast whole bean coffee at a decent value get that big can with the colorful Colombian toucan. Or the BUNNI.

This Ecuador Zamora coffee is $9.99 for a 13 oz bag. I would PASS on this small lot coffee however a few of the small lot coffees have been very good like the MEXICAN one (and an Indian one I had) so it’s kind of hit or miss. As one reader pointed out in the Comments, pre-pandemic back when Trader Joe’s offered small cups of coffee to sample you could get an idea of what one actually tasted like. Ah, the Good Old Days….SIGH!

Trader Joe’s “Just The Clusters” MAPLE PECAN GRANOLA

“Inside this bag you will find captivatingly crunchy, satisfyingly sweet clusters of rolled oats and pecans, with notes of maple syrup and honey”

If you are a fan of the large clumps you find in your granola, you will like this one which is basically “only the clusters”. Trader Joe’s “Just The Clusters” Maple Pecan Granola gives you lots and lots of those big crunchy clumps. I especially like it for all those crunchy clusters, made even crunchier than other granolas with rice flour added in. It has pecans in it, a fair amount if not loaded with them. I guess at this price (3.29) they can’t put a ton of them in there but there are quite a few very tasty roasted pieces of pecans, and the maple flavor of this granola is tasty. As per the Nutrition Label, I wish it didn’t have quite the amount of Added Sugars it says but I really don’t eat a whole bowl of this, or even the 2/3 cups they use as the serving size. What I use this for really is as a nice topping to add crunch on top of my breakfast yogurt bowl, usually something like chia seeds, mixed with yogurt and kefir and fruits (banana, apples, berries…) This would equally be great on top of oatmeal or overnight oats for a little crunch. You could even eat some as a snack, in moderate amounts. It’s $3.29 for a one pound bag. No weird ingredients, all pretty natural as you can see….

INGREDIENTS: Rolled Oats, Cane Sugar, Canola Oil, Rice Flour, Pecans, Maple Syrup, Cornstarch, Honey, Salt, Barley Malt Syrup, Natural Flavors


“Made in small, handmade batches with high quality organic durum wheat semolima. Thick, textured noodles, that cook up perfectly al dente and pair beautifully with pesto”

“It starts with the Italian pasta maker sourcing high quality, organic, and local durum wheat semolina, then going the extra mile to mill the flour themselves. High quality tools are equally essential—bronze-coated shaping disks are used to produce thick, textured noodles that deliver a perfectly al dente texture, crucial to support the heftiness of your sauce while maintaining a delicate chew. The Trofie pasta shape originates from Liguria, the northwest coastal region of Italy, famous for pesto. You could say pesto is Trofie’s soul-sauce, a match made in pasta-eating heaven. But limiting Trofie to a single sauce would be a mistake. These short, twisted noodles pair well with a variety of sauces, in both hot and cold applications.”

NEW TRADER JOE’S ITEM – Organic Trofie Pasta: I saw this sign and grabbed a package of this pasta from the display as I’m familiar with this pasta called “trofie” which is a shape we don’t see very often in the U.S. “Trofie” are a shape that is kind of a little twisted noodle with a hole in the middle; so it has a lot of nooks and crannies and space to hold onto a sauce. It’s from Liguria. Trader Joe’s pasta is a very high quality organic pasta which as can you see in the pictures has a lot of rough cut edges, a clear sign it was made using bronze dies. I really liked this pasta. I used it to make a dish I came up with with spinach, garlic and feta cheese, a kind of Greek / Italian dish which turned out really yummy. This is great stuff, a very high quality pasta for a really good price. The 1 lb. package sells for $1.99. I would buy this again. This is my new favorite pasta! Grab it if you see it.

If you want to learn about Trofie check out some of these videos on YouTube….

Continued price increases at Trader Joe’s

I’m sure you too have noticed Trader Joe’s prices continue to creep up. And up. This despite inflation supposedly actually getting better, and even coming down a bit. Almost every time I go to TJ’s lately I notice increases. Some things up 29 cents, some 49 cents. For example the Soy Milk has been $1.99 for a long time The other day I pick it up and notice the sign now says it $2.29. I see the same 29 cents increase on the tofu I regularly, it was $1.99 for a long time. Now $2.29. Jack Cheese that was $4.99 a pound went up to 5.49. These are just a few examples. I could not even begin to list how many products have gone up again recently. Price hikes of 10-15% or more? So it seems like I get sticker shock at the register every time I go recently. Are these increases actually justified? Since inflation has come down a bit and since gas prices have come down. Or are they taking advantage of the situation where people are expecting increases – and get them.

Feel free to share your thoughts about these price increases in Comments.

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