Trader Joe’s KOREAN SWEET PANCAKES (Hotteok)


“A chewy-flaky dough filled with a lusciously gooey cinnamon filling”

Here’s one more Korean item Trader Joe’s added in 2022; “SWEET CINNAMON FILLED KOREAN PANCAKES” known in Korean as “HOTTEOK“. In Seoul, they’re a common snack sold from stalls in the street. People really enjoy eating them on a cold winter day. Trader Joe’s has come up with a frozen version which all you need to to do is heat up in a pan and enjoy. I cooked them as recommended in a pan on the stove with no added oil, until they were golden brown and delicious. They look really good as you can see. I found them to be quite tasty. They were flaky and had a nice filling with cinnamon and brown sugar. I thought there might be some red bean paste in there but but reading the package I can see theres some sweet potato in the filling. So while I enjoyed these I’ve never tasted a real one and my wife (who’s Korean) on the other hand told me they were just so-so and not at all as good as ones you would get at some street stall in Seoul made by the Hotteok lady vendors. I don’t doubt that but at $4.50 for a package (of 4 pancakes) these are at least a lot easier and cheaper than booking a flight to Seoul. These might even make you want to go get some real ones some day in person. I know I would watching the lady make them in video below.

Trader Joe’s and folks on the internet suggest putting ice cream inside them. I didn’t try it but imagine it would be good. Again my wife, poo-poo’ed this saying that’s not authentic. I say try these yourself and decide. They make a slightly unusual and interesting dessert or snack. And if you’re ambitious enough to want to try to make them yourself, here’s a recipe…. and a TIP: eat them carefully, the inside is lava HOT so let them cool slightly!

Trader Joe’s site has a “Limited” sign on the picture so I expect these may not last forever. If you want to try them, do sooner rather than later.

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/sweet-cinnamon-filled-korean-pancakes-069665

“When strolling through the streets of Seoul on a still, chilly morning, among the many sights to see, you may encounter the scent of fresh hotteok being served straight from the grills and fry pans of street vendors….”

They are interesting to watch getting made…. I bet they are really good. They are huge too.

Trader Joe’s CHILI LIME ROLLED TORTILLA CHIPS are finally back!


Trader Joe’s CHILI LIME FLAVORED ROLLED CORN TORTILLA CHIPS – “SPICY, TANGY AND IRRESISTIBLE”.

https://www.eatthis.com/news-trader-joes-discontinuing-takis-snack/

Hooray – they were not Discontinued after all! These very addictive tortilla chips are back on the shelves at Trader Joe’s (NYC)! They were Missing In Action for months….Feared to have been Discontinued by Trader Joe’s but it seems this was not the case and just temporarily out of stock (though it was months). When I saw them last week my heart leapt with joy to learn these favorite TJ items of mine weren’t “disco’d”. I had read stuff on Reddit and elsewhere that they were Discontinued but these reports seems fortunately to have been wrong, like other stuff you find on the ‘Net! So I’m just guessing it was due to some vendor side issue but its not always easy to know if items are really “discontinued” or TOS “temporarily out of stock”. One can ask the TJ’s captain at the front desk to look up and check on any item. This is what I do if I really want to know about an item. The front desk staff usually can tell you by checking on their computer if any item is just out of stock or has actually been officially discontinued (disco’d in Trader Joe’s lingo). If you never tried these before, well they are really something else, but maybe not for everyone. These are Rolled Up tortilla chips that are loaded and we do mean loaded with spices. These are the kind of chips that when you eat them your fingers get stained and coated from the chili and lime seasonings. In this case red. These are spicy and fiery and have a little mouth puckering thing going on too (from the lime). I have read these are kind of like “TAKIS FUEGOS” chips but as I’ve never actually tried TAKIS Fuego chips myself I can’t say how close they are to those. As these are pretty intense with flavors and spices, these may be “a love it or hate it” item. I find these addictive. Spicy delicious, crunchy and pretty much a Wow in the flavor department. I love them. However my wife doesn’t like them. She things they are way too much, but this is OK by me as that means I don’t have to share them. I get the whole bag to myself;)

While I do like eating these right out of the bag I particularly like them matched up with other (blander) items. Like eaten with some cheese or some bean dip or guacamole, or even dipped into ricotta or cottage cheese. Great with sour cream of course too as with something else it balances out the bang a bit so if they are too much on their own try them together with other things. A package is now $2.99.

TIP: As I said as far as finding out if an item is Discontinued I ask a store’s Captain if they can look up an item and check it’s status, and see if it’s just “TOS” (temporarily out of stock) or officially discontinued (“Disco’d” in TJ’s speak). Sometimes they will even tell you a time they should be back and available. Sometimes however its bad news. Like I got a few months ago when I could not find TJ’s Pine Kitty Litter. Argh!!!

GLUTEN FREE – made from corn

Trader Joe’s DRIED ORANGE SLICES


Trader Joe’s Sweetened Dried Orange Slices

“Exactly what the name implies. Very sweet orange slices which are full of wonderful citrus flavor. You can eat the whole slice, rind and all.”

Personally I think these are a terrific little snack with an old world taste and esthetic. I just love these. They are whole slices of orange including the rind and the peel (but no pits) which are sweetened and dried to be slightly chewy. They have a wonderfully intense orange flavor which includes a slightest bitterness from the peel. These are so good I could eat the whole package at once but I usually stop myself at around 3 slices. OK maybe 4. They’re $1.99 a package which is just over 5 oz. “Product of Thailand”.

Trader Joe’s BOBA TEA Kit (Brown Sugar Tapioca Pearls Drink)


If you are not familiar with BOBA TEA (aka bubble tea) it’s a popular (very TRENDY) drink that has very large pearls of Tapioca that sink to the bottom. The tapioca pearls have a very chewy texture that most people really enjoy. The pearls are so large that to suck them up it comes with a special ultra wide straw. These drinks are sold by specialty tea shops like “GONG CHA” that serve up a premium (and a bit pricey) Boba Tea Drink.

Trader Joe’s BOBA TEA kit is a (poor) approximation of what you might get from a specialty Boba Tea shop. I have had Boba Tea from quite a few different Tea shops and in short, Trader Joe’s Boba Tea Kit won’t put any of them out of business. The drink you get in a real Boba Tea shop is way better than this, however if you’ve never had it before this may give you an idea of what “boba tea” is. As my wife commented “this is a Trader Joe’s version”. She meant it as a knock as in “cheap knockoff of the real thing”. A specialty shop boba tea drink usually costs about $5-6 bucks each. This kit sells for $5.50 for 4 drinks. So yes a cheap knock off. Granted, its a high profit item (sugar, tea, tapioca)

Anyway if you can’t have it at one of these shops and just want to try boba tea in that case then his might be a good starting point. For one thing the tapioca pearls in Trader Joe’s are much smaller than the ones that the shops make which are huge and so chewy. This kit has 4 pouches of a concentrate with the pearls. You mix this package up with milk or tea (or combo of the two) plus a handful of ice to dilute its sweetness, and you need to add enough of these things in, otherwise it will be way too sweet. I put the defrosted pouch into a glass jar with a lid so I could really shake it up with the added ice and liquid. The kit even has 4 big straws. Not bad, but again really no comparison to a Boba Tea shop drink. I probably wouldn’t buy it again.

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spiced PUMPKIN SEEDS (Fall Item)


There are some Fall items that are misses and some that are hits. This is a HIT for me. These are really good. I love them and everybody I offered them too liked them. The added spices and coating is not cloying, it’s just enough but not too much so you still taste pumpkin seeds, and they are really crunchy and tasty (they have butter). $2.99 for 8 oz.

The Pumpkin Greek Yogurt however was a big Miss for me; Didn’t like that taste at all. I would not buy that again.

Trader Joe’s GARLIC BREAD CHEESE


” A mild cow’s milk cheese seasoned with garlic powder and baked golden brown”

What is Trader Joe’s “bread cheese”. There is no bread. It’s a cheese you can grill. It’s really, really good! Too good perhaps. Inspired by a popular grilling cheese from Finland, Trader Joe’s “Bread Cheese” is designed to be grilled. It’s a firm cheese with a high melting point which has been pre-baked until golden brown, then packaged up. We now grill this cheese up in a pan until it it gets all melty and gooey. While it is all nice and soft, you eat the slightly squeaky yummy cheese which is kind of like a mozzarella stick without the breading. In fact they suggest you dunk it in some tomato sauce. Some people have put the Hot Honey on it. Some have put Ranch on it. I like it “Greek style” with fresh lemon juice sprinkled over the hot cheese. This stuff is wonderful on top off a salad, or eaten with with a crusty baguette or other bread. Trust me, this is so good and you will come up with lots of ways to enjoy it. Anyway you eat this, you will find it delicious. Its about $4.29 for the package (6 oz). I would buy this again.

My suggestion. Try it Greek Style like Saganaki. Cook it up in a small pan with a little olive oil until golden and sprinkle it with fresh lemon, then bring the whole pan to the table for everyone to tear into and enjoy with warm bread or pita and some salad. TJ’s sells another yummy cheese for grilling called HALOUMI, which is also delicious. Try them both.

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/garlic-bread-cheese-071622

“Known in its native Finland as juustolepä, Bread Cheese contains no wheat, or gluten, nor anything else of that nature, but rather gets its name from its hearty, remarkably bread-like consistency and squeaky, Halloumi-like texture. And much like Halloumi, Trader Joe’s Garlic Bread Cheese is best served nice and warm, after it’s had a chance to get just a little melty and gooey.”

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s GOLDEN ROUNDS CRACKERS


Similar in appearance to famed Ritz crackers (which in my lifetime, I’ve probably eaten a few thousand of. ). These however I think these may be slightly healthier with better ingredients. For one thing, comparing the ingredients labels, I see TJ GOLDEN ROUNDS list Sunflower Oil and Cane Sugar in them whereas Ritz’s ingredients include Palm Oil and High Fructose Corn Syrup. How are these compared to Ritz? They’re good! (OK maybe a tiny bit less compared to Ritz) But the ingredients here are a bit healthier for you and that small difference in taste is outweighed by this. These crackers were very good tasted with a bit of Unexpected Cheddar cheese on top. These crackers are perfect for a cheese plate or snacks. There are about 100 crackers in a box. TJ Golden Round crackers sell for $1.99. $2.69.

Give these a try. I would buy them again.

Trader Joe’s HASH BROWN POTATOES


Trader Joe’s sells these frozen hash brown shredded potato patties. I see a lot of people buying them. Maybe because they kind of resemble MacDonald’s potato patties? These are not bad at all. They consist of just three ingredients, potatoes, oil and salt. You can bake them as suggested on the package. A toaster oven will work for that too. It doesnt say this on the package but you can make them on the stove in a pan which is what I did. I added a tiny bit of oil to a non-stick pan and cooked them on low until the first side was golden brown, then flipped them, about 15-20 minutes in total. I would say you want these as crispy as possible. Now I don’t have an Air Fryer but I’ve seen other people report you can cook these in and Air Fryer and they work well getting nice and crispy without adding more oil.

The patties were pretty tasty, especially with a sunnyside up egg I had them with. I gave them a good dusting of black pepper and that improved them quite a bit for flavor. I could see you using these at breakfast, or lunch or dinner. Very versatile. Things they match well with include ketchup, eggs, bacon, sour cream, or of course pretty much anything that would go well with potatoes. There are 10 patties in a package which now goes for $2.29. Trader Joe’s also sells frozen shredded hash brown potatoes in a bag, that is not in patty form just loose, the way you would normally make hash browns. Those would be good for adding things in during cooking such as some chopped onions and peppers, so also useful. The Sodium level is not crazy high (250mg a patty). But don’t eat 4! Thats 1000mg.

UPDATE (Fall 2022) Product has been MIA for some time. Don’t tell me these are gone for good TJ’s….

UDPATE 2 (WINTER 2022) This product is finally back!!

Trader Joe’s Freeze DRIED CHICKEN TREATS for Cats and Dogs


FREEZE DRIED JUST CHICKEN FOR PETS $5.99

One ingredient, Chicken. A protein packed treat for dogs or cats.

Any dog or and cat will likely go nuts for these treats, I mean as in rip your arms off to get them. At least my two cats do. Now at six bucks a bag, these are not cheap however it is because its really “super concentrated” chicken, pure little pieces of freeze dried chicken breast. Maybe these two ounces of freeze dried chicken started off as a pound of chicken before they freeze dried it which removed all the water? So one or two treats should suffice (ha, that’s what you say human). Kitty guest Review: My two cats went absolutely bonkers for these, I just opened the bag and they ran into the kitchen from the other side of the house. How they could smell them I have no idea but clearly if you’re a dog or a cat you will smell them and go insane. These treats can also be used to put on top of food if your pet doesn’t want to eat for any reason (changed food brand or recipe, lack of appetite, illness…). In that case, you can just crush up a piece between your fingers and sprinkle the chicken powder on top.

Trader Joe's Freeze-Dried Just Chicken for Pets

The other good, and much cheaper, treat Trader Joe’s sells is the DRIED SALMON SKIN. They however are messier and smellier to deal with but at $1.99 a bag a good bargain and a healthy treat for cats and dogs (they are labeled “for dogs” but cats can eat too and love them, it’s just baked salmon skins)

Trader Joe’s “Hold The Cone” MINI ICE CREAM CONES


Hold The Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones

These seem to be pretty popular so I checked them out. My take was they are super cute for one thing if you serve them to someone. Taste wise, they’re pretty good. The chocolate coating was good, the ice cream good (but not as good as TJ’s “premium” coffee bean ice cream). The cones had a slightly stale texture especially at the bottom. So while OK, frankly these wouldn’t make me want to give up a scoop of TJ’s excellent “super premium” Coffee Bean Ice Cream instead of these if given a choice. So while really cute to serve to someone, personally I would prefer a scoop of the better ice cream. The MINI CONES come in a package of 8 for $3.79. If I had a choice of picking this product over a quart of ice cream which is almost the same price don’t think I would get these. I’d get the bigger ice cream, better taste and value, over the “cute factor”.

Previous Older Entries