Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD


NEW PRODUCT: Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD. This is one of those Trader Joe’s products which once you try, you say to yourself “This is something I didn’t even know I needed but now that I know how good this is, I want this in my life from now on”. I saw this the other day in the NEW PRODUCTS section. Like so many Trader Joe items, you see it and are instantly curious to try it and see if it’s any good. Well guess what? TJ’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD is really good. It tastes exactly what the name says it is, mustard with dill pickles. It’s a very good classic American yellow mustard with dill pickles in it and a lot of dill flavor. Hitting two good tastes combinations at the same time. If you like dill pickles you will probably love this as much as I did. I put it on a hot dog and it was so yummy. What if I put this on a cheese sandwich? What about on a melted cheese sandwich? I can even see mixing a little bit of this into mashed potatoes too…?

$1.99 (9 oz bottle) I would buy this again.

Trader Joe’s MARBLE RYE BREAD


I just checked out a new product at Trader Joe’s, thier Marble Rye bread.

Opening the bag, you get that slightly sour wonderful smell that rye bread has. Now as a native New Yawk’r (and a member of the tribe) I know what a good rye bread tastes like. So I can’t tell you this TJ’s rye ranks high up with top NYC Jewish bakery rye breads. However the TJ Marble Rye is pretty good. It’s not at all like that supermarket rye bread (think “Levy’s crummy rye bread). This is way way better and good and when you toast this rye bread, which really improves this, you will know what it really tastes like. Toasted, this rye bread is delicious –in fact I would basically suggest you always toast this at least a little, as toasting it makes this rye bread be all it can be. Toasting it really improves the flavor and texture. The dark part as you can see in the picture is just a bit darker than the lighter part, unlike “real” marble rye breads from a NYC bakery which typically have very dark parts (black/pumpernickel) mixed with lighter rye. This bread is $3.49 for a 20 oz loaf. A bakery rye bread here in NYC is really expensive now, likely $6-7 a loaf -so this is a decent deal for a decent rye bread.

I would buy this again. Check it out if you like rye bread.

Trader Joe’s ORGANIC BUCATINI PASTA


Trader Joe’s Organic Bucatini Pasta

Trader Joe’s new imported Organic BUCATINI has pretty much become my favorite pasta that Trader Joe’s has. This is a high quality organic artisanal pasta in a shape called bucatini, which is a long pasta like spaghetti but with a little hole (buca) in the middle.

The hole really helps this pasta to absorb sauce way more than spaghetti does (twice as much). Bucatini can be really a good match also with hearty sauces such as a Bolognese sauce or ragu. This pasta is excellent obviously for most Italian pasta dishes, and a few even specify this shape, (recipe idea links below).

In the picture is a simple pasta dish I made with this bucatini pasta and just a basic marinara tomato sauce. Even with just marinara and cheese it made a delicious pasta.

Cooking tip: This says cook for 8-10 minutes. I would suggest pulling it from the water under al dente – say around the 7 minute mark THEN FINISHING it in a pan with sauce for a minute or two so it can absorb the sauce and flavor a bit. So pull the slightly undercooked pasta, toss it into a pan with maybe 1/2 the sauce you are serving it with, and finish cooking the pasta with the sauce adding 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking water as needed. (watch Vincenzo do this in the video below) Always save a 1/2 cup of your pasta cooking water. Starchy pasta cooking water is the magic “secret” ingredient to cooking pasta the way Italians do. Finish cooking the pasta for a minute or two until it’s al dente or to your desired degree of done-ness. Plate it up and serve with a bit of extra sauce on top. Garnish with a little grated cheese and chopped parsley. The Bucantini swells up a bit with the sauce giving it a delicious texture and taste. You can even try this Bucantini pasta to make Asian noodle dishes! No really. It works pretty well as an Asian noodle in a pinch.

TJ’s Organic Bucatini pasta is selling for $1.49 for a 1 lb. package. Ingredients: Organic Durum Semolina. PRODUCT OF ITALY. Here’s a few recipe ideas for bucatini too….

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a34922698/bucatini-pasta-recipe/

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/bucatini-pecorino-and-coarse-pepper

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/bucatini-best-long-pasta

Trader Joe’s “Azmari BUUNNI Coffee”


This blend combines Ethiopian delicacy with Latin verve…Notes of chocolate, nougat, cherry”

The lovely and striking graphic design of this bag of Buunii AZMARI coffee really caught my eye when I saw it recently in Trader Joe’s NEW PRODUCTS section. Strong colors and stylized images that say “farm”. The coffee inside is as good as the outside – this is an excellent coffee in a whole bean medium roast. In this case, an actual light-medium roast as sometimes people complain Trader Joe’s medium roasts are a shade darker. The coffee is from a smallish coffee outfit, BUUNNI COFFEE which I am glad to learn is being sold under it’s own brand at Trader Joe’s locations in the North East. The packaging for Trader Joe’s looks different from their other packaging so likely it was specially made for TJ’s – and this design really works as It instantly caught my eye!

Opening the convenient air-tight zip closure on the bag (more good design) Wheb I ground some coffee, the aroma smelled wonderful, and kind of had as they said “notes of chocolate, nougat, cherry…”. This coffee has a perfect mix of the best of “African” and “South American” coffee styles, for good reason, as that is exactly what this blend is composed of: two Ethiopian single origin coffees mixed with a coffee from Honduras. It has that “winy” sharp African coffee note which that is then balanced by the Latin American smoother notes of the single origin Honduran coffee. An excellent blend, roasted perfectly to bring out the best of this coffee. Trader Joe’s is selling it for $9.99 a bag (12 oz). I would buy this again, gladly and hope you give it a try; I don’t think anyone wouldn’t like this. Very impressive “high end” coffee for a good price. Well worth checking out if you see it and are a coffee lover!

https://www.thespruceeats.com/ethiopian-coffee-culture-765829

Who seriously doesn’t know this by now? ARTICLE: “Wait, Trader Joe was real?”


I guess the history of Trader Joe’s founder and marketing genius JOE COULOMBE is still news to some young reporters? Must have been a slow news day at CNN business. See link to article.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/07/business/trader-joes-history-joe-coulombe/index.html

Wait, Trader Joe was a real guy?

“New York (CNN Business)Turns out Trader Joe was a real guy, and his shrewd instincts led him to create a counter-culture grocery empire.

Joe Coulombe, a struggling convenience store owner in Los Angeles, decided in 1967 to open a grocery chain to appeal to the small but growing number of well-educated, well-traveled consumers that mainstream supermarkets were ignoring….”

Read the whole article on CNN via the link above

RELATED info about Trader Joe’s founder JOE COULOMBE, who passed away in 2020 https://traderjoesrants.com/2020/03/01/joe-coulombe-founder-and-namesake-of-trader-joes-dies-at-89/

Trader Joe’s ORGANIC CHIA SEEDS


Trader Joe’s Organic Chia Seeds

If you aren’t eating chia seeds by now, you probably should be eating them. You’ve no doubt heard about what a superfood chia seeds are and all it’s health benefits. These tiny powerhouse seeds are packed with protein and Omega 3’s and other goodies. When soaked in liquid the seeds swell up into a gel. So they are great for adding to cereal, smoothies, yogurt or pancakes. They can be used as a thickener. The seeds are really tiny so be careful as they have a tendency to go everywhere. Rather than pouring them out of the bag, I keep them in a jar so I can pour them or scoopI eat a huge tablespoon every day mixed into oat milk and kefir. They take a little while to swell up and absorb liquid so I wait 10 minutes or so. A 12 oz bag of them now sells for $5.49. Trader Joe’s sells a number of superfood seed items, chia seeds, flax seeds, a mix of chia and flax, and hemp seeds. All of these tiny superfood seeds are good for you and things you can incorporate into your daily diet, especially I think at breakfast when you can eat a few tablespoons easily in cereal, yogurts, and smoothies.

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-chia-seeds

Trader Joe’s SHRIMP SEAFOOD BURGERS


As a big fan of shrimp, I thought I should check out Trader Joe’s frozen “SHRIMP SEAFOOD BURGERS” to see if they were any good.

TRADER JOES SAYS:Trader Joe’s Shrimp Seafood Burgers are made of 70% farm-raised, Pacific White Shrimp and 23% wild-caught Pollock, held together with rice flour and sunflower oil. They are seasoned with garlic powder, dried basil, salt, and black pepper, which makes for juicy and delicious Seafood Burgers-whether you grill, bake, or pan fry them.”

Inside the package there are 4 individually wrapped burgers. They are fairly small, a little over 3 oz each. I followed the directions on the package which states to cook them from frozen (frankly this instruction goes against everything I know about cooking!) But I did what they said and pan grilled the frozen pucks for 4-5 minutes or just until they are opaque, which indicates they’re done. I tasted the shrimp burgers just by themselves, with some sauce, and inside a pita with a little sauce. TJ’s says they are 70% shrimp and 30% pollock, plus rice flour and oil to hold them together. Taste-wise I found them to be just OK, certainly nothing special with a distinct shrimp flavor. I found the texture a bit rubbery. Cooked up they made a small burger, as each one is only a bit over 3 ounces uncooked, and I imagine they shrink up after cooking. So on a regular bun they will look pretty small. Maybe try them cut in 1/2 on some Aloha buns? They go for $6.99. Honestly I didn’t think these were worth almost $2 each, and I probably will not buy them again. I would rather have grilled shrimp in front of me or even on a bun. As far as a fish burger, I thought TJ’s frozen salmon burgers were better than this shrimp version. Still I see quite a few people on the internet think these are good. So feel free to check them out and make up your own mind. They are not terrible, just not what if I were blind folded and you put this in my mouth would I answer “shrimp burger”. So personally if I want a real shrimp burger, I would make a real shrimp burger from some chopped shrimp, egg (or mayo) and bread crumbs as a binder, Southern-style. It’s not very difficult, might take 5 minutes of work and might cost the same thing or less with a better result.

MEH

Ingredients: Shrimp, Pollack, Oil, Rice Flour, Salt, Garlic, Spices. Product of Vietnam which farms a lot of shrimp.

Real Shrimp in a bun (made with Red Shrimp)

Seen at Trader Joe’s: STRAWBERRY PLANTS for sale!


Grow your own strawberries? This is pretty cool.

Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled PRETZEL NUGGETS


Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Nuggets are a classic, hugely popular snack item. Bags of these are said to fly out of the stores every day. Not only are they a hit with customers, they are also a hit with the staff and always a STAFF PICK item and are on TJ’s employees own top ten lists. Why? Well, they are just really that good for what they are. Short pretzels with a bit of salt that have a bit of peanut butter inside them. They’re kind of addictive, once you start eating them it’s hard to stop. Well at least it’s hard for me. Sure I know these may not be not the healthiest snack you could pick but every once in a while you just want something like this to munch on (TJ’s also carries a version without salt). If you can put 10 in front of you and that’s it they’re only 150 calories. Very good value as well. These sell for $2.49 a hefty 1 lb bag. There is also a GLUTEN FREE version of the I believe.

TJ’s says:

“…each real-peanut-butter-filled pretzel nugget is coated with coarse salt, and delivers crunchy and creamy and salty. They’re great party nibbles with cocktails or beer, juice or even sparkling water, and they make satisfying snacks for lunchboxes or after-school.”

Trader Joe’s PINEAPPLE SALSA


Trader Joe’s PINEAPPLE SALSA

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much I did like it when I tasted it and how good this salsa really was. I think the name put me off. Actually it’s quite good and I think if most people try this, they will like it too. Even though pineapple is in the name and is listed as the second ingredient on the list of ingredients, it doesn’t stand out and taste “pineapple-y” or overly sweet; it is completely blended into the other flavors. It does have a hint of sweetness but it tastes like salsa, not pineapples. I have a feeling this is salsa that even people who don’t like salsa will like! You know the “I don’t like salsa; its too spicy for me” type. As you can see from the “heat scale” on the label this is a fairly mild salsa with only a small amount of spiciness. Now as pork and pineapple are a famous match (eg, tacos al pastor) I would try TJ’s Pineapple Salsa on top of some Carnitas tacos. It would be great also on nachos, rice, shrimp, salmon, eggs, or anything you can think of. You could brush this on at the end of grilling / broiling chicken and it would great. A 12 oz jar is $1.99, so at under two dollars this is one of the cheaper salsas on offer at Trader Joe’s. I would gladly buy this again. Ingredients: Tomato, Pineapple, Onion, Green Pepper, Vinegar, Cane Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Red Pepper

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