TJ’s Sweet & Spicy Pickle Chips & Onions


Thin slices of pickles and onions in a sweet and spicy brine. Emphasis on spicy. You have to try these, they are just terrific.

Now when Trader Joe’s calls these “spicy” on the label, in this case they are not kidding! They are quite hot and seriously SPICY! Containing “capsicum oleoresin”. However they are Spicy Delicious. With a hamburger these were particularly terrific. For me these pickles are just one more amazing TJ Wow Product, something that’s unique and special. I’m even a bit addicted and once I start eating them I keep going back for more. While they are Seriously Spicy if you just eat them their own, when you add them as as ingredient and eat them say on top of a hamburger or tucked into a sandwich, you will get a moderated amount of the heat. These are about $2.70 a jar.

Trader Joe’s CUBANO WRAP SANDWICH


Pretty rare that I buy pre-made sandwiches but I saw this in the case at Trader Joe’s recently and was intrigued at the name, Cubano Seasoned Wrap. The label say its”Roasted Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese and Dill Pickles on a flour tortilla with Cuban inspired mustard dressing”.

Just in case you’re not familiar what that is, a Cubano is a pretty famous, not to mention, amazing sandwich concoction made as this is, with both Roasted Pork and Ham (yes two kinds of pork in one place!) Swiss cheese and pickles. This traditionally goes on a very soft “Cuban bread” with a good smear of butter and goes into a special grill press which basically is like a “panini” grill. It gets pressed and grilled until its toasted up and golden brown and delicious with that swiss cheese now all melty and gooey and everything warm and yummy smelling. Trust me, if you ever had a really good Cubano, you would love it, they are to die for.

The Cubano sandwich is super famous in Miami as you might imagine with its large Cuban population. But fortunately its available in other places, especially with a large Hispanic speaking population, like New York City for one, where you can get a good Cubano. I used to go way uptown in Manhattan to a little Dominican bakery on Dykman Street in Inwood that makes them right in front of you, super non-fancy but amazingly good.

So I decided to try Trader Joe’s “Cubano Wrap” and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This tastes really good. It contains a good amount of the traditional ingredients: roasted pork with ham and Swiss cheese plus pickles but instead of bread they have put it into a burrito style wrap. The wrap variation works pretty well. I got one to make for lunch for my wife and I. We thought this was very tasty, both gave a thumbs up and since then I’ve bought it a few times.

Please note, this is a sandwich (wrap) that have to heat up – don’t even think about eating this cold, room temp, as-is.  Check out that grill mark in the picture? Thats what you want. Personally I would not “nuke” it to heat this, I suggest you grill it. Put the wrap in a non-stick or cast iron pan on med-low heat and heat it for about 4-5 minutes a side, pressing down gently till its one on one side, then flip it till both sides are G.D.B. and when everything will be warm and the cheese all melty inside. Eat it while its hot. As you can see in the photo here, it looks pretty damn yummy and for $3.99 this a good deal for a “sandwich”. It could be a dinner, for me. My wife and I usually split one for a light lunch, with some other stuff on the side. I served it with some TJ Horseradish Aioli, which was perfect with this Cubano Wrap. That is a very good sauce (I will review in future). So all in all, this Cubano Wrap gets a Thumbs Up, a Worth Trying, and Good Value seal of approval.

Let’s be real though. Its a little high in calories and sodium, so I treat this as a special treat for once in a while. I would not eat one every day no matter how yummy it is.

If this video doesn’t make you want to get a on plane to eat one in Little Havana, Miami, somethings wrong with you. Making Cubanos. From the film “Chef” with John Leguizamo and Jon Favreu.

 

RAVE