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Trader Joe's Products (2002–2011)

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Reefpimp   

The frozen green chickpeas at Tj's make for a very interesting take on hummus. Plus they are double extra super yummy on their own; they taste a lot like English peas; which I make no doubt will lead me into some questionable areas involving English peas, tahini, garlic, and a food processor.

Pray for me.

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markk   

I'm relatively new to Trader Joe's, it requiring quite a drive to get to one, but I do make the trek to be sure that I always have their Tarte d'Alsace in the freezer. Two have opened up closer to me (one, quite close) so I've been able to experiment with more stuff.

So I tried the Shepherd's Pie, which sure sounded good. But it was the almost strangest thing I've ever eaten (and not in a good way). Two of us were ready to give up on them after the first taste and scrounge for something else, but we figured "what the hell" and stuck with them, though they did not grow on us in any way.

Does anybody like these?

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Was it too watery? Was the meat fatty? Bland?

I have never had Trader Joe's, but Shephards Pie is good down-to-earth comfort food. I order it at a little pub I frequent when the weather is cold.

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markk   

It was sort of bland. The meat chunks had the color and consistency and stringiness of what's generally sold in the cryovac packs as "corned beef", and had little relation to the rest of the pie. And it wasn't in any way "harmonious" or tasty, and in both cases, a significant amount of the "gravy" boiled over and out of the package (which was one of the warnings) while other parts of the pie remained cold, so however they devised this to reheat in the microwave didn't seem well planned. I dunno. It was just all-around "strange" and unenjoyable, and but for the fact that it was late and we just wanted something to eat, we wouldn't normally have eaten them.

I was hoping that maybe some people who were familiar with them would come on and post other experiences with them.

I am quite familiar with Shepherd's Pie in general.

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Tess   

I've given up buying prepared foods from TJ's unless recommended by someone whose taste I know. Too many experiences like this.

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I've given up buying prepared foods from TJ's unless recommended by someone whose taste I know. Too many experiences like this.

me, too.

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It was sort of bland.  The meat chunks had the color and consistency and stringiness of what's generally sold in the cryovac packs as "corned beef", and had little relation to the rest of the pie.  And it wasn't in any way "harmonious" or tasty,...........

That's a shame Mark. Based on what you just reported I'll stear clear of them too.

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I've given up buying prepared foods from TJ's unless recommended by someone whose taste I know. Too many experiences like this.

ditto on this exactly

I feel the same way about the cheese section I find most of it lousy and never buy it unless I need the big thing of chevre for a recipe

I love their cream yogurt and butter.. .. the selection of dried fruits and nuts ...fantastic

that is about it from there I love the store but I only buy a few things consistantly ..nothing premade that is for sure as above

as I have had way too many disapointments ...

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I've given up buying prepared foods from TJ's unless recommended by someone whose taste I know. Too many experiences like this.

ditto on this exactly

I feel the same way about the cheese section I find most of it lousy and never buy it unless I need the big thing of chevre for a recipe

I love their cream yogurt and butter.. .. the selection of dried fruits and nuts ...fantastic

that is about it from there I love the store but I only buy a few things consistantly ..nothing premade that is for sure as above

as I have had way too many disapointments ...

About a year ago a Trader Joe's opened within blocks of my house. We were very excited!

but the more we shopped there the more we were disappointed in a lot of their stuff.

We also realized how over packaged everything is. So what if you have organic whatever, if it has three or four "biodegradable" wrappings, you are defeating the point.

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I have never understood what people have gushed over Trader Joes about.

Dont get it, never will.

Frozen meat and seafood turn me off.

And I may just be being picky but just cause they slap a Trader Joes label on things doesnt make them better then items in other stores...

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I can't say I like the wine I've bought from them. But their garlic is better than the supermarket's (although not up to the summer farmer's market).

And I hate the fact that so many things, including oranges and lemons, are packaged in plastic, so one can't tell till one gets it home that one is no good.

It is pleasant though to have people who smile at the checkout counter and go out of their way to show you where things are located. (I enjoy the tastes as well, as though I usually don't buy the prepared foods they're giving samples of.)

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Batard   
I've given up buying prepared foods from TJ's unless recommended by someone whose taste I know. Too many experiences like this.

Same here.

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markk   

Thanks everybody! I learned something.

Though their Tarte d'Alsace is something I'd like never to be without in my freezer; it's great. So far for me, that makes one thing out of the entire store. Good thing there's one close by now.

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Toliver   

I always buy my balsamic vinegar at TJ's. I used to buy the "jug-o-balsamic-vinegar" at Costco but when they switched to a Kirkland brand (less product for about the same price :angry: ) I switched to TJ's. I don't buy the high-end stuff...just the regular everyday stuff.

I also like TJ's jar of julienned sun-dried tomatoes. It's a lot cheaper than what I find in the normal grocery stores.

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cdh   

I find TJ's prepared foods tend toward the sweet and insipid side of the flavor spectrum... That is what I recall about the Shepherd's Pie (which is a misnomer... shepherd's pie contains ground lamb, Cottage Pie contains ground beef, though the TJ's I recall could just as well have contained TVP for all of the meaty character it brought) is that is was a bit more sweet that I'd like in a savory dish, and over-thymed.

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Allura   

The shepherd's pie is definitely not one of their better items. Of their frozen, microwavable meals, we usually stick to the burritos, tacquitos and the like, the eggplant parmesan (it's not great, but it's not breaded, which is a step up from the grocery store), and the macaroni & cheese. Otherwise, I buy their frozen fruit in off season, their yogurt, all the frozen desserts are good, coffee, whole wheat bread (they have a sprouted grain one that's not too sweet like most whole wheat bread), and their lobster bisque occasionally. It's good for a bunch of stuff I buy because it's there. Also, their canned cat food actually smells decent and has a good ingredient list, and they almost always have the "double wide" cat scratcher for my wide-load kitties. :)

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Their appetizers are usually good -- things like dumplings or lemongrass sticks. But their frozen asparagus risotto was just terrible.

Come to think of it, I don't buy too many of their frozen items, save those appetizers and veggies.

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Toliver   

Every Christmas my brother and his wife give me a "munchies" bag containing various dips, spreads, condiments, chips and snacks.

This year they included a box of Trader Joe's Chocolate Truffles.

Oh.My.God.

They may not be high end chocolates but I tell you the mouth feel of these chocolates is so sexy, silky, and satiny that it feels like I'm committing a sin when I eat them. :wub:

Anyone else a fan?

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Susie Q   

Not a chocolate lover but these are very good. Their price is even wonderful.

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mizducky   
Every Christmas my brother and his wife give me a "munchies" bag containing various dips, spreads, condiments, chips and snacks.

This year they included a box of Trader Joe's Chocolate Truffles.

Oh.My.God.

They may not be high end chocolates but I tell you the mouth feel of these chocolates is so sexy, silky, and satiny that it feels like I'm committing a sin when I eat them. :wub:

Anyone else a fan?

Oh yeah ... I have to carefully meter my indulgence in those things, so these days I never buy them, because it's too much temptation to have a whole box in the house. But I happily accept one when offered.

Back in my "bad" old days (food indulgence-wise) I had a real thing for TJ's dark chocolate-covered jelly sticks--both the raspberry and orange-flavored ones. Now buying a tub of those is definitely a temptation torpedo! :laugh:

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DCP   
Every Christmas my brother and his wife give me a "munchies" bag containing various dips, spreads, condiments, chips and snacks.

This year they included a box of Trader Joe's Chocolate Truffles.

Oh.My.God.

They may not be high end chocolates but I tell you the mouth feel of these chocolates is so sexy, silky, and satiny that it feels like I'm committing a sin when I eat them. :wub:

Anyone else a fan?

They used to be a staple for me (when in season), but I've since weaned myself off - the temptation was too great. My SO, on the other hand, finds them flawless (save the mint flavor). She'd rather have them than much pricier and fancy chocolates, and IS a chocolate snob. Go figure.

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DRColby   

It might be interesting to pass along that Trader Joes is trying to limit its trade in products coming from China. Cathy and I glean for our local food bank and a week or so ago we picked up a case of Chinese pine nuts and another one of dried fruit and one of the employees told us about the effort.

We hope there is success.

Dave

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