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Trader Joe's Products (2012–2015)


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The last time I was in Trader Joe's I bought a container of their Soup Starter veggies in their produce section (not to be confused with their mirepoix veggies). I wish I could recall the laundry list of veggies (I think there were 8 or so) that were diced up in the mixture but reading it I thought they would be good in a salad mixed with some lettuce/greens. They looked a little dry when I opened the container so I refreshed them in some ice cold water. I drained them, added them to salad greens and added some canned albacore tuna and tossed it all with some salad dressing. Quite tasty! The container is large so I had enough diced veggies for more than a few salads.

 

 

Was it the "health mix".  I buy that and throw it in salads and tuna fish. 

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ElsieD,

 

So glad for you that you get to experience TJ's for the first time!

 

These are some things that I like to stock up on when I get to go:

 

3 buck Chuck (Charles Shaw wine) Chardonnay for cooking and Shiraz for drinking

pita bread (from the fresh bread section)

black olives (canned)

garbanzos (canned) and other canned beans including cannellini

dried spices and herbs (many are a generous portion for $2, I'm a fan of their $2 smoked paprika 1.6 oz.)

pistachio and other nuts (cheaper than most sources)

cinnamon raisin swirl bread (fresh bread section)

quinoa  (cheaper than other sources)

imported Italian bronze-die pasta (again cheaper than other sources)

ciabatta (this is touted as locally sourced, but look in the local bread racks for your selections)

cherry juice

blueberry juice

yoghurt

teas

coffees

dried fruits (cheaper than other sources, and some are available unsulphered)

hatch chiles (canned)

cheeses (including a great smoked gouda, and a mild and nutty Parmesan)

 

Too bad you can't take advantage of their frozen stuff, but you might be able to purchase one of their excellent cheesecakes, which would thaw in your cooler, but might still be workable.

 

The array of excellent hors d'oeuvres in the freezer section from cream cheese pasty stuffed with mushroom filling to spanakopita triangles will surely tempt you. They also offer cheap but excellent imported from Italy, word-fired oven pizzas in the freezer section, and an array of vegetables and frozen entrees and fish, and frozen rack of lamb.

 

Happy TJ's shopping!

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I'm lucky enough to be able to shop at a Trader Joe's this weekend. I have never been to one of their stores and am looking forward to it. I have started reading this thread and have been making notes as I go along but it is a very looooong thread and I don't know if I will be able to get through it all. So I am looking for suggestions - what should I absolutely buy? It will be about a three hour drive home from there and while I have a cooler with me, I'm thinking frozen items won't be practical but some refrigerated items are fine. I am particularly interested in items unique to Trader Joe's or of a particularly high quality that you won't find in your average grocery store. Thanks!

I have to say that once you eliminate all the pre-prepared frozen foods because they will thaw and all the alcohol because you won't be allowed to bring it back without paying huge duties and look at the prices with the Canadian dollar down around the $.80 mark the lure of Trader Joe's loses some of its lustre. If I were to go in the next little while I would still buy too many packages of the crystallized ginger because it's cheap and good, a carton of their shelf stable milk in 8 ounce packages and a few pounds of their butter because I love the way it is packaged. I still hope that you enjoy the experience.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Thanks for your suggestions. I have been going backwards through this thread and although I am only at page 12 I have come across a few things I have never seen in Canada, such as cold brew coffee concentrate, Uncured Sweet Sriracha Bacon Jerky, pumpkin croissants and Sriracha &Roasted Garlic BBQ sauce, among a few other things mentioned above. I see they also sell Frozen Kouign Amman and it's a bummer I can't bring that back. Or maybe I will if it is sold frozen but unbaked as I can bake them when I get home and re freeze them.

Butter is another thing I would like to get as the choice is much greater and the prices are much more reasonable. My butter of choice in Canada is now $6.49 a pound and I can't really justify spending that much for a pound of butter. Other than that, I am mainly interested in the things I have never seen here. It really is a shame I can't bring frozen stuff back. We only drink wine and so will likely just get a couple of bottles of the more expensive wines which are way more expensive here.

If anyone has more suggestions, I would love to get them.

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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I don't know where you will be going to shop but I do have a suggestion for keeping frozen food during travel for several hours - which I have used many times in the past.

 

Dry ice, a slab about 2 inches thick and 12" x 12", wrapped in several layers of newspaper and placed on top of frozen foods, will keep them well below freezing for 8 hours  or longer.

 

Here in my city there are nine vendors who sell dry ice - you have to provide your own wrapping and container, although they do rent ice cream chests, but unless you live in a village, there should be a place in your town or in the town where the Trader Joe's is located.

Wear gloves to handle it!!!

 

You should also have at least one window in your vehicle open just an inch or so or have the vents open because it does outgas carbon dioxide - no problem if it is in the trunk.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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""   so will likely just get a couple of bottles of the more expensive wines which are way more expensive here. ""

 

they are.

 

why get the more $$$$ wines ?

 

what do you like ?  re wine sur la table ?

 

then get that re the case

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""   so will likely just get a couple of bottles of the more expensive wines which are way more expensive here. ""

 

they are.

 

why get the more $$$$ wines ?

 

what do you like ?  re wine sur la table ?

 

then get that re the case

I am hoping that the border guards allow us to bring some wine back. For a stay of less than 48 hours, you are not allowed to bring back any adult beverages. That will be us, come Monday. The border guards have always allowed us our couple of bottles maybe because we are upfront and voluntarily declare it before they even ask us. If they do charge you duty and taxes it is about 60% of the retail price (near as I can tell). After 48 hours, you can bring back 2 bottles of 750 ml (that's a quart to you) without having to pay any duty or taxes. It makes more sense to bring back the more expensive wines as the savings are greater. One of the wines we like which is for us a special occasion wine is Pouilly-Fuisse so we look for that. A good quaffing wine that we buy for consuming in the States is Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio. It costs twice as much in Canada as it does in the States.

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I don't know where you will be going to shop but I do have a suggestion for keeping frozen food during travel for several hours - which I have used many times in the past.

 

Dry ice, a slab about 2 inches thick and 12" x 12", wrapped in several layers of newspaper and placed on top of frozen foods, will keep them well below freezing for 8 hours  or longer.

 

Here in my city there are nine vendors who sell dry ice - you have to provide your own wrapping and container, although they do rent ice cream chests, but unless you live in a village, there should be a place in your town or in the town where the Trader Joe's is located.

Wear gloves to handle it!!!

 

You should also have at least one window in your vehicle open just an inch or so or have the vents open because it does outgas carbon dioxide - no problem if it is in the trunk.

That's brilliant. I have never been able to buy it here unless I want to buy it in commercial quantities which doesn't make sense for my needs so I never thought of that. I have written to my niece to see if she knows where we can buy some. We are going to Trader Joe's in Syracuse, NY and it is a 3 to 3 1/2 hour trip home.

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Since products at Trader Joe's come and go, I'd start reading this thread from most recent to older. That way, you're most apt to find the products mentioned. Have fun!!

This.  Some items are TJ's staple, others disappear as soon as I get them on my standing list so I would caution you not to count on specific "fancy" items too much.  But most tend to be very reasonably priced = worth an impulse buy.  

 

My staples:

-lots of nuts, esp toasted slivered almonds 

-lots of dried fruit, esp tart Montmorency cherries (get these even if you're not sure what to do with them and then try them wherever you might use dried cranberries or maybe raisins) and Blenheim variety apricots (less sugar/more flavor than the usual sort, fantastic for baking)

-freeze-dried fruit (strawberries, raspberries, etc.)

-maple syrup for way better than supermarket prices (don't know if this will be as compelling to a Canadian)

-"Goddess" salad dressing (only wish it came in larger, unbreakable bottles)

-peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets

-"Pound plus" chocolate (500g bars, various %s) 

 

Fancy things we currently enjoy:

-Fig & Olive crisps, Raisin Rosemary crisps (little crackers, with boxed crackers, rather than bagged snacks)

-refrigerated tamales (the ones we used to think were a seasonal item)

-whatever looks interesting....

 

I'm sure you will enjoy browsing.  The staff are generally much more helpful than in my area supermarkets.

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"""   It makes more sense to bring back the more expensive wines as the savings are greater. """

 

fair enough

 

""  a special occasion wine is Pouilly-Fuisse ""

 

they have some my area.

 

it differs place to place

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I just phoned two different Baskin Robbins stores and they sell dry ice if you can't find a regular retail ice place.

The girl at BR also said that one of the WalMart superstores sells dry ice but you have to call ahead to have them cut it into a suitable slab, assuming that particular store sells it. 

Other ice cream shops also sell it -  according to the girl at BR - so that is a possibility. 

 

 

And here's a link to this month's TJ's Fearless Flyer!

Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Don't know if this was mentioned, but it's worth repeating: dark Morello cherries in light syrup. They come in jars. Get several, you won't regret it.

 

I so envy people who have things like shelf and cabinet space.

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Did a TJ's run today and picked up a few new things in addition to some random staple fruit, veg, and chocolate:

 

-Biltong - pretty good! 0g carbs, unlike any other dried meat snack I've seen

-Habanero hot sauce - properly hot. No artificial colorings or anything else, unlike the standard El Yucateco (I can't find their more natural "Exxxtra Hot" easily anymore), which was my go-to mega hot sauce.

-Partially popped corn - I saw this in the flyer and couldn't believe it. I love those little barely popped things in the bottom of the bowl. Whole bag of them, buttered and salted. Addictive.

-Giant inca corn (I posted about this before, but I saw it again for the first time in a while). Still crack-tastically good.

-Shishito peppers - I've had them plenty of times and buy them occasionally from H Mart, but it was nice to see them at TJ's

-Lightly smoked sardines in olive oil - no idea how good these will be, but they were cheap.

-a white (green) and rosé vinho verde, <$5 each.

 

I didn't buy one, but they were sampling their spinach and tomato (?) pizza. It was pretty god damn good for a frozen pre-made pizza. I'd have bought one if I had better self control (I'm likely to eat the entire thing in one night, if not one sitting).

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Don't know if this was mentioned, but it's worth repeating: dark Morello cherries in light syrup. They come in jars. Get several, you won't regret it.

 

I so envy people who have things like shelf and cabinet space.

 

I got a jar of these a few years ago, and perhaps they've changed the formula, but then, they were very soft and insipid. So far every type of non-Luxardo cherries in syrup I've tried have been like that.

 

Also, admittedly they sat in the fridge for a while, but the syrup is not sweet enough to prevent eventual mold.

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I got a jar of these a few years ago, and perhaps they've changed the formula, but then, they were very soft and insipid. So far every type of non-Luxardo cherries in syrup I've tried have been like that.

 

Also, admittedly they sat in the fridge for a while, but the syrup is not sweet enough to prevent eventual mold.

Interesting. I've used them in cakes (drained well, patted dry), and have liked the results. Added the cherries to ice cream once (an impulsive attempt at Cherry Garcia), they were okay. I do like to very mundanely spoon them over things. But I discovered that I like the syrup more than the cherries, and I usually use the two separately. The syrup (which, BTW, freezes very nicely in a zip-lock bag and happens to have more cherry flavor than the cherries) is great heated with a cinnamon stick, some star anise, a few cloves, a bit of lemon juice and honey, just reduce it a bit and then drizzle it over a slice of almond torte.

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I got a jar of these a few years ago, and perhaps they've changed the formula, but then, they were very soft and insipid. So far every type of non-Luxardo cherries in syrup I've tried have been like that.

 

Also, admittedly they sat in the fridge for a while, but the syrup is not sweet enough to prevent eventual mold.

But wait! Are you trying to use these as a garnish for a drink?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Hassouni have you tried the bada bing cherries from Tillen Farms? You should be able to find them at Whole Foods and Balduccis. Not the same as the Luxardos but I do like them in a Manhattan.

Edited by curls (log)
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Hassouni have you tried the bada bing cherries from Tillen Farms? You should be able to find them at Whole Foods and Balduccis. Not the same as the Luxardos but I do like them in a Manhattan.

 

Thanks I'll keep a look out for them

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And here is my haul....thanks for all your suggestions. Not shown are Korean Kalbi Chicken Sausages, Chili Lime Chicken Burgers, Turkey Corn Dogs and some heavy whipping cream. I don't know if I got the right apricots but either way, they will get eaten. I don't eat a lot of ginger but I bought it to put in cookies. The majority of things I got were on the list I made from reading this thread back to page 12 and your suggestions. Some of the items were impulse buys like the dark chocolate speculoos cookie butter cups. There were a few items that I wanted that they did not have. I did not find the store in Syracuse to be all that big but since it is the first one I have ever been in, maybe that is the size they are. Also, before any of you tsk tsk my choices, you should know that I am not solely responsible for what ended up in the shopping cart. Anyway, it was fun and I saw a number of items we don't have in Canada or at least not in my city.

image.jpg

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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This weekend my sister-in-law gave me a box of Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Cookies. OMG.

They're basically small sandwich cookies, with the cookie butter in the middle. The cookies themselves tasted just like simple sugar cookies. Needless to say, the box of Cookie Butter cookies was devoured rather quickly.  :blush:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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