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Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Nothing to do with the competition in the NY market. Even in states with far less restrictions they only focus on Wine and Beer.

Aug 25, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

The Sriracha Ranch is being promoted prominently on a front of store end-cap at our TJ's.

Aug 23, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Agreed. After all the "wish it was hotter" comments it had far more bite and vinegar pucker than expected. It's actually a bit hotter than my regular Sriracha. Probably won't go through it nearly as quick but can still see it being a staple in my fridge.

Aug 22, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Just found out that the Girasoli Ricotta and Lemon Zest Ravioli we just feel in love with is seasonal and won't be back until March. :(

Aug 22, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Coconut Oil Cooking Spray

http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl...

Discontinued at Trader Joe's 2015

Can easily go through a grinder every two months when not conserving between seasons. ;)

Aug 17, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

That was my experience of the Gazpacho as well. Needs lime, lemon, and/or vinegar to liven it up.

Aug 17, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Small Yay- Salted Caramel Bread Pudding (frozen)

Not as awesome as the Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and would never have guessed it was "Salted Caramel" flavored if not for the labeling but am still pleased to see a bread pudding on offer that is non-seasonal.

No need to make the whole thing at once either. Even straight from the freezer a chefs knife and firm hand are enough to slice off an individual portion for heating.

Will be a decent stand-in for the off months, but will still be stocking up on the Pumpkin variety when it returns. Thanks to careful rationing we still have half of one left! :)

Aug 15, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

That had me scratching my head as well. Would be like taking away points for a fruit salad or salsa review "because it is vegan". :)

I'm not vegan myself but am not somehow offended just because a dish doesn't typically meat or dairy.

Aug 15, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Those are the ones!

Aug 14, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

For a Tex-Mex spin on Mac n Cheese stir in a TBSP of Fire Roasted Salsa and top with crumbled tortilla chips. Has gotten raves from everyone we've shared it with and it's a great use for the bits of corn chips that are left in the bottom of every bag.

Aug 13, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

First, that "everything" only applies to TJ's branded products. They make no claims about other brands they carry.

As for the TJ's Dolmas (which are under their own label) you need to remember that the TJ's GMO free claim is currently just that, a claim.

They have never substantiated this to any third party watchdog group. They have been challenged for years to back up this claim and never offered a single piece of evidence in support of it. They state "We have yet to take the approach of labeling products as non-GMO because there are no clear guidelines from the US governmental agencies covering food and beverage labeling."

Except there are third party organizations certifying products as GMO-Free with very strict guidelines which is how you see all those other certified GMO-free products on shelves. TJ's simply will not submit their products to those organizations for certification, or willing to label them GMO-Free themselves because they know that it would make them extremely vulnerable to legal action since they rely on affidavits from their third party suppliers and only do spot checks if at all.

So they are relying on a "to the best of their knowledge" position with limited oversight as made clear in their own FAQ with this very telling statement:

"Given our position on GMO ingredients in Trader Joe's label products, and the work done in support of that position, it is our expectation that our products test as non-GMO"

The key phrase there is "it is our expectation" which is far from the guarantee other companies offer with actual third party certification.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that TJ's is in any way purposefully misleading the public. As a rebranding company it would be extremely complicated and cost prohibitive to secure actual certification for their products which are sourced from companies from all over the world. But do keep that in mind. If you honestly believe that a company in the US, let alone Japan, China, or Russia can be trusted to be GMO free without any third party certification or oversight then you're far less skeptical than most.

I still admire TJ's even taking a position against GMO products even if they are unwilling to allow any oversight.

The good news? One third party organization that randomly tested a bag of TJ's corn chips found it to be 99% GMO free:
http://www.gmofreeusa.org/food-testin...

Not enough to pass the Non-GMO Project standard, but only by .1% which is certainly good enough for me and most others concerned with this.

All of this is a non-issue when it comes to Dolmas though. As of today virtually all Dolmas are GMO free since there is no large scale production of genetically modified rice taking place yet. That may not be the case for much longer though:

http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/grocer...

Aug 13, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Please do! Would love to make some at home from a beloved recipe!

I most prefer them warmed through rather than piping hot so I usually let them cool for a few minutes after steaming before serving.

Aug 12, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

The cilantro / soap connection is a genetic one. May not be much comfort but for what it's worth Julia Child shared that same gene with you Harts. :)

Supposedly cilantro pesto is one of the few applications that can help some cilantrophobes get over their hard wired aversion.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2...

Aug 12, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Sorry Harts, I've never seen or even heard of packaged Dolmas that are either.

That said, rice is not on the EWG Dirty 30 list nor is it on any of the top GMO foods to avoid lists I've checked out so compared to things like corn and soy it's generally considered a fairly low exposure/risk crop even by those who are pretty diligent about such things.

Aug 12, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

I'm a chocolate FIEND. Prefer dark in general but can still enjoy high quality milk chocolate.

Hershey's? Can't abide even a bit.

Only ten years ago I used to inhale Hershey's Kisses but after a number of years of eating nothing but better quality chocolate when I happily popped an offered Hershey's Kiss in my mouth I found it so unpleasant I had to literally spit it out.

Blew my mind and was actually quite saddened to find this to be the case, but there it is.

My favorite straight chocolate bar at TJ's is the green cardboard wrapped 72% Swiss Dark. Creamiest, smoothest, least bitter 70%+ dark chocolate I've ever tried.

Pound Plus Brown Wrapper is a close second (same as the small three packs at the register). Pleasant fruity flavor and my go to for baking and confections but less glossy and a bit chalkier than the Swiss eaten straight.

TJ's Dark Chocolate Almonds are also superb.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Fresh in that they are perishable and absolutely not coming from a can packed in oil. If those are all you've ever had these are an entirely different beast. Noot just about delis but also 95% of what is served in restaurants comes from a can. Fresh are much firmer than any canned variety since they're not packed in oil, and these also have a very different flavor thanks to tomato, bell pepper and herbs that are included in the rice mixture not found in the canned varieties. For those used to the canned and wanting them softer, steaming for a few minutes (which is also a traditional way of serving them) makes them fragrant, tender, and ups the flavor even further.

Aug 10, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

The Costco is actually less expensive per bite if you compare 4 $2.50 tins of TJ's vs the $10 for 2lbs Costco which offers more than 5x the amount of edible dolma for only 4x the price. The 9.9 oz of the TJ's includes all the oil it's packed in. Even without the oil you couldn't stuff all the fresh dolmas of the Costco package in 4 of the TJ's tins.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

Won't help with store bought convenience but there are some wonderful tahini free Black Bean and White Bean hummus recipes that are just a Google search away.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - August 2015

How would you rate the heat factor Russ?

Aug 08, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

Being that the citric acid is a natural preservative it's more likely the other way around with it providing a longer shelf life and the sugar being added to counterbalance the tartness.

Aug 02, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

Couldn't agree more on the sugar, but why do you have an aversion to Citric Acid? It's naturally occurring (was originally crystallized from lemon juice) and is a far better alternative to all of the other preservatives it stands in for.

I'm pleased rather than dismayed when I see it on an ingredient list being that it's alkalizing, boosts mineral absorption, and fights free radicals.

It's serves the same purpose in dry foods that lemon juice does in wet ones and adds some of the tart/tangyness in 21 Seasoning Salute and other salt free seasoning blends.

Aug 02, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Discontinued at Trader Joe's 2015

South African Smoke is officially done for the season. Get it while you can!

Wesbury, NY is already cleaned out but Queens still had a dozen plus on the shelf after we bought 5! ;)

Jul 29, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

Yep, potatoes. TJ's Pesto Alla Genovese:

basil, sunflower oil, potatoes, oilive oil, grana padano cheese (pasteurized cow's milk, salt, rennet (animal), egg proteins), pecorino romano cheese (pasteurized sheep's milk, salt, rennet (animal)), cashews, salt, pine nuts, lactic acid, garlic. made on equipment shared with other tree nuts.

Jul 27, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Discontinued at Trader Joe's 2015

In absentia here in NY for a few weeks and didn't see the shelf tag either which can be a bad omen. (didn't have time to check at the computer though)

Jul 24, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Discontinued at Trader Joe's 2015

Anyone seen the Salted Caramel Gelato in the last couple of weeks?

Jul 23, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

Just saw it tonight in the store and they have indeed just renamed the same item. Said "Almond Danish Pastry" here as well.

Yet another YAY - Girasoli Ricotta & Lemon Zest ravioli

I only wish it came in a larger size. Best store bought ravioli I've had yet.

Tossed it in olive oil with a generous handful of greens until wilted , topped with few twists of the lemon pepper grinder, sprinkled sea salt, chopped campari tomatoes, grated parmesan, and some chopped toasted nuts.

All done in 8 or so minutes it took to boil some water and cook the ravioli and the brightness of the lemon still came right through and it enjoyed it so much I'll be playing with lemon zest and juice in other pasta dishes for months to come.

I've heard good reports of the mushroom already, anyone tried the goat cheese and sun dried tomato ravioli in the same line?

Jul 22, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

Not really a "fake fig newton" as they're bigger and date rather than fig filled, but the bars sold in saran at all the health food stores and delis in the Bay Area are way better than any real or fake newton I've ever had:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2007/02/my...

Jul 22, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

Ah, well in that case you'll do much better with a pre-heated baking stone, steel, or good sheet on the lowest rack of your oven.

Jul 22, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Please Shut Up and Give Green Pea Guacamole a Try

Seriously? Have you tried toasted nuts or seeds on or in Guac before? It's a revelation.

Jul 22, 2015
NuMystic in Features