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Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

One of the reasons trail mix and granola are so great as a topping is the textural crunch which these lack.

Perhaps if first crumbled and toasted but then we're again talking more trouble than it's worth with other topping options that are already crunchy to begin with.

Apr 25, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Best Vegetarian Pot Stickers / Dumplings / Gyoza you've had in Queens?

I did look at the menu John and saw the veggie pan fried there. Are you saying you haven't actually tried those in particular? As noted in the original post I'm not looking for steamed dumpling recommendations only fried.

Apr 25, 2015
NuMystic in Outer Boroughs

Best Vegetarian Pot Stickers / Dumplings / Gyoza you've had in Queens?

Thanks John. What kind of filling do they use? Are these standard pan friend pot stickers or is this one of the places that adds starch to the pan to create a crisp layer in the pan joining them together?

Apr 24, 2015
NuMystic in Outer Boroughs

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

That was *exactly* our problem with the Trail Mix cookies. Not chewy, tough but not crisp. Seemed exactly like crunchy cookies that were left open for a few days. We're usually big fans of their plastic tub cookies (Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond and Dunkers are faves) but these were a nay for us due to the poor texture. Improved by heating in the toaster oven but not exciting enough for the extra effort.

Apr 24, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Oooh, that Babka Pie looks outrageous!

Another takeaway is that the one at Russ and Daughters is actually from Green's who also supply to Whole Foods, Fairway, and Zabar's.

It's not my favorite but now fans know they can get it from a great many more locations.

Apr 23, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Best Vegetarian Pot Stickers / Dumplings / Gyoza you've had in Queens?

Looking to hear about your favorite fried vegetable dumplings. Bonus points for especially crispy ones or exceptional fillings.

Apr 23, 2015
NuMystic in Outer Boroughs

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Been enjoying the Maple Sunflower Seeds as a salad topper when dressing with only a drizzle of good balsamic, oil, and twist of tellicherry pepper. Adds a nice crunch and sweetness to balance the acid.

Apr 21, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2015 - June 2015

The nutritional panel shows that each serving has double the grams of sugar per oz of the TJ's so the added sugar is most definitely not just staying in the jar. Like all root vegetables it draws a good amount of the liquid it sits in for any length of time. This is why we can do tea/herb/seasoning infusions via marinades and sugar is as readily absorbed as any other ingredient.

As for the Cinnamon, that's clearly stated right in the description on the Paisley Farms website. :)

"made with just the right hint of cinnamon"

We didn't find the TJ's "greasy" at all. Different strokes indeed. Up side is that this is one item you won't be missing like the rest of us! :)

Apr 18, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2015 - June 2015

The Paisley Farms are packed with a TON of added sugar though and also add cinnamon so they're not a good substitute for those of us who enjoyed the TJ's specifically because they were in vinaigrette instead of sugar water.

Apr 18, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

YAY - Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets

In the same vein as other freeze dried / dehydrated veggie snacks these are super light, ultra crispy, and not too salty with a solid broccoli flavor. A bit too oily for me to enjoy a whole back as a single serve snack but this is going to make an amazing soup/salad topper and unusual garnish item.

YAY - Rosemary & Thyme Maple Toffe Sunflower Seeds

Liked these even more than the seasonal spiced pumpkin seeds thanks the added herbal notes. Bit too sweet for a snack all on their own but like the above these will be a frequent salad and soup topper, as well as useful in desserts, breakfast/baked items and more. Will be a staple item for as long as it's available.

YAY - Mini Orange Cranberry Tea Scones (brown paper bagged in the bakery section with the similarly bagged cookies)

Not as much citrus punch as the seasonal mini packaged scone cookies but quite nice. Just the right amount of glaze and sweetness to foil the dry cake interior that is punctuated by pieces of dried cranberry. Generally prefer scones that are more dense and a touch less dry but these are still a guaranteed convenience repurchase.

Apr 15, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Regular only or is there a decaf?

Only instant I've found close to drinkable is Starbucks VIA (and even then just use it for quick iced coffee) but it's absurdly expensive. Would certainly be excited to find a decent alternative that's lighter on the wallet.

Apr 13, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Try stuffing Black Sphinx dates with almonds and crystallized ginger. (If you can't find the Sphinx soften regular dates for a while in warm water or even better your favorite tea)

Apr 10, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

You're certainly not alone Caitlin, TJ's Belgian Dark 72% has won numerous blind taste tests with some of the most refined palates in the biz.

They topped both the Serious Eats and HuffPo taste tastes a couple of years ago along with a number of others since.

Apr 09, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

No doubt Caitlin! Taste is of course quite subjective. ;)

I adore the Belgian Organic and regularly flog it's virtues here on chow! I always have it on hand for cooking and making my own bars.

That said for a pop-it-straight-in-your-mouth chocolate the dramatically creamier mouth feel of the Swiss won us over along with a bit more fruit in the finish. The belgian is notably chalkier in comparison side by side. (though that improves when melted and re-set)

FYI the Swiss is actually a tiny bit more expensive at $2.29 for the 3.5 oz bar (100g).

Apr 09, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Thanks for the tip Walker! Google turned up this location on the Upper West Side:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/beard-papas-c...

Sounds delectable and they fill them only after you've ordered! Definitely something that was done with the best canolis I've had so I'm excited to try a puff done the same way.

To bring things back full circle, here are a few of our favorites from Trader Joe's which we didn't find cloyingly sweet:

- Dunkers
- Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies
- Almond Bark Thins
- Salted Caramel Gelato - sweet but the salt is a nice foil
- Brownie Cookies (in bakery, only ok from the bag but great after heating
)- Lemon Thins / Ginger Thins
- Lemon Bars (frozen)
- Frozen proof and bake almond croissants
- 72% Swiss Dark Chocolate (best straight dark bar we've found anywhere)
- 73% Dark Chocolate Almonds
- Frozen Pumpkin Bread Pudding (seasonal)
- Gingerbread Pancake Mix (seasonal)
- Speculoos Cookies

Apr 09, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

No need for a toaster oven. A quick spell under the broiler works great if you're too impatient for the full oven to heat.

Apr 09, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

The idea that Kringles are too much, too rich, too sweet for folks because they've been raised on "mediocre coffee cake" is an incredibly specious correlation.

I've enjoyed profoundly delectable cakes (both coffee and otherwise) from award winning pastry chefs and still find kringles cloyingly sweet. (and I'm a dessert fiend!)

This doesn't mean they're not fantastic for those who are fond of exceptionally sweet treats, but the level of sweetness one enjoys has absolutely no correlation with being conditioned to mediocrity.

The *only* relevant conditioning is how much sweetness one is used to tasting on a regular basis. It's a scientific fact that the brain becomes tolerant to sugar the more it's consumed:
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-sty...

If anything the further up the quality ladder you go when it comes to desserts the less sweet they tend to be in general though there are definitely exceptions of course.

You'll rarely find desserts in a Michelin starred restaurant as intensely sweet as a kringle or krispy kreme donut. ;)

Apr 09, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

You win the award for the most side-splittingly hilarious typo of the day! ;)

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

For what it's worth almost no wasabi product in the US uses real wasabi root. Almost everything sold as "wasabi" is actually colored horseradish. If you had actual wasabi you'd certainly know it since the price would be exorbitant.

That said the mustard oil used in this is different than even the fake wasabi and I'm with you on these. I'm a big fan of both spicy and wasabi flavored foods but much prefer the regular roasted to wasabi flavor seaweed snacks.

Apr 07, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2015 - June 2015

Bought some of the TJ's brand Organic Whole Wheat Fusilli just last week.

Apr 04, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

We limit ourselves to buying this every third visit since it only lasts 36 hours in our house. ;)

Apr 04, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

The Hollandaise isn't discontinued but rather downgraded to a Winter Holiday Seasonal only item.

Here's the response someone in the Discontinued thread received direct from TJ's corporate:

"Thank you for your feedback. We did recently decide to only offer this sauce as a winter holiday selection. Unfortunately, it was not selling well enough throughout the entire year so it has been discontinued as a year round selection and there are no plans to offer it for any other holiday period at this time. I have shared your comments with our Product Steering Committee for review."

Apr 03, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

All three oils are toasted which gives them a much much longer shelf life than raw oils. These would all be fine for at least a year unopened at room temp so rancidity should be no concern at this point at all. Anyone planning on stocking up and saving them for longer can always keep the unopened cans in the back of the fridge just like Caitlin is planning to do.

Apr 03, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

While it's a dollar more for all three this is actually a nice 20% savings for who love the hazelnut in particular. At $3.99 each the same $15 will buy 4 bottles of Hazelnut instead of 3 assorted. Sweet!

Apr 02, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Definitely not supposed to be dry. You either got one that was over baked or sat out for too many days.

Not saying you'll necessarily like it any better, but if you note the accolades above as well as those in previous months numerous people specifically mention how moist it is and both that I've purchased were exceptionally moist.

From Bake at 350:
"the outside and bread was sort of chewy but the inside, especially the chocolate, was very soft and rich. I could EASILY eat the whole thing."

From What's Good at Trader Joe's:
"Parts of the bread seem stiff (in a good way) but there's also a good bit of moisture, both in the "cake" part and on top, where there's a layer of chips and sweet, syrupy chocolatiness. It's almost too chocolately, if there is such a thing."

Apr 02, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

I'm with entirely with Jim on this.

NYC born and bred and I thought the TJ's Babka was absolutely superb.

It's *different* than traditional Babka but outstanding on it's own merits. Packed with far more chocolate per square inch than any Babka I've ever had here or abroad. Chocolate itself is dark and of excellent quality just know going in that this is an exceptionally RICH dessert.

Apr 01, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
2

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

After you've had a freshly picked strawberry you grew yourself from seed in rich Maui loam, watered with fresh pumped spring water and blessed by a local Kahuna everything pales by comparison.

Let's get back to the best stuff we can actually find at Costco shall we? :)

Mar 30, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

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

The horseradish hummus is from the same packager as the roasted garlic and usually right next to it on the shelf. Pic attached.

Mar 30, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

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

I hear you Russ, was just clarifying that it's absolutely not a *quality control* issue as these have never had any more in the box. :)

Mar 29, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2015 - June 2015

It's true that the floor crew is prone to being as misinformed as they are well intentioned. Can't count how many times I've heard "we don't carry that" only to find the item one aisle over.

If you're wanting reliable information it's always best to go to customer service desk and ask someone there. I've never had information that came straight from the computer be inaccurate.

Mar 29, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1