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Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Except there are a ton of more affordable options if cost savings is the goal.

I actually prefer toasted walnut and almond based pestos to pine nuts even without considering cost, and hemp seed pesto is just amazing.

In fact walnuts are exactly what TJ's uses in their Pesto Genova and even with the premium that goes with shipping and stocking a refrigerated perishable item it's only $2.99 for a 7 oz tub.

As for the price of pine nut based pesto Costco sells exactly that and it's not prohibitively priced.

All of that said, it still brings us back to... Potato??? Replacing a protein rich and lovely flavored nut with an empty starch filler? No thanks. :)

about 1 hour ago
NuMystic in Chains

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

St. Patrick's Day?

about 8 hours ago
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Totally understand, I often do the same. Still can by adjusting those settings. I usually just depend on my email subscription and older posts being collapsed from view to keep up but being able to do the "find on page" is still handy on occasion.

Feb 28, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

How does Fairway coffee compare?

It's worth noting that for all the marketing about them roasting daily and high turnover, much of the bean you're getting at Fairway was roasted weeks earlier.

First, not every flavor is roasted daily. Ask the coffee section staff point blank and they'll tell you that any particular flavor is only restocked a couple of times a week.

Then when they're refilling their bins, I've never once seen them empty their bins completely, they just keep topping them off with freshly roasted beans and mix. Every bin I saw during restock was at least half full of older coffee.

So at any given time half the coffee was roasted in the last few days while a good portion of the mix was roasted much much longer ago. (by dilution the longer it is the less there will be but still)

That said I've seen no decline in the quality of my favorites and still enjoy it more than a lot of beans I've gotten from more expensive boutique roasters.

Feb 28, 2015
NuMystic in Manhattan

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Totally get that littleflower but the problem I'm highlighting is that these have such a batshit crazy amount of salt compared to even the cheap college dorm staple ramen blocks that if you were to cut this seasoning packet down to a reasonable amount you've also by extension decreased whatever little other flavoring there was to be found beyond all that salt.

At that point why even bother? TJ's already sells plain rice sticks, so for a fraction of the cost, a few minutes in boiled water with any one of the TJ's sauces you've got an even cheaper meal that's just as quick and easy. (even easy enough to be done at the office with nothing but hot water)

More importantly I was pointing out that if you absolutely need a self contained meal with no messing about at all, just a few inches away, one shelf above are the Annie Chun's dried noodle bowls which are not as insanely over-salted so you wouldn't *have* to diminish the other flavors found in the packets they contain.

Feb 26, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Well of course! I'm sharing info on the dried soup bowls at TJ's. If you don't care about the seasonings you can get dried ramen noodle blocks (wheat) or plain rice noodles for pennies anywhere Russ. :)

Feb 26, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

@BuildingMyBento - you can turn off the pagination. Settings > Chowhound > uncheck "Collapse Previously Read Comments (also defaults to "See All" page)"

Feb 24, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Kraft Deli Deluxe comes in a variety of options including American, Cheddar, Bacon Cheddar, Mozzarella and numerous others.

The American was not changed to Cheddar due to rules or inflating price, both are still available, and Deli Deluxe comes in sizes other than 8 oz.

The Deli Deluxe American Cheese is still a processed cheese product.

Ingredients for the Deli Deluxe American:
Ingredients: American Cheese (Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Water, Milkfat, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid As A Preservative, Oleoresin Paprika (Color), Annatto (Color), Vitamin D3, With Starch Added For Slice Separation. Contains Milk.

The Cheddar Deli Deluxe is also a processed cheese product.

Ingredients for the Deli Deluxe Cheddar:
Ingredients: Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Water, Sodium Citrate, Milkfat, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid As A Preservative, Oleoresin Paprika (Color), Annatto (Color), With Starch Added For Slice Separation.

Apart from many other factors, they'll always taste different than their unprocessed counterparts with so much salt added. (Kraft Deli Deluxe cheddar slices contain 300 mg of sodium per 23g slice, real cheddar has half that much)

Feb 22, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

The Kraft American Cheese singles even in the blue label also say "pasteurized prepared cheese product".

Note every single image here:
https://www.google.com/search?q=kraft...

Kraft blue label cheddar singles are also labeled as a "pasteurized prepared cheese product", though they do sell actual cheddar in other packaging. Blocks and their "Big Slice" line for example. Pictures attached.

Again though, "American Cheese" is by it's very definition a processed cheese product.

Feb 21, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

"American Cheese" is by definition processed cheese:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American...

Land o Lakes and Kraft Slices are both "cheese products" and are legally required to be marketed as such.

Feb 21, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Not a NAY/YAY (we didn't buy) but just a heads up for those that don't check nutrition panels.

The just add water TJ's Mushroom Rice Noodle Soup Bowls pack a crazy 1400 mg of sodium in each single 280 calorie serving!

Just to put that in perspective these are the various maximum daily intake recommendations:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): 2300 mg
American Heart Association (AHA): 1500 mg
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): 1500 to 2300 mg
American Diabetes Association (ADA): 1500 to 2300 mg.
(with 1500 being the max recommended for anyone over 50)

Now I didn't expect them to be particularly healthy or low sodium but 1400 mg is crazy out there even in the instant noodle space.

By comparison even the crappy college standby Maruchan ramen bricks are under 1000 mg of sodium and all the Annie Chun noodle bowls sold at TJ's on the shelf above ranged from 480mg-1000mg.

Feb 20, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Cabot extra sharp shredded works beautifully for that, especially if you sprinkle some on the exterior to caramelize on the bread making it the crispiest crunchiest grilled cheese you've ever had. Including a bit of smoked gouda inside, or dusting of smoked paprika outside puts it completely over the top.

Feb 20, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

The grape leaves package says vegetarian right at the top, they freeze and thaw well (you'll see plenty of traditional recipes suggesting just that) and are especially tasty if you heat them through by steaming for a bit before serving which is also a traditional serving tip. Bonus that they're not swimming in oil like the canned ones.

INGREDIENTS: rice, onion, tomatoes, parsley, red bell pepper, tomato paste, grape leaves, canola oil, water, cilantro, extra virgin olive oil, salt, lemon juice, garlic powder, citric acid, dill, mint, black pepper.

Feb 20, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

Was quite disappointed by this. Thought it was very under seasoned and needed a lot of doctoring before it was enjoyable. (at which point I'd just as soon open a few cans and make it myself)

Wasn't bad, just nothing I'd repurchase.

On the middle eastern front we were much more impressed with their refrigerated stuffed grape leaves which are incredibly flavorful and far superior to the canned varieties.

Feb 19, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Yep, Ginger is the third variety and all three are long time favorites of ours (and many others here).

Feb 18, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

At my store they claim the Chocolate Tamales are a West Coast only thing. Not sure whether to breathe a sigh of relief or tear my hair and rend my clothes. Both probably. ;)

Feb 18, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Wait. What? The masa is chocolate as well???

These will be the death of me.

Feb 17, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

That sounds absolutely horrifying. Does it come with a free gym membership? Must. Try.

Topped with macerated strawberries and a bit of cracked pepper. Fairly certain I gained weight just thinking about it.

Feb 17, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

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

Just a heads up for those that also shop at Costco, they have even better frozen veggie gyoza than TJ's that are organic and a fraction of the price. (Bibigo is the brand)

Feb 17, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Well the first ingredient listed after water is Wheat Gluten and next is Soy Protein so the answer that that question is "yes". :)

Vegan Meat Substitute (Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Soy Protein Isolate, Canola Oil, Onions, Yeast Extract, Modified Vegetable Gum, Malted Barlety Extract, Onion Powder, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Ancient Grain Flour [Khorasan Wheat, Amaranth, Millet, Quinoa], Natural Flavors, Potato Starch, Sea Salt, Vinegar, Spices, Pea Protein, Carrot Fiber, Beetroot Fiber)

Or to be more accurate, this is a hybrid fake meat product similar to Gardein Turk'y. (which also has Soy Protein and Wheat Gluten as the two primary ingredients)

Feb 17, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

@Boogiebaby - The actual description of the item explicitly names it as Dal Makhani (which you can be sure they received directly from Tasty Bite). :)

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

And yes, while Dal Makhani is punjabi it has long been popular in South India as well.

"Dal Makhani is one of the most popular Punjabi recipes. You could see dal makhani being served in marriages, engagements and almost any parties in India. It is not only popular in North India, but also South India."

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/dal-...

Glad to hear that it brings back fond memories for the hubby! We definitely enjoy it and almost always have at least one box in the pantry ourselves. :)

Feb 15, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

Which flavor?

Feb 15, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Definitely identical to the Tasty Bite without any changes made. Occasionally get the Madras Lentils as well as the Chana, add additional canned legumes and season with Shan pre-blended seasonings. (available at any Indian grocer)

Feb 13, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Every good daal I've ever had still tasted distinctly like Indian food even if it was "light" compared to spicier dishes.

They're saying this had absolutely no discernible Indian flavor which is certainly a valid point. (though like the OP we still enjoy it in spite of that)

Not surprising that it doesn't taste uniquely "Indian" being seasoned with only salt, onion, ginger, chile, and cumin whereas almost all Dal Makhani recipes include at least some Garam Masala:

http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/recipe/D...

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/dal-...

http://www.food.com/recipe/punjabi-da...

The silver lining being that folks who don't care for distinctly indian flavors may find this is worth a try. :)

Feb 13, 2015
NuMystic in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

It's definitely a company wide policy and every TJ's I've been to even has an actual sign promoting it! :)

From their website:

VERY IMPORTANT INFO: Did you know that you can try the food and drink you buy at Trader Joe's, risk free? It's true. We're sure the best way to figure out if you like something is to try it; so, that's what we want you to do. Try out that exotic-sounding dish you've never tried before - we think you're going to like. But if you don't, you're covered. Just bring back whatever you haven't eaten and we'll refund your money, no questions asked. It might sound like a food-lover's fantasy, but for us it's just the way we do business.

In the most simplest (sic) terms: Try it. We think you'll like it. If you don't, bring it back for a full refund.

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

Feb 12, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Rather than bringing items to the register we always bring our returns to customer service where we receive a slip with the credit.

Worth noting that they will:

- Issue a refund with just a receipt. (they don't expect you to hang on to spoiled, smelly, rotten items for a week)

- Issue a refund for an item in hand without a receipt.

- They'll even issue a refund without a receipt or the item in hand!

Like many others here, after months of crew members encouraging us to "just try it (both / them all!) and get a refund for anything you don't love" we now do just that without hesitation.

The result? Literally dozens of regularly purchased staples that we would never have otherwise tried, and well over 100 items tried that were good enough to finish albeit not repurchase regularly. We're also that much more likely to try something pricey that we might not have otherwise.

While we do return a lot of things (maybe one item every 3 visits or so) in the long term it's easily doubled our TJ spending overall so they know exactly what they're doing.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

Are they still using potato as a filler (was the third ingredient after basil and oil) in the Pesto alla Genovese?

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

We get both the individual cups and the large size of the Hannah at Costco. Not as good as our favorite store bought (Yorgo's from Fairway) but a great buy for the price and has a much cleaner ingredient list than Sabra.

Sabra contains preservatives, soybean oil, and natural flavors vs Hannah's Olive/sunflower oil, no preservatives, and cumin.

Feb 12, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

Price and size of the bag?

Feb 12, 2015
NuMystic in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

Thumbs up for the Adams Reserve NY Sharp Cheddar. We're huge fans of the Cabot Black 3 Year Extra Sharp but to our dismay there was none left on our latest visit so we reluctantly gave the Adams a try and were pleasantly surprised.

While it's definitely not as deep and sharp as the 3 Year Cabot (or even the regular Cabot extra sharp) it is a superb cheddar for the price. At only $3.79 per pound this is undoubtedly the most outstanding "value" cheddar I've ever come across.

We'll still buy the Cabot Black for cheese plates and eating straight but the Adams reserve will be a staple for any other applications where it's being cooked or used in large quantity. (fondue, nachos, grilled cheese, mac n cheese, etc.)

Feb 12, 2015
NuMystic in Chains