RussTheRaccoon's Profile

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Patgonian Wild Shrimp - Yuck

That's probably why they were so cheap.

about 4 hours ago
RussTheRaccoon in General Topics

Stuckey's

My parents would never stop at Stuckey's so when I was old enough to be driving on the highway myself, I stopped to get a pecan log.

It was mediocre. The pecans were tiny, almost like meal, and the candy in the middle was very sweet and neither was very flavorful.

I grew up eating good pecans and home made divinity, so I'm not surprised that I was disappointed.

about 6 hours ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Discontinued at Trader Joe's - January 2013 through June 2013 [OLD]

If you like Pepperidge Farm Milanos, TJ's has these new Crispy Cookies that are similar, but much better.

about 6 hours ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

The photograph on the box is too far off from what is actually inside. It shows at least three times as much cheese as is actually in it.

about 6 hours ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

You absolutely cannot trust what the employees say about items at my store.

One told me a few weeks ago that the Inca Corn was "out of season" so I asked her what the season was and she just looked at me and I told her "Uh huh that's what I thought." Of course they had it back in stock last week. It is just one of those items with spotty availability, at least at my store.

I wish they would just be honest and say they don't know and don't have time to check rather than fabricate. They have even looked in the computer and then made something up.

Of course, this is why these threads are so valuable, to find out if it is a local or regional or national issue.

about 11 hours ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

PATHMARK STORES SUCK!!! Unless of Course You Do Not Mind Being Ripped Off.

Make sure you include your business card or at least your full name when you write them. . .

about 12 hours ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
2

Why does Trader Joe's pasta taste sweet? [moved from General Chowhounding board]

You are confusing nutritional information with the ingredients.

Wheat naturally contains carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with vitamins and minerals. That is why it is a food staple.

The pasta contains sugar because it is made of wheat, not because sugar was added to it. Check the ingredient listing.

about 12 hours ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Meh for the Paneer Tikka Masala. The sauce is tasty (if a bit sweet) and the spinach rice is good, but there just isn't enough cheese. If it had half as much cheese as it shows on the box, it would have been fine, but it probably had a third of what is shown.

I added some meatless meatballs and some cashews and had frozen spinach and panner naan on the side, so it made a nice meal, but I added more food to it than it came with.

Oh, I will probably buy it again, anyway, because it satisfies that need for Indian food without having to order in or go out.

Similar problem a couple of days ago with the frozen chicken burrito. Not a single chunk of chicken, just a couple of semi-recognizable overcooked shreds of chicken.

Apparently some of TJ's suppliers are cutting corners on the prepared foods or else quality control is lax.

about 12 hours ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

PATHMARK STORES SUCK!!! Unless of Course You Do Not Mind Being Ripped Off.

It's hard to believe that you have held a grudge over this for fifteen years so strongly that you still write about it on internet forums, especially considering that you were wrong. You had too many items. You shouldn't have been in that lane.

The cashier was correct to let you know that you should not have been in that lane, but was still nice enough to ring you up after you were rude to him.

The manager was also correct, yet you were beyond rude to him and called him names.

The head of the company was right to ignore your complaint. I hope he sent a letter to the store in support of the manager and cashier.

Also, have you considered that the manager probably didn't have a business card to give you?

I'm sure they don't mind that you don't drop in more often to buy groceries.

Why is the raw frozen shrimp at Trader Joe's so expensive?

Those are large, wild blue shrimp. Ordinary shrimp are less expensive, especially if they are farmed and/or smaller. That's a premium product.

1 day ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Isn't it less than 1% almonds? I doubt that is to reduce cost, though the sunflower oil may be, as well as for texture.

I think the almond butter has 3% cashews, too.

I have no idea why why they are mixing nuts in such a lopsided ratio. Maybe they just don't bother to clean the equipment between batches?

Mar 26, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Yay for the PiƱata apples. Nice texture and flavor and it's always fun to try a new variety. I'm not 100% sure about the supposed "tropical twist," maybe a hint of pineapple.

They were in a 5 lb. plastic bag, from Washington.

Mar 26, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Usually I don't mind pepper seeds, but you're right, these are very seedy and the seeds have no flavor and are particularly small and hard. Maybe you could deseed them before using them as a garnish.

I often buy peppers to cook whole in a Thai curry and these would be fine that way, but wouldn't lend any spicy heat.

Mar 22, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I don't think any of them are spicy unless they encounter certain conditions when they are growing. These must be grown in a greenhouse without any stress. I will be interested to hear if anyone encounters any hot ones from TJ's.

Mar 22, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Meh to nay for the shishito peppers. They are in a sealed bag.

I tried them charred in a cast iron pan with a soy, sesame oil, ginger, and rice vinegar dipping sauce and all I could taste was the sauce.

I have been chopping the rest of them and eating them in salads and on chili. None of them have any heat whatsoever and they are not even flavorful as some peppers are.

Nothing about them stands out or makes them any different from bell peppers. They are not even very crispy.

Mar 22, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

It was seasonal.

Mar 19, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Just stopped by TJ's and they had beautiful, thick bunches of very thin and tender asparagus for $1.99. Haven't cooked any yet, but ate a couple of stalks raw, and they are very good.

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

The Black Mission Figs that come in a tub are a definite YAY!, soft and not overly sweet. They are a good substitute for candy and satisfying enough that I only eat a couple at a time.

The fig butter is a YAY!, too.

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

Mar 09, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I had three bags of the Moro blood oranges and they were small (as usual) but were not dry at all. They were very tasty and juicy.

So far this year, all of the citrus I've gotten from TJ's has been good. Blood oranges, Minneola tangelos, Sky Valley Heirloom oranges, and Cara Cara oranges, all have been excellent.

The larger bagged tangelos NOT labelled Minneola (6 for $2.99) that I picked up last week are very good, a definite YAY!

Mar 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Another YAY for the whole wheat pasta. Not only is the whole wheat pasta 100% whole wheat instead of a blend, it has a better texture, is organic, and is much less expensive. Regular pasta at other stores costs more here than TJ's whole wheat pasta.

My only complaint is that it doesn't come in more shapes!

Mar 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

The reason the chicken breasts are "freakishly huge" is because they are.

The chickens have been bred to have large breasts. They grow so fast and top heavy that the bones in their legs can't support them, so they can't walk and sometimes can't even stand up.

Mar 07, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Yes, very much like Milanos. They were on the new item shelf and I can't find any photographs. They are not on the TJ's website, either.

Mar 04, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

The preserved lemons at TJ's didn't look very good to me.

It's easy to make your own, though. All you need are lemons, lemon juice, and kosher salt. Spices are optional. It takes five minutes to prepare them but the longer they sit, the better they get. I have kept them in the refrigerator for years.

They are not intended to be eaten plain. You can rinse them before using them for cooking to remove some of the salt, but they are by their nature salty, so just don't add any other salt to the dish. It doesn't take but a little bit of the preserved lemon to add a lot of flavor.

You can also use the brine in cooking, but I don't, because it is so salty.

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

Yay for the Crispy Cookies filled with Belgian Chocolate. They are a higher-quality version of Pepperidge Farm cookies. Nice crispy cookies, not too sweet, filled with dark chocolate. About fifteen to the package for $2.99.

Mar 03, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Rudest grocery checker remark

I don't think it's appropriate to tell people that you got bit by a raccoon if it isn't true.

do you return items to Trader Joe's?

Not often, but definitely when something is spoiled or of poor quality. I have taken an empty milk carton back when the milk was spoiling before the sell-by (not use-by) date, extremely poor quality chocolate covered ginger that was inedible, and some rotten bagged fruit.

Once I took back an unopened bottle of olive oil because I grabbed the wrong one off the shelf. I would not have taken it back if I had opened it or if it had been unsaleable as it was my fault.

I make a point of buying something new every time I go, but have never taken anything back just because I didn't like it enough. I would if I thought they shouldn't even be selling it, though, they need to know. For example, the new version of the frozen spinach pie has a lot of kale in it so I didn't like it, but there is nothing wrong with it. I didn't take it back, I just wouldn't buy it again.

However, it's okay to take stuff back if you don't like it, they encourage it. There are some things that I SHOULD have taken back instead of eating them, but I eat a lot of things I probably shouldn't eat.

I've had a lot more situations where something rang up twice as their scanners are very sensitive, so I have had to ask for refunds frequently for that. Less often lately, because I stop and check my receipt before leaving the store. I wish that I could see what rings up while they are doing it, but the registers aren't set up that way. They have never been difficult about it, although they don't seem happy about it. A couple of times, I have just gotten the item at my next visit instead of a refund if it was something I was going to buy anyway. The cashier didn't call the manager over for that.

Feb 27, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

If you like that, try the Tarte aux Champignons. Just make sure to bake it until lightly browned so the edges will be flaky.

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

The cheap blocks of ramen have the seasoning in a packet, so you don't even have to add all the sodium if you don't want to.

Feb 26, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Everything tastes better at camp in New Hampshire! They probably used generic Velveeta.

Feb 22, 2015
RussTheRaccoon in Chains