Trying New Items at Trader Joe’s (Honest Review + My Favorite)

Welcome to our Trader Joe’s blog, where each week, we dive into the fascinating and diverse world of food and flavors that this beloved store has to offer.

From savory delights that could transform your holiday tables to sweet treats that redefine indulgence, our journey is all about discovering the hidden gems and unexpected pleasures in Trader Joe’s aisles. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a curious newcomer, prepare to be tantalized by the wide array of taste experiences we uncover.

So grab a fork (or a spoon!) and let’s embark on this delicious adventure together. Stay tuned for our discoveries, favorites, and maybe a surprise or two along the way – it’s time for a taste test like no other! ??

Artichoke Bread Pudding:

An innovative product for artichoke lovers. It’s easy to cook, just needing to be thrown in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Cinnamon Bun Inspired Truffles:

These are extremely sweet, typical of Trader Joe’s truffles. They have a nice cinnamon and icing flavor, but may be too sugary for some tastes.

Baked Pizza Flavored Pillow Crisps:

These crisps are described as very dry and hollow, tasting mainly like pizza crust with minimal filling. They’re not highly recommended as they lack substantial pizza flavor.

Cinnamon Sugar Toffee Trio:

This toffee assortment features dark, milk, and white chocolate varieties. They are compared to Heath bars, with an added cinnamon sugar coating. The toffee texture is good, but the chocolate variation isn’t very distinct.

Stuffing Seasoned Popcorn:

This popcorn has a seasoning reminiscent of a ramen packet. It’s tasty but doesn’t strongly resemble stuffing flavor. Good for casual snacking.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough:

These cookies taste great and it’s hard to tell they’re gluten-free. They’re compared favorably to Trader Joe’s almond flour cookie mix.

Dark Chocolate Rondos with Raspberry, Strawberry, and Tart Cherry:

These are thin discs of dark chocolate with dried fruit, offering a balanced sweet and slightly sour flavor. They’re not overly sweet and are seen as a nice after-dinner treat.

Step Up to the Snack Bar Mix and Spicy Snack Bar Mix:

The regular mix is a little sweet with various salty components, while the spicy mix has a good level of heat for medium spice lovers. Both are crunchy and offer a variety of textures.

Astounding Multi-Flavor Mini Pretzels:

The assortment includes peanut butter, coffee candy, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate peppermint bark varieties. The ranking based on personal preference is milk chocolate, peppermint bark, peanut butter, and coffee candy.

Italian Custard Cream Puffs:

The custard filling is praised, and the puff pastry is standard for frozen cream puffs. Recommended for custard fans.

Cinnamon Swizzle Sticks:

These sticks are used to sweeten and add a cinnamon flavor to tea or coffee. They work as expected, providing a convenient way to add sweetness and flavor.

Pretzel Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce Cups:

This dessert is rich and decadent, with a strong caramel flavor. It’s seen as sweet but balanced, ideal for salted caramel enthusiasts.

Empanadas de Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef Turnovers):

These turnovers have a good texture but lack flavor, particularly salt. They’re okay but not a must-repurchase.

Italian Tiramisu:

This dessert is sufficient in meeting tiramisu expectations, with noticeable coffee and mascarpone cheese layers. While not as good as homemade, it’s seen as a convenient option.

Freeze-Dried Turkey Recipe for Pets:

These pet treats are small, making them good for training. Although not single-ingredient like the chicken variety, they are still appealing and seasonal.

Hardwood Smoked Pulled Pork:

This product is well-seasoned and tastes similar to holiday ham. It’s versatile and great for sandwiches, particularly with a bit of mayo and Hawaiian rolls. Despite being microwaved, it maintains a good flavor and texture.

Hardwood Smoked Pulled Chicken:

The pulled chicken, like the pork, is well-seasoned but with a different flavor profile. It’s also fully cooked and comes in a vacuum-sealed bag. The chicken is flavorful and makes for a convenient meal option.

Apple Cotton Tartlets:

These tartlets are a delightful dessert. They offer a good balance of soft apples and thin crust, reminiscent of an apple pie but not overly spiced or sweet. The natural apple flavor shines through, and the tartlets are large enough to be shared.

Buffalo Chicken Poppers:

A familiar product, these poppers have a crispy exterior with softer meat inside and are seasoned with Buffalo sauce. They have a bit of a kick, suitable for those who enjoy mild to moderate spice. They’re ideal for snacking, especially on game days.

Almanac Love Hazy IPA:

This beer stands out with its festive packaging and crisp, pine-like flavor. It’s different from other hazy IPAs, being light and easy to drink. The inclusion of Sabro, Citra, and Mosaic hops gives it a unique taste, making it a good choice for holiday gatherings.

Olive Trio (Conversation Olives):

This olive trio offers a range of flavors and textures, but the presence of pits can be a drawback. The green olives are mild with a soft skin, while the other varieties offer distinct tastes. However, dealing with the pits can be inconvenient, especially when serving to guests.

Petite Fours Mousse Cakes:

These mousse cakes come in three flavors – dark chocolate, coffee mousse with mocha coating, and vanilla. They are decadently sweet but not overly so, with a good balance of chocolate and mousse. The cakes are softer and thicker than other mousse cakes available at Trader Joe’s, making them a standout dessert choice.

Polar Espresso Beer by Brewery X:

This dark, coffee stout beer pairs well with sweet desserts. It has a natural coffee flavor, making it a suitable after-dinner drink. While it may not appeal to those who prefer lighter beers, its quality and flavor are noteworthy.

Societe The Debutant (Amber Ale):

This amber ale is noted for its deeper color and inviting smell. It’s a bit heavier and more flavorful, making it suitable for winter. The beer is described as good, with a smoothness and warmth that would pair well with chocolate.

Taste of Caramels:

A variety of flavors are included in this caramel assortment, such as creme brulee, fig and honey, sea salt maple, double espresso, passion fruit, salted tor, gingerbread, salted lavender, pear and cinnamon, caramel mousse, and hot chili. Some flavors are distinct and easily identifiable, while others are more subtle.

Enran Brewing Company Christmas Bo:

This beer has a dark appearance and a Christmassy aroma. The taste is described as similar to the previous beer but with a distinct Christmas feel, possibly due to added spices. It’s considered good for a dark beer, not overly heavy, and has a festive appeal.

Step Up to the Snack Bar Mix:

This snack mix includes honey mustard pretzels, cheddar rockets, honey roasted peanuts, and sesame sticks. The mix is appealing and flavorful, with the honey mustard pretzels being a standout favorite.

Beef Bulgoi:

Priced at $12.99, this beef product is considered a bit overpriced but good in quality. It is primarily meat with no fillers, making it a suitable main course option. The beef is flavorful, though one instance of gristle was noted. It’s a bit oily and recommended for those who don’t mind the higher price.

Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine (Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve):

This sparkling wine is highly praised for its smoothness and beautiful color. It’s ideal for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or bridal showers. The wine is described as having quality, with a pleasant aroma and a balance of smoothness and bubbles.

Artichoke Bread Pudding

Our first item was the intriguing Artichoke Bread Pudding. This savory casserole, made with artichoke Tuscan bread and cheddar cheese, was a pleasant surprise. Its resemblance to traditional stuffing makes it a strong contender for a Thanksgiving side dish. The creamy texture of the cheese melded beautifully with the artichoke, though we both agreed a pinch of salt and pepper could elevate it further.

Trader Joe’s Chicken Schwarma Bowl

Next, we tried the Trader Joe’s Chicken Schwarma Bowl, a medley of basmati rice, chicken, bell peppers, spinach, pickled red onion, and garlic sauce. While the concept was promising, the execution fell a bit short. The chicken was tougher than expected, and the rice slightly undercooked. It couldn’t quite match up to the fresh schwarma chicken we adore grilling on our barbecue.

Stollen Crisps

The Stollen Crisps were a delightful discovery. These sweet crackers, inspired by German holiday bread and dotted with raisins, powdered sugar, and citrus peels, offered a unique tasting experience. The sweetness was well-balanced, and the chewiness from the raisins added a nice textural contrast. It’s a snack that’s both comforting and surprising.

Cinnamon Bun Inspired Truffles

Imagine the essence of a cinnamon bun captured in a chocolate truffle. These milk chocolate truffles, with their cinnamon and caramel filling, were a treat to the taste buds. Dusted with powdered sugar, they delivered a creamy texture and a harmonious blend of cinnamon and caramel flavors.

Cinnamon Swizzle Sticks

A simple yet brilliant idea, these cinnamon sticks partially rolled in rock sugar transformed our regular coffee into something special. As the sugar melted, it infused the coffee with a gentle sweetness, enhancing the overall flavor. It’s a perfect addition to any warm beverage during the chilly season.

Barbells Protein Bars

Lastly, we sampled the Barbells Protein Bars in Cookies and Cream, and Chocolate Dough flavors. Unfortunately, these didn’t quite hit the mark for us. Both flavors tasted too similar and lacked the distinctiveness of their respective names. While they might serve well as a protein boost, they wouldn’t be our first choice for a snack.

My Favorites

Out of all the items, the Stollen Crisps and Cinnamon Swizzle Sticks stood out as our favorites. Their unique flavors and comforting qualities made them memorable and enjoyable.

As we wrapped up our taste test session, we reflected on the diverse range of flavors and experiences these products offered. We’re excited to bring more taste tests and reviews your way. So, stay tuned for next week’s culinary adventure! Until then, happy tasting! ?️?

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