Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Trader Joe’s – Organic Nicaraguan Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

10/16/2017

TJ, trader joe, Nicaraguan Whole Bean Coffee , price, reviewOctober 16, 2017

This coffee is somewhat: weak, bitter and bad tasting.  The negatives go away some on cooling to a slightly sour taste.  While not especially good for a Trader Joe coffee, this is still likely better than some coffees at other supermarkets for the same price.  While taste is a personal preference, and some people may like this coffee more than other coffees, there are better coffees at Trader Joe’s for the same price or less.

The coffee is labeled as organic.  The coffee is packaged in a tall, thin bag which makes it somewhat difficult to get the coffee out, especially near the bottom of the bag.

And if you look at the label this is a “honey processed” coffee.  I guess some things don’t change no matter where people live.  “Oh honey!  Can you go process some coffee for me.  And, take out the trash.”

Price $8.99 (12 ounce bag)

For another take on this coffee, try Become Betty here.

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ALDI – Millville – Chewy Granola Trail Mix Bar – Dark Chocolate Cherry – Food Review

10/03/2017

ALDI, Millville, Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars, snack, review, price, nutritionOctober 3, 2017

Oats, nuts, fruit loosely held together by a mildly sweet syrup. This is not a hard granola bar. In fact it will bend and start to break apart just getting it out of the package.  There’s just enough syrupy binder  to hold everything together. As a result, this is not a very sweet bar. If you’re looking to avoid something so sweet that your teeth start to hurt, you may like this. The other benefit is your fingers don’t feel like they’re covered with super glue. The mixture of ingredients in the bar should also help slowly feed energy to your body as the bar is digested. That will help to avoid an immediate sugar high. The fruit and nuts in the bar are more enjoyable than the oats in the bar. That’s to be expected. The chocolate was mostly hiding in my bars.

ALDI, Millville, Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars, snack, review, price, nutritionOn the trail, the 140 calories in the bar should be good for about 1.5 to 2 miles down a relatively flat trail at a moderate pace. Off the trail, as a snack, that’s how far you’ll need to walk to burn off the calories. Did I just ruin your day?

Calories  140 per bar
Price $1.79 per box (6 bars in a box)

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ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

Trader Joe’s – Five Country Espresso Blend Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

09/23/2017

trader joes, coffee, whole bean, five country espresso, review, price, fair trade, organicSeptember 23, 2017

Since espresso is a method of making coffee and not a particular coffee bean, the name is slightly misleading.  However, since most coffees, including this one, can be used in espresso machines, we won’t quibble.  And since I don’t have an espresso machine, this coffee was prepared by my usual French press method.

Typically coffee beans meant for espresso machines are dark roasted.  This coffee fits in the Trader Joe’s medium-dark roast category (labeled dark roast on the can).  It produced a nice cup of coffee in my press.  It was largely indistinguishable from my everyday Tarrazu drinker.   Perhaps it was a little more bitter.  Regardless, it should work nicely in an espresso machine if that’s your preference.

For the extra two dollars per can over the Tarrazu, what are we getting?  This coffee is labeled both organic and fair trade.  That could be one reason to spend the extra two dollars.  As for the word espresso on the can, it’s your decision whether this will produce a better espresso shot than your current coffee.   Price $8.99  (13 ounce can)

Trader Joe’s New Zealand Grass Fed Sharp Cheddar – Food Review

09/23/2017

Trader Joe's, New Zealand Sharp Cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionSeptember 23, 2017
I didn’t know cheese ate grass?  This is a grass-fed sharp cheddar cheese from New Zealand.

While the package says aged 6-12 months, I suspect my package was aged at the low-end of this range. The cheddar was not very sharp at all. The cheese was dense and semi-soft with no crumbling while being cut. There was a mild cheddar flavor and sharpness to the cheese.

At $6 per pound this is a good cheese, but nothing special.  The price is right for using this as you would any other mild cheddar that fills the refrigerator cases in most supermarkets. But the good news is, once it’s wrapped for sale, it no longer needs to be fed grass!

Price $5.99 per pound      Calories 120 per ounce.

Trader Joe’s – Sriracha English Cheddar – Food Review

09/06/2017

Trader Joe's, Sriracha English Cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionSeptember 6, 2017
Looking for love in all the wrong places.  Yep, just like the song says, that’s what I was doing.  But wait, no, no, no,  not that kind of love.  And, . . . not that kind of love either.  I was looking for the love of a sharp cheddar.  Don’t anyone urban dictionary that.  And if you do, don’t tell me what it means.  Please don’t.

This cheese is a mixture of English aged cheddar and sriracha sauce.  And that aging of at least 8 months, according to the label, is one of the factors that helps produce sharpness in a cheddar.  But the sriracha is the thing that puts this over the top.  Here the addition of sriracha is more than a marketing gimmick.  The sriracha is actually noticeable and good.  Mixing in the sriracha sauce gives the cheese a looser, more crumbly, texture.  There’s a nice contrast between the noticeable, but still not extreme, hotness of the sriracha and the smooth creamy feel of the cheese as it warms in the mouth.  As those two factors meld together, the sriracha starts to take over producing a sharp finish as it all exits the mouth and starts down the throat. It’s a different kind of sharpness than a 100% cheddar.  Still, it’s a nice flavor and experience.

This is the third or fourth cheddar mixture I’ve tried at Trader Joe’s.  All of them, including this one, have been winners.

Price $8.99 per pound     Calories 100 per ounce

ALDI – Specially Selected – Almond Biscotti – Food Review

08/28/2017

aldi, almond biscotti, food, review, price, calories, nutritionaldi, almond biscotti, food, review, price, calories, nutritionAugust 28, 2017

The package says, “with just a hint of anise”, but for me that was the whole story.  This is more like anise toast than almond biscotti.  For anise toast, it was fairly good.  There was a nice and proportionally strong anise flavor to the biscotti.  The biscotti were firm, but still a little soft and not very crumbly.  There were small pieces of nuts occasionally sprinkled throughout the biscotti.  The package says almond and walnuts.  But there was very little almond flavor to match the package label.  So maybe the wrong biscotti got in the wrong box, or something like that?

Calories  90 per biscotti    Price $2.89 per package of 8

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ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

ALDI – Journey To India – Chicken Tikka Masala- Food Review

08/28/2017

aldi, chicken tikka masala, food, review, price, calories, nutritionaldi, chicken tikka masala, food, review, price, calories, nutritionAugust 28, 2017

With a fair amount of heat, but missing most of the different flavors of Indian cuisine, this is just an “okay” chicken tikka masala.

The heat in this product starts out mild and builds up to a medium-hot heat on the back of the tongue.  While the heat level is good for people liking heat, many of the traditional flavors of Indian food are missing.  The sauce has a medium tomato flavor with plenty of small pieces of tomato.  Along with the tomato are ample amounts of tender chicken pieces.

The rice is the biggest disappointment.  The rice cooked up rubbery, maybe indicating some over cooking after 6 minutes in the microwave.  However after 6 minutes the sauce and chicken were merely very warm.  While the rice is labeled basmati, the flavor was different, but not better, than the basmati I’m used to.  There was a very mild heat to the rice.

There are better frozen chicken tikka masala products out there.  If you’re in a pinch, or don’t have access to other sources, this will do – but not more.

Calories  370 per container    Price $2.99 per carton

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ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

Trader Joe’s Popcorn Chips – Food Review

08/03/2017
trader joe's, snack, popcorn chips, review, price, nutrition, caloriesHonestly, I picked these up just to see what they were.  Popcorn chips, how could that be?  That’s making a snack food out of a snack food.  It ain’t right.

If you’ve ever had mini rice cakes, these are very close to that experience.  The “chips” are airy in texture and dry in the mouth.  There’s just a hint of salt and sweet for flavor.  Aside from that, there’s not much to these – except some calories.  And as much as these are unexceptional, the whole bag disappeared within a couple of hours.  That’s what a snack food is.

trader joe's, snack, popcorn chips, review, price, nutrition, caloriesPrice $1.99 (4.5 ounce bag)

Calories 110 per ounce (28g, about 17 chips)

Trader Joe’s – Low Acid French Roast Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

08/03/2017

coffee, trader joe's, french roast, low acid, review, whole beanAugust 3, 2017

This might have been the first Trader Joe coffee that made it to the trash bin before the can was empty.  Right now I’m salvaging the coffee by grinding it 50/50 with my everyday Tarrazu coffee.

In the grinder there’s a beautiful aroma when the beans are freshly ground.  If only that could transfer to the brewed coffee.  Once brewed and in the cup, the beans turned into a very bitter cup of coffee.  If bitter is what you’re looking for in a cup of coffee, this one’s for you.  That experience isn’t for me.  A shot of Irish cream or half-and-half subdued the bitterness to tolerable levels.  But even then, there was still something about the coffee that wasn’t fully enjoyable.

As for the low acid claim on the label, without using a pH meter, we’ll just have to trust Trader Joe.  I did not feel any burn at the back of the throat or have any acid reflux problems afterwards.  Your reaction may be different.

The coffee beans are smaller than most. From the color and the small amount of oil on the beans, these are on the light side of a dark roast.  There is no country or region of origin stated for the beans. The beans are labeled 100% Arabica, as are around 80% of coffee beans overall.  Price $7.99 (13 ounce can)

Trader Joe’s – Extra Sharp Canadian Cheddar Cheese – Food Review

07/26/2017

Red Angus Heifer, wikimedia commons, Black Angus GirlJuly 26, 2017
Trade wars be damned, this is some really good cheese.  So before the great northern wall is built, get some of this.  If not, you’ll be making trips up to the wall under cover of darkness to catch packages of cheese wrapped in duct tape being thrown over.  Or Monty Python might be channeled catapulting whole cows north to south, the cheese curdling and aging in flight.  Don’t worry Canada, the cows will be quickly deported!  Street graffiti artists, please hold your enthusiasm.

Wisconsin cheeseheads stand on guard (oops!).  There’s some real competition coming south.  Have the secret cheese recipes been hacked?  Stop any bulls going north.  That lovely smiling red-headed heifer waving her tail over the border is a trap.  Keep the DNA in the USA!

And how is the cheese itself?  It’s perhaps the best pure cheddar in the TJ refrigerator case. It has a great taste and mouthfeel.  It’s sharp, but not pointy.  It’s just on the verge of being crumbly.  A few Gouda-like cheese crystals are spread throughout.  Or maybe that was one of my fillings starting to break up?  According to the label it’s aged two years.  That two-year aging accounts for all the good stuff in the cheese.  It’s also how often my dentist keeps refilling that tooth.  Hmmm?

Trader Joe's, Canadian Extra Sharp Cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionCalories 120 per ounce, price $8.99 per pound

Heifer photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, here.  Author: Black Angus Girl


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