Archive for the ‘Trader Joe’s’ Category

Ocarossa – Cuvée Rosso – NV- Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

01/20/2018

Trader Joe's, red wine, review, price, ocarossa, cuvee rosso, red gooseJanuary 20, 2018

This is a medium-bodied, but still dry and earthy red wine. There are no negatives to this wine. It is an unpretentious red table wine. Pour it straight from the bottle and enjoy with food.  Think red when selecting a food for pairing; red sauce, spicy red pepper, red meat.  The lighter body makes this a good wine to help get the food down. There’s no dainty sipping at the dinner table.

I like this wine.  However, it’s a different wine than most on the shelves today.  The flavor profile or style is different from most of its neighbors.  I’m going to call this old-school wine; earthy, dry and good.

Two things are of interest.  One is the somewhat disjointed backstory on the bottle explaining how this wine got its name.  There are mosquitos, birds, woods, a pond, a red goose, a zen master (?) and of course grape vines in the story.  All this, I suppose, means the grapes are grown in harmony with nature.  And the name?  “Oca rossa” means red goose in Italian.  Ocarossa is the red goose that lives in the pond.

trader joe, wine, review, cork, ocarossa, red blend, priceThe second noteworthy item is the cork.  This is corkscrew-less cork.  Just grab the top of the cork protruding from the bottle, twist and pull the cork until out.  Everyone needs one of these for their cork collection.

Price $5.99.

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Trader Joe’s – Black Diamond Mature Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Food Review

01/12/2018

TJ, trader joe's, black diamond mature reserve, extra sharp cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 12, 2018
For a 4-year-old cheese, this cheese is surprisingly soft, but still firm. There is little crumbling when cut. There are no obvious crystals visible in the cheese. However once in the mouth some very fine crystals can be detected crunching between the teeth.  Crystals form as the cheese ages.

This is a very tasty cheddar with a nice and noticeable amount of natural sharpness. The sharpness lingers on the back of the tongue long after the cheese has left the mouth.  A little cheese goes a long way.  Unlike some other cheddars, the word sharp on the label has real meaning.  Some people may find this too sharp.  Without doing a side by side comparison, this is the best cheddar at TJ I’ve reviewed so far.

Calories 120 per ounce, price $8.99 per pound

Trader Joe’s – Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks – Food Review

01/12/2018

Trader Joe's, apple cinnamon snack stick, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 12, 2018

So light you’ll eat the whole bag and never notice it. That is until you step on the scale.

These are mildly sweet, gently flavored cinnamon and apple, multi-grain snacks. Like all snacks they’re easy to like and even easier to eat. The grains used are;  corn flour, rice flour, and potato fiber (I know, not a grain).  They’re labelled gluten-free.

The really interesting thing about these is the shape. They are small hollow tubes. How do they do it?

 

Trader Joe's, apple cinnamon snack stick, review, price, calories, nutritionTrader Joe's, apple cinnamon snack stick, review, price, calories, nutrition

Price  $2.49 per 6 oz. bag

Calories  140  per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s – Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio Cheese – Food Review

01/07/2018

tj, trader joe, review, calories, nutrition, price, cheese, parmigiano reggiano stravecchioJanuary 7, 2018

Recently reviewed here was a Trader Joe’s Parmesan cheese.  That was found to be okay, but nothing very special.  Today, reviewed is a Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio cheese imported from Italy by Trader Joe’s.  The first question is, what is stravecchio?  Stravecchio simply means; old, mature or extra aging.  This cheese is aged for 36 months, or 3 years, depending on how you count time.

In comparison to the previously reviewed TJ Parmesan cheese, this cheese is still hard, but easier to cut because it tends to crumble somewhat.  As for flavor, there’s no comparison.  This cheese is tons more flavorful and complex. There’s some nuttiness to the flavor but also hints of sweetness contained in an earthy base.

This is a very nice cheese to snack on.  It would be difficult to use this for a cheese tray, as it does not cut well into nicely shaped cubes due to its crumbly nature.  For cooking and sprinkling on salads, I still prefer the inexpensive everyday grated cheeses in the plastic containers.  At $14.99 a pound, this is a cheese that really needs to be savored by itself, rather than diluted with other food.  And when it is savored by itself, it’s a savoring experience.

Price $14.99 per pound   Calories, 110 per ounce (28g)

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

01/07/2018

TJ, trader joe's, cabot, extra sharp cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 7, 2018

This is a very nice cheese with a very good flavor. The cheese is sharp, but I wouldn’t call it extra sharp as the label does. The cheese is nicely aged to a crumbly consistency.  The cheese should be good for cooking as it melted nicely with a quick microwave test.  Per the label, the cheese is produced by a farmer’s cooperative, which is nice to know in this age of mega-scale industrial food production.  As a domestic cheese from the Northeast, it’s reasonably priced to boot.

Price  $6.99 per pound      Calories  110  per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s – Beef Chili with Beans – Food Review

01/02/2018

Trader Joes, beef chili with beans, review, price, calories, nutritionTrader Joes, beef chili with beans, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 2, 2018

This is a fairly spicy chili leaving a lingering heat at back of the roof of the mouth. However with the heat are overtones of sweet.  There’s a lot of tomato sauce in this chili, giving it a different flavor profile than most of the usual canned chili suspects on the supermarket shelves.  Along with the meat are two types of beans in the chili.  Jalapeno is listed on the label, which also helps explain part of the different flavor profile. If you’re open to a different flavor in your chili, you might like this. If you have a favorite brand of chili that you love, this may not be to your liking.

With recent low temperatures here at around -22 C (it always seems much colder using Celsius), this is a good winter warmer-upper.  For the environmentally inclined, chili with beans may also be a potential untapped source of a recycled fossil fuel. And it may be the all-convincing proof that global warming really is man-made.

Price – $1.99 per 15 ounce can

Calories – 210 per serving (about 2 servings per can)

Trader Joe’s – Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

12/23/2017

trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, aged bourbon barrelDecember 23, 2017

Rolling barrels down the road is one of those things kids do. Rolling barrels down the road with coffee beans in them is not something kids do. That’s just because kids don’t have any coffee beans. Rolling coffee beans in a barrel seems to be the basic mechanism how this coffee was created. Coffee beans are gently rolled around in old empty barrels used for aging bourbon. Well, at least that’s what the package claims.

The coffee itself is fairly good. This is the first Mexico-grown coffee I’ve had, and it’s promising. Now, the flavor added to the coffee from rolling around in an old bourbon barrel is up for personal interpretation. It’s not a particularly bad flavor and it’s not a particularly good flavor. It’s an earthy flavor that’s noticeable, but not obtrusive. Perhaps a real shot of bourbon in the coffee would make it complete?

To follow up on the spiked coffee theme, I made due with what was on hand, adding some O’Donnells Caramel Cream to the coffee.  Ummm, so good!  The little extra flavor from the barrels, the coffee and the “cream” came together in a very smooth cup of holiday joy.  Price, $9.99, 10 ounce can.

Trader Joe’s – Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

12/23/2017

trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, zambia, AADecember 23, 2017

Here’s another lighter roast coffee from Trader Joe’s.  A nice aroma permeates the air when the bag is first opened.  The beans have a medium brown color indicative of a medium roast.  While brewing in the coffee press, the coffee looks flat.  There are few oils and carbon dioxide bubbles on top of the brew.

This is a smoother cup of coffee than the other TJ lighter roasts reviewed here.  However there’s still some roughness around the finish.  This is a fairly good tasting coffee and drinkable black. Although, considering this is the holidays, I’ve been adding a little Irish cream lately, which as always makes coffee better.  While a better and less bitter lighter roast from Trader Joe’s, this wouldn’t be my choice as an everyday drinker.  If you’re a Starbucks drinker, a couple of weeks with this would be a good pallet cleanse.

One reason to not buy this coffee is the bag.  The bag has one of those small resealable narrow slits on the wide side of the bag near the top making it difficult to reach in to get the beans.  Think of the mouth of a stingray.  Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

Trader Joe’s – Parmesan Cheese – Food Review

12/20/2017

tj, trader joe, parmesan cheese, nutrition, review, calories, priceDecember 20, 2017

Make no mistake about it, this is a hard cheese.  Grating it can be a grating experience.

For me, this is a cheese better eaten by itself than used in recipes.  As noted above, the cheese is hard and will give both your knife and jaw a workout.  The cheese has a nice, but mild, parmesan flavor to it.  A glass of wine is a nice accompaniment.

Surprisingly, as a grated cheese, I actually prefer the pre-grated sprinkle on stuff.  Not only is the pre-grated cheese easier to use, but it has more flavor pop than this cheese.  The cheese was used as a topping to flavor pastas and salads for this review.

Now, if you’re trying to impress your significant other with a home cooked meal as Billy Joel’s Italian Restaurant plays in the background, grating this at the table is the way to go.  And as above, an extra bottle of red is a nice accompaniment.

price $5.99 per pound   calories, 110 per ounce (28g)

Marzipanstollen – Food Review – Trader Joe’s

12/20/2017

tj, trader joe, marzipanstollen , nutrition, review, calories, priceDecember 20, 2017

Don’t open this in the presence of law enforcement.  There’s enough powered sugar loosely coating this cake to make your kitchen look like a coke lab.

The cake part is a little dry and tasteless. The raisins are sweet and moist. The marzipan and small pieces of candied fruit are even sweeter. When you get enough fillings with the cake in one bite, it all comes together in the mouth. While this cake is not bad, unless you really like this kind of cake it might be better to save your calories for something else.

tj, trader joe, marzipanstollen , nutrition, review, calories, pricePrice $3.49

Calories  340 per 1/6 slice of cake


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