Archive for the ‘Trader Joe’s’ Category

Trader Joe’s – Chicken & Vegetable Wonton Soup – Food Review

08/06/2017

trader joe, wonton soup, price, calories, nutrition, review, chicken, vegetableAug 6, 2017

With cold, or at least cool, weather just around the corner, soup is in season.  This is a surprisingly good soup for those kinds of days, or really any kind of day.

The broth for this soup is very nice. There’s a slight sweetness to the broth, but also a bit of rebellion from green onions. As you work your way to the bottom of the bowl, where the white and black pepper settle out, the broth becomes more adventuresome. The broth has a medium consistency.

The wontons (dumplings) in the soup contain a chicken-based filling. While not as flavorful as the broth, the wonton filling is still good with noticeable vegetables interspersed throughout.  If you can manage to cut a wonton in half, letting some broth seep in, the filling is even better. The package contains a caution to, cook thoroughly. If I had to guess, the soup is not precooked. It took the full five minutes in the microwave to reach the required 165 degrees.

(more…)

Advertisements

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

Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

07/26/2017

trader joe, review, price, Bogle cabernet sauvignon, 2014, CaloforniaJuly 26, 2017

The wine has a mild earthy and mildly strong aroma in the glass.  The wine feels slightly dry in the mouth and is not fruity to the taste.  It’s a little different flavor profile than experienced in the past from a California Cab, but still of the same genre.  The second glass and thereafter has more of a California Cab experience.  There’s nothing odd or off tasting. While mildly strong as a wine, the wine is also smooth to drink.   This is a fairly good California Cab for people who might want to expand their tastes in that direction or for people who just want to chill after a hard day’s work without challenging themselves too much.  The wine works well as a sipper.  It didn’t pair well with some cheddar cheese.  It paired much better with some mildly spicy Indian food, and some not so spicy Chinese garlic chicken.  It was a matter of having enough food in the mouth to stand up to the wine.

The wine seems to be generally available at other outlets for a similar price, sometimes even a little less and sometimes a little more.  The wine receives average to slightly above average reviews by others.  Price $8.99.

Trader Joe’s – Ecuador Vilcabamba – Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

07/14/2017

trader joe's, review, coffee, ecuador, vilcabamba, light-medium roastJuly 14, 2017

Musical beans?  That’s what they are.  Whether scooping these out from the bag, or dropping them into the measuring glass, or even in the grinder, these beans had a clear almost bell-like ring to them.  That’s very interesting and something either not noticed or not experienced in the past with any coffee beans.  And in the cup, that smooth mellow music continues.

(more…)

Trader Joe’s Double Cream Brie – Food Review

07/10/2017

trader joe, review, nutrition, price, calories, double cream brieJuly 10, 2017

This was a much better experience than the last Trader Joe’s brie I tried.   This brie had a much firmer, but still soft, texture.  It was sliceable and didn’t run off the knife.  The taste was mild with a touch of tartness.  Overall the taste was a pleasant experience.  The texture was melt-in-the-mouth.  There was a kind of velvety mouth feel to the cheese.

For the lovers of stronger cheeses, you won’t be offended by this, but you also may not be satisfied.  For the brie lovers out there, this is probably a winner.

Price $5.99 per pound
Calories 100 per ounce
If you’re looking for double plus one creamy brie, try here.

Trader Joe’s – Eggplant Parmigiana w/ Grilled Eggplant – Food Review

07/04/2017

trader joes, eggplant parmiagiana, calories, price, nutrition, reviewJuly 4, 2017
This is not a great eggplant parmigiana, but a pretty good eggplant as an eggplant.

This is another one of the seemingly endless variations of Trader Joe’s “eggplant with tomato sauce and melted cheese” products.  This one features eggplant which are “grilled”.  Now I suspect the grilling was done on one of those industrial strength machines that moves a conveyor belt of eggplant slices through some kind of flame.  But the pieces had grill marks on them, so who are we to quibble about the method.

trader joes, eggplant parmiagiana, calories, price, nutrition, reviewWhile I usually have no patience for waiting on an oven to cook these kinds of entrees, this time I followed the oven directions. Instead of large slices of eggplant, these are actually smaller pieces of a slice.  That makes it somewhat easier to eat without needing a knife to cut through the usual slices.  The tomato sauce was not very flavorful.  Much of the mozzarella seemed to have melted into the sauce instead of forming a nice cover for the eggplant.  The result was a  somewhat watery tomato/cheese sauce without much flavor intermixed with a few small islands of melted cheese.  As a parmigiana, it was disappointing.

However as just eggplant, the eggplant was pretty good.  The best bits and tastiest, were those with the skin on – more flavor and more chew.  The pieces without skin we’re still tasty, but no as much.  Being grilled, there was no breading on the eggplant as is often done with fried eggplant slices.  Overall I liked this, but not because it was a good eggplant parmigiana, but because it was good eggplant.

Price ??? (lost receipt)   Calories  270 per container (1 serving)

Amancay – Torrontés – Reserva 2014 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

06/20/2017

Trader Joe's, white wine, review, price, amancay, torrontes, 2014June 20, 2017

This is the first item I’ve ever seen marked down at Trader Joe’s.  But that’s not why I picked it up.  I picked it up because an Amancay red I had a few weeks ago was an okay and interesting wine.  This purchase didn’t fare as well.

The wine has a clear pale yellow color.  There’s a brief fruity aroma on first opening which soon disappears.  In the mouth the wine is earthy and tart with something of the taste of concentrated unripe green grapes.  The wine worked surprisingly well with an anchovy pizza. The wine balanced the strong tastes from the pizza, especially the saltiness from the anchovy.  The pizza balanced out the acidity from the wine.

This is not a white wine for me.  It’s too harsh. The wine is better with food than by itself, especially stronger tasting foods. Chilling helps the wine some.  A few days in the refrigerator sealed after opening seemed to help the wine mellow some.  Balancing out the negatives is the very low price (marked down).   Price $3.99.

Trader Joe’s – Tofurky Italian Sausage – Food Review

06/14/2017

trader joe, review, nutrition, price, calories, tofurky italian sausageJune 14, 2017

It’s not Italian sausage.  BUT, for a meatless meat (yes it’s labeled vegan), it has the texture, if not exactly the taste, of a meat.  The texture is the biggest problem with many meatless meats. They, or we, can always work on how it tastes.  In its own right, it’s fairly good tasting, but on the bland side.

(more…)


%d bloggers like this: