Archive for the ‘Trader Joe’s’ Category

Trader Joe’s – Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions – Food Review

02/06/2017

Trader Joe, caramelized onion cheddar cheese, nutrition, reviewFebruary 6, 2017

I couldn’t find the bacon cheddar, but I did find this.  I’m not disappointed.  A crumbly, little bit sharp, nice cheddar cheese forms the base of this product.  To it is added caramelized onions.  That may not sound good, but it is good – really good.  The onions add a contrasting sweetness to the more earthy taste of the cheddar.  It’s a nice flavor treat for the mouth.  For a modest price, this is a nice cheddar cheese with an interesting contrast that works well.   Price $8.99 per pound   Calories  110  per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s – Joe’s Dark Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

02/06/2017

Trader Joe, joe's dark coffee, whole bean, review, dark roastFebruary 6, 2017

I’ve been drinking this for a couple of weeks now as my daily coffee fix.  I’ve got nothing bad to say about it.  It’s a pretty decent coffee, and for a little less money than my usual brew (TJ Tarrazu).

This is not a very dark, dark roast.   Trader Joe does a pretty good job on their dark roasts. They manage to leave out most of the bitterness that some other dark roasts have.  There is some bitterness in the coffee, making this coffee less smooth than my normal coffee.  But it’s still not objectionable.  If you’re looking for a Starbucks-like dark roast, this ain’t it.

The beans come from Ethiopia and Brazil which may explain the difference in size of the beans in the can.  The coffee is not listed as organic or fair trade, if those things are important to you.

Price $4.99 (13 ounce can)

La Finca – Tempranillo – 2015 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

01/31/2017

Trader Joe, La Finca, temranillo, red wine, Argentina, review, mendoza, 2015January 31, 2017

Unpretentious, that’s what a good table wine is.  This is a wine which sits on the dinner table, gets passed around, doesn’t get in the way of the food, and doesn’t get in the way of the conversation.  When the bottle’s empty someone grabs another bottle off the kitchen counter and the cycle repeats.

The wine has a mild earthy taste with just enough roughness around the edge to get your attention for a moment.  There’s not much aroma to go along with a medium red color that makes the wine look watery.  There’s not much bad about the wine.  In fact it’s a nice wine.  It’s just not the star of the show like some wines want to be.  Good and unpretentious, that’s what a table wine should be.   And for a price of $4.49 a bottle it’s easy to fill up that kitchen counter.

Vignobles Lacheteau – 2015 – Vouvray – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

01/25/2017

white wine, review, France, Loire, Vignobles Lacheteau, price, Vouvray, 2015January 25, 2017

Aside from the most difficult screw cap I’ve ever encountered, this was a “sweet” wine.  Well not sweet in the sweet taste sense, rather sweet as in very nice.  The wine actually was slightly sweet to match the faint fruity apple flavor.  The wine had a medium acidity as measured by my stomach and throat, but not enough to require medication.  For me, this is one wine where a little bit of chill brings out the best qualities.

The wine comes from the Vouvray region of the Loire Valley in France.  Although the bottle doesn’t specify the grape, that region is famous for the Chenin Blanc grape.  That grape is likely the source of the juice that ultimately became this wine.

The wine generally gets above average reviews on the web, with some thinking it too sweet for their tastes.  For me, a person who generally avoids white wines, I really liked this one.  Price $7.99.

Amaretto Truffles – Food Review – Tartufi Dolci -Trader Joe’s

01/14/2017

trader joes, truffles, amaretto, reviewJanuary 14, 2017

These are very elegant mild dark chocolate truffles with a delicate amaretto flavor.   Many many small pieces of nuts and Amoretti cookies inside the truffles give these a surprising, unique and good mouthfeel and taste.

One downside is that the very small pieces tend to stick between teeth and even between tooth and gum.  That may leave a desire to brush or floss soon after eating.  A second downside is that these are a seasonal item.  It may not be until next December when we see them again.

The packaging is as elegant as the chocolate.  Each truffle is individually wrapped in a shiny paper with a twisty flourish above the truffle.  If put out on a tray, the wrapping helps reduce any concerns about how many people picked up and then put down the truffle.

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Château Mayne Guyon – Côtes de Bordeaux – 2014 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

01/14/2017

trader joes, wine, review, bordeaux, 2014, chateau mayne guyonJanuary 14, 2017

There’s a deep ruby-red color in the glass and a hint of vinegar on the cork.  A strange wet wood aroma emanates from the glass on first pour.  This aroma diminished after exposure to air.  In the mouth the wine seemed to change with each sip.  It was an interesting experience that I suspect would create much conversation around the table as each person might have a different taste experience.  Most of those changes were neutral to slightly positive.  One or two of the changes were slightly negative.  While not the finest example of a Bordeaux wine and possibly not even a good example, overall, the wine was drinkable and enjoyable.

Day two, with the wine exposed to air from the original uncorking and an overnight stoppered storage in the refrigerator, the wine produced some fruity overtones – for a short time.  Gone was the wet wood aroma.  Still present was one of the negatives, a slight off-taste at the back of the throat.
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Trader Joe’s Brandy Beans – Food Review

01/07/2017

January 7, 2016Trader Joe's, Brandy Beans, food, review, alcohol, candy, chocolate
Brandy, I knew her from the old neighborhood. That’s right Brandy Beans. She and Ben, her brother, lived with their parents in the apartment building down the street on the second floor.  Right above them on the 3rd floor were the Shaws. You remember Charlie, now old Charles Shaw,  don’t you?

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Trader Joe’s – Ricotta & Spinach Tortelloni – Food Review

12/31/2016

trader joes, food, review, tortelloni, ricotta, spinach, priceDecember 31, 2016
Lets just say, your local Italian restaurant would be quickly out of business if it served this dish.  The concept sounded good, the ingredients were there, but the execution didn’t work out – just like some Sunday NFL games.  The tortelloni came out unevenly cooked, ranging between tough to mushy.  The cheese filling was just okay.  Read that as not very flavorful.  The tomatoes varied from okay to mushy.  The red pesto including bits of red pepper, zucchini and whatnot was the best part.  There was very little liquid to the sauce, if that’s what you’re expecting.

trader joes, food, review, tortelloni, ricotta, spinach, price, nutritionHowever, considering the price of $1.99, it’s competitive in quality with other frozen entrées in this range.  If the pasta and tomatoes could be cooked more evenly, this would be a much better dish.  Maybe all it needs is a quick stir in the middle of cooking?

Calories:  460, Serving: Size 1 container   Price:  $1.99

Nürnberger Lebkuchen – Food Review – Trader Joe’s

12/24/2016

nurnberger lebkuchen, chocolate, trader joes, germanyDecember 24, 2016

Gingerbread on first bite, but there’s much more here.  Second bite, read the ingredient label.  This is a mini fruit cake without the bad reputation.  It’s like eating a puzzle as you try to match the flavors in your mouth with the ingredients.  Third bite, this cookie has history.  It was created by 13th century monks in its present form.  Where would foodies be without monks?  Think about it.  But before the monks the history goes back to the Roman legions.  Where would men in short skirts be without the Legions?  Maybe, don’t think about it.

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Roulé Rouge – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

12/24/2016
roule rouge, red table wine, trader joesDecember 24, 2016

Can organic grapes make an inexpensive California wine good?  On first opening, the cork had a fairly strong scent of vinegar reminding me of our first-generation next-door neighbor when I was growing up, who used to press his own grapes and make large barrels of wine in his backyard.  He’d give my parents some bottles which generally turned to vinegar in a few weeks.  But man, those few weeks were fun.

I doubt this one will turn to vinegar even if it has no sulfites added.  And that, no added sulfites, is another reason I picked this up off the shelf.  How many wines do you see with no, added sulfites?

Being a blend per the label, the wine is non-vintage and non-varietal (although a 2015 Trader Joe ad claims this is 100% Merlot).  Umm, well, if we go with the label, that leaves out cutting and pasting from some Merlot review.  But that’s another reason this wine reminds me of that backyard brew so many years ago.  There’s no telling exactly what went into the bottle

What came out of the bottle is a fairly smooth mildly dry red table wine that’s very drinkable once you realize that red wines don’t really have to taste the same.  This one will puzzle your taste buds into saying, what is that?  When they give up trying to answer that question they’ll say, I like it.  The only possible negative is a strange earthy taste that’s really not very objectionable once you get used to it.  Maybe the taste is a bit of young tannins or maybe they do ferment in old wooden barrels?  I don’t know if being organic had anything to do with it, but this inexpensive wine is good.

Growing up, we ate a lot of pasta with a thick red sauce that started as canned whole tomatoes and olive oil in tins, both from the old country, washed down with the backyard wine. This wine brings back pleasant memories.  Price $5.99.


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