Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

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

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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)

ALDI – Belmont Dutch Apple Crumb Pie – Food Review

01/02/2018

ALDI, Belmont, Dutch Apple Crumb Pie, review, calories, price, nutritionJanuary 2, 2017

Crumby, Crumbly, Caramba!

This is something that’s been in our freezer since around Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, ALDI only seems to stock their fruit pies for the year-end holidays.  So you may need to wait for this to show up again.  When it does make its appearance again, this is a good one.

The “crust” is what makes this pie.  There are plenty of crumbs that cook up just perfectly in the oven.  This crust is nothing like the usual freezer pie crust that tends to be somewhat industrial.  Even the bottom of this crust is crispy and crumbly, tending to break into pieces as it’s extracted from the pie pan.

 

ALDI, Belmont, Dutch Apple Crumb Pie, review, calories, price, nutritionThe filling is good, with small pieces of apple mixed in with a sweet thick apple syrup.  I would’ve preferred more and larger pieces of apple and less of the syrup, but as noted above, this pie is all about the crust.

Calories  320 per slice,  9 slices per pie

Price – lost receipt, probably around $5

ALDI – O’Donnells Caramel Cream – Food Review

12/23/2017

aldi, o'donnells caramel cream, food, review, price, wineDecember 23, 2017

With the year-end holidays comes sleeping in and slow morning wakeups with a little spiked coffee.  At least that’s the tradition around this house.  The spike in the coffee usually takes the form of some Irish cream.

Here’s a new variation of the holiday tradition first reviewed here, O’Donnells Original Irish cream,  What could go wrong by adding some caramel flavor to the Irish cream?  Absolutely nothing.  For me, this is even better than the original.  The caramel flavor is not overpowering.  In fact it’s barely noticeable in the coffee.  But for whatever reason it tends to smooth out the beverage even more.  Very enjoyable.  Price $8.99

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

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

Mindiarte Reserva Rioja – Tempranillo – 2012 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

12/02/2017

Trader Joe's, red wine, review, price, mindiarte, rioja, 2012December 2, 2017

Well this is another experiment in spending an extra couple of dollars for an older red wine.  The general principle being tested here is that red wines improve with age.  With most of the inexpensive red wines on the shelves being sold at around the two to three year mark, does another couple of years aging make an inexpensive wine better?

At five years this wine is decidedly better than most of those other two to three year olds.  The wine has had time to blend itself together into more of a whole.  The wine is generally smoother than a younger wine, with less rough edges.  What does that mean?  Consider a new t-shirt, put it on straight out of the package and it feels stiff and rough.  Wear it for a while and put that t-shirt through a couple of washes and it gets softer and cozier.

This wine is relatively cozy.  There are less of those little sharp edges.  There are still a few, so maybe another two or so years in the bottle will make the wine cozier still.

Just because age tends to make the wine cozier, doesn’t mean the basic characteristics of the wine have changed.  After all, a blue t-shirt is still going to be blue after a few cycles.  This is a strong wine, very much like a strong Cab, even though the grapes are 100% Tempranillo.  In fact rather than a nice mellow blue, this is more of an in-your-face red, a red that doesn’t fade in the wash.  So buyer beware, there’s lots of character in this wine.  If you’d like to see how the various styles of Rioja wine compare, check out this.  If you like a strong California Cab this may well be the best $10 “California Cab” you’ll ever buy.   In general, the wine gets a little above average reviews on the web, 3.5 out of 5, with a few nods to the relative value of the wine (quality/price).  Price of $9.99

Adventure Series Chianti – 2016 – DOCG – Wine Review – ALDI

11/17/2017

ALDI, wine, review, price, Chianti, DOCG, 2016November 17, 2017

This is perhaps the best $5 wine you’ll ever have.  For about the last year or two the very good Tuscan wines ALDI used to stock have been missing from the shelves.  I was pretty happy to see this one on my last visit, even if it has the unlikely sounding generic name of Chianti with a further Adventure Series qualifier.  What gives, where are the nice Italian names on the bottle that I usually can’t pronounce?

The wine is: a medium-dark red color, mildly dry in the mouth with gentle tannins, medium bodied, has no bad tastes, and has little aroma in the glass. There’s nothing outstanding about this wine except that there’s also absolutely nothing bad about this wine. Because it’s a mild inoffensive wine, it should make a good sipping wine for anyone liking a red wine with these characteristics. It also makes a nice table wine, which should go well with just about any food red wines are generally associated with.  Paired on different occasions with some homemade pizza and lasagna, the wine was a perfect fit.

While most DOCG Chianti wines don’t appear on the shelves for around two years, this wine is a 2016 vintage making it a little young.  However  the wine is perfectly ready for drinking now.  I suppose that’s why it’s on the shelf.

For $4.99 a bottle this is a true bargain. It’s not a WOW! wine, but it’s also not a wine where you’ll find people leaving 3/4 full glasses on the table. Having a party? This should be a safe red wine where your investment in several bottles will not go to waste.


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