Posts Tagged ‘tj’

DaVinci Chianti – 2015 – DOCG – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s


trader joes, DaVinci Chianti DOCG 2015, review, priceMarch 5, 2018

This will bring a smile to your face.  Perhaps not a Mona Lisa smile, but a smile nonetheless.

Today’s wine comes from a wine cooperative in the town of Vinci in the Chianti region of Tuscany.

While this is a nice wine with no bad characteristics, there are equally good wines at Trader Joe’s from Tuscany for the same or lower price.  Now, a dollar or two or three isn’t much to quibble about.  But if that’s a consideration, then look further on the shelves.  Otherwise, if you haven’t tried this wine yet, here’s your chance to help the local economy and help support small local businesses as well as enjoy a very nice Chianti.

And if you’re not near a Trader Joe’s, there’s a “wine finder” on their website which will help locate another store near you that sells their wine.  How nice!  And why can’t other wine companies do the same?   Price $9.99.


Trader Joe’s – Hatch Chili Mac & Cheese – Food Review


Trader Joe's, hatch chili mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionFebruary 9, 2018

This is another grown-up mac & cheese. This has a nice earthy depth of flavor but less complex than the recently reviewed Truffle Mac & Cheese.  This product adds Hatch Chiles to a classic cheddar cheese base.  If you’re worried that the chiles make this mac & cheese spicy hot, no need for that.  Only a very very mild heat can be detected in sporadic bites when a bit of the green chili actually finds its way to your fork.  Mostly, the chiles just adds a secondary complementary flavor to the cheese adding to the depth of flavor.

Trader Joe's, hatch chili mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionAgain, half the container was more than adequate as a side to dinner.  While I prepared this in the microwave, using the oven, taking another 20 minutes or so, might add a nice browning to the top. But I leave that experiment for you.

What’s a Hatch Chili?  Well it’s hard to say other than these chiles were grown in or around Hatch, New Mexico (according to information on the box).  For those interested here’s the Wiki link.

Price $2.99 per frozen box (two servings per box)

Calories, 260 per serving (170g)

Trader Joe’s – Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah – Food Review


trader joes, toscano cheese, syrah, review, price, calories, nutrtionFebruary 9, 2018

This is a nice cheese, a blend of parmesan and cheddar implied by the label.  This cheese is mild with a gentle nutty sweet flavor. The texture is medium firm, and definitely not hard. The Syrah wine soak doesn’t add much to the flavor, but puts a pretty purple coating on the outside.  The cheese slices nicely and is not crumbly.  This is suitable for a cheese tray if you don’t mind some odd-shaped pieces as the cheese is sold as a wedge.

trader joes, toscano cheese, syrah, review, price, calories, nutrtionNow the interesting thing about using this on a cheese tray could be watching people try to decide if that purple coating on the outside is edible, or not.  I’m not saying.

price $9.99 per pound   calories, 120 per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s – Truffle Mac & Cheese – Food Review


Trader Joe's, truffle mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 26, 2018

Have a handkerchief ready to catch the drool starting to form at the edge of the mouth about halfway through the cooking time as the earthy aromas start to waff out of the microwave. This is one grown-up Mac & Cheese.

Five different cheeses and truffle extract give this a very deep earthy wonderful flavor.  All the preceding adhere to short spiral shaped macaroni. This is decidedly different from the kid’s $1 a box glow-in-the-dark stuff that cooks up on the stove.

Trader Joe's, truffle mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionAt $3.49 a frozen box, this might seem a little pricey.  And it is.  But consider what it would cost to make this yourself.  Just the Gouda, white Cheddar, Asiago, Parmesan and Romano alone would probably use up all that $3.49. One 290 calorie serving of this is also pretty filling and satisfying.  A little goes a long way as a side to some lighter fare.

Price $3.49 per 12 ounce box

Calories 290 per serving (2 servings per box)

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


Trader Joe's, Zimbabwe, review, price, whole bean coffeeJanuary 26, 2018

The package lists this as a medium dark roast.  However the coffee looks and drinks more like a medium roast.  This is one of Trader Joe’s better African coffees.  There’s just a touch of bitterness in the coffee.  The bitterness, as well as the body, can be easily adjusted by varying the size of the grind and/or brew time.  For comparison, this is the opposite end of the coffee spectrum from a Starbucks-like coffee. But the problem may be the farm the coffee came from, the New Year’s Gift Estate.  Will it only be available every New Year’s?

Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

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


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.

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


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


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


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


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)

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