Thursday, September 6, 2018

Trader Joe's in the Hood

Ring the bells! Sound the trumpets! The Trader Joe's finally opened in my neighborhood!

And it's been glorious - indeed a reason to celebrate and discover new (or new to me) products that are extra special.

Here is what I find in my cart as of late:

Seltzers With A Splash - These low or no cal beverage options remind me of Spindrift Sparkling Water with their hint of real fruit juice. Zippy and refreshing, they are a great way to shake up your sparkling water routine (except please don't actually shake them unless you want to be humans with a splash).

Blueberry Vanilla Chevre - An easy and decadent snack or essential component to any cheese board spread. The tangy and creamy goat cheese is cut by the bright acidity of blueberries. Slice a round onto a wafer and it tastes like cheesecake. Plus, the berry color is just gorgeous - ignore the bad picture and trust me!

Spatchcocked Chicken - Yes, the name might induce a giggle or two, but this is such a brilliant way to produce an evenly cooked and flavorful chicken - and they've done all the dirty work for you. The lemon rosemary packed more flavor than the BBQ version, but I think if you threw the latter on a grill, it would amplify the seasoning.

Cruciferous Crunch Collection - It's a bagful of greens that on their own, get a bad rap. They are just so darn healthy, how could they also be tasty? Well, in this combo they most definitely are. Enjoy as an extra crunchy side salad or use it as a base for a more elevated coleslaw.

Neapolitan Joe-Joe's - I'm not even a Joe-Joe fan (I know, LuRuSo=weird), but these cookies make me happy. Why choose between vanilla, chocolate and strawberry when you can have all three? They capture the dreaminess of that classic ice cream cone flavor all wrapped up into one little cookie confection.

Newton's Folly Semi-Dry Cider - We started with a beverage, so let's end on a beverage - this time for the adults. Not too sweet, not too sour, just enough fizz. To me, this may be the perfect hard cider; delicious at any time of year.

As for some TJ Trivia, did you know you can taste test in-store any product that is ready to eat? Go ahead and ask a crew member to open up a package that you are curious about.

Or if you opt for the purchase without trying it and find yourself disappointed, Trader Joe's will refund you the amount without any hassle. This policy makes it an easy decision to try something new and unknown.

Rather than copycat products, many Trader Joe's items are made by the same brands you know and love, only in disguise and at a much lower price point. For example, in Minnesota you can imbibe the Trader Joe's Art of the Still Organic Vodka and be drinking Prairie Vodka for $4 less a bottle. Or munch on popcorn that is just as addictive as local darling Angie's - because it is one and the same. Have you uncovered any hidden brand names amongst the Trader Joe's shelves?

With the downtown location being a short jaunt for me, there are sure to be more Trader Joe's-themed posts to come. Until then...

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