and why i love you
Trader Fuckin’ Joe’s. If there’s a place on this earth that’s worthy of a blog post, it’s Trader Joe’s.
Joe, I don’t know who you are, I don’t know if you really were a trader, or if you even existed, but thank you. You have provided the world with a culinary haven of inspiration and glutton. Where a Stop & Shop feels sterile and corporate, TJ’s feels welcoming and homely, Stop & Shop is the skinny aunt that feeds you salads, Trader Joe’s is your chubby Grandma that feeds you roast dinners and home-made brownies.
The food is good, the worker bees are smiling and the lines move quickly.
Oh, there’s free samples. Now that’s the way to my heart, through my stomach, my patience and my wallet.
I love walking the aisles of my local TJ’s, it’s close to home, full of delicious food, and if you know me, you’ll know that being home and eating are two of my favourite things to do.
TJ’s also steps outside of the mainstream, instead of the same old corporate brands that we’re bombarded with on a daily basis, TJ’s offers us their own range of unique, delicious and Joe themed foods. Because a Trader Joe’s sells a lot of TJ’s branded foods, it’s cheaper too!
After over a year of shopping at our local Coolidge Corner Trader Joe’s, my wife and I have learned what we love most, and we rarely deviate from what you see below.
Note: I would like to point out before you continue reading my Trader Joe’s themed ramblings, that my wife and I do in fact buy and eat many different kinds of vegetables. But I hate vegetables and therefore will not dignify them with a review. They are necessary for my survival and that is it. (Except potatoes, god bless potatoes.)
What words are there that I could I use to describe this food that would ever top, “Cookie Butter.”
Astounding Multi-Flavor Joe-Joe's Sandwich Cookies:
Again, another timeless piece of product naming. My wife and I tried these festive Joe-Joe’s at the insistence of a staff member who described them as “The best fucking thing we sell”.
Well sir, you certainly convinced me! You get 4 different Oreo style biscuits covered in chocolate. Peppermint, Double Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Ginger Snap. They are a magnificent example of cookie engineering and I salute you, Trader Joe’s.
Unfortunately, these cookies are only available during the Christmas season. Although one could argue the benefits for my waist line and my wallet being denied them year-round.
Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage:
I will deviate from the desserts for just a second if you’ll allow me.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like baking salmon, or making sure the steak your cooking is perfectly done, sometimes you just wanna fry the fuck out of some sausages and throw them in a bowl of pasta, and I think that’s okay. There will never be any culinary judgment on this website. Unless you like brussels sprouts. But I digress, these sausages are a tasty treat and wonderfully simple to prepare.
Warning: On the shelf next to the delicious andouille sausages are apple chardonnay sausages. The cretin who developed this abomination, in what is a vain attempt to sell more of them, has put them in packaging that is deceptively similar to my beloved smoke andouille chicken sausages. Learn from my mistakes, friends.
Ice-cream Cookie Sandwich:
2 cookies with ice cream wedged between them and a hearty layer of chocolate chips on the outside for good measure. Simple, delicious. This is my go-to dessert. Nothing required except to open the package and eat them 2 at a time like the disgusting glutton I am.
This is more of an honorary mention because Ritter Sport is not a Trader Joe’s brand, it’s a German brand I believe. But I’ve only ever seen them at Trader Joe’s, and maybe small boutique places.
The Ritter Sport biscuit is the first thing my wife and I fell in love with at Trader Joe’s. The Butter Biscuit variety is just a marvelous combination of biscuit, chocolate and a sneaky layer of chocolate mousse that makes the whole treat melt in your mouth. It makes me feel all kinds of things that I won’t share with you here.
And, there are 29 flavours I haven’t even tried yet! My Ritter Sport
adventure is only just beginning. I’m getting tingles just thinking about it!
Now, I know what you’re thinking, ‘But Lloyd, you’re such a red-blooded alpha male, how could you eat organic vegetarian chili?’. And you’d be right, I love meat, I could never imagine becoming a vegetarian or a vegan because I don’t want to be sad all the time. However, the Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Chili is tasty. And because there’s no meat in it, I just leave it in the pantry until I want it, then I throw it in a saucepan, make it hot and chuck it down my greedy gullet. I’m a simple man. Plus, it has vegetables in it that I don’t even notice, and my wife tells me apparently vegetables are important for “health reasons” and “staying alive”.
I put this shit on everything. And I mean that. A dinner isn’t complete if I haven’t squeezed out some of this delicious, red goodness onto it. Just the right amount of spicy to make my wife say “Oh, this is a bit too spicy for me.”
It’s exactly as good as it sounds. Chocolate and nut covered toffee. What’s not to like? My only complaint would be that the box is too small. My wife and I eat like it’s our last day on earth and one box is never enough.
The Fearless Flyer, by Trader Joe’s, is also a great way to find some delicious, healthy recipes and some great deals.