Pictured above is a haul of some Trader Joe’s products. Trader Joe’s is my go to store for any grocery needs I might have. 
Photo credit: Ella Pulscak.

Trader Joe’s, which opened in 1967 in Pasadena, California, has since grown into a national supermarket welcoming customers all over the US. With more than 500 locations now, they strive to “[provide their] customers outstanding value in the form of the best quality products at the best everyday prices,” according to traderjoes.com. Trader Joe’s is known for their friendly workers, fun atmosphere, and unique, delicious foods. As we all know, it is pretty hard to find a product from Trader Joe’s that does not satisfy your cravings. Today I am going to put this theory to the test. I’ll be covering the good, the bad, and the interesting; continue reading for my honest review on Trader Joe’s favored foods. 

Starting off strong with the Trader Joe’s snack aisle, they have the best grab and go snacks that give you the fulfillment you are looking for. Whether you are looking for a simple tortilla chip or something more unusual like a pickle flavored chip, they’ll have it!

Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers and Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets: These two peanut butter centered snacks are addictively delicious and can be classified as dangerous. Once you start eating them, good luck stopping. The balance between the creamy peanut butter and the salty cracker makes for the perfect one-bite snack.

Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips Chili & Lime Flavored: A favorite pick between my family and friends, these chips, very similar to Takis, will make your mouth water. They have a perfect mix between spicy and tangy to satisfy your taste buds. These chips are unbeatable as a side added to your lunch. 

Organic Cacio e Pepe Puffs: If you are looking for a more bold pick, these puffs are calling your name. They have the same texture and consistency as Pirate’s Booty but with the outstanding flavor of cacio e pepe, a peppery pasta. Sounds weird, but trust me; they are outstanding! 

Moving on, Trader Joe’s has some solid quick and easy meals for when you don’t have the time or effort to cook. 

Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels: These are mine and my sisters’ go-to dinner when our parents are out of the house. They are a super easy option for when you are short on time and need a quick pick-me-up. They taste amazing with their yummy orange sauce. They also have a non-vegetarian option for those who would rather have real chicken!

Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with Kimchi: Although I have yet to indulge in this meal due to being vegetarian, a fellow Franklin senior and Trader Joe’s crew member, Luca Morones-Calcagno, has raved about how tasty and fulfilling this fried rice is. I personally am a fan of the vegetable fried rice, which is a perfect substitute for anyone who chooses not to eat meat. Both can be found in their populated freezer aisle. 

Gnocchi Alla Forrentina: Trader Joe’s has a great selection of pastas, ranging from fresh tortilla and ravioli, to boxed penne, all the way to irresistible frozen gnocchi. This gnocchi, again, is a staple in my family’s freezer and can be found on any given day. It’s a great lunch option for anyone who is wanting a lighter meal. There are also cauliflower and kale options that make you want to “cross the Canadian border into Washington just for the cauliflower gnocchi,” states Margo Sidline, a gluten free individual living in Canada. 

Next on our list, the beverages. Trader Joe’s has some fun and flavorful refreshing drinks that will quench your thirst.

Tangerine Juice: This juice is a step up from the average but wonderful orange juice; it is a freshly squeezed juice that gives you the citrusy taste that you are looking forward to in the early mornings. My friend Grace and I are addicted to this juice and find ourselves buying it all the time.  

Very Green 100% Juice Smoothie: Although I have yet to try this smoothie, it sounds right up my alley. Morones-Calcagno, however, has. “Yes it’s very green and looks like vegetable juice, but it tastes like fruit juice and it’s very delicious.” He adds, “[it has] good consistency, between a smoothie and a juice.” 

Sparkling Lemonade: I think that this beverage might be my favorite. The mix between tart, crisp, and sweet flavors combined with the light carbonation makes for the perfect refreshment on a hot day.

I’ve saved the best for last. Desserts. It’s no secret that Trader Joes is amazing in all fields, but when it comes to desserts, they hit it out of the ball park. 

Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels: If I’m being honest, these pretzels are pretty similar to any other brand of chocolate covered pretzels, but something about the name brand of Trader Joe’s just makes them 10 times better. Shocker, they are another family favorite; I don’t remember the last time I walked into Trader Joe’s and left without these pretzels. 

Cold Brew Coffee & Boba Coconut Non-Dairy Ice Cream: This non-dairy ice cream is so creamy, you can’t even tell that it is made out of coconut milk. Coming from a coffee fan, the flavor is outstanding and the bits of boba give a fun and unique texture. One thing I will say is that if you are not an ice cream biting kind of person, this dessert is not for you.  

Super Sour Scandinavian Swimmers: These gummy candies pack a punch that leaves you wanting more. They are a perfect balance between sweet and sour and have a lovely gummy texture. They are ideal for small handfuls at a time seeing as they can be a little overpowering if you eat too many in one sitting. 

I am once again satisfied with my experience at Trader Joes; their food is delicious, their staff is lovely, and their environment is homey. Hands down, Trader Joes is my number one store and if I was able to, I’d go there for all my grocery needs. When asking what Trader Joes is known for, Morones-Calcagno responded with, “fun snacks and smiling faces.” He would also like to shout out his store location, the Southeast Trader Joe’s, store number 143. 

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