Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trader Jose's Chunky Salsa

<gasp> This stuff's made in Needham, Mass? Well, this stuff ain't made in San Antonio, but I still think it's a good salsa. Actually it's only sold and distributed from Needham, Mass., and I'm not sure where it's made. Could be New York City for all I know. In this case, it looks like our good friend Trader Jose hopped the border and made straight for the northeast.

I'm happy with it, but I am a yankee, and I apparently cannot be considered a connoisseur of fine salsas. To me, it seems chunky, just like the label says, and it has plenty of flavor. It's got just a little kick, but it won't burn your mouth.

It's OK if a salsa burns your mouth some, as long as it's got the sabor to back it up. ('Sabor' is Spanish for 'flavor.' Have you seen those billboards where it says something like "Experience true sabor." I guess 'sabor' is a real Spanglish word now. We'll go ahead and define the Spanglish term 'sabor' as "flavor, as it pertains to any food or beverage imported from a Latin country, or a Tex-Mex inspired food, such as this salsa.")

Now my wife, who is 1st generation Mexican-American, has the authority to declare this a good salsa, despite the fact it's made in (or at least distributed from) New England. And she actually likes it more than I do. So that says something.

I think they have hotter versions of the same salsa. I guess this is the mild variety. There's a little graph in the shape of a chili on the side of the jar that shows you how hot it is, and the chili is 1/3 red. I'm guessing medium is 2/3 red, and so on. I'll have to try the hotter ones too at some point. For this kind, I give Four and a half Stars. Sonia gives Five Stars. Bottom line: 9.5 out of 10.


  1. I have this in my refrigerator at this moment!

  2. I buy this stuff pretty much every time I go to TJ's! I definitely agree with the 9.5