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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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trader Joe's Omega Trek Mix

When I read lables that boast "500mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids Per Serving," I expect the product to taste like some nasty oily medicine. So my expectations are already low...but that's just me. I'm weird. It's probably some psychological issue I have. Also, I'm seeing tons of walnuts in this bag, and I'm not the biggest fan of walnuts. Sonia loves walnuts. I'm more of a peanut, pecan, and almond kind of guy.

So, as I'm writing this, I'm trying this trail mix for the first time. Appropriately, I have just come in from a long walk outside on the urban trails of Hollywood. (No, I'm not talking about Runyon Canyon - just the sidewalks...but I walked at least two miles by my calculations).

So let's see how this trail mix holds up to its competition...

OK, well the first thing I notice is that the packaging is poorly designed. The bag is not resealable. I will have to put the remainder of the mix in a tupperware container after I try a few handfuls. And, the package just exploded as I opened it. It's one of those bags where as soon as you've applied enough force to get the package open, you've already applied too much force. I just spent five minutes picking up nuts and berries off the floor. I'm docking at least a half a point for that. How frustrating!

So, there aren't as many walnuts as I first expected. It's not bad. Every third bite or so, I get kind of a medicinal flavor on my tongue...just slightly. The berries are very oily, and now my hands are quite sticky. If you're really hiking with this trek mix, be sure to bring some moist towelettes - or dip your hands in a stream nearby.

There are way too many pepitas. (That's what Latinos call pumpkin seeds). Now, I don't have a problem with pepitas by themselves, but I'm not a big fan of them in trail mixes. I like trail mixes to be a little sweet, and pepitas are decidedly salty.

The bag sells for $4.48.

Other than that, this trail mix passes. I give it Three out of Five Stars. Sonia gives it Four out of Five Stars. Bottom line: 7 out of 10.


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