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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Friday, January 14, 2011

Trader Jacques' Ham and Cheese Croissant Sandwiches

Yay! Another "international" TJ's product. This time it's from Joe's arrogant French chef friend, Jacques. No, I don't think all French are arrogant. Of the many French people I've met, only one or two were arrogant, and the rest were friendly, down-to-earth folk.

However, we know that this Jacques fellow is an arrogant jerk. Just look at that fancy type-face on the box. It's a ham and cheese sandwich for cryin' out loud. You stick it in a croissant, and what, you think we're eating gourmet all of a sudden!? At $4.69 for two of them, they darn well better be gourmet...2 frozen ham and cheese sandwiches for $5...<huff> the arrogance! Pretentious Frenchious.

(Again, I have no problems with the French. I've been to Paris, and I thought the people were lovely.)

And what kind of person puts 95% of the US RDA for saturated fat in ONE ham and cheese sandwich!!?? An arrogant one, that's for sure! No ham and cheese sandwich is worth that much fat, not even one as scrumptious as this. Maybe the French national RDA for saturated fats is much higher than ours...? Somehow I doubt it.

But they are pretty yummy. Their taste almost justifies their fattiness. The cheese and croissant bread are pretty indulgent, and they come out soft and fluffy. But, there's not nearly enough ham inside. It's like they took one single ham cold cut slice and hid it beneath layers of bread and cheese. (Oh, but it's "Black Forest Ham," straight from the Schwarzwald of Bavaria, I'm sure.) Wait, isn't that in Germany? Shouldn't Jacques have chosen Bayonne Ham instead?

There aren't any cooking options that don't involve the oven. You may thaw it in the microwave, but you've got to fire up that big bad boy and bake it proper for at least 30 minutes.

These might be an option if you're really looking for a once-in-a-great-while kind of treat...but at 34g of fat (19 of which is saturated fat), and 550 calories per sandwich, it's just not worth it, in my opinion. Also, the 30+ minutes to cook them and the nearly $5 price tag make these puffy little pastry sandwiches a pass.

I give them 3 out of 5 Stars. Sonia gives them a 3 as well. Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

4 comments:

  1. The price didn't throw me. It just wasn't that good. Not BAD, just not nearly good enough to justify eating nothing but cardboard for the rest of the day.

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  2. This may be the worst food I've eaten in 5 years.

    I cannot believe how much fat are in these - they literally dripped fat as I was handling them hot from the 40 minutes they take to cook. The flavor is mediocre with too much salt. This is really scary food.

    I would give them a 0.

    TJ's has really gone down hill in the last year or so. The quality control seems to have disappeared. The last few times I've shopped there I bought the frozen breakfast burrito which tasted - and looked - like cardboard but was loaded with fat, and TJ's brand maple syrup, also a waste at over $10 a bottle.

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  3. I thought the taste on these was OK but not worth the oven effort. As a single guy I am used to getting more from a meal I can't just microwave. As mentioned there is a lot of fat & calories as well.

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  4. Just cut them in half and share or wrap up well for another day or another meal/snack. I do that with homemade sandwiches and all kinds of packaged foods, frozen and otherwise. Gives you more control over how much stuff your poor stomach needs to digest at once.

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