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, January 26, 2011

Trader Joe's Soup & Oyster Crackers

These are some versatile little fella's. You can just snack on them by themselves, or they go great on salads, or in soups. The side of the box mentions you can use them with "chowdah," just like that, with the New England accent already built into the word...They should have just gone ahead and made them "Traydah Joe's Soup and Oystah Crackahs."

I'm gonna go ahead and say they're great for "chyowdeh," too. I think that's how a New Yorker would say it (for Manhattan clam chowder).

They're crunchy, crumbly, crispy, and they're nice and bready. They have a great salty flavor, like a saltine cracker, but a little more hearty. And they're only 4.714 calories per cracker. I did the math myself.

There's this whole long story thing on the back of the box that goes into great detail about different ways to eat them just with New England clam chowder. You can sprinkle them on top or chase a spoonful of chowder with one of the crackers...and these crackers apparently have some torrid love affair with soup, not unlike that weird thing Russ has going on with the TJ's Peanut Brittle.

Sonia and I have eaten them plain, on a salad, and with our favorite, Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Bisque. They passed with flying colors in all three applications.

Before we wrap up, a few questions, Trader Joe: first of all, what's with the windmill? It looks like Holland. You got the polder there with the Zuiderzee in the background. All you need is a little Dutch boy with big wooden clogs. What, are they making Netherlands clam chowder now, too?

And secondly, why are they called oyster crackers? Do people eat them with oysters? I've only tried an oyster once, and it didn't have one of these crackers with it. Maybe I would have liked it better if it did, because I wasn't a huge fan. Were they ever made to taste like oysters? I looked in the ingredients, and there isn't an ounce of oyster in them. Are we supposed to think they look like oysters? Because they don't. Oysters are all oblong-ish and sort of silver gray usually. Shouldn't they be clam crackers, wheat crackers, or chowder crackers?

I suppose none of that matters. The Trader Joe's brand Soup & Oyster Crackers are a good buy. 4.5 out of 5 from each of us. Bottom line: 9 out of 10.


  1. You need to try TJs Social Crackers..delicious.

    1. TJ's Anti-Social Crackers, on the other hand, just sit sullenly in the corner as all the other crackers get ready to go to the party.

  2. I believe that is supposed to be a old fashioned flour mill, notice the cart with bags right outside the door. TJ's was heading in the right direction but should have placed a water mill on the front instead, more recognizable.