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, February 2, 2011

Trader Joe's Pear Cinnamon Cider

"If it's clear and yella, you've got juice there, fella. If it's tangy and brown, you're in Cider Town."

A bit of Ned Flanders wisdom there...tangy and brown indeed. But this isn't apple cider. This is pear cider. Pear Cinnamon Cider to be exact. Tasty.

Now, I've always been a fan of cider. And I'm also a big advocate of the pear. It is, in my humble opinion, the most underrated fruit in the whole pantheon of sweet natural foods. I've got no problem with apples. It's just that I think they've had their day in the sun. Now it's pear's turn to shine. And this cider is a great place to start.

If you look at the ingredients on a lot of those 100% juice drinks that Dole and Ocean Spray and some of those other folks put out, especially the non-citrus flavors, you'll notice that quite often pear juice is one of the main ingredients, even if it's not one of the fruits mentioned in the title of the beverage. That's because it's naturally sweet. They don't need to use sugar or corn syrup if they use pear juice. Those juice brands unjustly deny the pear its due recognition, and instead attribute the flavor of the beverage to more popular fruits.

I've tried heating this, and it's not bad as a hot cider. But I think it's best when chilled. It has a really nice balance between the pear's sweetness and the cinnamon's spiciness. It's just a really refreshing drink. But it does have that sort of Autumnal vibe going on. Definitely want to have this again in 8 months when the leaves are just starting to turn colors.

Before I tried this, I had an idea in my head of what the perfect cold cider should taste like. Up to this point, all of the ciders I've tried throughout my life have been mere reflections - or shadows, if you will - of this: the ultimate cider. No other cider developer has come this close because most have striven to perfect a cider that comes from an apple. This beverage proves that cider was meant to come from a pear.

Sonia doesn't even like cider generally, but she really liked this. She gives it a 4. As a cider-lover, I say it's as close to cider perfection as you're gonna come this side of eternity. I give it a 5. Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

4 comments:

  1. I LOVE TRADER JOE'S!!! I have never tried that cider but I love Pear and Cinnamon so I am sure I would love it!!! Thanks for the review and I love your blog!

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  2. Thanks for the comment, and thanks for reading! And you should totally try the cider...

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  3. Hungry Runner Girl - my wife loved your blog before you ever commented on this. Now that you've discovered ours, she loves you even more!

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  4. This cider makes some of the best sangrias ever. Just add pieces of apple/pear and wine.

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