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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Monday, April 18, 2011

Trader Joe's Red Chili Pepper

Well, it's been a hot minute since our last TJ's run, as you may have guessed by the seemingly trivial nature of today's product review. But hey, it's a Trader Joe's brand food product...and we do have a category dedicated to condiments, thus it meets all the necessary criteria and we shall review it. I thought about skipping another day. Russ picked up my slack last week, and even on days when there's no new entry, we're still getting some hits. We're still providing extensive info about TJ's foods with our impressive backlog of reviews and suggestions...

But no, that's not good enough. Today, I decided there would be a new review. I scoured the kitchen for a product that I had been overlooking. I rummaged through the cupboards searching...seeking...hunting for something to review. I remembered our unspoken creed:

"We are husbands and sons, and wives and daughters (Russ and I aren't wives or daughters so much, but Sandy and Sonia, while not official bloggers, totally help us out with this site), who everyday go about our lives with keen taste buds, discerning palates, and a limited knowledge of the culinary arts which is often supplemented by Google searches and visits to Wikipedia. And neither faulty internet connections, nor computer crashes, nor busy schedules, nor gloom of dissheveled kitchen, nor the winds of change in the stockroom at the local Trader Joe's, nor a nation divided by ridiculous partisan politics, will stay us from the swift completion of our somewhat regular 3-5 blog entries per week. Usually."

And those inspiring words rose up in my heart, just as I triumphantly grasped this bottle of TJ's Red Chili Pepper and resolved to blog, blog, wholeheartedly blog!

Anyway, these pepper flakes are OK I guess.

Actually, I'm just joking. They're really quite good. I mean...I remember being at one of the original, oldschool freestanding Pizza Hut's back in the 1980's. I got my free grease-laden personal pan cheese pizza for reading some Amelia Bedelia and Berenstein Bears through the "Book It!" program. The pizza was the best thing I had ever tasted. And when I dumped some of the big red pepper flakes from that sparkly glass shaker on top of my pizza pie, it tasted even better. Sure, my tongue burned and my eyes watered, but I was too happy to care.

Well, these flakes are a throwback to those Pizza Hut pepper flakes from the 80's. I suppose they still serve big red pepper flakes at Pizza Hut, but I haven't been there in forever, and I know if I would return, it wouldn't be as good as it was back then and I'd be disappointed.

Furthermore, the sleek black and gold label on the TJ's version bestows words of deep wisdom, such as "Crushed Red Peppers are hot and should be used with discretion." The same font they used on that Spanish treasure map in "The Goonies" boasts that this Red Chili Pepper is part of the "Spices of the World" collection...not to be missed by any world traveler or Trader Joe's aficianado.

Delicious. Exotic. Worldly. Adventurous. Try some.

Sonia gives it a 4. I give it a 4.5. Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10. Really darn good.

2 comments:

  1. I cannot express how much I love a good blog that makes me really laugh out loud. I've been devouring it, but it wasn't until I read, "Anyway, these pepper flakes are OK I guess" did I let loose with a cackle so loud, I'm pretty sure I woke my toddler. Informative AND funny? It must be too good to be true!

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  2. Just saw your comment now, P.A. Thanks for the love! Glad we made you laugh :)

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