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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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trader Joe's Blackberry Crush

It's hard to admit it, but I was wrong.

I was wrong about the blackberry. No, not the smartphone (I'm still not a fan of those crash-prone glitch-machines).

In a previous post about blackberry preserves, I not only demonstrated a decided lack of knowledge in the jams/jellies/preserves/fruit spread department, but I think I may have maligned the often misunderstood, dark, raspberry-like fruit known as the blackberry.

To the blackberries of the world, I apologize profusely. I mentioned in that previous post that I had overestimated you, but it seems, quite to the contrary, that you are more than I could ever hope for in a berry.

You see, the blackberry is apparently a really good team-player. In this beverage, we see a dynamic fruit trio: apple, white grape, and blackberry. Move over, pineapple/orange/banana. The apple and white grape juices give the beverage a nice, smooth sweetness. Then the blackberry puree adds an incredible, rich, full, tart flavor. This is what I wanted those blackberry preserves to taste like. I don't recommend putting this stuff on toast, however, I totally thought about it. It is a little bit thicker than the average juice, but not to the point that it loses any refreshing gulpability. It's very good. There's an almost earthy quality to it, but it's still sweet.

I really don't have any complaints. There were little particles of blackberry in the drink, but you'll get that with any real fruit puree. It makes it feel authentic. Reminds you that you're drinking real fruit and not some over-processed fake stuff.

This one is definitely getting a slot on our regularly-purchased Trader Joe's beverage roster. Sonia liked it too. She gives it a 4.5. So do I. Bottom line: 9 out of 10.


  1. I don't drink a lot of juice, but I added this to the grocery list. Blackberries are powerful antioxidants and my favorite member of the berry family. Yum!

  2. We picked this up on the last trip and I'm quite pleased with it. It will be awesome with vanilla yogurt and fruit for berry smoothies or Popsicles!

  3. That sounds so good! I hope they still carry it!