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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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Trader Joe's Tropical Carrot Juice Blend

In a previous post, it was established that I have a fear of carrot juice. I've never been a fan of the original V-8 or any other vegetable juice. I like vegetable soup, salty and served hot, but cold vegetable juice seems to violate the natural beverage laws that I've come to accept. Fruit/vegetable hybrid drinks, such as V-8 Splash, can be hit or miss with me, depending on which ingredients they throw into the mix.

I'm assuming that the juices used in making this beverage are a bunch of tropical fruits with some carrots tossed in. Judging by the name, it's either that, or they've used some mysterious, elusive "tropical carrots," which are apparently sweet, fruit-like, and delicious.

But either way, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this juice. To me, it doesn't taste carrot-ish at all. I find most juice blends that sneak some carrot into the mix to be moderately palatable. However, I can still taste carrot in most of them. They usually find some clever way to dress up the carrot-taste with citrus fruits, but you can still detect that hint of vegetabliness. Not so with this juice. The carrot flavor is barely detectable, and it blends beautifully with the fruit juices. It's very tasty for a carrot/fruit juice blend.

So really, this is a genre of beverages that generally scores very low in my book, but this tropical carrot juice is a really solid effort on the part of TJ's. I would buy it again. I'll give it 4 stars out of 5. Sonia, although not as vehemently opposed to vegetable juices as I am, thought it unnatural for a carrot juice blend to taste so sweet. She found the flavor a bit strange, yet not undrinkable. She gives it a 3.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

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