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?"

Search This Blog

Friday, September 30, 2011

Trader Jacques' Macaron aux Framboises

This is only the second time Trader Joe's French chef friend, Jacques, has made an appearance on our blog, although we've clearly reviewed more than one other French-inspired culinary creation. Why he didn't take credit for the Boeuf Bourguignon or the Breakfast Scramble, which featured a fleur-de-lis on its box, for cryin' out loud, is beyond me. At any rate, he's back, and he's about to march on your tastebuds like Napoleon in Russia with these Raspberry Macaroons. They're not cheap, but they're truly gourmet, and they're très magnifique. In our review of Jacques' Ham and Cheese Croissants, I accused him of being arrogant. Not because he's French, of course, but because he was selling ham and cheese sandwiches that had a day's worth of fat for something like $6. Pretentious.

If you're going to wow me with highfalutin European fare, you'd better slap a couple words I can't pronounce onto the title of your food. "Macaron aux Framboises" sounds way more exotic than "Ham and Cheese." And then, you've still gotta back that food up with some pretty amazingly unique, exotic and taste-tastic textures and flavors. Which is exactly what Jacques did this time.

This incredible raspberry cake comes frozen, and it calls for something like 45 minutes thawing time. No heating or microwaving required. It's super easy. That is, if, unlike me, you have the willpower to wait 45 minutes before digging in to the mouth-watering "macaron." I think I was just beyond the 35 minute mark when I began to chow down on my section of the dessert. It was still a bit icy in parts, but the taste was amazing nonetheless. It's not a sticky sweet taste. It's a little more subtle than that. It's a very delicate, soft, spongy cake with fluffy vanilla cream and a tart twist from the raspberries. Sonia waited a full hour before she ate her part. She was kind enough to let me try a bite that had fully thawed. Excellent. If you can wait, it's probably not a bad idea to let it thaw for a full hour before you eat it. It's even more incredible that way. The cake is unbelievably soft for having so recently emerged from the freezer.

Between the shortcake-like almond biscuit, the creamy vanilla-ness and lip-smacking raspberries, this one was a big winner with both of us. Sonia thought it had a great balance of textures and flavors, and she happily gave it a 4.5. I concur. This was the best dessert we've had from Trader Joe's in a long time, and it will fall just shy of our Pantheon Level status. Jacques, my good man, très bien. Très bien.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

7 comments:

  1. We just came back from TJ's with a car load of groceries. It is funny that I also bought this item and then there it was on your blog. This desert is Awesome! I love this dessert a little to much sometimes. I also love your blog. :)
    Susan Cooper

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is one of my boyfriend's favorite desserts! I've never been a big fan of raspberries though so it's not high on my favorite list, but the pastry part is excellent.

    Waiting for it to thaw is ridiculous.

    jenn

    ReplyDelete
  3. This blog is fantastic. I go to Trader Joe's all the time. I think they're a really good store to get organic food products from. I definitely want to try this dessert.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know what I'm looking for next time I am at Trader Joe's...

    I really enjoy your blog!

    -Liz
    http://endangermentoradventure.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just tried the Trader Ming's Cha Siu Bao Steamed Pork Buns. Highly recommend, would love to see a review!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Trader Joe? I wosh we have something like this in Poland :) :) MAybe I'll write something about Trader Joe on my blog here at www.everydaymckiewicz.blogspot.com :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the comments, everyone! We're glad you like the blog. We'll have to try the Cha Siu Bao Pork Buns, although our list of stuff to try is growing faster than we can blog!

    ReplyDelete