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, December 20, 2011

Trader Joe's Premium Egg Nog

It's been a busy December, as Decembers often are. There's decorating, shopping, and holiday gatherings and whatnot. I often get stressed out and cranky. That's easy to tell from the first couple reviews I did this month. I figure this blog is one of my outlets for ranting and raving, as the blog I do for my day job is so extraordinarily postive and happy all the time. Which reminds me, since it's the holidays and all, we should be thinking about giving to others...and CURE.org is a great organization to support.

Now, before I move on to the actual eggnog, I must say that I really like the snowman cow on the carton. TJ's has some great artwork sometimes. Though, I'm not quite sure what's coming out of the cup in his hand. Is that steam? Is the cow drinking his eggnog hot? I've never heard of that. That's just downright weird.

And I must say I am an eggnog-drinking maniac. I loooove eggnog. It's so disgustingly delicious. I mean, it tastes delicious, but after I drink an entire carton by myself, I feel disgusting. Disgustingly delicious. I've had many, many different brands. I've had it by itself, I've had it with various liquors, I've had it with nutmeg and cinnamon on top, I've had it cut with skim milk. I have drunk it in a car. I have drunk it near and far. As of now, my favorite is Southern Comfort brand. It comes sans alcohol, in vanilla or regular flavors. Amazing. Sorry, Trader Joe. You didn't make the #1 spot.

But you're not at the bottom of the list either. I've had store-brand eggnog that comes in gallon cartons for like two or three bucks. Terrible. I think the worst I've had was Ralph's brand out in California. Yuck. I learned to just shell out the extra $2 and get something that tastes like heaven in a glass. So let's imagine a hypothetical diagram. It's a line. At the far right end of the line is Southern Comfort brand eggnog in that sleek black container, the very paradigm of dairy deliciousness. At the far left end of the line is a repulsive, yellowed store-brand with mysterious brown chunks and the smell of chewed bubblegum. TJ's brand falls just right of center. It's more good than it is bad, but not by much. Its flavor is a bit nutty. Its texture is creamy enough. But there's just nothing to really set it apart from boring, run-of-the-mill eggnogs.

Sonia isn't a connoisseur of fine eggnogs like I am. In fact, up until recently, she thought eggnog was disgusting. She could never get over the smell for some reason. Under slight duress from her husband, she managed to gag down a couple gulps of different eggnogs over the past 3 Christmas seasons in an attempt to expand her horizons and appreciate new things. It's grown on her. She has managed to discern that SoCo brand is the best, but she thinks TJ's may be second.

I agree it's not bad, but I think there are a handful of other brands that would fall in between Trader Joe's not-bad-ness and Southern Comfort's perfection, most notably Alta Dena on the west coast and Turkey Hill here on the east side. I've heard very good things about a brand called Bud's that I haven't gotten to try yet.

Well, apparently, since Sonia still doesn't quite appreciate eggnog fully and recognize it as the nectar of the gods that it is, "second best eggnog ever" only garners a 3 from her. I'm giving it a 3 also. But in my opinion, it's really just a very average eggnog. Either way, it's only gettin' a 6 from us.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

3 comments:

  1. The cow is drinking an eggnog latte, because that is the only way I will ever drink eggnog. Speaking of which, I need to go crack open my carton of TJ's eggnog latte and make myself an eggnog latte.

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  2. I am not a fan of their eggnog. I find that the name brands are so much better. :-), Susan Cooper

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  3. Eggnog is always nice for the holidays, too bad I don't like eggnog to begin with.

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