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, July 5, 2012

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Tracks Ice Cream

This ice cream isn't bad, but it feels like Trader Joe is trying to imitate Ben & Jerry with this one.

Dairy Free Mochi is unique and Trader Joe-esque. Stuff like Pilgrim Joe's Pumpkin Ice Cream is simple enough to avoid comparison with Ben & Jerry. And, of course, the Lemon and Triple Ginger Snap Ice Cream is by far the best example of what we've seen Trader Joe's do with ice cream. It isn't particularly simple, but it somehow gives off an air of delicateness. And, while somewhat indulgent, it's more of a dessert you'd expect to find at the end of a five course meal in a fine-dining establishment, as opposed to something a gluttonous fat man would scarf down in between the tilt-a-whirl and the tractor pulls at the East Bumblehump County Fair.

This product, however, is a shade closer to the latter. Fortunately for this item's score, I'm no slender sophisticate, and I've enjoyed the aggravated roar of a souped up Massey Ferguson or two in my day. But I do have to say, despite its terrible name, I prefer Chubby Hubby to these Peanut Butter Tracks any day of the week.

I guess the name is a play on "moose tracks." Moose tracks has little peanut butter cups in vanilla ice cream, and that's exactly what this is. I suppose the peanut butter cups are intended to resemble muddy footprints of the large woodland mammals in a blanket of white-ish snow. There's also supposed to be swirls of caramel. Sonia and I both agreed that TJ's skimped on the caramel. But to me, that was of little concern.

I did enjoy the copious quantities of little peanut butter cups, and the vanilla wasn't bad...but it wasn't stellar either. My biggest complaint is just that the whole thing didn't blend together as perfectly as Ben & Jerry's stuff. There's just something so ingenious about their flavors. Somehow Trader Joe captured that kind of cohesiveness with his Lemon Triple Ginger Snap ice cream, but not with this. This really isn't even as good as other brands of moose tracks that I've tried.

But again, it's cold, it's sweet, and there's enough peanut butter in it to make it somewhat rich and filling. Sonia says it's worthy of a 3.5. I think 3 stars is generous enough.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10 stars.

7 comments:

  1. I have not seen this one at my TJ's but I did come across some soy ice cream sandwiches and boy were they terrible. I actually ended up giving them away. They tasted like raw flour and the texture was strange. You should do a review of those and let me know what u think.

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    1. Hmm, yeah we'll have to check it out and see what it tastes like. Have you tried their Coconut Milk Ice Cream?

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  2. I have to agree with you on this one. It's kind of a "bite" on Ben & Jerry's and fails miserably.

    I guess I'll be the fatty here and just come out and say it: there just AIN'T enough peanut buttery-cup goodness in this to balance out the ice cream to goodie ratio.

    This one may disappoint those looking for that Ben & Jerry's "decadence level" ;)

    www.tjsartisthub.com

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  3. I had no idea that TJ's made coconut milk ice cream, I will have to see if I can find it.

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  4. ok--i just tried this today. i thought, how could it possibly be anything less then phenomenal? It's three of the staple items that i buy, consume and love from tj's. their mini pb cups, premium vanilla ice cream and their amazing fleur de sel caramel. i've only had two spoonfuls and it was so disappointing i put it away and had to hop on my comp to see if i was the only one that thought it was a bust. i never even saw or tasted any caramel. I'm quite confident that if i were to make the ratios...it would be a lot more ooey gooey and would be a lot better. i suppose i could open my own jar of the flour de del caramel and drizzle it over the top but thats exactly what the side of the ice cream says i wouldn't have to do with this ice cream. LIES... or i am just a fatty and like my dessert MUCH richer. just buying their vanilla ice cream, heating their caramel and drizzling (okay dumping it on top) with a spray (okay mountain) of their whipped cream and it's much tastier then this ice cream. Okay- then go ahead and sprinkle the top with some of the mini pb cups. now that I think of it-- i have actually made this concoction before and it was much better then ti's Peanut Butter Tracks. I will go ahead and make my own version of PB tracks from now on.. more taste and for sure more calories :-)

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  5. I absolutely agree! I was very disappointed in this ice cream. I realized that I had to add peanut butter to make it better...then double realized it's a peanut butter ice cream!!

    Don't recommend...Ben & Jerry's is way better.

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