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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Friday, August 24, 2012

Trader Joe's Pinachios


Noun: An attractive combination of vitality and glamour.


Noun: 1. Flamboyant confidence of style or manner. 2. A tuft or plume of feathers, esp. as a headdress or on a helmet.


Noun: The edible pale green seed of an Asian tree.

Combine those three words together and that's how you get "Pinachio." Or so I assume. I wouldn't have figured the "pizzazz" part, but the side of the Trader Joe's Pinachio container tells me these cookies have that, and I guess something like "Pizznachio" just sounds a little bit too ridiculous.

Anyways, those a lot of words could use to describe these pistachioed-white chocolate-chipped cookies, but pizzazz and panache are not on the list. I mean, they're not bad, but despite their premise, they're just not all that fancy or particularly great either. Each cookie is mostly just that...cookie. As in, not pistachios or white chocolate, but kinda like the empty space between the stars. Just not a lot there. As a result, while present, there's not a lot of pistachios or white chocolate to taste. Also, this is my personal bias, but I don't like overly crunchy cookies nearly as much as soft semi-melty ones, and the Pinachios are some crunchy little buggers. For the record, they pair great with milk, but to me it's almost a necessity to help soften them up to make them enjoyable.

Sandy swears they softened up some over time. I'm not arguing or contradicting her, but let's just say my mouth's interpretation as to the rigidity and texture pertaining to crunchtitude of these said packaged goods differs from hers. We both agree there isn't all that much to them. "They don't have nearly as much pistachio flavor, as, say pistachio ice cream," Sandy said. "Hmm, these would have been great with ice cream...We should go get ice cream." Oh, twist my arm, sweetie. Anyways, somehow in my life I have managed to be blessed with a semi-regular influx of absolute killer white chocolate chip macadamia cookies, which I'd go for way over these. Just to show how indifferent Sandy and I were to them, after opening them, the container lasted a full week just sitting out on the kitchen table. If that's not an indication of "meh", I don't know what is.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Pinachios: 5.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. I liked these cookies which says a lot since TJ really doesn't have that many cookies that taste like cookies... unfortunately, I came across a hard seed that had the same color as a nut and I nearly broke a tooth!. So their disclaimer about it being processed on the same machinery w/....... is true. I have never bought another container of those cookies.

  2. I liked these a lot and thought my cookies were plentiful with chips and pistachio ... but this was over a year ago (I try to avoid cookies) so maybe the recipe has changed.

  3. I usually avoid fats, carbohydrates, that is, the most delicious and sinful foods available on the planet Earth, however, my wife and I agree that Pinachios are the most buttery and crunchy and wonderful dessert foods we have ever tasted. Once opened the container may last two days, but one day is usually the most frequent duration of these incredible 10.0 rated goodies. Stop me before I sin again !!!

  4. I agree with FresnoMikey, these cookies are fantastic. I agree that they don't have a strong pistachio flavor, but the texture is amazing. I conducted a TJ cookie tasting (12 cookies total) and this on everyone's favorite list.

  5. pinachios are the best cookie ever! Says who you ask? Umm how bout' Cookie F'n Monster