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, September 27, 2012

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Macarons

If you're willing to spend $5 for 12 bites of unadulterated scrumptiousness, buy these.

Despite our affinity for most things pumpkinny, Sonia and I bought these with a degree of skepticism and wariness. Even though pumpkin has a lot of potential, it's really easy to screw it up. Pumpkin ice cream, beer, cookies, cheesecake, pie, pancakes, muffins, or souffle...any of it can go either way, depending upon the brand, the freshness, and the seasonal availability of quality ingredients.

Incidentally, these macarons are FREAKING AWESOME. Unless you HATE pumpkin-flavored things, you must try these. As Sonia put it, "It's like eating sweet whipped pumpkin clouds straight out of heaven." Immediately after removing them from our freezer, we each tried one frozen, and were fairly impressed. We were tempted to wolf down the entire tray before they were thawed. But in a rare instance of heroic self-discipline, we waited, cleverly distracting one another with tales of edible pumpkin-things from our childhood, and we managed to kill the entire 30 minutes until full-thawage had occurred, at which point, I ate another one. It had all the fluffy, creamy, deliciousness of the first one, yet the relative warmth of the pastry allowed the immaculate flavors to permeate my palate fully and bathe me in a sea of refreshing pumpkin ecstasy.

I've never claimed to avoid melodrama. In fact, I find it an important alternative to old-fashioned restraint on certain occasions. This is one of them. These pastries are soft, gluten-free, they melt in your mouth, they're creamy, and they have the perfect balance of sweetness and pumpkin spices. I'm madly in love with them. I have nothing negative to say about them. This dessert has once again reaffirmed that age-old assertion that vegetables can make flippin' amazing sweet treats, in spite of their healthful vegetability.

Sonia gives them five out of five stars. I give them five as well. Boom. There it is. Sonia and my first perfect score in a year and a half.

Bottom line: 10 out of 10.

17 comments:

  1. Incredible...I've never seen the 2 of you give such high score! I have NOT tried these yet, but definitely will. ♥

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  2. Sounds delicious- I will be buying these tomorrow!

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  3. I have gone to two Trader Joe's in my area and neither has these! I hope they have them soon!

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  4. Yeah, Martha, we tend to be tough graders! Sarah and B, hope you find them and hope you like them as much as we did!

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  5. I read your review before going to TD's today and when we got there we couldn't bring ourselves to spend 5 bucks, but after re-reading it they're more tempting than ever...

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  6. I just got some yesterday - and they are worth every penny. One of the best desserts EVER, not just from TJ's. Without your review, I never would have bought them. Thanks.

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  7. They are good, but VERY sugary--one only and for breakfast with coffee

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  8. I agree with danamdkny...they're decent, just REALLY sweet. The sweetness overpowers the pumpkin flavor for me, and I LOVE all things pumpkin!

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  9. Hope we helped with your purchase decisions...thanks for your comment, Christiane! Yes, they are sweet...but we hope you like them anyway. Wish I had your willpower, danamdkny!

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  10. It is Christmas time - have you tried the salted caramels? Again though, I think it was like 5.99 for 12 pieces of candy in a box but worth every penny

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  11. They're baaaaaack! The TJ's in my town didn't open until December of last year, so this is my first encounter with the pumpkin macarons. They are sinfully delicious.

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  12. I'm happy to say that during my time at The French Patisserie in Pacifica, CA I was the one who developed this dessert and am thrilled that you enjoy them! Go to www.thefrenchpatisserie.com for many more fabulous desserts!

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    1. You DEVELOPED this dessert?? Then you have done a great service to humanity, Mr. Driggs! Thanks for reading our blog!

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  13. What's the ingredients in these? Just curious....

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