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, November 8, 2012

Trader Joe's Pecan Pumpkin Oatmeal

Let's face it: in our modern society, pumpkins and pumpkin-flavored stuff is available year round, or at least it could be. All of the pumpkinnery you see at this time of year is more due to the demand for it, rather than the seasonal availability of pumpkins.

But I'm not really complaining. There's something about pumpkin that's only really good between October and December. Pumpkin's not really a February/March kind of flavor. And it's definitely not a June/July kind of flavor. So every year, at the beginning of the season, I begin consuming massive quantities of pumpkin-flavored things that I wouldn't normally buy. That way, the novelty-factor of said pumpkin-items is very high through the middle of November or so, and yet, by the end of December, I'm so sick of pumpkin that I can go for another 9 months without missing it at all.

Now, we've been pretty heavy on the pumpkin this year so far, and we're almost reaching that midway point through the 3-month season of acceptable pumpkin-consumption. I'd like to tell you I'm not pumpkinned out at all yet, and that our scores are thoroughly fair, unbiased, and objective, but realistically, the Pumpkin Macarons might have had a bit of an advantage over this oatmeal. We're not taking back our perfect score on the macarons just yet, but I feel like maybe we might have given this oatmeal a slightly higher score had we tried it right at the beginning of October.

Our biggest complaint about this product is its lack of rich pumpkin flavor. We found that a spoonful of TJ's Pumpkin Butter added a nice little extra dose of pumpkinny goodness. Without it, there's a hint of pumpkin, but not much more. (It is possible that our tastebuds have achieved some sort of pumpkin-overload at this point and that we simply can't taste it as much as the average consumer anymore). However, the pecan flavor and a few actual pecans gave the oatmeal a really nice texture and taste—a little above and beyond what we expect from traditional oatmeal.

All in all, it's a decent buy if you think pecan oatmeal sounds good. If you're really craving pumpkin, however, don't expect too much. Sonia, a self-proclaimed oatmeal connoisseur, gives it 3.5 stars. I dabble in oatmeal from time to time, but I'm far from an expert. I'll give it a respectable 3 stars.

Bottom line 6.5 out of 10.

2 comments:

  1. I have been wanting to try the ginger-lemon ice cream you guys raved about. It hasn't been in stock for a month so I asked about it last week. The manager came over and took the sign off and said it was discontinued. Today when I went in, all of the ice cream is shifted over and there's no ginger-lemon. Too bad :(

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    1. That's the meanest thing TJ's has ever done. That stuff was good!

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