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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Monday, April 22, 2013

Trader Giotto's Tiramisu Torte

Loyalty. Listening. Attention to detail. A cursory Google search mentions all these qualities as the difference between being merely good, and being great. I can see these when talking about people and their roles and whatnot, but for certain things and inanimate objects, I'll confess I really don't know what the difference is. Like cigars, for example. I know the difference between a bad gas station cigar and a moderate to good one. That's pretty plain to sense. It all depends if you can tell the difference between cardoard and actual tobacco. But the difference between a good cigar and a great cigar? No idea. I know what I like, and that's about it. My choice of adult beverages usually falls in this category as well.

As does tiramisu. Now, I've had tiramisu plenty of times. I'd wager that I've had some not-so-good, some average-to-good, and some absolutely fabulous tiramisu. I haven't too many that look like the ones on the tiramisu Wikipedia page, which I'm sure would fit in the "absofreakydeliciosomazing" category.

So where does Trader Giotto's Tiramisu Torte fall on the spectrum? Well, you can probably figure from my intro where this is going. This particular adaptation certainly purports itself to be fancy. The package proudly proclaims "Handcrafted in Italy" and they slapped Giotto's name on it, after all. It's yet another frozen dessert to thaw out for a few hours in the fridge before consumption. When it came time to slice it up, well, the picture above tells the basic story. There's the thin layer of espresso sponge cake at the bottom, with a thick layer of mascarpone and a solid dusting of cocoa powder on top. The mini choco-bits that float around amidst the mascarpone aren't terribly noticeable, but that's okay as there's plenty enough flavor and richness abounding. There's not too much that I can say about it that differentiates it from most other tiramisu - everything tastes just about right. It's the usual rich, creamy, semi-decadent fare that my tastebuds have come to expect over the years. It does seem to have more cocoa powder than most, which I'll consider a plus. Other than that, there's not a whole lot to say.

It's $6.99 for the whole shebang, which isn't too pricey for this type of deal.  If we were to purchase a slice or two at a restaurant (whch would probably cost like 5 buck each), and this were on our plate, I think both Sandy and I would be reasonably happy. Actually, Sandy liked hers quite a bit. "Ooo, you'll hate this. You shouldn't even bother eating your slice," she said in her usual tone that means "I want your piece, boy." Then, when I dared mention that it was merely "decent" as my first opinion she shook her head, rolled her eyes and I think even growled a little. "You don't like anything, do you?" Well, enough that I went for seconds, based mostly on the fact that the label says a serving is 1/7th of the torte (how you cut something like this into sevenths, I have no clue) and I had only about 1/8th. Sandy gives it a four, while I'll go a smidge lower.

Bottom line: Trader Giotto's Tiramisu Torte: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

5 comments:

  1. Your picture looks better than the one on the package.

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  2. My assessment of prepared foods tends to include an allowance for "bother." As in, if I was to cook that food myself, the amount of "bother" involved is inverse to the positiveness of the assessment of the prepared food available.

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  3. BTW, don't let this warm up to room temperature, as it will flatten out and become too thin to serve!

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  4. Here in NYC a slice of tiramisu goes for about $8. So after reading your blog and watching some YouTube videos, I made my own. Tastes really good and only costs me about $3 per serving. I even went eggless thanks to a YouTube video and it worked. Took about 20 min to make.

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  5. Here in NYC a whole tiramisu torte goes for only $6.99 at TJ's, and it's much less hassle than making your own. And costs less than $3/serving!

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