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 1, 2013

Trader Joe's Everlasting Organic Fair Trade Free Range Salmon Breakfast Muffins

Well, friends, there's not much more that can be said other than a few years' worth of hard work on this blog has finally paid off. Big Joe (as in THE Big Joe, ruler of the Trader Joe kingdom) has finally noticed us, and has reached out to us in light of our usually positive-if-not-glowing, always-free-for-them publicity we give his company, and has decided to reward us. No, it's not with our dream jobs with the Fearless Flyer. It's not an on-the-house case of two-buck Chuck. No, friends, this is something much, much better.

We've been selected via plume of white smoke at the Monrovia headquarters to be the very first to sample a brand new product and have been allowed to write about it only after some long, late night negotiations. Now, we may have let this go to our heads a little, and so may be a little biased and all when we say this, but it's the best thing we've ever tried from Trader Joe's: TJ's Everlasting Organic Fair Trade Free Range Salmon Breakfast Muffins.
Okay, yeah, that might sound a little...unsettling at first glance. Well, trust us, because as always, we're right, and even if we're not, our opinion counts more than yours anyways. These are amazing. Each bite is like kissing the lips of God. They are lifechanging. You'll never go back to any other breakfast muffin again.

They're a bit difficult to describe though. "What's so difficult to explain about a slab of salmon on an English muffin?" you ask. Well, first off, the salmon is puffed into "culinary foam," via blasts of air from N2O cartridges. The process not only turns the fish into a fluffy, whipped gourmet treat, but it extends the flavor and shelf life of the product indefinitely, hence the "Everlasting" part of the product's title. Each of the toppings, including cream cheese, lox, and bran flakes, are deconstructed to the molecular level in a top secret particle accelerator, overseen by the very same physicists who rose to fame with their exploits at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. Their latest project resulted in the confirmation of the existence of "the deliciousness particle," first theorized in 1985. And each of these muffins abounds with liberal amounts of deliciousness particles—they are delectable indeed.

Even more astonishing than the flavor is what's included in each and every package. To verify that each salmon used is in fact organic, fair trade, free range, happy and otherwise socially well-adjusted at time of harvest, there's a small booklet inside that gives the salmon's entire life story, starting from when their forefather first spawned upriver and up thru their awkward salmon teenage years. Our particular salmon's name was Henry, and he mostly just enjoyed swimming and being in school. One day he aspired to be the right tackle for the Miami Dolphins. Well, Henry, you got yourself a better fate than that. 
Henry's foamed-up form, and those of each and every salmon, rests atop a bed of the finest fair-trade Ecuadorian quinoa, Indian oats, and Chinese amaranth, cooked to golden-brown perfection in an energy-efficient solar oven. And incredibly, the farmer of each of the grains has autographed the packaging and included a statement certifying that he got equitable treatment when he exported his product.

One part of our agreement with Big Joe was, we were not allowed to take pictures of the packaging or actual product, so as to not tip off the competitors too much. However, they didn't say we couldn't try to replicate them using MS Paint, hence the, umm, incredible and nearly authentic reproductions we provided. Speaking of competitors....word on the street is, Whole Foods will be offering a version of these, and though the pricing isn't official, we hear it involves a 15% down payment and two-thirds of your left pinkie. That's a bit steep - Trader Joe's will be selling them for $1.99. 

We're not sure why these are marketed as breakfast muffins. Don't get us wrong, eat one first thing in the morning and automatically the sun shines a little brighter and the birds chirp just a little louder and your stocks are guaranteed to hit an all time high in just a few hours, but these everlasting, shelf stable sandwiches are so amazing, and require no refrigeration or freezing or anything, and actually can be stored in temperatures of up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit without compromising product quality, so buy a whole stash! Keep some in the desk at work, some in the minivan for the kiddos, heck, even stash some under the couch for, you know, one of "those nights." They're appropriate whenever, so don't be shy.

For the culinary and food-science benchmarks that they set, for their unbelievable taste and texture, and for their incredible value, these muffins earn top ratings from all four of us here at WG@TJ's. For the first time ever, we offer a better-than-perfect score.

Bottom line: 20 out of 10.


  1. Love your blog. But, is this for real? Or April Fools? Does it taste like Lox on a bagel? :-)

  2. It's as real as you want it to be, Teresa ;-)

  3. You had us going there for a moment. . .

  4. Lox and cream cheese on foamed free range salmon on a whole grain english muffin... with zero calories even - who could ask for more?

    I'll search hi and lo for them on my next trip to TJ's.

  5. I actually believed this for while... HAHAHA

  6. I read the entire thing wondering...HOW can this be good for you?! Now, I feel silly...

  7. You know I actually went into TJ's asking for this product! bahahaha whomp whomp