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?"

Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trader Joe's Mini Pie Medley

C'mon, sing it with me! (to the tune of "Sweet Little Lies" by Fleetwood Mac)

Give me pies, give me sweet little pies. (Gimme, gimme pies) Oh no, no, you can't disguise...that these are tiny pies.

You'll soon be able to purchase that track, along with many others, when Russ, Sandy, Sonia, and I finish recording our second album, Jammin' with Joe, which will be available on iTunes shortly. It will also feature hits like "This Cheese Is Made for Grillin'" and "It's a Super Fruit!" It's the long-anticipated follow-up to our hip-hop debut, TJ's and DJs. We'll hopefully be going on tour in the spring, opening up for the newly-reformed Nirvana with Joe Jonas doing his best to fill the shoes of the late Kurt Cobain. It's gonna rock.

Know what else rocks? These tiny pies. That is, unless you're trying to lose weight. Or maintain your current weight. Or not become morbidly obese.

I know they're desserts, but seriously? 20% of my RDA for saturated fat in one pie? And who really stops at one pie? Not I, certainly. Sure, leave a comment belittling my lack of willpower, hinting that only children eat foods like this and that furthermore, your five year old was able to stop at just one pie. 

But really, you've got to try at least one of each flavor, right? Ok, that puts you at 60% of your RDA for saturated fat. And they're not very big at all. They are truly miniature pies. So you eat three and you're still hungry. And we're all shopping at Trader Joe's to pretend that we're eating healthy, right? 

But yes, they do taste good. However, not all pie fillings are created equal. I found that the amazing, soft, buttery crust overshadowed the fruit filling in all but the strawberry pie. The strawberry flavor was tart, sweet, and strong enough to blend with the bready parts. It's not that I didn't like the others, I just wanted the fruit flavor to be stronger. It felt and tasted like I was eating a hot, soft butter cookie—the kind with the little globs of purplish or yellowish jam in the middle, except in my opinion there's never enough of the jam...and man, that crust just melted in my mouth and was so rich and yummy that I just forgot all about the fruity center. And it's strange that I liked strawberry the best because in almost any other scenario, blueberry would be my favorite flavor and strawberry would be my least favorite. 

Sonia felt like the fillings were more or less the same. She actually preferred the blueberry slightly. She wishes there were more pies in the box and thinks that $4.49 for six pies isn't a very good value, but because she was absolutely wowed by their decadent taste, she gives this product 4 out of 5 stars.


Because of the amazingly delicious crust, I can't go lower than 3.5 stars.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

14 comments:

  1. I just bought these but haven't tried them yet. Now, I'm going to try them but only bake one for each person (so I won't get fat!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is it wrong to sandwich ice cream between two mini pies and then eat it? If it is I'm still doing it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  3. lj, that would be delicious. Fattening, but delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It looks very delicious to me. Must try it. Check my website for unusual Gifts for men. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do you guys take request? TJ's is rolling out their fall pumpkin stuff nowish/soon. It would be fun to see some of these seasonal items posted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just type in "pumpkin" in the search box under the blog intro, and you'll find page after page of seasonal reviews—and we'll definitely be adding more soon!

      Delete
  6. Where can I get tickets for the tour? I love concerts where I can sing-a-long. :) You make reading about food so very engaging. Thank you for this review. I think for now, I'll steer clear of these mini-pies. I doubt I could eat just one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading, Lindsay! And thanks for your kind words.

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The flaky crust sounds delicious! Sounds easier than baking, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just bought some! they are AMAZING people!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I thought they were tasty, but I was annoyed by their lack of resemblance to the pies on the box. The ones on the box are overflowing with whole pieces of fruit, where the actual pies are just jam in a delicious crust. I think they would be super awesome (and more worth the price tag) if they had whole fruit in them.

    ReplyDelete