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, September 16, 2013

Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps

Finally over the weekend, it came. You know what I'm talking about. This past weekend in Pittsburgh was the first that offered the cool entrance of fall times, promising to leave behind the heat and humidity of summer. "Get out your hoodies and kick back on the couch with a warm blanket and watch some football, summer will be over soon enough," that cool, refreshing air said.

A lot of people I know, particularly in the usually-yoga pants-wearing crowd, associate this time of year with pumpkin here, pumpkin there, pumpkin everywhere. Not me though. I realize I may be stoned for saying such things, but I'm not a huge pumpkin fan. Pumpkin pie's alright but I'd prefer a good fruit pie like apple or cherry, or the undisputed King of All Pies - my Aunt Brenda's pecan pie, which no one can ever replicate. There's a new bar/grill in the neighborhood that advertises all the pumpkin beers they're getting in - let me know when you get Oktoberfest beers in, please.

To me, though, Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps taste like fall. I realize I may be straddling a fine line here, as ginger is a major ingredient in pumpkin pie and all, but no pumpkin pie has ever had ginger like these cookies, on purpose at least. As the name suggests, there's three types of ginger in here, and no, I'm not talking about nerdy, sturdy, or downright purdy. Fresh and ground ginger provide a good, solid gingery base, but the crystallized ginger really steals the show when you crunch across one - there's a certain momentary chewiness with a little crispiness, too. It's perfect and there's neither too much nor too little. And make no doubt, these wafers are all about ginger - look at the ingredient list, there's nothing in them except pretty much the bare minimum needed to form something like a cookie, then lots and lots of ginger. The resulting flavor is deep and savory, almost bordering on a cinnamony spiciness (but, hey, look, no cinnamon!). They're so good they're intoxicating.

I want to eat these with apple cider. I want to dunk them in milk. As inspired by this gone-but-not-forgotten ice cream, I want to eat them with lemon creme frosting. I want to eat them by the handful. Which I have - if you look closely at the picture, you'll realize I took a picture of an empty container. Whatevs. Although they're available year-round and have been for years (a true, enduring TJ's classic in that regard), I'll always associate these with fall. I think it's because my dad would buy Sweetzels every fall, and while they were an acquired taste for me growing up, I love that my 14-month old daughter seems to like these. I'm not sure if these are the best cookie that TJ's sells (there's some good competition) but it's close enough for me to call them a perfect five. Sandy counters with a measly four. I think she's just mad I ate more of them. For $3.99, dear, you best be assured we're getting these again, and soon.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons       

22 comments:

  1. This is my favorite item at Trader Joe's and I can usually polish off almost a half container between East Liberty and Wexford. Love those little pieces of ginger ...

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  2. I want a picture of the actual cookie!

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  3. They are way too popular, my store has run out again & no idea when the truck will arrive.

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  4. Here's a timely recipe: put a spoonful of TJ's Pumpkin ice cream between two of these, eat, savor, repeat.... It's become my annual fall treat!

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  5. These are def the best cookies at TJ's. No strange ingredients and serious ginger!!

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  6. I've been a lifelong lover of ginger and ginger snaps and these ones are by far the best I've ever had. I can eat a whole container by myself in one sitting, especially when being dunked in hot chocolate.
    But my favorite thing to do with them is to make a cookie pie crust for pumpkin pie. The ginger and pumpkin are a great combination and gives the pumpkin pie, which can sometimes be a little boring and predictable a little extra va-va-voom. My family demands that I make it every thanksgiving. It's become my popular than my sister's cheesecake which was the reigning favorite family dessert for years.
    Wait a minute. Pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger snap crust. My sister's cheesecake is going down this year. There's going to be a new kid in town.

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    1. You know, if you need an unbiased judge to help decide this, I humbly volunteer :)

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  7. They are super delicious! I have become famous in my family and circle of friends for serving pumpkin pie dip with these as dippers.

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  8. I love these cookies. Try crumbling some on top of a bowl of really good vanilla ice cream-fantastic!

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  9. Great for dogs that get car sick and maybe wee humans too,

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  10. We like the Back to Nature brand of ginger cookies that also have the 3 types of ginger in them. I had no idea Trader Joe's had them too- definitely going to try them next time I am there! sadly, no TJ's in my town but occasionally I will go to the one an hour away to stock up on salsa verde, artichokes and everything else I love. The hazelnut cookies are great too.

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  11. I love enjoying these with a nice hot cup of chamomile tea.

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    1. Sounds good! I personally like apple cider with them.

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  12. TJs claims this was the #1 customer favorite for 2013.
    http://www.traderjoes.com/pdf/attachments/TJs-2013-Customer-Favourites.pdf

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    1. Sadly, Trader Joe's has changed the recipe on the Triple Ginger Snaps; I'll no longer buy them. I was able to compare the ingredient lists from the old and new containers to confirm what my taste buds were telling me. They're no longer crisp; they have this fake "soft cookie" texture. The basic flavor is no where close to the old recipe, and they have an odd aftertaste. I saved room in my luggage so I could bring some home to Montana, as we don't have TJ here. I'm so disappointed! So, snap up the older version before they're gone! You'll be able to tell the difference; the new cookies look puffy and are lighter in color, and they don't have a "best by" sticker on the bottom. Please, Trader Joe's, BRING BACK the BEST Triple Ginger Snaps!

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    2. Apparently they had so many complaints they are re-doing them from this. I hope they go back to the formula they had! Those were the best cookies EVAH!!!

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    3. The triple ginger tubs are not at my local Trader Joes (Mpls.) Any more. They do have some in a 9 oz package for 3.99 (vs 16 oz.) I will not pay that.

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  13. I sent the following to Trader Joe's on Friday after buying the new recipe Triple Ginger Cookies - they are terrible.
    Comments:GO BACK TO OLD RECIPE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! TJs 3X Ginger Snaps are mandatory to my mental health, have been dependent on them for years and years. Must have a tub in the house at all times. Emptied last old tub yesterday with SKU 25493B and a white sticker on the bottom with Best By Date 02/11/2014B. Today opened new tub of 3X Ginger Snaps. When I bought my newest tub a few days ago, I noticed re-designed labels and just assumed cookies would be identical. Wrong! Yuck, Yuck, YUCK! New tub has same SKU 25493B, no white Best Before Date sticker on the bottom but has a black ink, machine applied, Best Enjoyed By: 11/16/2014 stamp on the side of the tub. Boy is that statement wrong - these cookies are not enjoyable. New cookies are smaller, puffy and rounded plus are a paler colour. Cookies are not crisp, are tasteless with no ginger flavour or 'bite'. New cookies leave a bad aftertaste in the mouth. They are an imitation, and not a good one, of what a TJs 3X Ginger Snap has always been. A poor quality, cheap product - how did this new recipe pass a TJs taste panel? Will not eat remainder of pkg, will feed to the birds that come to my yard - poor birds! GO BACK TO OLD RECIPE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!



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  14. Crunchy, chewy, bits of candied ginger that stick in your teeth and slowly dissolve, making the incredible snappy flavor linger. Fantastic choice.

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  15. All of you commenting on new recipe are so right! I just bought a container last week, after years of trying not to inhale a whole package at once, and they are now inedible. The formula has too much flour in it, which makes them dry, lighter, and less grease to dry formula makes them less crisp and tasty. They had already reduced the candied ginger ratio, which really made these cookies unique, and now they've removed all semblance of flavor from the dough. So sad that this happened immediately after winning top product sales spot. Makes you wonder if all the popular stuff gets targeted for skimping.

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  16. I agree, GO BACK to the original formula. The "new" ones do not have enough ginger "bite". BAH

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