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, December 12, 2013

Trader Giotto's Panettone Classico

Since panettones were originally holiday treats from Milan, Italy, I decided to write my praises for them in the Italian terza rima poetic style. It's in near-perfect iambic pentameter, too, just FYI. Wanna hear it? Here it goes:

This single panettone looked really great, 
And though the box suggested "eat alone," 
The look on my wife's face said "Heck no, Nate."

I'd suffer wrath from Sonia's shrieks and moans.
We shared this yummy treat from Italy. 
I like it more than all of TJ's scones

Its soft and flaky crust was buttery. 
The candied orange peels and raisins did 
Bring such great joy to us, my wife and me. 

Inside the bread the dried fruits deeply hid, 
But plentiful they were, not one alone. 
A grown-up taste, yet sweet enough for kids. 

I recommend this scrumptious panettone 
That comes from off the shelves at Trader Joe's. 

Sonia was actually not as impressed as I was, mostly because she's had panettones before. Kind of like Russ and the poutine I guess. It's much easier to impress us when we don't have anything to compare TJ's product to. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Sonia thought the orange peels made it taste too citrusy. I'm usually not big on eating orange rinds, but I thought they worked in this instance. 

So yeah, the last two lines in that third stanza aren't entirely true. Ever heard of poetic license? I give the panettone a 4. Sonia gives it a 3.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

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