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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Friday, December 20, 2013

Trader Joe's Edamame Rangoons

Toddlers. Yeeeahhh.

There was a time, several months ago, that as Baby M (from now on, we're just gonna call her M) was beginning to eat regular food, she'd inhale everything in sight. There was little to no persuasion involved. I mean, sure, she had her favorites like frozen waffles and whatnot. It was awesome, and after seeing some of the pickiness of her older cousins, I thought, hey, just maaaaybe we dodged a bullet.

Ha. Hahahaha. Nope.

These days, if it's not cheese, a cheap carb, or some type of fruit, good luck. We can occasionally get some fake chicken in her. Some dinners are a downright disaster with her. I'm scared she may be developing her own set of "food rules" like her mama has....is that kind of stuff genetic?

That's why both Sandy and I were a little bit surprised a few weeks back when we went shopping at TJ's. The sample that day was these Trader Joe's Edamame Rangoons. M loved them. I mean...wow. She gulped down the couple bites and spent the rest of the excursion earnestly, desperately, making the "more" and "please" sign, so we felt inclined to make the purchase for the three or four bucks for the box.

Naturally, when we finally made them the other night, she couldn't be interested less in them. Like I said, toddlers.

As for Sandy and I, well, they're okay. I'd suspect the rangoons would be much better fried than baked. The crownish top parts crisped up fairly well, though, in our oven, as did the rest of the wrapper despite our lack of the recommended parchment paper. A little cooking spray more or less did the trick.

It's the innards that are a little, well, iffy to me. The dominant flavor by far is the cream cheese filling. It's really sweet, much like what one would expect from a cheese rangoon (which are not terribly high on my list of preferred Chinese takeout cuisine). So, fairly typical so far, The edamame mixed in is mishmash of some whole and some squishy ones, kinda as if were a soybean paintball, and helps fill it all out a little bit. That "hint" of wasabi? It's more like a "whisper of the slightest suggestion, not meant to inconvenience anyone." I mean, it's just not really there. I looked at the ingredients and wasabi powder is listed last, so obviously it wasn't much of a priority.

So, yeah, they're okay. The rangoons made an decent-enough complement to our wonton/sweet-and-sour soup and rice dinner. We could buy them again and I wouldn't care. We could never buy them again and I wouldn't care. If they were marketed at Trader Ming vs Trader Joe, then maybe I'd hold them in sightly higher regard, mostly because I miss that dude. As it is, I think a 6 is more than fair. M is unavailable for comment.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Edamame Rangoons: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons

3 comments:

  1. I actually thought these tasted too much like wasabi. They weren't particularly spicy, but they had a pretty strong wasabi flavor, which just seemed weird to me. I also thought the crispy part was a bit too dry.

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  2. Recently had them at a birthday party and they were delicious!!

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