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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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trader Joe's Egg Nog Ice Cream

As I mentioned in a post long, long ago: I. LOVE. EGGNOG. To me, sipping a smooth glass of eggnog is like drinking liquid Christmas. Southern Comfort brand eggnog is still at the top of my recommendations list, but I'm also a fan of Hood now, too. And as I mentioned before, Trader Joe's brand falls somewhere in the middle of that list.

All of those brands come sans alcohol, including SoCo, and I've always thought that liquor kind of ruined the thick, golden goodness of the 'nog...that is, until I discovered J├Ągnog. Rum, whiskey, and bourbon are all too harsh to mix with eggnog. If you're debating what to mix with your holiday beverage, it's J├Ągermeister all the way. Trust me.

And if you're debating about which eggnog ice cream to go with, as much as I want to recommend this Trader Joe's brand, I simply can't get behind it wholeheartedly. I've only ever had eggnog ice cream once or twice before this TJ's pint, and the only other brand name I can recall having for sure is Turkey Hill. Given the choice between the two, I'd have to choose TH.

Sonia's only developed an appreciation for eggnog in the past few years, but she's come a long way since her days of eggnog-less-ness. She now recognizes it as the nectar of the gods that it is. She's also found a way to embrace our friend Joe's "Super Premium" eggnog ice cream even more than I have.

What do I have against it? Well, it's hard to put my finger on...but it's just kinda boring. I feel like the flavor lacks spices. The ingredients testify that there are indeed nutmeg and vanilla bourbon flavorings present, but it just doesn't taste that way to me. It's just a big vat of yellowish sweetness with a few flecks of something or other floating through it. And I guess all eggnog is bad for you, but ohmygoodness look at the nutrition information. 

It does taste like eggnog—but it's a very bubblegummy eggnog. I realize most eggnogs taste similar to bubblegum, but if they added a little pink coloring, I feel like this could pass as "Trader Joe's Bubblegum Ice Cream." And my biggest problem is the aftertaste. I don't remember TJ's Premium Egg Nog having any aftertaste at all, but this stuff lingers like pine needles through the living room carpet in January. Sonia says she didn't notice it. I'm curious if I'm alone here. Who's right? Me? Or my beautiful wife? Yes, yes, we know the wife "is right," but I mean who's really right? If you've tried this ice cream, leave a comment below to fuel our good-natured spousal disagreement.

Sonia gives this eggnog ice cream 4 stars. I give it 2.5.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

8 comments:

  1. When in doubt, add some brandy to your ice cream.. I would add Kahlua to vanilla to add some zip... so pour a little over your ice cream.. :-)

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    1. Thanks, KBF! Hmmm...I wonder if Kahlua and eggnog would work...?

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  2. Wow--I'm surprised your review is not better of this (imo) heavenly egg-nog-a-licious treat. I find it to be a sumptuously delightful holiday experience... love putting it in my coffee!... and am already stocking my freezer with it to get me through the non-eggnog parts of the year to come =( I agree that SoCo brand is way better than TJ's actual eggnog, but this ice cream knocks my socks off.

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    1. I'll take that as one vote for Sonia being right ;)

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  3. I'll have to try the Jaeger, but I just finished the most recent carton of eggnoggy goodness. BTW, it really depends on what rum you use. Stuff like Bacardi is like paint thinner, imo. "Spiced" rums are mostly cheap rum with a bunch of flavorings to hide the rum flavor. Best general rum for mixing (with Coke, eggnog (regular or ice cream!), etc. is Appleton (from Jamaica). Nice caramel flavor with other hints, and it transforms Coke into a better drink (instead of just adding an alcohol edge). Even their base Special is really good; the VX isn't pricey and is also great for sipping. Mount Gay is also really good.

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  4. Am thinking you were a little hard on the Trader in this review. The eggnog ice cream is premium thick (I think they call that low over run) with a consistent pure eggnogy flavor. It doesn't get anymore eggnog than that for me.

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  5. You have to try Christmas Milk Brands French Vanilla Eggnog Ice Cream. It comes in three flavors, Original, Chocolate Swirl, and Sea Salt Caramel Swirl. It is available year round..Super Good!
    www.christmasmilk.com

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