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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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Trader Joe's Watermelon Cucumber Cooler

Back in the days when this old blog was not so very old, and there were only 340 or so TJ's locations nationwide, people knew me as "the sweet beverage fiend," or "the hummingbird." I grew up on full-calorie sodas and sticky sweet, high fructose corn syrup-laden "juice" drinks. And while I've basically sworn off HFCS altogether at this point—and love Trader Joe's because they very infrequently, if ever, use it in their products—I still love me some sweetness. So when this product tasted just as much like cucumber as watermelon, I was a little disappointed.

I mean I know it says "cucumber" in the title of the product, but I thought that was just to make it sound healthier than it actually is—in the manner of TJ's Tropical Carrot Juice Blend or Omega Orange Carrot Juice. I'm not saying those carrot drinks aren't healthy, I'm simply pointing out that the carrot flavor is cleverly blended in with a multitude of other sweeter essences. But this actually tastes like cucumber. And while my instinct is to simply complain about tasting cucumber juice for the next couple paragraphs, I really can't think of anything else to say about it, and I know my negativity would attract a plethora of negative comments, and I'm sure there are plenty of you, like Sonia, that will actually enjoy drinking cucumber juice.

Surprisingly, however, both organic sugar and watermelon juice outrank "cucumber juice" on the ingredients list. And even more surprisingly, the cucumbery taste is growing on me—ever so slightly. Sonia pointed out that this beverage will be perfect come summertime. It's meant to be a "cooler," just like the title says, and I must admit that it's a great thirst quencher. It was a little better with a ton of ice. It definitely does taste like watermelon, too, but the watermelon to cucumber ratio favors the "cuke" a good bit more than I was expecting. It's a light flavor. And...it just tastes a lot like cucumber. I'm sorry I keep saying that. It's just...you don't drink cucumbers. I'm open to new things, but...cucumber juice? It's weird, but I guess it's not necessarily bad. Always good to expand your horizons, right?

I think I'll be generous and give it 2.5 stars for its thirst-quenching properties and uniqueness. But be warned: if the idea of cucumber juice turns your stomach, you probably won't like this product. Sonia gives it 4 stars. She's down with the cucumberiness.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

12 comments:

  1. I actually enjoy cucumber in my water. I like cucumber essence. :p
    This sounds good! I bet the kids would like it, too. I'm going to give it a go!

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    1. Absolutely, FE. It's totally worth a shot if you're into the whole cucumber thing.

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  2. I bet this would be a KILLER mixer with Hendricks gin. In fact, I'm gonna buy some just for that!

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    1. They were sold out of this yesterday. Will report back when I get some!

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    2. I'M SURE it's selling out a lot, stevenp ... as it is SO yummy & unique in it's NON-overly-sweetness, for a change!! YES, perfect for a mixer... :)

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  3. Boy, you're not kidding about the cucumber. They really ought to warn a guy about that. But after the second or third glass, it started to grow on me.

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  4. They were sampling this at my TJoes today; I liked it! Unfortunately I've cut out sweet drinks and most other sugars, so I won't be buying it, but I highly recommend it to people who purchase juice.

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  5. Absolutely love it! I always loved cucumber water, so when I went looking for watermelon juice and found this I was in heaven. Unfortunately, it was sold out today.

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  6. OMG i disagree!!! Was about to promote the heck outta this stuff w/ FB friends-- i LOVE it so much precisely bc it's NOT too sickening-sweet!! It actually tastes VERY much like watermelon, which is mostly water & a mild flavored fruit, not like the ridiculous waterm.-candy flavored stuff out there. :P 4 stars for this unique goodie!!

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