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?"

Search This Blog

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute

So, I'm not going to bore you with the details of my job, but generally speaking, when not moonlighting as amateur foodie hack extraordinaire specializing in all things Trader Joe's, I work at a durable medical equipment company that specializes in cardiac patients who are, generally speaking, post heart-attack, or at high risk for one. If you're intrigued much beyond that, here's my company's website. In my role, I get to read lots of doctor progress notes and whatnot for insurance authorizations. It's not a bad gig at all. It can be just...very repetitive. One thing I see overandoverandoverandover again: doctors advising patients to quit smoking, quit drinking as much, start exercising...and limit salt intake. Over and over and over again. Those are pretty much the four best things you can do for yourself, unless you partake in nonprescription drug use - cut that junk out too! Your body will thank you and just might last a little longer.

The salt thing is kinda tough, as it's in just about everything. And it's no secret why: it tastes gooood. Personally, I love me some sodium. Kinda hard for me to say "Na" too (Get it? Periodic table joke!). I just try to not add it too often to foods and avoid too much processed junk, and hoping my heart is happy for the effort.

Fortunately, there's stuff out there like Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute. Here's a spice blend that's decently full of flavor but...wait for it...no salt! None! I can use as much as I want! Well, maybe, I don't know. But I know this: it works. I sprinkled some on some potatoes to cube up into foil packs and grill. Yum. The next night, Sandy made a delicious sausage-and-greens soup, for which this was a perfect match. Yum. It also works decently well on some eggs I scrambled for a quickie meal the other night. It seems kinda all-purpose and versatile, which I like.

You may wonder what it tastes like. Good question. As kinda a duh-ism, it tastes like whatever spices happened to be most prevalent on your bite. For a base, it's pretty close to a basic Italian seasoning blend - not too surprising given the basil and oregano and thyme and other usual suspects. Every couple bites, though, something else pops out, like the black pepper or cayenne or even the lemon or celery seed (enough so that I asked Sandy if she put celery in that soup, which she did not), so every bite is a little bit different. It's nothing earth-shattering or world changing by any means, but for me at least, it's the occasional viable alternative to the usual bottle of hot sauce that I dump on most everything.

If you're thinking this sounds a lot like Mrs. Dash...well, Google says you just may be right. At  least 21 Seasoning Salute is a much cooler name, and from the looks of things, comes in a more spice-rack friendly bottle. Also, I haven't priced Mrs. Dash recently (or ever), but the $2 or so for the TJ's version seems like a pretty solid deal.

Tried to get Sandy to say something interesting about the spice, and she just kinda looked at me. I don't blame her. The fact that she opted for this over hot sauce for said scrambled eggs, an upset perhaps on the level of Foreman over Frazier, does say a lot though. I think we're both pretty happy with this seasoning, so we salute you, Trader Joe's.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

6 comments:

  1. This is like Costco's organic no salt seasoning which is awesome. I saw a blogger use the Costco one as a "breading" for chicken breasts. Never used it that way before but I'm thinking of doing that with fish.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am SOOO in love with this!!! I use it in ALLL of my eggs and omelets. It is SO good!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This stuff is my favorite. It makes almost everything taste better!

    I'd also like to take this opportunity to tell you that I'm not only entertained by your blog - it's been a great resource for me, too!

    I'm a sign artist at Trader Joe's, and sometimes I need to add fun facts and extra pizazz to labels and signs. The problem is, I'm vegan. So while I love a lot of what TJ's produces, I haven't experienced it all. Your blog has been a godsend!

    Anyway, keep up the awesome work! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are they actually required to ask, "Got any big plans for the weekend?" if you shop on Saturday morning.

      Delete
    2. Not in my store! They've never "forced" me to be nice or push any products at the register. It's very unlike other retail jobs I've had.

      Delete
  4. I use this on almost everything sometime in combination with other seasonings including salt and pepper. It is great on every version of eggs and I love it in grits and on seafood. My only problem is what to do with all those little spice bottles. I wish it came in a larger container.

    ReplyDelete