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, January 30, 2015

Trader Joe's Fruit Bar with Flax & Chia Seeds

After clobbering you with gelatochocolatecookie butter productssriracha-fied goodies, and incredibly fattening broccoli this month, it's time to look at something not so indulgent (i.e., boring.) And to that end, these fruit bars are perfect. If you've ever dreamed of stacking like 4 or 5 normal fruit leather bars on top of one another and then using that stack to scrape the mucilaginous seed coating off your Chia Pet, then this product's for you.

They're filling, fruity, and sweet, but they're pretty heavy on the chia seeds, which makes them moderately gritty. It also makes them hearty. This little bar is more effective at curbing temporary hunger than it might look. For under a buck, it's a decent mid-day snack, and it's probably a healthier choice than, say, a Snickers bar.

The overall flavor is kinda strawberry-ish, though you can see there on the list that we've got multiple fruit ingredients going on including apple, pear, elderberry, and even lemon juice. It's slightly tart, as well as naturally-sugary—fructosey, if you will...

If you're a fruit bar enthusiast, definitely check these out. Though, an even less-indulgent choice with impressive flavor might be the Fruit + Fruit Bars we looked at a while back. For me, if I'm craving a fruit leather-ish snack, I'd probably reach for the smaller, cheaper (though, admittedly, less-filling) "fruit wraps."

Another 3.5 from me, 4 from Sonia.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

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