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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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Trader Joe's Crispy Cookies Filled With Belgian Chocolate

Russ and I have reviewed so many of TJ's foods, that I'm starting to think that one could project a score for just about any Trader Joe's brand product just by looking up previously reviewed products here on our blog. Take for example, these cookies. Just break down the product into its constituent parts and then type each one into the Google Custom Search Box individually. First, type "Belgian Chocolate" and you get Trader Joe's Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar, with a score of 7 out of 10. Then search "Crispy Cookies." You get Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, both with scores of 8 out of 10. With this knowledge, one can safely assume that most TJ's "crispy cookie" products will be in the ballpark of 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons or stars (depending upon which of us is reviewing the product) and that Belgian Chocolate will score in the ballpark of 7. So let's make a simple equation: 

(Trader Joe's Belgian Chocolate + Trader Joe's Crispy Cookies) ÷ 2 = 7.5 stars

Obviously, if you were calculating the score for a product with, say three constituent parts, you'd look up three different search terms and divide by 3 instead. And some types of products will lend themselves to this system more readily than others. I'm thinking it will be easiest and most accurate with snacks and desserts, simply because we often concentrate on those. Just look what happens when we step outside of our snacky comfort zone—when we try things like Sushi Sensations and Pad See Ew. Maybe less fatness, but also less happiness.

Now most of you who've been reading a while and know my sense of humor have probably figured out that I'm only semi-serious about this method of pre-calculating scores. Most of what I write on this blog is tongue-in-cheek. And of course, TJ's offers plenty of healthy-esque things that are tasty as well. But at least in this particular case, it's a system that would have worked quite well. We're seeing exactly what we've seen before in terms of crispy cookies: great crispy, crunchy texture, nice moderately sweet flavor, all in a classy presentation and practical packaging. I'm not sure if the Belgian chocolate is technically dark chocolate or milk chocolate in this case, but if it's milk chocolate, I'd say it's on the darker, richer end of the spectrum. Less sweet than a Hershey's bar, but more sweet than unsweetened cocoa powder. The rectangular shape lends a bit of class to the whole production, and at $2.79 per package, it's comparable to other less-sophisticated name brand cookies. 4 stars for these opulent oreo opposites from me, 3.5 stars from Sonia, who states that they're much better when dunked in coffee or hot chocolate.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

12 comments:

  1. Tried these yesterday. You forgot to mention they taste exactly like pepprridge farms Milano cookies! I would give these a higher rating. I really enjoyed them !

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    1. That's true, regina! I haven't had Pepperidge Farms' in a while...

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  2. LOLLL you've been doing this for too long. Snack algorithms. I hope you've got a vacation coming up. ;-)

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  3. These cookies sound delicious! I need to give them a shot!

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    1. Definitely! Let us know what you think...

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  4. http://www.traderjoes.com/digin/post/classic-colomba-di-pasqua. Are u going to review this? It sounds interesting.

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    1. That's the first I've heard of it Alek, but it certainly does sound interesting...thanks for the heads up!

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. Aren't these basically Milano cookies? (which is a good thing, I love those!)

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  7. ok... so I've long had a major problem with Milanos. Problem is, if I buy them, the bag doesn't make it through the night. I basically stopped buying them years ago. Then, these happened. They are way, way, WAY better than Milanos- including better ingredients. So, Pep Farm sued, and now they're gone. I will regret not stockpiling forever and ever.

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