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, June 26, 2015

Trader Joe's Coconut Water

When I was a kid, my dad would occasionally bring home whole coconuts from the grocery store. I used to love the water that came straight out of the coconut, and I'd chug it down just as quickly as it flowed from the fruit. Back then, we erroneously called that liquid coconut milk. It was actually coconut water, same as this product. But I swear, in my memories, the liquid was much milkier and much whiter than the beverage now known as "coconut water." I also remember it being much sweeter than this coconut water. 

I'm not sure what I can attribute those discrepancies to. Perhaps it just tasted much fresher since it was literally only seconds out of the coconut. Or maybe it's one of those dimensional shift conundrums I've been reading about. In my home universe, we read Berenstein Bears books, Nelson Mandela died in the 1980's, and coconut milk came out of tapped coconuts instead of coconut water—not to mention Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends" intro to The Wonder Years was pretty good, unlike the one that plays during the opening credits now. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's a syndication/copyright issue rather than a dimensional shift, but it's still pretty terrifying nonetheless. Seriously, if you have Netflix streaming, go play the beginning of an episode of The Wonder Years now. I'll wait for you here.

Weird, huh?

Know what else is weird? Sonia LOVES this coconut water stuff. She says it tastes much better than the Maple Water and it does at least as good a job at hydrating her. She often uses the term "sock water" when describing a beverage she doesn't like—as in water that's been used to clean dirty socks. I might be tempted to describe this coconut juice as just a small step up from sock water.
It's not that Trader Joe's offering is any worse than other pre-packaged coconut water. I'm just not really a fan of any coconut water since I transitioned into this peculiar universe—and likewise, Sonia generally likes any coconut water. Somewhere in one of our podcast episodes, I said something along the lines of, "If I were forced at gunpoint to choose between the Maple Water and the Coconut Water, I'd take the Maple Water." It's true.

Anyway, Sonia gives this product 4.5 stars, and I'm gonna give it 2.5. That still yields a respectable score of 7 out of 10, but be advised, if you're not a huge fan of other pre-packaged coconut waters, you probably won't be a fan of this, and vice versa. 

Now bring on the onslaught of "You're an idiot but your wife isn't" style comments that I've become so accustomed to these past 5 1/2 years ;)

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

16 comments:

  1. Sir, I stand firmly in your corner. I don't get this whole coconut water thing and I find few to agree with me.

    Now this dimensional shift talk on the other hand....that was way too deep for my pre-caffeinated brain.

    You had me googling "Free Mandela T-shirts" that people used to wear in the late 80s just to assure you (and myself!) that there had been no shift. LOL! I remember someone on either the Cosby Show or A Different World wearing one and then we all started wearing them....

    But yeah that whole Berenstain Bears thing is unsettling. *cue Twilight Zone music* :-)

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    1. Hi June, Why is drinking coconut water good for health? Coconut Water is a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood, it’s the fluid of life. See more at:
      http://kidbuxblog.com/why-is-drinking-coconut-water-good-for-health/

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  2. Thanks for agreeing with me on the coconut water thing, tiga :)

    But here's the thing: anyone who originates from THIS dimension will remember Mandela alive throughout the 80's and 90's. And googling Free Mandela t-shirts will only yield results from THIS particular universe. But myself and thousands of others who originate from the other dimension have alternate memories of Mandela dying in the 80's...

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    1. You are hilarious! I'm getting out this rabbit hole!

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  3. In my home universe (not joking!) the color red (and the donkey) was ALWAYS associated with the democratic party, and the color blue (and elephant) was always symbolic of the Republican party. The universe I find myself in now still confuses me: I hear "red state" and I think democratic; "blue state" means republican. I can't mentally shift this, for some reason.

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    1. Weird!

      At least I'm not the only "slider" here...

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  4. You should try the coconut water in the refrigerated aisle next to the juices! It tastes better definitely

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    1. Hmmm...maybe I will try that one. Thanks, Hee.

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    2. Yes, I agree. Try the one in the refrigerated aisle. This boxed coconut water is disgusting. Where I'm from, if anyone tasted this one they would say the coconut water spoiled, and that's what I thought when I tasted it but no, apparently that's how all of them taste that's in the box. The one in the refrigerated aisle tastes like the real thing from off the tree

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  5. I am going to try the other coconut water that Hee suggests...this one wasn't good at all (to me). I do like the maple water a lot, however!

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  6. I'm with you. My life is too short to keep trying stuff I don't like! That list is not long but coconut water is on it next to okra.
    Coconut milk is another story- and TJs coconut milk ice cream is amazing
    Ttrockwood

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  7. I'm going to just go ahead and say that coconut water helps hangovers like a boss. So, take that as you will.

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    1. I prefer Pedialyte- more sodium and potassium, so more effective at rehydrating.

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  8. Zico now makes a watermelon raspberry flavored coconut water. It is really good. Also, Harvest Bay makes a mango orange flavored coconut water that is good. both all natural.

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  9. You missed the most important elephant in the room, checking the ingredients it has fructose!! How could they be so sloppy as to sell this as pure when it has fructose added? yuck. And it does taste terrible.
    It is watered down. Very disappointed in Trader Joe's on this one.

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  10. You missed the most important elephant in the room, checking the ingredients it has fructose!! How could they be so sloppy as to sell this as pure when it has fructose added? yuck. And it does taste terrible.
    It is watered down. Very disappointed in Trader Joe's on this one.

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