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

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Trader Joe's Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread


In theory, a guy like me should like hockey. Preseason is only a couple weeks away, I should be stoked like all the other XY-chromosomed humanoids (and half the XX ones too, at least around here in the 'burgh). Yet....I'm not. I've tried to like hockey, and in fact I like the theory of it. I've been to a couple Penguins in person, and no sport translates better to the in-person experience than hockey (worst, by far: football). But when it comes to actually truly liking and embracing hockey....I just can't. I'm not sure what it is, and maybe I'm just missing out on something that everyone else is picking up on, but it just doesn't do it for me.

It's kinda the same with Trader Joe's Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread. In theory, this should be a no doubt winner, a hat trick, a biscuit in the basket. As our local hockey announcer would say, get in the fast lane, grandma, this bingo game's ready to roll.  But in the end.....meh.

Let's start with the positives. This is one exceptional flat thin crust for the pizza base. It's light and airy, yet crispy and crackery, with a little added bite. I could eat crust like this all day then wonder what happened to my waistline. And the arugula makes a nice little touch, too - I like leafy greens as much if not more than anyone (my coworkers stare in disbelief at the amount of raw, undressed spinach I eat almost every day for an afternoon snack) and there's plenty enough to go around to add a good little touch of greenery in most every bite.

This leaves the prosciutto and the burrata and other assorted cheeses. Anything cured meat related is usually right up my alley, but this meat just doesn't cut it. It comes packaged separately in some frozen thin sheets (think Steak-Umm style) which thaw out on your counter as the pizza bakes, waiting to be torn up and placed on top when ready to serve. That method works, but any prosciutto flavor just doesn't really come through except a thin trace of saltiness. I'll blame the cheese(s) - according to the ingredients list (which I'll link to, my pictures came out awful), there's six here: burrata, mozzarella, mascarpone, pecorino romano, parmigiano reggiano, and fontal. It sounds like a nice and fancy blend - I'd butcher half the names - but the outcome just isn't that great. It just tastes kinda flat, without too much flavor except a little olive-oily and salt, with some faint garlic, and more or less feels spongy on most bites. Once again, perhaps my tongue isn't sophisticated enough to enjoy the complexities of a fine cheese meld like the stuff on here, but, once again, meh.

But I guess I'd understand people liking this a lot. Like Sandy, for instance. The fact this was a fairly acceptable white pizza-esque consumable good was a big plus for her- no tomato sauce! Not like that dissuades her from enjoying regular pizza, but, anyways. The arugula and crispy crust were also a hit with her, enough to make this a desired repeat buy for the $4.99 it cost, though she'll admit there wasn't much memorable about the cheese mix except how fancy it sounded. Sandy went ahead and gave it a four. That's just too high for me - not enough flavor to really compel me, and when the absolute highlight of a pizza is the crust, I think it says more about the pizza as a whole than the crust. I just can't muster much more than a perfectly middlin' 2.5.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

7 comments:

  1. I just had this too. You're so right about this flatbread...

    yet so wrong about hockey.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When in doubt, make it fresh... All of those ingredients are what most refrigerators already have... :-)

    ReplyDelete

  3. Burrrata baked on a pizza? Who thought that was a good idea?
    Clearly no one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was so excited to try this pizza, only to be disappointed. waaaaay too salty!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was not edible! Waaaaay too salty!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was really disappointing the cheeses just tasted like basic mozzarella and I was not a fan of hot arugula it's usually delicious raw on top of a pizza but it had a weird flavor almost reminding me of seaweed with the saltiness too.

    ReplyDelete