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 22, 2016

Trader Joe's Triple Berry-O's

Sigh.

I had this completely, totally, fun, cute idea for this review of Trader Joe's Triple Berry-O's. Basically, it was going to a review from the standpoint of my three ("an' a haff!", as she proudly exclaims) year old of what I thought was her favorite cereal. I'm talking in-depth review and analysis, complete with bite-by-bite play-by-play, with telestrator and all. Might have even called Madden out of retirement for it.

But...M, in typical three an' a haff year old attitude, completely refused. Come to find out, she's more intrigued these days by "grandma crunchers wif brown sugar an' milk on dem" (i.e., Corn Chex) or "Corn Chex, cuz dey have corn on dem" (i.e., Kix - see the box) or Rice Krispies (no cute name for those) these days. When we ran out of all of those and had only Berry-O's left was she reluctantly willing to have them for breakfast once more. It helped that I fibbed that we were out of waffles and bread for toast. I swear, she used to eat an entire box, by herself, every week or so, not all that long ago.

Might be a good thing, though, because her food critic skills are AWFUL. I gave her a simple test, like Chef Ramsay's "Chicken, beef or pork?" taste test, only it was "blueberry, strawberry, or raspberry." I gave her a bite with one of each berry in it with her eyes closed, and asked her what berry she tasted. After the blueberry bite: "Nothin'!" This is after she said blueberry was her favorite. After raspberry: "Blueberry!" She did manage to get the strawberry, right, though, probably because of shape more than anything else.

Anyways, the TJ triple berry O's are pretty straightforward. I like the O's part - simple, basic honey oat munchers, like any other store brand. It's one of my favorite cereals, non-Cocoa Pebbles division. But, to be honest, I hate the berries part. Like any freeze dried fruit, they're too strong, too sweet, too acidic almost, too sugary, too jarring with the rest. If there's going to be fruit in my cereal, it's got to be fresh, because at least then I'll get that from an actual piece of fruit, not the dried up remaining shell of one. At least I'd say the box is 90% O's, 10% fruit (at most) so it's not anything to make too big a fuss out of.

Naturally, the berries are my kids' favorite part, so I can pick them out of my cereal, give the berries to them, win Best Daddy Ever award, not miss out on anything I like, and be left with a bowl of cereal I'm perfectly content with. Seriously, the look on their eyes when I give them a berry would look just like mine if you gave me a hundred dollar bill.

In M's words, "I used to like them, but now I only like dem a lil' bit." That's because "dey make me sticky." I'm not sure what she means either. When I asked her how many spoons she wanted to give them, she just grunted then asked if she could wear her jammies all day and when she could watch Daniel Tiger. Eh well. For $3.29, the O's were quite a regular pick up for us, and I get the appeal of them. Bonus points for being fairly nutritious and no silly cartoon characters or movie tie-ins. I recommend giving 'em a try.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Triple Berry O's: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons

3 comments:

  1. Hahah, i love her input here! I'm not a fan of freeze dried fruit myself but apparently TJs shopper are since they have an increasing variety over by the dried fruit. I do love the other Os cereals as well as their brief ingredient lists
    Ttrockwood

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    1. I like freeze dried fruit. I wish TJ's comes out with freeze dried berry blend. Freeze dried fruit is ideal for baking when you want amp up flavor and color without changing the mixture texture.

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