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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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Trader Joe's Parsnip Chips

Some of you may remember our little discussion about these chips from a podcast episode back in February. We discovered that, according to a local TJ's manager, they were only selling these chips on the west coast. So Sonia and I took a little road trip this past weekend...

Actually, no. We just found these guys at the Marlton Trader Joe's store. We were super excited. Apparently they do sell them on the east coast now. So to continue our streak of interesting root vegetable products featuring beetsjicama, and now parsnips, let's take a look at these unusual chips.

In appearance and texture, they're not unlike sweet potato chips I've tried. They're not quite as yellow/orange as that, though. I'd say they're a tad more pale, but there is an amber hue to them. 

They're definitely salty, but they're also much sweeter than I expected them to be. Maybe it's because I haven't had a plate of parsnips in a while, but I didn't think I'd be getting much natural sugariness at all. I checked the ingredients for some kind of sweetener. Nope. Just parsnips, oil, and salt. So...parsnips are naturally sweet. Who knew? (Most of our readers, probably.) But this foodie-hack sure didn't. It also says so on the back of the bag, but I rarely read those things before wolfing down a good portion of the product first.

They're beautifully crunchy and firm and just slightly oily and salty to the touch. There's just the tiniest hint of leatheriness, for lack of a better term. It's not at all unpleasant, though. If anything, the consistency of these parsnip chips is more pleasant than regular potato chips. 

Flavor-wise, they're somewhere in between sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, carrots, and bananas—there's also a distinct similarity to plantain chips. There's a subtle earthiness involved, but it's mostly just a salty, sweet, delightfully snackable taste.

Four stars a piece from Sonia and me.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.


  1. Don't like lily chips but like the sounds of leathery ones. Nutritional panelists deceiving since there's almost no sugar and low in salt!

  2. Great choice for low carb dieters.

  3. sounds good! I'll give 'em a go.

  4. Yes, parsnips are naturally sweet. I'm excited to try these. Hopefully, they've got them in the middle of the country as well as on the coasts now.

  5. Parsnips are closely related to carrots, I believe, which would explain both the sweetness and mild leathery-ness of the parsnip chips. I'll give them a try if I see them around here!

  6. Bought and tasted. These are really good, not greasy at all, subtly sweet. Remind me a bit of taro chips. Seem a bit pricey at $3/bag, but they are healthier than pretty much any other chip I've seen, and great for my low-carb "diet."