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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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Trader Joe's Blueberry Poppy Seed Cookies

Ever have something that's good in it's own right ruin something else that's perfectly good?

For whatever reason, I'm struggling to think of a great example of this. Must be my lack of imagination, or the heat getting to my brain - I mean, dangit, it's hot. But this has to be a thing...right? Maybe this is somewhat vaguely related to my chocolate gum/Bowie-Jagger theory that two things that are good separately aren't good when put together.

If you can think of any great examples, please, by all means, fire away.

For some fairly weak evidence, I'll put out there Trader Joe's Blueberry Poppy Seed Cookies.

Blueberries, even dried ones = yum. Cookies - obviously great. Even better when they're soft, crumbly, buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread ones, perfect for pairing with any variety of beverages. I love shortbread cookies. This can't fail...

It doesn't. But these cookies don't entirely succeed either. The taste is right. That aforementioned buttery shortbread is spot on, and the poppy seeds don't seem to add much one way or another (unlike those blueberry digestive biscuits a little while back). The blueberries seem right too, and while certainly sweet with enough added sugar in all sorts of various forms, the cookies seem to be right in line flavor wise.

Really, it's the texture. It's so disappointing when the chompers actually hit a blueberry, because it gums up an otherwise perfectly crumbly bite. It's a chewy interruption. Perhaps some other form of blueberry would be more ideal, or heck, even some blueberry extract...but as is? Not a huge fan. Oh well.

Otherwise these bite-sized berry buggers are pretty tasty - we'll happily eat them up, and could be persuaded to buy again for the few bucks they set us back. Purely on taste, they're nearly perfect - but again, so disappointing when striking that berry. Probably more than it should be since the cookies are so good otherwise. Life is hard, I guess.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Blueberry Poppy Seed Cookies: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. I think I maybe have an idea of what you're talking about. I feel that way about A1 steak sauce and steak. Two things that taste awesome on their own, but I just don't like them together. Chocolate croissants are another example for me.

    That being said, I love chewy dried bluebs in the Belvita style biscuits. But I can't imagine them in a shortbread cookie. Sounds odd.

  2. Dude you are so wrong. These cookies are my new obsession

  3. I'm eating a box right now. They're so good that I'm reading reviews on them as I eat them. I do understand how you don't like the chewiness of the berries in the cookie. However, I feel the taste trumps that for me.