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, August 23, 2016

Trader Joe's Pinks & Whites

"Pinks & Whites" sounds like something you might read on the front door of a racist establishment. The "whites" would obviously be, you know, normal Caucasian folk. And the "pinks" would be, well...people like me. And Jim Gaffigan. And possibly Russ, too. You know, gingers. People like poor Sonia would walk up to the door and the xenophobic host would say, "Sorry, ma'am. Pinks and Whites only," gesturing to the sign on the door.

But make no mistake: these pink and white cookies are intended for all colors and ethnicities, even in these times of high racial tension. These flower-shaped snacks are all-inclusive. Well, except maybe for the gluten-intolerant. And the lactose-intolerant (yogurt coating is the number one ingredient). And those with allergies to soy, egg, peanut, or coconut. And vegans.

But other than those unlucky folks, these cookies are super-unifying and good at bringing people together. Because they flaunt a delicate shortbread taste, a milky-sweet frosting, and a generous amount of happy, colorful sprinkles that just about anyone can enjoy. They made Sonia and I feel like kids again.

Because we both had ginormous bags of pink and white cookies when we were young—except they were animal-shaped back then. No, not Barnum's Animals. They were Mother's. No, not my mother's. Ha! My mother never baked anything in her life. Mother's brand. Apparently, they're still on the market. 

A quick glance at TJ's ingredients versus Mother's ingredients reveals that Trader Joe's is once again far less deadly. Mother's infused a little vitamin B into their cookies to make them seem healthy. I mean, B1 and B2 can't hurt, but they probably won't offset the hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup they snuck in there too. Jeez.

At any rate, the Trader Joe's version tastes just as good as, if not a little better than, those old-school animal cookies. Buttery, sweet, and highly-snackable, they're everything you've ever wanted in a yogurt-coated shortbread cookie. Both Sonia and I wish these had been around when we were kids. 

Truth be told, I'm not often in the mood for such cookies these days, but since they're as good as this kind of cookie gets, I can't go lower than three and a half stars. Sonia will give them an even four.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.


  1. Would be ideal if the pinks were strawberry flavored

  2. !!! I know Exactly which Mother's cookies you're talking about... ! Those were some of my favorites as a kid- i don't know why they're not sold nationally.
    Obviously i will be making a special trip to TJs for these cookies as soon as possible

    1. When you're a kid, there's just something super-exciting about animal-shaped cookies...

    2. Keebler, target and Walgreens make similar versions too.

  3. My husband and I LOVE these. And yes my first thought was of the Mother's Circus cookie except the TJ version tastes way better

    1. They do taste better, and have better ingredients too!

  4. Yea I ate the whole box in 2 days... I can't buy them again... Lol too good!

  5. Hmmmmm, maybe I'm the minority here being of essentially of European origin. Cookies like these are basically like overly sugared kids paste to me with a bit of vanilla flavoring. Not worth the calories. Am I wrong?

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