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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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Trader Joe's 3 Cheese Wafers

Holy Eucharist. The Lord's Supper. Body of Christ shed for you. "Thin & crisp for cheese & snacking..." and maybe for Holy Communion as well.

The only thing about these crackers that doesn't scream "communion wafers" is the very faint cheese flavor. And honestly, I'd be surprised if there isn't at least one church using these during worship services somewhere in this country. I've seen everything from homemade white bread to animal crackers serve as altar bread—and at least one group thought of using Doritos for a similar purpose

Apparently, the three cheeses present here are cheddar, parmesan, and mozzarella. But the three titles that come to mind when eating these crispy critters are "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

Sonia was raised Roman Catholic, and I was raised Lutheran, or "White Catholic," as we're known in certain Latino circles, so it's really hard not to think of those bland yet sacred discs of...I-don't-know-what that we had when we partook of that blessed sacrament. Even the little raised pattern on these crackers is reminiscent of what we both remember. TJ's version displays little triangles all over them, which arguably could represent the Holy Trinity.

Texture-wise, again, I almost feel silly saying it, but they're exactly like communion wafers. I would have guessed that the ones I grew up with were rice-based, although these crackers are apparently made with wheat flour. They're very soft, yet brittle and crispy, and they melt in your mouth quite quickly.

Flavor-wise, I mentioned there is only a subtle hint of cheese flavor in my opinion. They're virtually flavorless by themselves. I felt that they went well with the recently-reviewed Jalapeño and Honey Chevre, but only because they didn't try to compete with the amazing flavor of that cheese. On their own, as a snack, these crackers aren't much to speak of. The three distinct cheese flavors are so subtle that you have to have a bit of faith to believe they're really there.

I'm tempted to leave you with some play on scripture that starts, "As often as you eat these crackers, eat them in remembrance of me," or something like that, but even though I'm not as churchy as I used to be, I'm still not a huge fan of blasphemy in all its colorful modern forms, so I'll steer clear of such wordplay out of respect for the Big Guy. No, not Big Joe. The other big guy.

Four stars from Sonia, who's anxious to try these in a big bowl of tomato soup. Three from me.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.


  1. Maybe make mini cheese sliders with these

  2. How odd that they don't taste much like cheese... I love that it's 33pcs for 60cal (!) but if they're meh tasting that's a moot point.
    And yeah, those really do look the communion wafers i remember from my catholic high school!

    1. Yes very low in calories. Not a bad taste, but...not much taste, IMO.

  3. I'm glad to see that my first instincts about these were correct. I passed trying them today because they seemed a bit communion to me.
    Also fun fact:
    Former Baptist preacher's daughter (Catholic/Lutheran may be different you guys get wine not grape juice?) & my mom had to "bake" the communion bread or cheat & buy it. It's always unleavened crackers. Or is technically supposed to be. Something to do with the scriptural communion.
    There's homemade recipes for it but some churches use things like Oyster crackers (probably these TJ's crackers) and there's another major brand I'm forgetting the name of. Also some religious stores carry them.

    1. Hi Katy. Yes I'm sure Baptists stick with the unleavened bread. All of the unusual communion elements I've had were in non-denominational churches, where they don't stick to the letter of the religion quite as much.

    2. Just tossed out the nearly full bag. Like eating paper.

    3. Trader Joe's would have given you a full refund.

    4. I never understand people throwing out perfectly good food. If you find it THAT distasteful, give it to someone else. Not everyone has the same tastes.