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, September 7, 2016

Trader Joe's Jalapeño and Honey Chevre

This might be my favorite cheese in the world right now. The taste zings across your tongue like a bolt of lightning. I feel like I hadn't ever truly tasted a jalapeño pepper until I had this cheese. The tang from the chevre, the sweetness of the honey, and the heat from the peppers set one another off so perfectly—in a manner I'd never have imagined. 

But beyond just the heat of the peppers, you can taste the green, planty, earthy part of the peppers, too. There's a miraculous way the goat cheese allows you to taste it separately from the spice of the jalapeno. Yet the cheese is surprisingly sweet. It does taste like real honey.

Although I don't want to downplay the heat, because it is significant. This cheese is not for the faint-of-heart. The fire is there right from the first bite, but it also builds up on the tongue in a subtle, yet powerful way. After a number of bites in a row, you need to breathe through your mouth for a moment to cool it down, maybe take a swig of whatever beverage you're enjoying, and hold for a few beats before going back to the cheese. But don't get me wrong, it's not too hot. It's just right if you ask me.

We had it with some nice light crackers, neutral in flavor. I wouldn't want to pair this cheese with anything too strong because the main attraction should most definitely be the flavor of this amazing chevre. Sonia thinks it might go well with some kind of lightly-sweet honey bread. I'd eat this stuff with anything as long as it's relatively muted, flavor-wise. 

Once upon a time, I may have slapped a different TJ's chevre product with an unusually low score, and it may have been suggested that I don't appreciate goat cheese. Au contraire. I'm just not huge into goat cheese for dessert. Despite its sweetness, this cheese, at least in my mind, is a complex, savory side dish or appetizer that deserves a perfect five stars. Sonia gives it four and a half.

Bottom line: 9.5 out of 10.


  1. This sounds amazing!!! And it's made with microbial rennet so it's safe for vegetarians. Definitely going to pick some up this weekend.