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, November 16, 2016

Trader Joe's Chicken Sausage & Cornbread Stuffing


Ah, this looks Thanksgivingy enough. Novembery enough, if you will. No Turkey Day dinner would be complete without some stuffing. And of course, since this has chicken in it, you could theoretically stick this inside the duck part of your turducken and still have turducken without an actual chicken as the inner layer. But I digress.

Overall, this stuff is bready and moist, the way stuffing should be, but I have some pretty big reservations about giving it a stellar score. Firstly, the whole Scarborough Fair thing is in full effect here. Yep. I checked the ingredients as I've done many times, and this product does indeed contain parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, although the front of the packaging only mentions sage and thyme. I think this is the first time I've consumed anything that contained all four. So yeah. Simon and Garfunkel would be proud. Or maybe not. Because there's too much of it in here. I'm not sure whether it's the thyme or sage, but one of those herbs is a little overpowering to me. After Sonia's first couple bites, she grimaced and said, "This tastes like an old woman's house."


I was hoping to taste more chicken, cornbread, and cranberry flavors. There are plenty of cranberries in there, it's just that they don't do that much for the flavor. I wanted some of that sweet-tartness, but alas...The Scarborough Fair Effect.

Texture-wise, I already mentioned the pleasant amount of moisture—even after heating in the oven. If anything, the product came out a tad too mushy for us. Bits of celery add a nice delicate crunch. And the cranberry pieces feel pretty nice, even if their flavor isn't coming through in a big way. I was also hoping there would be large chunks of actual chicken sausage. There aren't. 


In the end, I'd probably turn to good old Stove Top over this dressing. It's not a complete abomination, and we won't be returning it for a no-hassle refund or anything like that. It's just a different, very herby take on classic filling, and a little disappointing to both of us. 

Bottom line: 5 out of 10.

10 comments:

  1. Maybe you could take that and then add eggs to form stuffing patties. Add some more spices to lively it up a bit.

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    1. Yeah eggs would probably help this stuff...and maybe some hot sauce.

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    2. TJ's now selling chocolate mint black tea! Do a review on that

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  2. Not a fan of the heavy sage/thyme, so I'll pass on this. (Thx for the heads-up!) I often make a big stuffing dish (it's my fave t-day main course) and TJs has good ingredients for it: their cornbread stuffing mux, sliced mushrooms, some celery, lots of sausage (pick your fave), and making it with some chicken/veggie broth added improves the flavor depth.

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  3. Yesterday I tried their carrot souffle - it was really good!

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  4. Just had the scalloped potatoes with quattro formaggio (four cheeses) last night for dinner. I recommend the oven over the microwave for preparing them. Really good. TJ's only carries them this time of year.

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