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Friday, February 3, 2023

Trader Joe's Fig Cookies


By most consumer accounts that I've read, these fig cookies are inferior to their predecessors: Trader Joe's Fig Bites, which were really nothing to write home about in the first place. The fig bites were basically TJ's brand fig newtons with perhaps slightly healthier ingredients (no hydrogenated oils or HFCS) and exotic figs imported from Turkey.

This iteration called Trader Joe's Fig Cookies appeared about two years ago if memory serves correctly. The product has been repackaged and renamed. I believe there are fewer cookies in this pack, but this one is also a tad cheaper at $1.99 for about a dozen cookies. They taste roughly the same, but for some reason, these tend to stick together like they've been glued to one another with sticky fig juice. They're crumbly, soft, and vaguely fig newton-esque. I guess I'd buy these again just to avoid the bad stuff in Nabisco Fig Newtons.

The top ingredients include: unbleached enriched flour, cane sugar, figs, tapioca syrup, palm oil, and agave syrup. Calorie-wise, we're looking at 150 per two cookies. You'll get 3.5 grams of fat per serving, 1.5 of which is saturated fat. For full ingredients and nutrition information, please click here.

Three stars from me for Trader Joe's Fig Cookies. Sonia gives them three stars as well.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Peanut Butter & Jelly Frooze Balls


Just a quick hit for today. It's our first non-Trader Joe's brand product of 2023. It is widely available at Trader Joe's stores as well as a few other major retailers and grocery chains.

Frooze Balls. Not sure how I feel about that name for the product. Like I guess it could be a contraction or portmanteau of the words "fruit" and "ooze." They are made mostly of fruit, and there is a sort of ooze in the middle of them, so "Frooze Balls" it is.


They're made of date and coconut squished into a soft, moist texture, filled with peanut butter and various fruit purees and juices to make up the "jelly" part of the equation. They're fairly filling for how small they are, and they taste kind of like you'd expect: sweet, fruity, nutty. I like them okay, but I tire of them quickly after I've had one or two. They lack...pizzazz in my book, though many will disagree.

Sonia's a tad more into them than I am. She gives them four stars. We've also tried the chocolate hazelnut variety, which I like about the same as these. Sonia prefers PB&J over chocolate hazelnut. $1.99 for five balls. Vegan. Kosher. I give the Peanut Butter & Jelly Frooze Balls three and a half stars.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Trader Joe's Everything Ciabatta Rolls


Every time I go to the grocery store and get cold cuts, cheese, greens, and plain wheat or white bread, there's a process that inevitably follows over the next few days in our kitchen. On the first couple days, if I get hungry around lunch time, I remember we have sandwich stuff, and I make a sandwich, and it hits the spot.


After the first few days, I try to think of something...anything other than a sandwich for lunch because I'm tired of the same thing day after day, but then I realize it's just Sonia and me and I better eat a sandwich before one of the ingredients spoils. By the end of the tub of cold cuts or the loaf of bread, I'm only eating the sandwich out of a sense of obligation to not let anything go bad, and then I don't want homemade sandwiches for a long time.

I present to you the remedy for this conundrum: Trader Joe's Everything Ciabatta Rolls. No matter how many times I make sandwiches with this stuff, it never tastes or feels boring. It always feels like I went out to a cafe and had some professional sandwich artist craft some deli-fresh food of the gods just for me.

The bread itself is great quality and the "everything" seasonings just throw it over the top. There's onions, garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and sea salt in the mix. It's just the right combo to make a sandwich feel uncommon, even if it did just come from my own kitchen.

$2.49 for four rolls. Sonia and I will definitely purchase again. Four and a half stars a piece on Trader Joe's Everything Ciabatta Rolls.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.