TJ’s Fan Faves

By Avalon Kelly

Trader Joe’s has never failed to supply its expansive fanbase with fresh, fun, and tasty products.  From their microwavable meals to their exciting snacks, Trader Joe’s has a product to satisfy any hungry consumer’s cravings.  I decided to taste some fan favorites from this popular chain in this issue.  Below are five of Trader Joe’s most beloved products: reviewed and rated.

Just Mango Slices

Upon first bite, these classic mango slices proved to be a wonderful snack.  With a surprising combination of sweet and sour, the strips of dried fruit continued to tempt me to take another bite.  However, while the chewy, snappy texture began as exciting and fresh, by the fifth bite my teeth were aching.  The painfully tough texture of these mango strips was the only factor keeping this delectable snack from earning a perfect 10; overall, I give the “Just Mango Slices” an 8/10.

Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips

As a person who has a “low spice tolerance” according to my closest friends, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Trader Joes’ “fake Taki’s.”  Although these chips did bring a lot of heat, I thoroughly enjoyed the balance brought by the lime and the satisfying crunch of the chips.  Compared to the original Taki’s, I think Trader Joe’s take on this spicy snack is better overall: I appreciated the lower amount of spice, more lime flavor, and less red food dye left on my fingers after.  Overall, I give the “Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips” a 9/10.

Thai Vegetable Gyoza

These vegetable gyoza utterly disappointed me.  A fan of the Trader Joe’s pork gyoza, I looked forward to trying out the vegetarian option; and I was left completely dissatisfied.  The vegetable filling and the gyoza wrappers were mushy, and I craved a more exciting texture.  The meal’s flavor was its only redeeming quality, and overall, I give the “Thai Vegetable Gyoza” a 4/10.

New York Deli Style Baked Cheesecake

Before tasting the New York Cheesecake, I felt genuinely excited.  I love the rich, tangy qualities of cheesecake, and could not wait for the melt-in-your-mouth experience that I expected.  However, my expectations remained far from met.  The cheesecake was bland, overly sweet, and pasty.  I wished for a lighter texture and stronger flavor.  Even the crumb crust disappointed: instead of balancing out the bland sweetness of the cheesecake with a buttery crust, it just added to the sickeningly sweet flavor this sugary excuse of a “cheesecake.”  Overall, I give the “New York Deli Style Baked Cheesecake” a 2/10.

Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

These peppermint cookie sandwiches were a delightful balance of rich chocolate, sweet cream, and tangy peppermint.  I found them perfect for enjoying alongside a glass of milk.  The chocolate cookies were perfectly crisp, and the smooth, peppermint-speckled cream of the inside complimented the cookies wonderfully.  I felt that no flavor was dominating the others, enabling me to enjoy each bite and savor the combination of unique components.  Overall, I give the “Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s” a 10/10.