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Trader Joe's Smoked Salmon Poke Bowl

These days, in a meager attempt to eat healthier, waste less food, and generally spend less on unnecessary things, I haven't been making it around to TJ's as much (once every two weeks as opposed to multiple times a week LOL :P). So yes, I usually see things on social media before I know to look for them in store.  And when I saw this, I thought to myself, oh no. I can't believe they went there. I can't believe I'm going to spend a good amount of money for a small amount of food. Such was actually the case. 

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Trader Joe's Seasoned Kale Chips

I have long avoided Trader Joe's kale chips because the only thing I like more than spending money is saving it. And to me, spending extra on a small 2 oz package of something easily homemade with minimal effort is enough to solicit an eye roll, unless the product tastes better than what I can replicate in my humble kitchen. In any event, these plopped into my hands by way of a friend. Who am I to refuse a Trader Joe's snack? :P

Trader Joe's Gochujang Spicy Korean Style Hot Pepper Paste

As far as Korean or Korean-ish things from TJ's, I've tried Korean-style sausages, Korean-style BBQ sauce, pajeon or Korean pancake, and even kimchi (gochujang almonds too, but I don't really feel like that counts...). Although not all attempts at replicating Korean or Korean-ish/Korean-American cuisine have been particularly successful IMO, I definitely appreciate the attempts. And now the fact that a distinctly Korean condiment has landed on TJ shelves means that the forward thinking TJ's buyers think it's ready for middle America. That's awesome. :P 

Trader Joe's Cheddar Rocket Crackers

I have a confession to make. In the two weeks since a Whole Foods (affectionately known on this blog as Whole Paycheck) opened near my house, I've been there three times. How many trips have I made to Trader Joe's? Zero. And the worst part is this - I don't feel guilty. Is this micro-cheating? Is this the beginning of a Whole Paycheck blog? Noooooooooo. At the end of the day, the only thing I like more than spending money is saving it, so I'd say TJ's still takes the edge. Especially when delicious snacks are involved.

Trader Joe's Falafel Mix

Today, I type this whilst the sun shines, the snow melts, and . Maybe that last part is more imaginative than real at this point. But a few days ago, there was yet another nor'easter. And with that - mass shopping raids at Trader Joe's. I find it fascinating what people buy in preparation for big snowstorms. It tells you a lot about the person, sometimes. Are you about the bread and milk? What's your snowstorm ride or die food? 

Trader Ming's Pork Shu Mai

It's definitely been a year since I last tried a Trader Ming or any kind of Trader Joe's Asian food.  To be fair, I think there is a time and a place for TJ's Asian food for a number of legitimately compelling reasons. And aside from a few notable exceptions, I haven't really loved much of what I've tried. Having been blessed to have authentic home-cooking and access to delicious restaurants (that Chinese people actually love) has calibrated my expectations of supermarket frozen Asian food. Here's a question - is America and Trader Joe's nation ready for authentic authentic Chinese food?
Or any ethnic cuisine for that matter? Is "authentic" necessarily better? Does authenticity matter? I've been thinking about food culture, ethnicity, and the American landscape. Thanks, Ugly Delicious. :P

Trader Joe's Tarte au Brie et aux Tomates

The increasing sunlight outside is certainly brightening my mood. But my body seems to think that spring should follow suit. That clearly hasn't been the case. It's still rather chilly for my taste, but I've been longing for more spring-esque food. Y'know..full of fresh tasting veggies and a hint of spring/summer harvest.