The Best of Trader Joe's 2017

It's that time of year again where I contemplate all the things that I've tested, loved, and peddled to anyone who might listen - all gratis sans sponsorship from the big [Trader] Joe himself. Can you put a price on loyalty? Maybe if the price is right. But isn't that THE definition of a cult following? Not only do you not have to compensate your followers to follow you, they will pay money to do just that! :P

Top Posts of 2017

#1. Trader Joe's Matcha Green Tea - This is not something I would personally recommend only because I cannot justify paying this much for the amount of matcha. Yes, it's a good product, but I stand convinced that for my personal taste and baking needs, I can find a suitable matcha elsewhere at a better price. But the internet loves this stuff...sooooooo if y'all wanna give away your money for this, by all means be my guest. As for me, I enjoyed the matcha Joe Joe's and matcha greek yogurt from this year.

#2. Trader Joe's Sliced French Brioche - Now THIS I can agree with. Highly highly highly underrated. Definitely diet-sabotaging. Thick cut, rich buttery toast to sink your teeth into and begging to be made into French toast. Or eaten plain. Worth every penny y'all.

#3. Trader Joe's Kimchi - Perhaps 2017 is the year that mainstream America woke up to the fermented foods a lot of other people and cultures have been eating for a long time. I must say if you do choose to buy kimchi from TJ's, make sure you pick one that still has a nice color, not one that looks old. Anyway, this is pretty good for a jarred kimchi.

#4. Trader Joe's Nutritional Yeast - These days I haven't used this much for anything besides popcorn. In any event, if you're on the market for some nooch, TJ's carries it at a reasonable price. I'd expect nothing less of course.

#5. Trader Joe's Honey Butter Chips - Again, not per my personal taste but extremely popular if you're into the salty sweet thing. The only other place I'd expect to find this is on the shelves of a Korean supermarket.

Top Savories of 2017

(in no particular order. Mostly. :P)

#1. Trader Joe's White Truffle Chips - I'm inclined to go back to the original post and bump up the rating. These ran out and were restocked recently. Either the latest batch is even better than the previous one or I just don't remember how good these are. The fleur de sel on top of the truffle flavor is just sheer pleasure on a chip.

#2. Trader Joe's Restaurant Style White Corn Tortilla Chips - I had to stop buying these because I would just eat the entire bag myself.  These are easily one of my favorite tortilla chips. It's light and crispy with an ever-so-slight hint of lime.

#3. Trader Joe's Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce - I repurchased this pasta sauce again and again and again. For pasta. As a pizza sauce. So creamy, harvest-flavored, and chockfull of veg and you wouldn't even know it. This is a gem and I can't wait for it to come back next fall.

Top Sweets of 2017

#1. Trader Joe's Stroopwafel - I haven't seen this seasonal favorite in stock in weeks, but it's easily one of the best cookies of the year. Granted, I'm not a sweets person and I haven't had all the cookies that Trader Joe's has to offer. But between the waffle cookie, the stretchy caramel, and the fact that you can play with it a little while you let it steam over a cup of coffee makes it so fun to eat. Highly recommend. Y'all bet I repurchased when I could and kept the collectible tin. :P

#2. Trader Joe's Dried Mango Chokonan Variety - Alright this isn't a true sweet in the traditional sense. But if you like dried mango, this is worth the try. Sweet and perfectly chewy. 

#3. Trader Joe's Kona Coffee Cookie Mocha Swirl - While not my favorite TJ's ice cream of all time, probably my favorite one that I tried this year. Tastes sort of like a tiramisu in ice cream form. With cookie bits of course. 

Top Beverages of 2017

Yes this year I tried a lot more beverages, such that I needed a separate category to mention these.

#1. Trader Joe's Unsweetened Golden Oolong Tea - Seriously one of the best things to come out in 2017. It has such a clean, pure taste. Its a little earthy but not overbearing and cheaper than every comparable version I've seen at my local Asian supermarkets. 

#2. Trader Joe's Organic Cold Brew Coffee - I don't buy this much actually, mainly because cold brew is so easy to make at home. HOWEVER, if you're on the market for a bottled and most importantly caffeinated drink, this is the one I'd recommend. Yes you need a separate glass to tip this into for best results but the smoothness is comparable to that of a hipster coffee shop. 

#3. Trader Joe's Winter Wake Up Tea - I am running dangerously low on this tea. It's warming, spiced just perfectly, and naturally sweet. Perfect for holding while you snuggle under a blanket on the couch. Pick it up in January when it returns! 

The Best Trader Joe's Product of 2017

There. I said it. Perhaps you've heard this sort of advice when it comes to searching for a spouse - don't find someone who you can live with. Find someone you can't live without. I've merely applied a similar sentiment to this seasoning. At first, I thought..."ehhhh what's the big deal about this seasoning? Why would they even do that?" And then I tried it. A little a time. Until it became everyday. And now, my spice cupboard feels empty without it. Could I live without it? Sure. But I'd be missing...everything.* It is perfectly blended with the right amount of each seasoning. AND it's $1.99. I ignored the other new seasonings that came out this year (onion salt and seasoning salt..something) because once you find "the one," none of the other players matter. And it's $1.99 for this jar. I challenge you to find something similar at that price point elsewhere. I bought these as stocking stuffers for friends and family this year, and I was tempted to do an "arm swipe." Y'know...where you go to shelf and clear out the contents with a single arm swipe or hug toward yourself (I was in a giving mood and left like 8 on the shelf). Lest you think I'm some kind of hoarding maniac - I do express my obsession in moderation. I don't put this on literally everything everyday. I just use it very frequently, on most days. No need to wait for a special occasion. It goes on everything - toast, eggs, avocados, salads, congee. It's not bad on pizza even. 

So if you've scrolled all the way to the bottom of this post and still don't know what to get - if you only buy one thing this year at TJ's, make it this. Life-changing y'all. 

And with that, I bid you adieu. To 2018 we go! Happy New Year! 

What was your favorite TJ's product this year? Share share share! 

Related: Best of 2016