Thursday, May 18, 2006

Top 10 Trader Joe's Items

This season's Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer has a list of their top 100 best products, which actually includes surprisingly few of my favorites. So, as I'm bored, here's my infinitely superior list.

1. Homestyle Salsa Especial. I don't know what it is about this stuff. It's the most perfect salsa I've ever tasted. It's spicy and flavorful, but there's something else about it too, something comforting, as if there was a little bit of chicken soup mixed in. I go through at least one container of this stuff a week.

2. Caribean Frozen Fruit Bars. They haven't had these in the store for a month now, and if they don't start stocking them again soon, I'm gonna have to kill somebody. These are the best frozen treats in the known universe, although I also like the Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Bananas.

3. Glatt Kosher Chicken. You wouldn't think so, but the difference between these chickens and any others you buy at the supermarket is astronomical, and since my favorite meals to cook at home are plain baked or roasted chicken and chicken soup, rice or dumplings, a good chicken is an essential for living.

4. Lemon Chile Pistachios. A fun little snack for the summertime. Goes great with rum-n-coke while tending the BBQ.

5. Salads. I eat them for lunch at least twice a week. I started off eating the Chinese Chicken Salad, but that gets to be too sweet for every day eating. I've come to prefer the Cobb, Chicken Ceasar, and Southwestern Chicken Salads, but the Greek Salad, which has no chicken, is the one I could eat every day. The other Southwestern salad, the one with black beans, corn and citrus dressing, is great too. And now they have this tri-tip salad that's just off the hook.

6. Marinated Tri-Tip. So convenient, so tasty. Just throw it on the grill.

7. Coffee. I start every day with a cup of TJ's coffee. In the cold months, I go for the darkest roast, which used to be Bay Blend, but now it's Volcano. When it's warm, I try different kinds--Kenya AA, Guatamala/Antigua, Moka/Java, Smooth and Mellow Blend (which is very good), whatever.

8. Stilton Cheese with dried apricots in it. Crazy combination, but it's very good.

9. Scharfenberger Milk Chocolate Bars. I don't really like dark chocolate. I like breaking it into little pieces and mixing it in with vanilla ice cream, but it's not something I want to eat. These are great, because they're milk chocolate bars that actually taste like good chocolate.

10. Marinated Butterflied Shrimp. Big ones, frozen, ready after a few minutes in the oven or on the grill.

What are your favorites?


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