There's a pretty good debate going on today at the blog Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen about the best brand of olive oil. One of my favorite olive oils is Primo Olio, which is produced by Montecastelli Farm, an olive oil farm in Tuscany. The oil is used in many New York restaurants, but I was lucky enough to sample a batch of the oil when I was visiting Italy two years ago. It had a grassy, peppery taste, which I now prefer to the taste of the more thick and buttery oils. For everyday cooking, I am happy with the Trader Joe's oil options that come from both Spain and Italy. Some, like at least one poster at The Kitchen, prefer olive oils from Greece.
"trader joe" news and stories
I'm a coffee aficionado (or as they might say it in Panama, aficionado de café), but I'm also on a budget. And although I'd love to drink nothing but that lyrical Stumptown Sidamo or the deep, dark, delicious Thundermuck, well, $10 a pound is a but much for every day.
Thus I was delighted to see a new 12-ounce can of coffee for only $3.99 at Trader Joe's last week: Panama Café Duran. My little sister Jenny lives in Panama and I've drunk Duran before; it's the everyday coffee found in every Panamanian supermarket. I know it's decent, and in the hands of Trader Joe's it is fresh, balanced, and just dark enough to satisfy that part of me that longs for those polished mucky beans so revered here in Portland.
Yesterday I picked up another can and as I was reaching for it another woman was looking at the green-and-yellow can, considering. "It's good!" I said, "and cheap!" I know you're going to be in Trader Joe's, and you'll be wondering, too. Go for it.
This photo, it's lovely, no? And you can totally see why I had to buy this cookie. If nothing else, there was the Weissella logo, red and German and totally appealing. Plus, I have to tell you: I adore ginger cookies of all sorts. "Soft gingerbread cookies" spoke volumes to me. And look, just look at the nice chocolate coating. The bottom of the cookie looks a little odd - almost like a thin piece of white paper on the bottom of the cookie. What is that?
I shopped, I brought home, I cooked, I photographed. And you'd like to know, wouldn't you? What I thought of Trader Joe's new product: Mexican-style chili One Pot Sauce. ("Just add Meat or Chicken" - isn't chicken "meat"? Just curious.)
Well, it was o.k. Maybe I'm not a big fan of Mexican-style chili. Maybe... I don't get the need for this product. I sautéed my ground turkey (completely violating the suggestions of beef or chicken), I added in a bit of chipotle pepper for extra spice, I stirred in the cup of water and kidney beans on cue. I even added the optional corn (though not canned corn! ick. I used frozen).
I went to Trader Joe's last night to get a couple of things for dinner. But there were so many good things on the new products shelf! I picked up one. Then another. And then I figured, why not? I'm doing it for you. I'll be reviewing some delicious (or maybe not so much) things including:
- Chocolate-flavored tea
- Mexican Chili from the new One Pot Sauce
- Decadent chocolate frosting
- Spiced gingerbread cookies, chocolate-covered