Saturday , August 17 2019
Home / Lifestyle / Food / Trader Joe’s Gets into Jackfruit in 2019: The Journey Begins

Trader Joe’s Gets into Jackfruit in 2019: The Journey Begins

Ring the customer service cowbell, because it’s 2019 and we’re back on our Trader Joe’s bullshit. Specifically, shoving through crowds to reach for the last box of Jackfruit crabless crab cakes in the frozen aisle. They’re new!! I must have them!! And it turns out, they’re kind of okay? What are these things? Find out, and explore more new Trader Joe’s products cleverly negotiated with unknown vendors, reviewed below.

(Read our 2018 reviews here and here to dive deep.)

jackfruit cakes tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Jackfruit Cakes, $3.99

Like highwater jumpsuits and tiny sunglasses we’ve got a TREND ALERT. The box brags that these are vegan crabless cakes, which means the jackfruit—a gigantic tropical fruit that, in its young stage, tastes like nothing—is shredded like crab meat and doctored up with celery salt. It tastes like celery. Some onion. The exterior gets crispy in the oven, and a generous salting almost reminded me of a scallion pancake (there’s a ton of tapioca and potato starch to bind, giving them that savory pancake gummy quality). It’s oddly tough and harder to cut with the side of your fork than a tender, delicate Real Crab Cake, but I hear imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

brussels sprouts onion ravioli tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Brussels Sprouts & Caramelized Onion Ravioli, $3.49

Dr. Seussian green stripes are an indication to your brain that you’re eating vegetables. In reality, these are pillows of cheese, specifically European sham pillows of cheese. DELICIOUS CHEESE SHAMS. The caramelized onion gave them a pierogies vibe that I was not mad about. I added shredded parm on top and browned butter because if you’re going to go all the way, go all the way.

salted toffee cookies tj

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Gluten Free Crispy Crunchy Salted Toffee Cookies, $3.99

A downright suspicious competitor to Tate’s! So crispy-crunchy, with inexplicable little holes that make the whole cookie look pock-marked and planetary. The rice flour base turns to watery sand in your mouth, an intriguing experience. Plus they’re salted to the nth degree, which makes you want to smash them like Cookie Monster (did you know the cookies he smashes are actually rice cakes?). These are wonderful.

malabari paratha tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Malabari Paratha, $1.99

Kinda greasy and dry at the same time.

spinach tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Organic Spinach and Riced Cauliflower Salad Kit, $4.99

Ugh, all I asked for was NO MORE SALAD KITS in 2019, but Joe clearly wasn’t listening. Must be listening to the market instead. The cauliflower maggots sank to the bottom or stuck to the side of the mixing bowl, but the sweet golden beets in this kit were a nice surprise after opening SIX INCREASINGLY SMALLER PLASTIC BAGS.

fruit nut crisps tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Fruit & Nut (& Other Stuff) Crisps, $3.99

These are orange-flavored crackers with stained glass windows of dried apricot that get stuck in your molars. My corrupt dentist would not want me eating these, but would love if I interviewed him for a story in exchange for a free cleaning.

chocolate pecan pie bar tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bar, $6.99

I thought this would be, you know, pecan pie, but it’s gooey. All chocolate and sugar and goo. MISSING: NUTS. Some pecan limbs were left behind, but that’s not going to cut it for me. I’m from TEXAS. We love pecans! Where are the pecans?! Also not corrupt dentist approved.

smoked salmon tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Smoked Salmon Trio, $12.99

Ranked by flavor from best to meh: 1) Pleasantly peppery black pepper, 2) amusingly pink beet–cured, 3) dill that doesn’t taste like dill at all.

umami seasoning tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Mushroom & Company Umami Seasoning Blend, $2.99

So we’re going to keep throwing around “umami,” huh? It would be a good dog name, honestly. “This is umami, he likes listening to classical music podcasts and sniffing butts.” This tastes like French onion soup stock: overwhelming onion and mustard seed, not that funky. I prefer the Spice House’s porcini salt if you want to get shroomy (add it to the water you’re making rice in!).

chili lime tortilla chips tjs

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips, Chili & Lime Flavored, $2.49

These rolly chips are harder and sturdier than Takis and the chili lime flavor is SO SOUR it will make your cheeks pucker and burn…in a good way. The chemical flavor is especially zingy paired with a cheap pilsner or shot of tequila. The not-Hot Cheetos from TJ’s are still my favorite, but these were a wild ride.

Stay tuned for more reviews for THE REST OF THE YEAR.

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