Trader Joe’s Hall of Shame

Here we have a list of the rare “fails” that we’ve encountered at TJ’s.  One thing ya gotta give TJ’s is that they will stand behind their products.  If you simply don’t like something (I don’t mean it was rotten or defective somehow, you just didn’t like it), they will give you your $ back – no questions asked.  Try that at the Super Walmart and all you’re going to get back is a withering side-eye.

  • Sliced Bread – I haven’t tried all the sliced breads offered at TJ’s, but the ones I have tried were all disappointing.  They must arrive at the store frozen (I have found them on the shelves still damp and frozen).  Then they turn moldy PDQ.  All around fail.
  • Cheeses Sold by Varying Weights – Most TJ cheeses are great, but the ones that are shrink wrapped in very thin plastic and sold by varying weights (they have a “deli label” sticker on them with the name, price and weight) have always been clunkers for me.  I’m not talking about the cheeses of uniform weight that are shrink wrapped in heavy plastic – those are fine.  Every time I have bought those “thin wrapped” cheeses they have molded almost immediately upon bringing them home.  Several of them molded over before I even opened them, and before their sell-by date.  This tells me that wherever these cheeses are cut and wrapped is not the most sanitary of facilities.  I have never had this problem buying cheese anywhere else, so I just avoid any cheeses from TJs that have been processed this way.  Go figure.
  • TJ Brand Organic Milk – This isn’t an out-and-out clunker, but it’s not the best organic milk out there and I only buy it when I don’t have time to go buy milk anywhere else.  I choose organic milk for several reasons:  it’s better for the cows and dairy farmers, it’s better for the environment, it’s better for me and it actually tastes better.  I think part of why organic milk tastes better is that it is routinely ultra-pasteurized.  TJ’s organic milk is not ultra-pasteurized; it just doesn’t taste as good to me, and when I use it to make yogurt, the yogurt doesn’t have the same creamy texture and taste it does when I make it with other brands of organic milk.
  • Chocolate Almond Spread – wow, I really fell for the Fearless Flyer write up on this one.  Dummy me thought this stuff was almond butter with a little bit of cocoa and sugar, ’cause that is pretty much where the write up led.  Normally I scrutinize the nutrition label of everything (and I mean everything) I buy, but this time I just blindly trusted TJ’s not to mislead me into buying pure crap.  I bought a jar and thankfully took a glance at the ingredients before I opened it.  The #1 ingredient is added sugar.  #2?  Added fat!  Almonds come in third.  Soooo basically this is chocolate-almond flavored frosting.  Took that puppy right back, tvm!
  • TJ’s Cheese Puffs – these were just yucky!  If you are jonesing for cheesie poofs, get the real thing!  I’m pretty sure biodegradable packing peanuts taste better.
  • TJ’s Mixed Berry Crumb Pie – I’m not sure which was worse – the gummy fruit filling or the soggy, pasty crumb toping.  Mega gross.
  • Uncured Turkey Hot Dogs – By far, the absolute worst hot dogs either of us have ever eaten.  I mean a sacriligious waste of a turkey’s life!  The first clue that they would be hideous is what they looked like after just a few minutes on a medium grill:  instead of looking plump and juicy, they looked dry and shrivelled all over.  The first bite revealed they tasted worse than they looked.  The “skin” was tough and rubbery to bite through, and the “meat” was so soft and mushy.  Seriously, the most disgusting hot dogs ever.  We threw them all out.  Not even worth leaving out for the ‘coons to find them.
  • Jalapeno Hot Sauce – I’m a huge fan of hot and spicy anything.  This sauce just doesn’t cut it for me.  It reminds me a little too much of sauce you get in little packets at Taco Bell – both in texture and taste.  I much prefer Cholula and Huy Fong Sriracha for my hot sauce needs.
  • Potato puff chips – If communion wafers were made out of freeze-dried potatoes this is what they would be.  Yick.
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  • When Harry Met Celery  On July 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Good post. When you have the time, do drop by to my space. I just made this unique custard and would love to hear what you think 🙂


  • OvernightReputation  On May 4, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re
    going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!


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