Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Trader Joe’s – Joe Coffee – Medium Roast – Whole Bean – Food Review

06/28/2018

trader joes, whole bean coffee, joe, medium roast, review, priceJune 28, 2018

With the unfortunate demise of TJ’s Tarrazu coffee, it’s time to search for another daily drinker.

Previously reviewed was TJ’s Joe’s Coffee in a dark roast.  Here’s a TJ Joe Coffee, but in a medium roast.  While this medium roast is drinkable black, it’s not entirely likeable that way.  There’s just something missing in the flavor along with an unpleasant aftertaste.  Eventually I resorted to adding some vanilla flavored almond milk to the coffee to make it more palatable.  My preference for additives to not-so-good coffee is half-and-half or Irish cream.  Neither of those two was in the house.  At any rate the almond milk made the coffee more enjoyable, but still not what I’m looking for.

The beans in this medium roast coffee, appear to be roasted just right. They have a nice brown color and just about no oil on the beans. There’s not much aroma coming from the can when opened.   There’s a surprisingly full mouthfeel for a medium roast.  But that fullness comes at the expense of flavor and may be responsible for the aftertaste.

Price $4.99 (14 ounce can)

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Trader Joe’s East Timor Whole Bean Coffee – Medium Roast – Food Review

06/12/2018

Trader Joe's, coffee, review, price, east timor medium roast, whole beanJune 12, 2018

Have you ever wanted to try a Starbucks double espresso?  This coffee will come close to that experience.  The only problem is, you may not find either a good thing.

There’s not much aroma coming from the package when first opened.  The color of the beans is a little darker than the indicated medium roast.  The beans also have more oil on them than might be expected from a medium roast.  The beans vary in size.  Some are rather large beans.

When brewed in a coffee press, the coffee was bitter and left a feeling of fine grit in the mouth.  The fine grit thing was interesting, but unwelcomed.  Even when brewed through a standard drip coffee maker filtered through a paper filter, that fine grit feeling was still there.  It and the bitterness were reduced as the coffee cooled.

Overall, this tastes like a lesser coffee than just about all the other Trader Joe coffees reviewed here.  If you’re a Starbucks double espresso person, you may like this.  For the rest of us, it’s probably better to leave this on the shelf.

Price $8.99 for a 12 ounce bag

Trader Joe’s – Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal – Food Review

05/23/2018

Trader Joe, cereal, Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal, calories, price, nutrition, reviewMay 23, 2018

Need a chocolate fix in the morning?  This will get it done.  This is an adult cereal.  By that I mean it’s not sweet, even though the second ingredient on the label is milled cane sugar. The almond slivers and the few chocolate chunks in the cereal are inconsequential.  Both are overwhelmed by the cocoa flavor.  Cocoa powder is the 4th from last ingredient on the label.  But it punches well above its weight in dominating the flavor.  For this household that’s a good thing.

Nutritionally, like most breakfast cereals, there’s not much here.  Even though not sweet to the taste, total carbohydrates are 38g per serving size. That’s equivalent to around 3+ slices of sandwich bread.  Since rolled oats are the primary ingredient, there are 4g of fiber per serving.

The calorie count per listed serving size is 250.  However if you visually fill the bowl your serving size is likely to be bigger.  That’s because the “clusters” (if they can even be called clusters) here are very small.  So if you want to keep your calorie count down to the number on the box, weigh this one or underfill your bowl compared to other cereals.  Part of the small cluster size may be from the granola breaking apart during shipping.  Regardless, be aware.

Trader Joe, cereal, Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal, calories, price, nutrition, reviewThis was eaten dry, as a snack, and with almond milk.  Both testers liked the cereal.

Price $2.99 -16 ounce box

Calories 250 per serving (55g)

(about 8 servings per box)

ALDI – Bremer Shepherd’s Pie – Food Review

05/14/2018

ALDI, bremer, shepherds pie, price, review, calories, nutritionMay 14, 2018

This was surprisingly good.  The mashed potatoes topping the beef were okay. But the beef mixture underneath the potatoes was very tasty.  Tasty is one thing that’s missing from many frozen packaged items targeted to the customers’ lowest common denominator taste buds.  This is an exception.  The beef mixture was very beefy.  It also had that comfort food quality to it.  It’s something I’ll probably pick up again.

This was prepared in the microwave.  The 22 minute microwave time on the box proved more than adequate in my mid-sized microwave to reach well past the required 165 degree finished temperature.  Some of the mashed potatoes on the edges actually started to brown.  There are directions for oven cooking also which will set you back around 55 minutes.

ALDI, bremer, shepherds pie, price, review, calories, nutritionIt was difficult to remove a portion from the cooking container to the plate in the nicely layered way it appears in the box.  The beef mixture on the bottom was a little soupy and didn’t hold together well.  Oven cooking may firm up everything better, but no promises made.  Regardless, the flavor was nice.

The box suggests 4 servings per package.  However, if this is the only thing you’ll be having, that’s not going to be much of a meal.  More realistically this is enough for two people.  For 2 people, at $3 per serving, this is not a bad deal for a comforting filling dinner.  Heck, there’s even some corn, peas and carrots floating around with the beef.

Price $5.99 – 30 oz (851g) package

Calories  270 per serving (4 servings per package)

click on images to enlarge

Disclaimer:

This is an independent review of a product purchased from ALDI.  The author(s) are customers of ALDI and have no business or other relationship with ALDI.  If you have an issue with the product and desire to contact ALDI, either see your local store manager or use the ALDI customer contact URL immediately below to send a message to ALDI.

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

ALDI – Moser Roth Dark Sea Salt Chocolate – Food Review

05/10/2018

ALDI, moser roth, dark sea salt chocolate, price, review, calories, nutritionMay 10, 2018

Moser Roth is generally a step up from the Choceur chocolates at ALDI.  Like the other Moser Roth chocolates reviewed here, this chocolate is a fine European-style chocolate – meaning there’s a higher concentration of cocoa in the product than most chocolates made in the US.  Although not specified on the label, my guess is this would be around a 60% cocoa chocolate.  The label does tell us there’s sea salt added to the chocolate.  I’m not sure what the sea salt adds to the product, but more importantly it doesn’t take anything away.  Sea salt or not, this is a very nice chocolate.

In the package are 5 small bars.  Each bar is 120 calories and is enough chocolate to satisfy my chocolate urges.  That’s a nice thing, as it provides a chocolate break without having to eat a whole bar of another brand which are generally much larger.  Of course, if one isn’t enough, you can always have another, and another, and another … well you get the picture.

Price $1.99 – 4.4 oz (125g) package (5 small bars in package)

Calories  140 per bar (280g per 2 piece labeled serving size)

ALDI, moser roth, dark sea salt chocolate, price, review, calories, nutritionclick on images to enlarge

Disclaimer:

This is an independent review of a product purchased from ALDI.  The author(s) are customers of ALDI and have no business or other relationship with ALDI.  If you have an issue with the product and desire to contact ALDI, either see your local store manager or use the ALDI customer contact URL immediately below to send a message to ALDI.

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

Trader Joe’s – Dark Chocolate Crisps – Food Review

04/22/2018

Trader Joe's, dark chocolate crisps, review, price, calories, nutritionTrader Joe's, dark chocolate crisps, review, price, calories, nutritionApril 22, 2018

Need a chocolate fix but don’t want to spend 30 minutes on the tread mill working off the calories that come with most chocolate bars, then try these.

Instead of being molded into a bar, this chocolate has been molded into “chips.”  For comparison, think of chocolate Pringles – but without the potatoes.  Twelve chips make up about 1.5 ounces (42g), or 220 calories.  But, it only takes 1 or 2 chips to get a nice chocolate fix.  Now, the calories in 1 or 2 chips are so few, it may be possible to work them off with a nap.  Hmm, this is sounding better all the time.

This is a fine Belgian chocolate. The label lists 57% cocoa solids minimum.  For me, that’s about the perfect chocolate. It’s definitely far from a milk chocolate.  It’s not sweet, but it’s also not so bitter that it’s difficult to enjoy.  Mixed in with the chocolate are very small pieces of the “crisp” (puffed rice).  For my tastes they could’ve left this out.  However the crisp doesn’t detract very much from the chocolate fix.

At $2.49 for 4.4 ounces (125g) of quality chocolate, this is a bargain.  That bargain is further extended by the very little bit needed to satisfy that chocolate craving.

Price $2.49 (4.4 ounce package)

Calories 220 per printed serving size, 42g (about 1.5 ounces)

Trader Joe’s – Indonesian Flores Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

04/22/2018

Trader Joe's, indonesian flores coffee, review, price, whole bean, light-medium roastApril 22, 2018

The coffee beans have a medium brown color and are surprisingly oily for the claimed light-medium roast.  Along with the oil, the coffee also has a surprisingly deep flavor and body for a lighter roast.  This drinks more like a medium+ roast than the labeled light-medium roast.  However it doesn’t have the heaviness of a darker roast, nor the bitterness which too often accompanies the dark roasts.

As seems to be true of most of these TJ small lot coffees, by the time you read this it may be gone from the TJ shelves.  If and when it ever returns, it’s a nice coffee for people looking for a medium roast.

Price $8.99 (12 ounce bag)

ALDI – Earth Grown Chickenless Patties – Vegan – Food Review

04/20/2018

ALDI, Chickless Patties, review, vegan, price, calories, nutritionApril 20, 2018
Using oil to pan-fry, the patty stays together nicely.  Scrapping away some of the breading the underlying patty sort of looks like chicken.  Cooked; the breading is crisp, the mouth-feel is nice, the patty doesn’t fall apart.  The patty almost has the firmness of a thin real chicken patty.  Not surprisingly, the patty does not taste like chicken.  In fact there’s an interesting hint of fried okra.  Even with the slight taste of fried okra, the patty is perfectly edible as is without condiments.  With some lettuce, tomato, and mayo (not vegan), the taste is even better, but that fried vegetable taste still comes through some.  Substituting some aggressive guacamole for the mayo also worked well.

The product is labeled vegan.  For non-vegetarians, this soy protein based patty is an acceptable substitute for the real thing.  Unfortunately this seems to be one of those ALDI special items which are only around for a week or two.  But like most ALDI special items this one will probably make its way back to the freezer cases sometime in the future.

ALDI, Chickless Patties, review, vegan, price, calories, nutritionPrice $2.99 – package of 4 patties

Calories  150 per patty

click on images to enlarge

Disclaimer:

This is an independent review of a product purchased from ALDI.  The author(s) are customers of ALDI and have no business or other relationship with ALDI.  If you have an issue with the product and desire to contact ALDI, either see your local store manager or use the ALDI customer contact URL immediately below to send a message to ALDI.

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

Trader Joe’s – Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola- Food Review

04/13/2018

Trader Joe's, gnocchi al gorgonzola, review, price, calories, nutritionApril 13, 2018

This takes mac and cheese to a whole new level. Awesome sauce, that’s the only way to describe the gorgonzola based white sauce. It’s a beautifully flavored cheese sauce, rich in cheese flavor.

Like the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina reviewed earlier, in the bag are the frozen gnocchi and thin rectangular frozen pieces of sauce. A two-step cooking process in the microwave fist thaws and partially heats the two separate components. A quick stir blends both components together. Then another turn in the microwave completes the heating process.

The gnocchi varied from perfectly chewy to some that were a bit rubbery. The few that were rubbery may have been caused by a little over cooking in the microwave as a microwave tends to cook things on the edges of the container more than those in the center. Or there may have been some freezer burn from being in my freezer a bit long.

Trader Joe's, gnocchi al gorgonzola, review, price, calories, nutritionRegardless of chewiness, all the gnocchi did their job which was to provide a place for the sauce to adhere and keep the sauce in the mouth for as long as possible where the tongue’s tiny taste buds were temptingly tantalized to tear the tasty tidbits of sauce from the twirling gnocchi. This is a sauce that deserves to be savored as long as possible.

Price $2.99 per 16 ounce bag

Calories 250 per serving (about 3 servings per bag)

Barissimo Organic Peru Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review – ALDI

03/27/2018

aldi, whole bean coffee, medium roast, organic, fair trade, review, price3/27/2018
The beans are medium brown in color with the oil just starting to sweat from the beans.  There’s a nice aroma coming from the ground beans. This is a solid medium roast coffee.

There were plenty of CO2 bubbles when brewed, indicating a recent roast.  The aroma in the cup is mild.  As a medium roast, there’s a milder coffee flavor to go along with the mild aroma.  For the first few days I noticed a slight secondary flavor in the coffee beyond a coffee flavor.  After a few days, either I became accustomed to the secondary flavor or it dissipated from the beans.  In either case, it didn’t break the coffee.  In fact after a few weeks drinking this, I sort of missed it when I switched back to my everyday coffee.  The milder medium roast coffee flavor was a good break from my normal darker roast.

The coffee is labeled Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic.  At a savings of a couple of dollars, or more, over similar quality coffee, this is a bargain for a good cup of coffee.  Price $4.79

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/


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