Stalking the Waiter

Riffing on foods, flavors and methods, that would be telling.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Trader Joe's Meme, and a stealth cheese sandwich

I saw this on Albion Cooks, a new food blog by a Brit lady in the SF Bay Area. I'm definitely up for this one. I've been a fan of TJ's for about 15 years, since I was living on the East Coast and only coming home for visits.

Here are my five favorite TJ's discoveries:
  • TJ's housebrand Dijon Mustard. This ain't no Grey Poupon - that guy in the Rolls would probably faint if he got a taste of this. Because it is Zippy, with that capital Z being well-deserved. I love this on sandwiches with hefty hunks of meat - like meatloaf or a thickly sliced ham, or heavy, bland cheeses - like provolone or Monterey Jack*. In either case, sliced cucumber is a great foil for both the heaviness of the filling and the zip of the mustard.
  • Ready to bake pizza dough. It comes in regular, wheat and herb, I believe. The only problem with this is that you need to buy it in a TJ's that has a good turnover. When I lived in San Jose and shopped at the one in Campbell, it was always fresh. In fact, if you didn't get there early enough, it was GONE! Where I am now, it sits for several days and isn't so hot. But still a good, time saving product, under the right circs.
  • These aren't food, but TJ's always has them, and their price is the best: Ricola "breath mints." Originally marketed as Ricola Pearls, they are sugar free. I bought some one time when I was having an allergic reaction to something, that consisted of a horrible, tickly, constant cough. I couldn't bear the thought of sucking on the usual sugar pills we call cough drops, and without one in my mouth, I coughed, incessantly. Whatever you call them, these babies are still my "cough drop" of choice, and only 49 cents a box.
  • Glaceed ginger. They have the crystallized, which is dirt cheap, or they have the moister, more luxurious version at two or three times the price. For baking, I use the cheap. For noshing, I go for the luxury version - wonderful with a handful of almonds and a dollop of softish cheese.
  • Marcel et Henri pates, and all those other charcuterie kinds of things they have at such great prices. Depending on your location, sometimes they have a really hot salame, or a spicy finocchiona, both of which I adore. But my first ever visit to TJ's was for a glom of their M et H pates to take back to Baltimore with me. Heaven.
I'm not going to tag anyone, because I don't know who has access to a TJ's. If you do, and you love their stuff, tag yourself. Let me know so I can see what your faves are.

* 23 Feb - I didn't do a cheese sandwich blog last Thursday, so, this will be my token post. I'll do a real one at some point, or points. Heh.


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