Remember those wild, bygone days of… 2017? That’s when dessert spots like Cafe 86 opened and specialized in ube everything. It’s a purple yam popular in the Philippines, and a couple years after its social media-friendly hue splashed across Instagram, the dessert finally hit freezers in TJ’s. “ It’s not very strong; it has a pretty mild flavor,” says Taylor in the Portland, Maine location. “The info we have says it tastes like a mix between pistachio and vanilla.” It’s your new favorite summery tropical treat.
Oat and Greek Yogurt Sandwich Cookies
“I could eat a whole sleeve,” notes Sean from a Miami, Florida store. There is no higher praise to a cookie. Considering the chain’s storied history of releasing top-notch cookies, this looks to be another slam dunk. “They’re soft and chewy and don’t taste like Greek yogurt at all,” he says. “Imagine a soft cookie with a creamier center than you might find in a Jo-Jo.” If you grew up hungering after Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, this might be the adultified version you never knew you needed.
There are but two ingredients in this: organic carrots and sea salt. It’s at this point that you could be expected to raise an eyebrow at the inclusion of such a boring product onto this list of shiny new food at Trader Joe’s. But you gotta try these. “They’re very crispy,” echoes Taylor in Portland, Maine. Yes, Taylor. Yes they are. They’re crispy like a potato chip that for some reason tastes like carrots, and with way more flavor than a boring, starchy potato. You could easily throw these on the side of a sandwich and eat ‘em like chips, and not miss a “real” chip one bit.
This BBQ sauce is gonna boo-urn on the way down according to Atlanta, Georgia’s Pat. “I’d give it an eight out of 10 [in terms of how spicy it is],” she says. “It’s sweet and spicy.” That’s because the base is sweetened with pineapple juice concentrate, ensuring eating it won’t be an unrelenting, brutally spicy ordeal. It’s also a versatile sauce. “[The other employees and I] had it on BBQ beef, hot dogs and chicken sausage,” she says. “It pairs well with all of it.”
Trader Joe’s has a famously generous policy towards sampling and returning items (as in, they will let you both sample and return almost anything in the store), and Bobbi of Reno, Nevada, made sure to remind me of this. “It’s a hit or miss item,” she says. “A lot of people are buying it!” It’ll be a hit if you’re open to a vegan version of kefir -- a fermented milk drink that can taste a bit sour. Thankfully there’s a delicious, slightly sweet mango version that can be just as easily spooned in a bowl and eaten like yogurt or blended into a smoothie. It’s yet another way to get your daily fix of probiotics without having to eat yogurt endorsed by Jamie Lee Curtis.