So much is written, thought of, said about, Trader Joe's that it might seem there's nothing left to wring out of the topic.
And yet. Been shopping at Trader Joe's since the late 1970s, at the little one that used to be on Placentia Ave. near YL Blvd. When we lived in the flatlands of Orange our Trader Joe's is also a former location, on Main Street in SA at Washington. Now the in-no-danger-of-becoming-former RSM store is the closest, although we avail ourselves of other locations as we make our perigrinations around OC, you know how that is. I even worked for them for a while, cooking in the store in a little demo stand built just for meeeee... had to quit when the emphasis moved inexorably toward more (and more) plastic-tub-opening and less actual cooking.
So, Trader Joe's. I go there all the time for a few items, eggs, non-ultra-pasteurized heavy cream, Plugra, TJ brand salty butter, Sapporo when we're between Marukai sale scores, TJ brand German sparkling water, other stuff. A checker at our local just pointed out to me that they now carry Guinness, a blessed convenience, although so too does Costco now. Must have been a shift in the fabric of the beer-distribution universe or something.
Some of the things that they are often touted for, such as nuts, I think are of inconsistent if not poor quality. I have had more rancid nuts of various varieties from TJ than any other single supplier. Yuckers. I now buy nuts at Mission Ranch Market in their little clear plastic tubs, or even Mother's bulk, which despite being exposed all the time to all that air have been good to me.
So, still essential, in a way, but not as stone essential as it used to be. Partly this is the grocery world sort of catching up to Trader Joe's, and partly it's because of Trader Joe's moving towards the mediocre mainstream. They will meet in the middle soon, obviating the need for both, perhaps.
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Priscilla@OCFoodNation.com ● @PMMayfield
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