4 of the Best New Trader Joe’s Groceries to Try This Month, According to a Former Employee
As far as I’m concerned, seasonal shifts are always worth celebrating. And that’s absolutely the case for awards season. Of course, the longer days that spring brings are great and all, but I’m mostly here for all the snacking opportunities that pop up when there are red carpet looks to pore over and movies to catch up on.
Clearly my grocery cart agrees, because my Trader Joe’s run this week yielded more than a few ideal picks (dare I say “noms”?) for pairing with all these upcoming movie nights. So if you’ll forgive all the puns, here are my predictions for the best new supporting snacks you should pick up at Trader Joe’s this week.
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1. Buffalo-Style Chickenless Wings, $4.99 for 12 ounces
It seems that every day there’s a new fun meat alternative to try, and I’m here for it. Why not get everyone in on the fun of sharing a plate of saucy, scald-your-lips-hot wings (hold the chicken)? I eat meat and tofu in equal measure, so when I spotted these in the frozen case during my shop I knew I had to try them out. Not gonna lie, these are the cutest chickenless wings I’ve ever seen.
Upon popping them into the oven to cook, I noticed that they’re almost cartoonishly perfect drummettes with a signature crispy, crackly sheen that had me do a double take. Fifteen minutes later I tossed them in the vegan-friendly Buffalo sauce for a kick that I didn’t anticipate (arm yourself with ranch, vegan or otherwise, accordingly). With a tender breading that didn’t get soggy, these wings would also be fire on a salad, in a wrap, or folded into a dip, too. I did miss the buttery aspect of when I make my own Buffalo sauce, so I’d highly recommend adding a bit of your favorite melted butter to the sauce packet to get the full experience.
2. Tirokafteri Spicy Greek 3-Cheese Spread with Roasted Red Peppers, $3.99 for 10 ounces
I’d like to kindly introduce you to my new favorite addition to lunch mezze plates! Her name is Tirokafteri and she’s spicy, cheesy, and yet still light in a way you might not think a cheese spread could be. Loosely translated, tirokafteri means “flaming cheese,” and it certainly lives up to its name.
The three cheeses in question — a sheep and goat’s milk feta, rich and salty Anthotyros cheese, and Greek white cheese — help temper the spice from the Florina peppers, thankfully. Briny, savory, and infinitely dippable, this spread has found its way onto potato chips, alongside a spread with grape leaves and marinated artichoke hearts, and just on a regular ol’ spoon.
3. Grilled Pitted Chalkidiki Green Olives in Oil, $3.69 for 11.64 ounces
For your consideration: Another honorable addition to the mezze plate of my dreams (and now reality). These grilled pitted Chalkidiki olives are like the savory version of a cherry on top of a cake. These olives are delightfully smoky and meaty, but still with a fruity-buttery quality.
Bonus: The sear marks also make them a pretty adorable, fancy-ish garnish for your next round of bloody Marys or extra-dirty martinis. And it’s not just for show, either — you can absolutely taste that grilled-in flavor, so definitely consider adding these to salads, sandwiches, and pastas ASAP.
4. French Chocolate Crêpe Wafer Cookies, $2.99 for 3.52 ounces
I beg of you to not sleep on these cookies, as unsuspecting as they may seem. Released last year, these seasonal, limited-run little gems are worth stocking up on. With a nod to the Trader Joe’s Crepe Wafer Cookies, these delicate, chocolate-enrobed cookies are airy, crackly, and begging to be crumbled on your next ice cream sundae.
Each bite-sized cookie has a caramelized, buttery wafer cookie center that’s not too sweet, and reminiscent of a fresh waffle cone. Coated in milk chocolate, these are the cookies for anyone who loves a Pirouline cookie, or just wants a perfect companion for their afternoon coffee or milk tea.
Which of these should win best new supporting snack? Tell us in the comments.
This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 4 Not-to-Be-Missed Trader Joe’s Groceries That Just Hit Stores, According to a Former Employee.