7 Not-to-Be-Missed Trader Joe’s Groceries That Hit Shelves This November

published Nov 16, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Masur

On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, which started purely for investigative purposes, my intention was clear: Get in and out in less than 10 minutes (and with only two items). LOL. Well, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, that intention was quickly thwarted when I saw those rainbow-colored “New in Town” labels strategically placed next to several items that hit shelves this month.

I counted more than a dozen, including two finds for our four-legged friends! After scanning the group, I added seven to my basket (nine items in a two-item trip is my absolute max!) and headed for the checkout line. I tried almost all of them within the next 24 hours and one of them is a strong contender to be my new favorite staple. Let’s take a look!

Credit: Mara Weinraub

1. Organic Taralli & Friends Crackers, $3.29 for 12 ounces

These were a hot topic of conversation with the crew member ringing up my purchases — he’d never seen or heard of them before. (The taralli are the O-shaped crackers in the mix.) They are crunchy, olive-oily biscuits from southern Italy and their “friends” are equally as delicious on their own or with a bite of cheese.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

2. Organic Dried & Pitted Deglet Noor Dates, $2.99 for 8 ounces

Lazy me was especially excited by the P-word. Pitting dates is not all that difficult or time consuming, but this does mean one less step for my morning smoothie. Grown in California, they’re slightly smaller than the medijool dates I have and I like the sweetness they add. I’ve been combining two along with a frozen banana, oat milk, cinnamon, vanilla, tahini, and ice cubes. 

Credit: Mara Weinraub

3. Wine-Infused Sea Salt Seasoning Grinder, $4.99 for 12.7 ounces

After reading about this large grinder, I was excited to try it for myself. I also didn’t taste any of the rosé wine flavor, but the rosemary did come through (maybe it’s better that way?!). It’s a good amount of salt and it will be used to roast vegetables for many weeknights to come.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

4. Criollo Chocolate, $2.99 for 1.6 ounces

According to the packaging, “the [cacao] beans used to make this bar are rare — representing less than 5% of the global cacao supply.” The bar itself is die cut into four squares, similar in size to the ones made by Ghirardelli. Dark chocolate is my default choice and, so, I found the bittersweet flavor pleasant and was wowed by the smooth texture. It’s the priciest on the list by weight, but it’s a treat worth the splurge!

Credit: Mara Weinraub

5. Platinum Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, $8.99 for 8.5 ounces

You know those people who buy wine based on the label? I do that, and I also do that for balsamic vinegar. It’s funny because I go through a lot more vinegar than wine (it’s my preferred salad dressing by far and I use it in glazes for various proteins and veggies). Until this point, I haven’t had a go-to brand. This one is lusciously sweet and bright — and more viscous than the previous two bottles I bought.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

6. Chocolate Babka Pastry Stout, $3.99 for 22 ounces

This was one of five boozy beverages new to the store. And, in no surprise (see previous paragraph), it was the label that got me. Liquid chocolate babka? The answer is always and, emphatically, yes. This rich stout is brewed with cacao nibs and cacao, and as the bottle states it is “dessert in a bottle.” Both my roommate and I enjoyed its dark, chocolate-y flavor and, that night, we finished it while catching up on episodes of British Bake Off. As one should.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

7. Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Mix, $2.99 for 16 ounces

While buttercream is ridiculously simple to make, we could all use a shortcut come holiday time. Plus, this frosting mix, which lists powdered sugar, egg whites, and natural vanilla flavor as key ingredients, was clearly marked a limited buy. Future me did not want to miss out on a rich chocolate cake topped with this just-add-butter frosting.

What’s the best thing you’ve tried at Trader Joe’s recently? Sound off in the comments!