6 Trader Joe’s Products You’ve Been Missing Out On, According to Employees

published Apr 17, 2023
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Raleigh, North Carolina USA-11 16 2022: Trader Joe's is a Specialty Grocery Store Chain Based in California.
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There are dozens (if not hundreds) of standouts lining the shelves at Trader Joe’s. Many of them — Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips, Unexpected Cheddar, or any number of frozen dinners — are probably in your kitchen right now. Next to these not-to-be-missed items, you’ll also find some of the best and most underrated items in any store, anywhere.

In the latest episode of the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast hosts Tara Miller and Matt Sloan are sharing a few of their favorite unsung heroes. These are “products we love that we think people should love more than maybe they do,” explains Tara. You’ll find cooking staples, clever shortcuts, and a frozen find that’s two desserts in one. Let’s take a look.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Figo

This frozen dessert first caught our attention late last year. It’s everything we love about a Klondike bar, plus two chocolate graham cracker-adjacent cookies. In a word: Genius. The twofer — part ice cream sandwich, part chocolate-covered ice cream bar — is 100 percent not-to-be-missed.

2. Black Garlic

You heard it here folks: Black garlic is a lip-smackingly good ingredient with unlimited cooking potential. Whether you’re using whole cloves or a seasoning, it’ll add a pleasant caramelized flavor to whatever you’re making. Looking for inspiration? Matt and Tara recommend sprinkling it on avocado toast, pizza, and even soup, and mixing it into salads, vinaigrettes, pastas, and jarred sauces.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. Guajillo Salsa

This jar lives in what we call “new-favorite territory.” Why is that? Because one bite, and it’ll likely become your new favorite. At least, that’s what happened when we first got our hands on a jar last year. “It’s spicy, and it’s a little smoky, there’s no other salsa in our store that hits this same flavor profile,” says Tara.

Credit: L. Daniela Alvarez

4. Organic Date Syrup

Matt was a little skeptical of this date syrup at first because he just didn’t know what to do with it. Then he discovered the sweetener’s caramel-like flavor is fantastic in beverages. (We can confirm!) Add it to tea and coffee, and in a homemade margarita in place of agave. You can also use it wherever you might use maple syrup or honey — on fluffy buttermilk pancakes, waffles, biscuits, or oatmeal, and in smoothies.

5. Grapeseed Oil

Its  high smoke point and mild flavor are just a few reasons why grapeseed oil is Tara’s “oil of choice for stir-frying and any kind of high heat cooking.” Matt agrees: “I like the absence of flavor. It lets anything else really shine through.” It’s also grate for wiping down the grill and grilling foods in general.

6. Chickenless Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry

Speaking of stir-fries, this one might not get as much shine as its riced cauliflower, but the cohosts are here to put “the rice-free, chicken-free version of chicken fried rice” on all of our radars. Matt recommends cooking this veggie (and pineapple) packed stir-fry at a very high temperature (with that grapeseed oil) to mitigate the moisture from the cauliflower. “It’s gonna give you a fried rice texture,” says Matt.

7. Ibericos Tapas-Style Grilled Artichoke Halves

Whether they’re quartered or in halves, ready-to-eat artichokes are spring’s hottest accessory. (Florals, you’re great too!) These tapas-style artichokes are so good, you could serve them right from the tray they’re packed in, as Tara suggests. Earn some extra style points by adding them to a charcuterie board with cheese, almonds, and a nice Spanish wine. We love a theme. 

What’s the most underrated item at Trader Joe’s? Sound off in the comments below.