Monday, January 20, 2014

Trader Joe's

Oh my... how have I just recently discovered this foodie heaven? (Well, actually, there isn't one within an hour of me, so that's probably the reason.) Anyway, I sought some advice on what are some "must buys" from TJ's and now I'm seriously addicted. Not having a cooler made it a bit difficult as I had to pass up many delicious looking refrigerated and frozen goodies, but I managed to find some new addictions: reduced-guilt guacamole, dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, curry and masala simmer sauces, to name but a few.

What does this have to do with food memories? Here you go: I am now able to relive delicious memories of some of the places I've been by enjoying foods I can't normally find in a regular store.
  • Cookie Butter: I got a "lead" on this product, so I just set out around the store looking for something I knew nothing about. I assumed it was some kind of special butter used to make cookies. Was I wrong! I bought the cookie/cocoa swirl version. Think Nutella (minus the hazelnut flavor) swirled with speculoos cookie flavored peanut butter (minus the peanut flavor). You have to try it to really understand it... it is divine. And I've only ever eaten it as a dip for pretzels (or my finger). Speculoos, I think, is the national cookie of Belgium. It's a spicy little biscuit that is basically in, on, or on top of almost anything there. You can't swing a waffle in Belgium without hitting something to do with speculoos. Now I need to go back to Brussels...
  •  Fleur de Sel Caramels: Having just traveled briefly to Normandy, France this past summer, I was already seeking the deliciousness of the caramel lifestyle they live in Honfleur. (Think speculoos as above, but the caramel version.) Since Trader "Jacques" harvests their "Fleur de Sel" (flower of salt) from the French coast, I felt I had to give these caramels a try. While they are made with a few more ingredients (like corn syrup and coconut oil, for example) than their French cousins, they are a decent stand-in. Now I need to go back to Honfleur...
  • Cheddar & Horseradish Potato Chips: If you've been following me, you know my obsessive addiction with odd potato chip flavors. Well, add this really spicy one to my list. I could just see this on the shelves at the Tesco in London or at the local pub. Add a nice pint and you've got yourself a cozy (or "cosy") evening, English-style. Now I need to go back to London...
As you can see, I'm obviously going to be busy traveling a lot in the near future! With so many places yet to visit and many delicious ones to revisit, choosing where to go will be extremely challenging. But it's a challenge I'm willing to taste, er, take!

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