50 years ago, a grocery store called Trader Joes opened its doors for the first time in Pasadena, California. With its innovative, one-of-a-kind foods, low prices, and cheerful Hawaiian shirt-clad employees, that little neighborhood won its way into our freezers and hearts.
Happy birthday, Trader Joe's, and thanks for all the $3 wines, microwaveable Indian meals, and free samples. To celebrate big Joe's natal day, we give you 25 of the most popular Trader Joe's products:
1. Dress Circle Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Packed with the perfect ratio of chocolate chips, these little guys are irresistible. So irresistible, in fact, we've never purchased a tub of Dress Circle Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies that wasn't empty by the end of the week.
2. Sriracha and roasted Garlic bbq sauce
It's Memphis-style barbecue sauce meets spicy Sriracha. Slather Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce on ribs, chicken, shrimp, or burgers--or abandon all pretenses and eat it straight from the bottle with a spoon.
3. Mango & Sticky Rice Spring Rolls
Inspired by the traditional Thai dessert, Trader Joe's Mango & Sticky Rice Spring Rolls are packed with sweet Thai rice and tangy Nam Dok Mai mangos. Delicious (or should we say, aroy!).
4. Organic midnight moo
Trader Joe's Organic Midnight Moo is a rich chocolate syrup that is certified organic, kosher, fat-free, and proven to cure baldness (just kidding).
5. Unsweetened oolong tea
If black tea is too strong and green tea is too light, then Oolong tea is juusssst right.
The bright, golden tea manages to delight and refresh without the added sugar or sweeteners of other store-bought teas.
6. Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken
"Spatchcocked" refers to a method of cooking chicken, where you split and flatten (or "dispatch the cock") the poultry to speed up the cooking process. Weird name; delicious chicken.
7. Kohlrabi Salad Blend
A close relative to the cabbage, kohlrabi is a mild, sweet-tasting green that is a refreshing change from boring ol' iceberg lettuce.
In addition to kohlrabi, this colorful salad blend contains shredded kale, red cabbage, and golden beets.
8. Pockets o'Pita
Trader Joe's Pita Bread is baked fresh by local bakers and delivered to stores throughout the week. Transforms mild-mannered meats and veggies into super, Mediterranean-style sandwiches.
9. Sliced Fresh Mozzarella
You can have a slice of fresh mozzarella, -ella, -ella, eh, eh!
10. Chicken Tikka Masala
We lived off these things during college.
With less than $4 and five minutes in the microwave, you can cook yourself an exotic lunch or dinner that is the envy of the entire dorm.
11. Green dragon hot sauce
This fiery blend of jalapeños, tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, and habaneros tastes great on burgers, kebabs, eggs, soups, tacos, salads, pizza, baked potatoes, stir-fries, casseroles, noodles, enchiladas, grilled cheese, hot dogs.... pretty much everything, actually.
12. Mozzarella & Tomato Salad
It's basically an Insalata Caprese salad--Trader Joe's style. Perfect for not-so-sad desk lunches.
13. Hold the Cone
These irresistible mini cones are packed with vanilla or chocolate ice cream and topped with chocolate. We dare you to try and eat just one.
14. Premium Salmon burgers
Trader Joe's Premium Salmon Burgers are crafted from wild pink salon harvested from the glacial waters of Alaska.
Slap a couple of these bad boys up on your grill to win your next barbecue.
They're like a plum and an apricot mixed. Bred for their skills in magic.
16. Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
Trader Joe's recommends removing their Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches from the fridge and waiting a few minutes before eating them.
We usually make it to 15 seconds.
17. Corn & Chile Salsa
Every jar has red bell peppers, onions, jalapeños, and nearly two whole ears of corn.
Fun fact: Over the years, more than 41,313,173 ears of corn have been used in the making of this ever-so-popular Corn & Chile Salsa.
18. Organic Purple Maize Flakes
Purple cereal. What a world we live in.
19. Carne asada Autentica
Sizzle up some Carne Asada Autentica for tacos, burritos, fajitas, and other Mexican-inspired dishes. It's citrusy, a tad spicy, and muy rico.
20. Just mango Slices
Every bag of Just Mango Slices contains--you guessed it--just mangos. Five pounds of mangos that have been peeled, seeded, sliced, and dried to be exact.
21. Organic toaster pastries
These yummy little toaster tarts are made with whole wheat flour and organic ingredients, without the artificial flavors and preservatives found in similar mainstream products (cough, cough... Pop Tarts).
22. Whole milk mango kefir
If you've never tried kefir before, think liquid yogurt that's tart and a little fizzy.
Like traditional kefir, Trader Joe's Whole Milk Mango Kefir is packed with healthy probiotics and protein.
23. Seasoning Salt
Trader Joe's Seasoning Salt has sea salt, garlic, onion, celery, nutmeg, and just a pinch of fairy dust.
24. Mediterranean Hummus
This hummus has been a beloved Joe's product for more than 10 years now. Tastes great with Pockets o'Pita (see above).
25. Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds
Dark chocolate almonds, plucked fresh from the branches of California dark chocolate almond trees.