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The Best and Worst Trader Joe’s Holiday Foods

Maya Brener, Grade 9, Staff Writer


Trader Joe’s has a reputation for its seasonal foods. Several are great buys, while others may not be worth it this holiday season. I tried and reviewed them so you don’t have to.

Candy Cane Joe-Joes

Rating: 8/10

Description: Cream with crushed-up candy-cane between two chocolate cookies.

Review: You can taste the candy cane in these Joe-Joes—they have a very strong peppermint flavor and actual candy cane pieces crushed into the cream—and they strongly resemble Oreos. I would recommend these if you enjoy Oreos and peppermint.

Peppermint Pretzel Slims

Rating: 5/10

Description: Thin pretzels coated with white chocolate and topped with peppermint sprinkles.

Review: I always enjoy a chocolate-covered pretzel, but the peppermint was bland and its taste was overpowered by the saltiness of the pretzel. Overall, there was not a great balance, and although I enjoyed the pretzels, they did not fit the seasonal palate. I wouldn’t recommend these if you want to get in the holiday mood.

Hot Chocolate Sticks

Rating: 3/10

Description: Chocolate sticks used to make hot chocolate.

Review: At first, I was pleasantly surprised at how fast the chocolate dissolved and happy that it didn’t leave any chunks. However, when I tasted it, I found it bland and lacking the rich chocolate flavor I expected. The hot chocolate tasted watered down, and I would skip these this season.

Dark Chocolate Stars

Rating: 7/10

Description: Chocolate-coated sugar cookies in a star shape.

Review: These cookies had a great flavor and a good chocolate-to-cookie ratio. They were decorated with sprinkles and mildly festive. Though simple, they tasted great. You can’t go wrong with classic cookies, especially when they’re shaped like stars, so I would recommend buying them.

Mini Gingerbread People

Rating: 9/10

Description: Gingerbread cookies in the shape of gingerbread people coated with sugary cream.

Review: Gingerbread cookies are a holiday classic. These cookies had the perfect amount of ginger taste and were fantastic. Each gingerbread person had a different expression, which was both creative and fun to look at. The cream was not too sweet and paired perfectly with the gingerbread. These are a must-buy on your next Trader Joe’s trip!

Gingerbread House Kit

Rating: 10/10

Description: Gingerbread cookies, candies, icing, and instructions to help you make your own gingerbread house.

Review: The Gingerbread House is more of an activity than a food, but it is still my favorite out of all the treats I tried this season. It came with directions and various candies to decorate and eat! Making a gingerbread house is such a fun holiday activity to do by yourself or with friends and family. I had an absolute blast and would definitely recommend buying this one!

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