Gifting TJ’s: What to Get for a Fellow Foodie?

Posted by on July 28, 2009 | 22 Comments

Okay, I need your advice. My aunt-in-law has really gone above and beyond in working on the family cabin. When we return home, I want to send her a gift package in gratitude. But she has EVERYTHING! My husband’s side of the family is rather known for a little pack-ratting. Okay, lets be honest here, I couldn’t even do a simple morning stretch in their house without wacking my knee on yet another piece of furniture, nor could I find an open piece of table to set my computer without having to shift knick-knacks onto the floor.

But, there is one thing they do not have in Canada … a Trader Joe’s. And my aunt-in-law is quite jealous. She is a good cook, and loves to sample trendy items, including in the food arena. So I thought putting together a Tj’s gift collection to send up when we return home might be in order.

Of course, I haven’t trialed everything in TJ’s myself, and do tend to go back just for my staple tried and true items. So, whether or not you shop at TJ’s daily, or have simply sampled something from there in passing, I would love to know what has captured your taste buds (or what makes you wish there was a TJ’s in your area!). Please, do tell! Obviously, we need to stick with the non-perishables for the gift, but if you feel like giving a shout out to a perishable love just to let us know, I certainly won’t fault you!

Thank you  in advance for your help, and I will be back soon with some more recipes and maybe, just maybe, a giveaway or two …


Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Comments (22)


  1. VeggieGirl says:

    ANY of the snacks and treats at Trader Joe’s are winners!!

  2. lifeasamama says:

    We always stock up when we go visit my parents because we don’t have them here either. Let’s see… nonperishables? We always bring a cooler, but I know we get tons of nonperishables too.

    I always buy bags of their rice cakes for a friend whose child is super-allergic – she says they taste way better than anything else. I personally love all of the candies – they are so yummy! I love the packets of Indian food. We’re dairy-allergic here so we can’t get all the fun canned goods, but the artichoke antipasto is amazing!

  3. Ellen says:

    the first thing that comes to mind are their Dark Chocolate Almonds made with Belgian chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar. plus, they’re dairy free so pick up a box or two for yourself! they’re SO good.

  4. Helen T says:

    I bought biscotti back, which are practically non perishable for ever, but still very tasty 😉

  5. Maida says:

    When I drank coffee, I really liked their brand of coffee that’s red and green with the big ship on the front. I know that’s not terribly descriptive, but you’ll know when I mean when you are looking at the coffee selections.

    I’m a huge fan of their jasmine green tea, but I know not everyone likes the grassy taste of green tea. Their mango black tea is also great for making iced tea.

    My daughter and I were just there yesterday and picked up a bag of the “everything pretzel slims.” They’re topped with all kinds of seeds and some garlic or something and are delicious! I also like their gluten-free multiseed rice crackers, but I seem to be the only one in my house who does.

    At the checkout, I noticed some dark chocolate covered Joe Joe’s. Yum!!!

  6. Nowheymama says:

    Their cinnamon almonds. Also, their artichoke bruschetta–dairy free!

  7. Oh she is going to love everything from TJ’s!

    Some of my non-perishable favs:

    Cocoa dusted almonds
    Chocolate-covered peanut-butter-filled pretzels
    Stone ground corn tortilla chips (in the blue and clear bag)
    Just Cashews, Cranberries and Almonds trail mix
    Granola and the Three Berries
    Granny Smith apple granola
    Masala simmer sauce (The Indian sauce, not marsala)
    The dried tortellini and baby ravioli
    Ginger cats
    Those little chocolate chip cookies in the clear tub…incredibly addictive
    Ginger chips (You have to be seriously in love with ginger to enjoy these. It’s just fine slivers of dried ginger and a tiny bit of sugar. You only need a few at a time, but they’re nice after a meal.)
    Candy cane Joe Joe’s, which are probably only around during the holidays
    Chili-spiced dried mangoes — sweet, salty, spicy!

    Oh it’s been too long since I’ve been to a TJ’s myself, and now I’m dreaming of it all!

  8. Andrea says:

    They have 12 ounce glass jars of intensely orange, red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic that’s amazing, though not organic. They also have fair trade dark chocolate bars that are great.

    Also, orange muscat champagne vinegar and interesting oils in cool bottles.

  9. Alison says:

    I love their chocolate covered treats. Most of what I enjoy are frozen meals – hard to send. But if you do, I love the orange chicken and mac & cheese especially. The olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pb are good too.

  10. DebinHawaii says:

    Here is what I pick up when I am on the mainland or have sent to me and all of it travels well: If they still have them the dried hibiscus are fun and they have a trail mix with dried hibiscus in it which is good. Their Harvest Grains Blend (Israeli couscous, orzo, red quinoa, etc). Any of their Indian simmer sauces, pine nuts (they have great prices on them and toasted or un-toasted versions), saffron–it’s cheaper there and finally my very favorite TJ item–Rosemary Marcona Almonds–they are to die for.

  11. Kaylan says:

    Lemon Pepper Pappardelle pasta! Delicious 🙂

  12. Kaylan says:

    Lemon Pepper Pappardelle pasta!

  13. Nupur says:

    Oh where do I begin 🙂

    Chili-spiced mangoes/pineapples (addictive snack)

    Crystallized ginger (and maybe attach the recipe for ‘banana bread with chocolate and crystallized ginger’ by Molly Wizenberg, it is on several food blogs)

    Lime habanero salsa (maybe with the blue corn chips)

    Belgian Butter Almond Thins (fantastic treat)

    Triple ginger cookies (I love the taste, and also that they contain all natural ingredients)

    Barbecue popped potato chips

    I think she will love this gift basket! Have fun putting it together 🙂

  14. Kelly S says:

    All of their olive tapanade/brushetta stuff is awesome! The tinned roasted hatch chiles are super yum and so different than regular roasted chiles! You can’t go wrong with any of the nuts and trail mixes!! Have fun and good luck!!

  15. Rebeca says:

    Chocolate Covered Edamame
    Very Mini Vanilla Meringues
    Very Mini Peanut Butter Cups
    PB filled Pretzels
    Soy Crisps
    Oats and Wheat Bran Swirls (technically cereal, but cookies really)

    yum yum yum!

  16. Hannah says:

    I’m not sure exactly what they’re called, but the maple creme sandwich cookies are AMAZING! Seriously dangerous to have in the house, so I rarely buy them anymore.

  17. pam says:

    I can’t help you cause I’ve never been in a TJ’s, much to my overpowering sadness.

  18. Christina says:

    Plaintain chips and sunflower butter!

  19. I love the dark chocolate edamame but if you are shipping in the heat, you might not want to get it!

    The wasabi pea trail mix is good.

    I love the Jo-jos with chocolate cookie and vanilla bean creme.

    There is an awesome whole grain bend in the rice area that is pretty cool but I am blanking on the name.

    I love TJs!

  20. Andrea says:

    wasabi almonds if you like spicy stuff.
    Just tried the mini-twist cookies in the clear plastic tub. They’re really sweet, and dairy-free. They taste just like the bow-tie twist cookies my grandmother used to get at the bakery.

  21. […] you guys are truly awesome! Ask for foodie book requests, and ye shall receive; inquire on recommended Trader Joe’s food, and the opinions roll in (I am making my shopping list for the gift now, and will report back with […]

  22. Marianne says:

    As a Canadian myself, I can say there are tons of things I see on various blogs that make me wish there were some Trader Joe’s up here. I’m sure whatever you pick will make your aunt happy. I must say, the dark chocolate edamame are quite nice to snack on 🙂

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