The best (and worst) pumpkin foods at Trader Joe’s



We’re pumpkins now.

Me, my family – for us everything is pumpkin, all season. We’re going to feed on the great pumpkin lord today, tomorrow. Each meal will be centered around nature’s sacred orange squash. I explained this to my 5 year old: From now on, or at least during the Super Bowl, we’ll be eating Trader Joe’s pumpkin products. Pasta, hummus, breakfast bars, bread, tortilla chips – all pumpkin-flavored. This is how it should be.

She didn’t take it too well. But she will learn to adapt.

Even pumpkins once crumpled in front of pumpkin bagels. She will see. Someday, if we go into a post-pumpkin future, we’ll have to explain: There was a time, a long time ago, when people greeted fall by going down to Trader Joe’s, buying too many pumpkin products and by convincing themselves that they wanted to eat pumpkin. flavored meals 24/7. But I think telling the great-grandchildren that we haven’t always eaten so much pumpkin will be like saying power windows weren’t always the norm in cars. The imagination can only grasp so many things.

For now, we are living in the era of the peak of the pumpkin.

Anyone who shops at Trader Joe’s can confirm it: Starbucks revolutionized hot pumpkin beverage, but Trader Joe’s Army Pumpkin is an all-purpose meal of the 21st century. If you weren’t already aware of the alarm on Twitter – where users have renamed the store “Ground Zero for the Pumpkin Spice Industrial Complex” and even suggested renaming the fall “Pumpkin Everything at Trader Joe’s Season” – a visit to the channel will be on the ground you. I had no idea. I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s. But once there, like a Black Friday zombie, I quickly realized how many pumpkin products I really needed in my life.

They sell – no kidding – pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds.

I loaded a cart and apologized to the man at the checkout, embarrassed by the explosion of orange wrappers and illustrations of falling leaves lying in front of him. He said, oh, it’s okay – people come in all the time and decide right away to buy two, three dozen pumpkin items.

The following is not for blind pumpkins.

It’s more for the curious pumpkin. It’s not just pumpkin at Trader Joe’s either – I’ve avoided pumpkin blends, teas, a few drinks, stuff. Instead, this is a ranking of Trader Joe’s pumpkin posts that offer this quick pumpkin fix, from best to worst.

Mini spicy pumpkin samosas

Before you begin, note that the pumpkin is not such a remarkable ingredient. It’s in Indian cuisine, Mexican cuisine (pepitas are pumpkin seeds); when I get home to New England, pumpkin-baked macaroni in my comfort. These fired pouches capture that reliability. Crispy, a bit flaky, with a pleasant heat (not overwhelming), a touch of fennel, good pumpkin chunks, sweet and earthy. Start here. $ 3.99

Pumpkin biscotti

As obvious as it sounds, the “pumpkin puree” – as opposed to, say, “the pumpkin pie flavored coating” – seems to be the secret to the best pumpkin stuff here. Lightweight, finger-sized, with a creamy, lightly scented pumpkin vibe. Subtle. $ 3.99

Turkey and Pumpkin Burrito

In a perfect world, here’s the ultimate in convenience: a refrigerated, gas station-worthy burrito with a chocolatey pumpkin mole. Alas, it is not a perfect world. Still, it works, even if the pumpkin is more suggested than tasted. Sweet potatoes come in pieces. Turkey makes a nice change from the usual chicken. Handful of jalapenos. It takes like food. And sometimes that’s all you want. $ 3.99

Instant Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal

More like a pumpkin. The “rich pumpkin flavor” claim on the box is wrong, but “delicious oatmeal for the holidays” is correct. Lots of nutmeg. $ 3.49

Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Bisque

“Done with brown butter and sage,” the container reads. It’s sweet, but rather charming. Butternut squash strings everywhere. If you warmed up a few containers and told your friends you had, no one would blink twice. $ 3.99

Spicy Pumpkin Curry Simmering Sauce

They suggest serving over rice or noodles. We tried the tofu which worked well. But it’s better British style, on fries. A little lemon in there, some coconut, a touch of garlic. Another good “homemade” dinner to lie to. $ 2.99

Pumpkin brioche twist

Respectable and almost refreshing supermarket bread. Could use more brown sugar and cinnamon swirls (and more pumpkin flavor), but the cut is thick and great for French toast. Naturally, it comes back to life after a slight heating. $ 3.99

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I expected to hate it. It came out of the microwave (I was lazy) and looked like a pool of cheese and tubes of declining macaroni. But the flavors pair well: Gouda and Parmesan pair with mashed squash in a surprisingly pleasant comfort dish with bite. $ 2.99

Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

What should be a ridiculous sign of the apocalypse is, in practice, a very smart (albeit extremely sweet and addicting) salad topping. For best results, place it on a shelf out of your reach and eat a carrot, you drool. $ 2.99

Sweet and savory lightly spiced pumpkin spread

According to the company, this spread is made in small batches in Portugal. Basically marmalade but with a slight pumpkin flavor. Good with cheese. Bonus points for cute packaging (lid covered with twee fabric, faux wood cap). $ 2.99

Pumpkin tortilla chips

The color of an old dog. The pumpkin taste is strong without being cloying. I flinched, then ate most of a bag. It’s also my way of approaching pumpkin beer. $ 1.99

Pumpkin bisque

Much like their butternut squash soup, but thicker, richer, with a welcome tangy hint of tahini, but still, somehow, more timidly usable than it should be. . $ 3.99

This pumpkin enters a bar Cereal bar

Bars with figs, but with pumpkin. Slightly artificial, fragrant and oatmeal. You imagine someone in the company office naming pumpkin items all day and getting impactful and needing to come home. Yet perfectly fine. $ 1.99

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites

A respectable aperitif to throw on the table if people have passed by. Partly because he’s so rich and crumbles so easily, he smells like mediocre homemade dinner. $ 3.99

Fall zucchini pasta

Made with dehydrated squash which does not register strongly. Adorable little pumpkin shaped macaroni. Fun for the kids, novelty for everyone else. $ 2.29

Pumpkin waffles

One of the things I hate about Trader Joe’s is that social media loves being obsessed with the very ordinary foods they bought there. Piece A: Pumpkin Waffles. I went there three times before they had them in stock – they go fast. They are also just frozen waffles. A little pumpkin. (Now Whole Foods Sweet Belgian Waffles, they’re Insta-worthy.) $ 1.99

Harvest spaghetti squash spirals

For those who are too tired to twirl noodles on a fork? Tiny portions, decently sized cubes of squash. But quite dull. $ 3.99

pumpkin butter

Too runny to be mistaken for the real one. (Come on, TJ’s, this is the Midwest. You can find better at any roadside grocery store across Illinois.) Addiction to honey to liven up that was welcome. I just wish they had named it something else. $ 2.29

Pumpkin Cranberry Chips

Soft, good with cheese; but if not, cardboard. $ 3.99

Pumpkin and spice espresso beans

Chocolate coated “with a mixture of pumpkin spices”. It tastes like potpourri. And yes, I know what potpourri tastes like. (Don’t ask me why.) $ 0.99

Pumpkin bagels

Made with “Pumpkin Pie Spice Pieces”. This was not to happen. This country has been through a lot in the past four years. The nicest thing I can think of to say is that it’s a decent bagel when it’s not so spongy (and therefore stale) and you’re starving. $ 2.69

Butternut Squash Cauliflower Risotto

Speaking of bland. $ 3.99

Small spicy pumpkin pretzels

The problem with Trader Joe’s pumpkin-palooza is that once you get past the good stuff, the drop is steep. This one made me sad. Never mind the yogurt coating that prevents any chance of a pumpkin taste – there is so much going on here that you can feel the bigwigs demanding: More ideas! Following! $ 2.99

Hummus with pumpkin and spices

This one feels unforgivable, useless. The garbanzo is in there, but buried under what tastes like the filling of a mediocre pumpkin pie. It’s really just a dessert, and that was exactly the idea. (They also offer a chocolate hummus.) $ 2.49

Small Pumpkin Spice Cookies

A customer next to me said she would sell her grandma for it. Guess times are tough all around. These are the Christmas party cookies that the two dumbest people eat. “Yogurt coating.” Uh. $ 3.29

Pumpkin rolls

The dough of this rejigged cinnamon bun is good; a little clove gives the right variety. But with the frosting, it’s cloying, delivering only a slight pumpkin-like feel. You never forget how processed it seems. (Pro tip: Avoid the frosting and it’s not that bad.) $ 3.99

Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s

Cream cookies with an artificial tasting pumpkin flavor that leaves the mouth waxy and unstable and forces the brain to rethink your lifestyle choices. (My mother-in-law spat hers out in the trash, gasped and asked, “Is that even pumpkin orange?”) $ 2.49

Pumpkin ice cream

Generous price. Made with 20% pumpkin puree. But whoa, is it overwhelming. “Wayyyyyyy too rich,” said my 5-year-old, who in my opinion didn’t know the word “rich,” but some experiences just define themselves. $ 3.99

Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

My wife and I looked at each other and said, almost in unison, “Chef Boyardee”. According to the label, the sauce is made in Italy, but I assure you Italy makes shit too. If there is an advantage here, that Boyardee smell will bring you back. $ 3.49

Pumpkin Empanadas

The shell is negligible, and while the packaging promises a “delicately spicy” interior, I tasted a simple pumpkin pie filling that was sweetened and richer than rich; a handmade pastry without a single dimension and a great taste – pumpkin.

Which, of course, was the promise. $ 3.99

An assortment of pumpkin flavored foods from Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Spicy Pumpkin Small Pretzels



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