Article by Jack Canter

Photography by Samantha Milewicz

When my family thinks of food, the first thing that comes to mind is Trader Joe’s. It is a staple. All around the world, people are crazy about their fun and delicious food.

Trader Joe’s was founded in Pasadena, California, in 1958. Since then, more and more people have come to know about their unique jaw-dropping food. Also, Trader Joe’s is renowned for their low prices. Since 1958, Trader Joe’s has become one of the fastest-growing grocery stores, with an astonishing 505 locations in 42 states (traderjoes.com).

To write this article, my mom and I went to Trader Joe’s in Scarsdale. When we first saw its interior, we were amazed. It was practically endless. We got various items ranging from fruits, vegetables, meats, bread, desserts, snacks, and frozen meals. One nice thing about Trader Joe’s is the kitchen staples you can stock up on. For example, keeping their rolled oats, honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, chocolate chips, and pecans in the house makes the ingredients available for the perfect and quick homemade granola recipe to take for snacks during sports seasons. What is special about Trader Joe’s is that almost everything in their store is made under their own brand, and there is a lot of taste testing that goes into their product choices. New product samples (before COVID-19 safety issues) were out for tasting when you’d shop there. One more special thing about Trader Joe’s is the special spirit amongst the employees. Ask about anything in the store, and the employees (“Mates”) are all very knowledgeable and helpful.  

Out of their thousands of options, my favorite foods are their addicting chili & lime flavored rolled corn tortilla chips, their delicious mandarin orange chicken, and finally their super sweet cookie butter ice cream.

First, let’s start with my favorite of all three: the chili & lime flavored rolled corn tortilla chips. These spicy, crunchy chips give you all kinds of feelings from “ahh, my mouth is gonna explode” to “I am going to eat the whole bag right now.” According to Gavin Jakubek, a 9th grader at Byram Hills, “First, you get that tangy taste of the chili and lime powder and then to bring it all together you get that salty and delicious tortilla chip.” 

Trader Joe’s chili & lime flavored rolled corn tortilla chips (Courtesy of Samantha Milewicz, 2020)

Next, Trader Joe’s has all kinds of food from all over the world. My next item is part of their Asian cuisine selection. Voted as the best entrée in 2020, their mandarin orange chicken is absolutely mouth-watering (Miami Herald). The sweet orange sauce and the crispy chicken make for the perfect combination of flavors. It comes frozen, and you have to heat it in the oven for twenty minutes to make it piping hot. Hudson Gray, a BHHS freshman, comments that “The orange chicken is my favorite, and I even think it tastes better than at a restaurant.”

Finally, last but not least, is the cookie butter ice cream. The mix of the cold, refreshing vanilla ice cream with lots of thick, sugary cookie butter chunks is simply out of this world. Max Raff, a 9th grader from Byram Hills High School, notes that “This is the pinnacle of ice cream. You get that perfect hard crunch and the refreshing ice cream in each bite. It is just perfect.”

Trader Joe’s has also implemented COVID-19 safety procedures making a shopping trip possible. With the cold months coming and the importance of social distancing, it may be a good idea to go to Trader Joe’s and stock up now!