Trader Joe’s is scheduled to come to College Park this fall, so get your grocery list ready.
To help you make sure you’re getting the best the new store has to offer, we have prepared a list of our favorite items with explanations as to what makes each item worth purchasing. Just make sure to save some for us!
Hanna Zakharenko, Diversions – Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers
Trader Joe’s organic elote corn chip dippers are the perfect substitute for your traditional corn chip. They are shaped like little scoops — that don’t cut your mouth like other scoop chips do — that are great for eating with salsa, guacamole or other dip and have a slightly puffy texture to them. What really sells the chip is the elote corn seasoning that generously covers them. Elote usually consists of grilled corn that is topped with a mayo crema sauce, cotija cheese, lime and chili powder. Although they are designed to dip, with the amount of seasoning on them, the chips are perfect to eat by themselves as well!
Evan Hecht, Diversions – Buffalo Chicken Dip
If you’re like me, you’re an appetizer person. I love a small plated snack food to hold myself over or even preface a meal. One of my favorite appetizers is buffalo chicken dip. When I first went to Trader Joes and saw this marvelous product, my world changed forever. When I purchase one, I have to hold myself back so it can last longer. Shoutout to my old boss Mikaela for teaching me the life hack of popping it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to warm it up. I like to eat it with tortilla chips or even a spoon.
Jessica Ye, Opinion – Tiramisu Torte
Look, I’m not really a cake girl, but I will make every exception for tiramisu. Trader Joe’s tiramisu torte takes the crown as the best — and most unconventional — tiramisu I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. The base is a darker, more flavorful sponge cake than the traditional ladyfinger base. Above that sits a dense cream interspersed with ice crystals and tiny chocolate chunks that melts perfectly into the generous layer of cocoa powder on top. The ice doesn’t sound super appealing, but trust me — give it a few minutes out of the fridge before eating and the ice crystals turn the cream mix into a melt-in-your-mouth experience reminiscent of ice cream. The subtle crunch adds a contrasting texture to the softness of its every other component, which I find extremely satisfying.
Maddy Peek, Diversions – Chicken and Pork Soup Dumplings
I wanted to gatekeep these so badly, so they’re not inevitably sold out every week, but I feel a journalistic sense of duty to report how good these are. The soup dumplings come in equally delicious steamed chicken and pork and ginger, usually reasonably priced. Pop a tray of these babies in the microwave for a few minutes and enjoy. You can eat them straight out of the tray, scooping up the dumpling and slurping the soup, add them over some rice or put them in some soup. Both the dumpling and the broth inside of it really hit the spot. I find it’s best to eat them by letting them cool off for a minute after microwaving them, gently biting a corner of the dumpling, and then drinking the broth out of the dumpling. They’ll be gone in a flash when you start eating them. These dumplings make the perfect quick and easy addition to a meal.
Jenna Bloom, Design/Video – Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
I will never forget my first interaction with Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cup. It was a couple of days into my freshman year, and I was in my friend’s dorm room down the hall from mine. She had a plastic container of these peanut butter cups on top of her mini fridge, and I nervously asked for one, knowing I have never been a big dark chocolate fan.
After a single bite, everything changed. These cups managed to be the perfect combination of salty peanut butter and bitter chocolate that leaves you craving more. For the rest of last year, I would steal a peanut butter cup every time I went into my friend’s room. I would heavily recommend getting yourself some of this sweet and addictive treat. You will not regret it.
Olivia Janik, Sports – Colombia Supremo Coffee
As a self-proclaimed coffee enthusiast, I’m thrilled we’re getting a Trader Joe’s in College Park. They have some of the best coffee, with my personal favorite being the Colombia supremo coffee blend. The sweet and rich medium roast is perfect for people like me who love rich coffee but don’t like it too bitter. With hints of caramel and a touch of cocoa, the blend smells amazing and makes waking up to a fresh pot all the sweeter.
But the best thing about the Colombian blend isn’t the coffee itself — it’s the experience. Trader Joe’s sells whole bean coffee with a self-operated coffee grinder to give customers the full coffee experience. Freshly ground coffee is richer and more aromatic than pre-ground coffee.
Marwa Barakat, News – Jingle Jangle
If you’re looking for the definition of chocolatey heaven, Trader Joe’s holiday snack tin, Jingle Jangle, is the answer. The mix is packed with mini chocolate-covered pretzels drizzled with white chocolate, dark chocolate-covered caramel popcorn, dark chocolate-covered Joe-Joe’s cookies, candy-coated milk chocolate gems and dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups. With each bite of crunchy, crispy, melt-in-your mouth goodness, you can’t help but keep reaching back for more. The only downside I’ve found is getting addicted and then having to wait a whole year until the next holiday season rolls around to get your hands on another tin.
Parker Leipzig, News – Vegan Kale, Cashew and Basil Pesto
Pesto lovers rejoice, the Trader Joe’s vegan kale, cashew and basil pesto is a perfect melding of flavors for both vegans and non-vegans to enjoy. This is a unique pesto because it is one of few on the market that is not made with parmesan cheese, making it inclusive to those who are vegan and/or have a dairy allergy. It tastes fresh and homemade, likely because it is made with lemon juice, in addition to kale, cashew butter, olive oil, water, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. The pesto has a thick consistency, so it is versatile. It can be used as a spread on fresh bread, as a sauce for pasta when thinned out with starchy pasta water, mixed as a topping on a pizza or straight out of the container if you die for pesto like me. I grab this whenever I stop into a Trader Joe’s — if you love pesto, you should too.
Victoria Stavish, Data – Crunchy Jalapeño Lime & Onion
Do you like a good breakfast? Then you need the Trader Joe’s crunchy jalapeño, lime & onion. Everybody and their mom knows eggs in the morning may as well not even exist if you don’t throw some chili oil in there. The product is simply a play on chili oil (in fact, it’s even available in a chili onion crunch flavor if you prefer). I splat some of this oily goodness on a pan before throwing in my diced potatoes and eggs and I PROMISE you the subtle yet world-rocking flavor has a melt-in-your-mouth element that will make you cherish your mornings like never before. It’s probably good for other things too but it’s really good in eggs.