Trader Joe’s is a nautical themed grocery store known for its quirky decorations and unique products at affordable prices. Located at 25 N La Grange Rd., the store can be seen filled with a large variety of fall-themed food items for the upcoming season. Personally, I am a huge fan of anything from Trader Joe’s, and I also favor the fall season for its unlimited pumpkin spice, so I was curious about what flavor and food combinations Trader Joe’s released this year.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls:
Since I have already tried and enjoyed Trader Joe’s cinnamon rolls, I had high expectations for the pumpkin rolls. Right off the bat, they were easy to prepare. The house was filled with a pumpkin aroma as the rolls were baking in the oven. My initial reaction, however, was that it tasted like an ordinary cinnamon roll. The first bites I took without the icing tasted similar to a regular cinnamon roll, so I was fairly disappointed by how toned-down the pumpkin flavor was in the bread. The more noticeable pumpkin flavoring definitely came from the icing, which is flavored with pumpkin spice. If you prefer only hints of pumpkin spice over something more intense, then you will most likely enjoy the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Rolls. Overall, while this treat was still delicious, it sadly did not meet my expectations in regards to the amount of pumpkin flavor. The rolls were only $3.99, but I would still rate it a 2.5/5.
Maple Kettle Corn:
As soon as I opened the bag I was overtaken with an intense maple scent, making me expect an overwhelming maple flavor as well. If you have ever tried the Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn, the taste is similar. The only distinguishing feature between the two was the subtle maple flavor in the Trader Joe’s Maple Kettle Corn that you get mostly at the end. As subtle as it was, I would still say that the popcorn had a pleasing amount of maple syrup flavoring that made the balance between sweet and salty ideal for my preferences. For $2.49, this snack was very pleasant, but since it lacked the amount of flavor as I had expected, I would rate it a 3/5.
If you are like me and are also confused on what this product is for, the back of the label offers plenty of ideas and suggestions. Pumpkin butter is a versatile spread with a jelly-like consistency, and is made with pumpkin, sugar and spices. To fully experience the flavor, I paired the pumpkin butter with a plain slice of toast. Initially, I thought that it was overly sweet, but I found that the pumpkin butter had a good amount of spices that really balance out the sugar. After the first bite, I was already thinking of different ways to use this. Although the spices were a good addition, I think the pumpkin butter could have used just a little less sugar, so this product is a 4/5 for me. It is priced at $2.99 and definitely worth a try.
I have never been a big fan of pumpkin pie, but I have always enjoyed cheesecake. When I saw what seemed to be a pumpkin pie and cheesecake hybrid, I decided to give it a try. The cream portion is rich and velvety. It is filled with a noticeable flavor that melts away in your mouth, leaving behind a lingering pumpkin taste, so you definitely do not miss out on the pumpkin with this product. The crust had a pleasant, crumbly texture that tasted slightly sweet. The cheesecake was almost too rich and thick for my personal preferences, but that is usually expected of a cheesecake. This was $6.99, and my overall rating is a 4.5/5.
Pumpkin Joe Joe’s:
Immediately, I was drawn by the unique packaging design of this Trader Joe’s product, but the idea of pumpkin flavored cream sandwiched between two pumpkin spice cookies is what really convinced me to grab these from the shelf. If you are a big fan of pumpkin spice like I am, you will not be disappointed by the Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s; however, if you prefer something more subtle, these cookies might not be it. The cream delivered a robust but also pleasant pumpkin flavor, while the cookie had hints of pumpkin spice. The Joe Joe’s would be ideal for anyone who loves pumpkin because its flavor was definitely intense. These were only $2.49 and certainly worth it, so I would give the Pumpkin Joe Joe’s a 5/5.
All photos taken by Gabriella Rauf.