Trader Joe’s Wasabi Arugula


It would seem the taste-makers at Trader Joe’s have a real thing for Wasabi. They have Wasabi Mayo, Wasabi Roasted Seaweed Snacks, among others… and this latest new product,“WASABI ARUGULA”. This is somethng pretty new I saw in the Produce section (at least in my area, NYC). As it says on the package this is “Arugula with a little extra punch”. Its does have a very nice spicy bite to it (and no, there is no “wasabi” in it, its a natural thing). It’s very good. I love this stuff! As I said, It doesnt have wasabi added to it, its just what they are calling a “spicier” variety of arugula, more than the “Wild Arugula” they have sell.

Arugula has always been very popular in Europe. Its slight bitterness and spiciness can be very delicious in salads. Its “Rucola” in Italian, “La Roquette” in French and called “Rocket” in English. Well known in rural areas of the U.S. and Canada, Arugula basically grows wild and can the wild version is harvested for salads. Call it an “edible weed”?

I’ve always found TJ’s regular arugula a bit bland, compared to that which I buy loose at Fairway Supermarket. Fairway’s arugula, sold loose, is very good, but of course its more pricy than TJ’s. Fairways sells for about $6/lb. TJ’s Arugula sells for $1.99 for a 7 oz bag (which by the way a few months ago used to be an 8 oz bag; but shh… we are not supposed to notice TJ’s is giving us less – typical hidden price increase). However this new “Wasabi” version sells for a bit more: Its $2.49 for a 7 oz bag. Maybe it was the day I bought it, perhaps it had just come in, but it seemed fresher to me than the “regular” arugula I usually buy, which always almost goes bad before you can finish it. The package of the Wasabi Arugula recommends how to store it which will help you keep your arugula longer. Slit the bag open then fold over the top and seal it with a clip, after gently squeezing out extra air in the bag. Try not to crush or smush it in the fridge too.


Trader Joe’s Artisan Bagels

Trader Joe’s Artisan Bagels:

These were a fairly recent addition I noticed in TJ’s BREADS area. They looked promising and so I had to try them.

Now of course Trader Joe’s sells many other kinds of bagels. I’ve bought the “The Bagel Spinoza” (with that weird picture with ’it bagels the mind’ as the motto… huh?) a few times but frankly found  them to be seriously in the “Just OK”Department. As usual in many commercially factory made bagels, The Bagel Spinoza does not have anywhere near the real chewy texture and bite of the classic, true “New York Bagel”. Why? Well a real and true bagel is made by a rather unorthodox baking method of both, boiling and then baking it. Yes, you read that right…BOILING (bread). To make a true bagel, after the bagel is formed into the round shape which is best by hand, aka a ’Hand Rolled’ bagel, the raw dough is thrown into boiling water and first BOILED for a few minutes prior to being put in the oven and baked (sounds crazy maybe but seriously folks, that is exactly how real bagels are made).

This classic technique is what makes a real bagel very chewy on the inside and slightly crusty on the outside, and what makes a really good bagel taste and feel so good to bite into, and so damn bagel-y delicious. The dual cooking process gives bagels a unique combination of chewy interior plus baked exterior.

Trader Joe’s Artisanal Bagels look like true real NY bagels, and it boldly states on the rather attractively designed bag, both “Kettle Boiled” and “Hand Shaped”. Not to mention the golden words: “BAKED IN NYC – baked fresh daily”.  Naturally I had to try these babies. Guess what? They are damn fine, tasty bagels. Far better than your average store-bought bagels.

Personally unless I will be using them immediately, I usually freeze my bagels soon after buying them, cutting them in half  first (carefully of course!) so they are easier to handle and faster to defrost after being frozen. I generally tend to toast my bagels in the a.m, and these TJ real bagels make for an excellent toasted bagel. TJ’s Artisanal Bagels come 3 in a bag, and they sell for $1.99, at least in my area, NYC. They come in a few varieties. I liked the “Everything bagel” which has poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic,and onion. You should definitely try these if they are available in your area; I’m not sure since they are “Baked in NYC” if they ship all over the country, but if you see them, try them.

FROM THE PACKAGE:  “Made from scratch by experienced craftspeople, our Artisan Bagles are hand-rolled and kettle-boilded using the highest quality ingredients.  Master bagel makers spend hours preparing the dough, hand shaping each bagel, then kettle-boiling in small batches, never taking shortcuts that might shortchange quality.”


Nutritional Info: 1 bagel, 5 oz.= 370 calories