High Protein Organic Super Firm Tofu


 

 

Let me begin with saying the regular Firm Organic Tofu from Trader Joe’s is very good… that one comes packaged in water in a container. This tofu does not come in water. Its just comes in a plastic package. 

Anyway I saw this different product (“High Protein Tofu”) and thought I’d give it a try for the blog.

Big Mistake, folks!

So here’s the shortest review I’ve ever given – High Protein Organic Tofu – its horrible!

 

 

 

Super firm? They are not kidding about that. Picture in your mind, what “Shoe Leather made of Tofu” might be like…. then you will have some idea of the texture of this tofu product. Have you ever cut Tofu? Sure your knife glides right through it.. Well this stuff, your knife has to be pushed with some pressure to cut through it. Firm? Its HARD and TOUGH. Like a rock made of tofu. I guess thats the “High Protein” at work? This stuff is so tough that its inedible. Its sounds good when you look at it and it see, “high protein”, oh you think that must be better for me but the reality is this extra protein must make it hard and tough and makes it suck.

If you buy this stuff, you will also be sorry as I was. It was like chewing over cooked tough tough steak. We found it inedible. We only choked it down because we were starving at the time. 

So now you’ve been warned. Avoid!

RANT

 

PS The regular Firm Organic Tofu is very good and I highly recommend that! 

PPS This Tofu product (ORGANIC BAKED TOFU) they sell is fantastic.

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Trader Joe’s Organic French Baguette


I truly love a good, crispy authentic French Baguette and am always on the look out for a good one. In my search around NYC, I’ve bought and tried many a baguette from many bakeries around town, especially those I’ve seen listed as “Best in NYC”. While some are better than others, really almost none I thought lived up to the “Best Baguette” title (and lets face it compared to what you might buy at almost any bakery in Paris, we’re at a severe disadvantage). My own personal quest finally came to a “aha” moment when I tasted the baguette from the bakery “MAISON KAYSER” which opened up in NYC a year or two back. Now this is what a baguette should be and I’m always amazed at how amazing MAISON KAYSER’S breads are (if you make bread you will understand: they use a very long ferment time and special traditional “levain” which produces a far superior taste and structure). If you have a chance to try a MAISON KAYSER baguette, you must. You too may have an “Aha!” moment, and get an idea that a really good Baguette is possible to make in the U.S. after all. That said as good as it is, I do have to make a special trip there plus its a bit pricey, a baguette from MAISON KEYSER commands a premium price, currently $3.25 for a baguette and $3.50 for one if their “Epi” baguettes. So when I saw a “FRENCH BAGUETTE” at Trader Joe’s for $1.69 I thought I’d give it a try, not expecting too much frankly. This baguette was pretty good,  it was crispy and well baked. However in flavor and texture this baguette is just about on par with many bakeries that produce a similar baguette, albeit for usually double the price. So I give the regular French Baguette from TJ hardly a rave review, its “not bad”. However the very next day, when I happened again to be at Trader Joe’s, by chance the Sample Station happened to be serving a sample of a different bread: TRADER JOE’S ORGANIC FRENCH BAGUETTE. The package was different (white) from the one I had gotten the day before. It was labeled “ARTISAN STYLE“. The sample they were giving out was the baguette baked with cheese to crispy (yes please!) Oh man was this sample of the baguette and baked cheese TASTY (I confess I went back for a second). I could instantly tell this bread was a way improved and better version of the “normal” TJ French Baguette I had the day before, ie the slightly cheaper non-artisan non-organic baguette (one is $1.69 vs. $1.99). The slightly more pricey ORGANIC BAGUETTE had a much more profound flavor plus a better, chewier interior crumb  (In French called the “Mie”). One reason is the bag states they use a 3 hour rise (fermentation) probably twice as long or more as the other one, plus I’m betting the organic flour used is a better quality flour compared to the $1.69 baguette. In short, the extra 30 cents you will spend for the upgraded version Baguette is well worth it. The ARTISAN ORGANIC FRENCH BAGUETTE bread is sold a little bit under baked as the package states that you should bake this bread in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes or so for its full effect. If you don’t, its still not bad, but  you won’t really taste it at its prime and the way its intended to end up. In an pinch at least toast it in your toaster or broiler. If you do bake it, you will get a really really tasty baguette! I can’t say the TJ Organic French Baguette is  the equal to one from Maison Keyser but its not terribly far away either and one of the better commercial breads I’ve bought. This especially goes if you eat it with some really good butter like TJ’s “CULTURED FRENCH BUTTER” (I will review this in another post in future).  This butter and the baguette make a remarkably good combo, worth trying. This is a very good TJ product and for $2 is a good deal and worth trying out for yourself. (apologies for the non-paragraph look. WordPress made editing now so difficult and broke the system!)

RAVE

Trader Joe’s ORGANIC SUGAR


“Trader Joe’s Organic Cane Sugar contains only one ingredient: pure, natural, organic evaporated cane juice.”

…Grown in plantations in Paraguay, the sugar cane is cut by hand…. and delivered to a facility where the cane juice is extracted and evaporated into pure sugar crystals. The evaporation process produces perfect sugar crystals, rich in flavor and molasses.”

EXACTLY! The less you do to stuff (process it) generally the better it is! Keep it Natural!

The result is a very high quality sugar with sugar crystals that have a distinct flavor and crunch (ie, the crystals of this are bigger than refined white “regular” Domino sugar) and is almost exactly like this sugar I usually look for and buy in Hispanic grocery stores called AZUCAR MORENA, which is a “premium sugar” that I find especially delicious in coffee. Its kind of hard for me to find this consistently and this TJ product is almost an exact match for just a tiny bit more per bag.

Taste? A very subtle “brown sugar taste” and is lighter in color and flavor than a the taste say of “light brown sugar” – which is actually regular refined “white sugar” that has had molasses added back to it. It is molasses that has the taste we think of as “brown sugar”.

TJ’s ORGANIC SUGAR has more flavor than regular (white) sugar, but its not strong. It will add just a bit more flavor but not overpower the ingredient it is added to. I think this is especially excellent in coffee, and I also like it sprinkled on plain yogurt, or oatmeal.

A 2 lb. bag goes for $3.49 which comes out to $1.75 per pound – so not cheap at least compared to Domino or other regular sugar which is about 50-60 cents a pound.

I don’t use this to replace all regular sugar that I use, I still use regular sugar in some things, but I use this stuff when I want to really taste some great sugar, flavor and texture. Think of this as an “affordable luxury” where a little bit kind of goes a long way.

PS – Trader Joe’s does sells molasses, the leftover product that is what is normally extracted in the sugar making process. It has a very strong flavor, and is frequently used in baking. A little molasses goes a long way.