Every college student has that one grocery store that they go to every weekend to stock up on junk — we mean necessary and healthy — foods for the upcoming week. At UC Berkeley, that one grocery store is Trader Joe’s. Whether one goes to the store on University Avenue or the one on College Avenue, Trader Joe’s is the go-to for UC Berkeley students. We at the Clog believe in simplicity and worship the ground of the Trader Joe’s gods that created their frozen foods section. Thus, without further ado we present power rankings for TJ’s best foods from their frozen section, because why not? We’ll be ranking the foods based on versatility, appeal and taste (because duh).
Versatility: 5/5. The Trader Joe’s frozen naan is by far one of their most versatile frozen food items. Whether you want to use it as a base for homemade pizza, eat it with one of their frozen food vegetable dishes or eat it by itself as a snack, their naan is an amazing option for nearly anything you can think of.
Appeal: 2/5. Trying to impress friends at a classy party? Frozen naan just served by itself isn’t going to make people run across the room — it just doesn’t stand out that much.
Taste: 3/5. The frozen naan is delicious and eggless (if that interests you!), but the naan can also be bland at times and remain ordinary.
Total: 10/15. A solid score for a solid frozen food item at Trader Joe’s.
Versatility: 2/5. The frozen spanakopitas serve as amazing appetizers or snacks, but that’s about it. You can’t use spanakopitas for several different dishes, as they’re pretty much solely a snack item.
Appeal: 5/5. These savory delights will definitely get the party poppin’ if it isn’t already. They look incredibly fancy on the table and no one needs to know that the only thing you did to prep was stick them in the oven.
Taste: 5/5. Hands down the easiest, fanciest and most scrumptious appetizer one can serve to friends and family. After heating them up until they turn golden brown in the oven, the spanakopitas are a perfect blend of crispiness, from the phyllo dough to the cheese heaven from the melted feta cheese mixed into the spinach.
Total: 12/15. The sole reason the spanakopitas only got a 12 is because of their versatility. But besides that, these little triangles are to die for.
Mango/raspberry cream bars
Versatility: 1.5/5. The popsicles have absolutely no use other than being a dessert — unless you want to serve the bars as an incredibly cold appetizer!
Appeal: 5/5. These mini popsicles of frozen fruit puree and vanilla ice cream are a match made in heaven. The popsicles are aesthetically pleasing, and especially on a hot summer day, people will keep coming back for more.
Taste: 5/5. These bars are just the right amount of sweet. Because each bar is so small in size, you don’t experience an overdose in sugar. You can finally satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling too guilty!
Total: 11.5/15. Though they can’t be used for other meals, the popsicles are yummy and controlled in portion size. A perfect combo we’re all looking for after the horror that was the freshman 15.
Linguine with pesto and tomatoes
Versatility: 2/5. This pasta dish can be eaten for lunch, dinner or even as a heavy snack. Even though pasta is just pasta, meaning you can’t make it into another dish, it can be eaten pretty much during any time of day which is an ideal quality us students look for in food.
Appeal: 5/5. This dish will definitely tantalize people’s taste buds. The dish, when warmed up, looks fancy and is beautiful given how colorful it is with the pesto sauce and tomatoes. It’ll be hard to avoid trying the dish when it’s in front of you, that’s for sure!
Taste: 3/5. Everyone can’t stop talking about this pasta, which is completely justified since it’s so delicious. The only reason it got a 3/5 is because it doesn’t taste quite like freshly made pasta. Yet for us students on a time and budget crunch, we’ll take anything remotely close to food made from scratch whenever we get the chance!
Total: 10/15. A delicious dish to serve yourself or friends when they come over for a meal.
We hope you enjoyed our Trader Joe’s frozen foods power rankings! They’ll surely help guide our next frozen food expedition.
Contact Avanti Mehrotra at [email protected].