How to: Trader Joe’s

Christina Fossum/Staff/Staff
Christina Fossum/Staff

From its delicious free samples to its spectacular selection of easy prepared foods that even busy UC Berkeley students can handle, Trader Joe’s always seems to be a popular destination. Whether I’m a freshmen who just needs to get away from Crossroads, or a veteran senior with my go-to Trader Joe’s favorites, this fine establishment truly is a cornucopia of healthy and tasty snacks. Despite all all the gems Trader Joe’s has to offer, this store can be a bit overwhelming, especially if I don’t know what I’m looking for. After all, how am I supposed to choose between almond butters when there are just so many unnecessary options? Luckily, I’ve generated a list of some essentials that every UC Berkeley student should have:

  1. Cowboy Bark: This Trader Joe’s classic combines pretzels, almonds, peanuts, chocolate Joe-Joe’s and toffee all with a decadent milk chocolate glue to stick this goodness together.
  2. Chocolate covered marshmallows: What’s not to love about chocolate covered marshmallows?
  3. Caramel bites: Trader Joe’s miniature toffee waffles provide the perfect bit of sweetness for even the most sour of days.
  4. Omega Trek Mix: This combo of almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, pistachios and cranberries provides a punch of protein to fuel your early morning run.
  5. Peanut butter pretzels: Another classic, these pretzel nuggets will brighten your mood with their peanut butter-filled goodness.
  6. Hummus: It’s no secret that Trader Joe’s whips up some delicious hummus. You should definitely consider sampling their edamame or beet flavors.
  7. Speculoos cookies: Ever heard of Trader Joe’s infamous cookie butter? Well, it turns out that the favorite spread is actually made from real cookies, Speculoos cookies.
  8. Chicken quesadillas: Trader Joe’s frozen chicken quesadillas are phenomenally tasty and fast. Definitely a must-try, pop them in the microwave for a gooey and chickeny taste.
  9. Dried mango: Whether you’re an unsweetened or candied kind of person, Trader Joe’s has nearly endless varieties of dried fruits, all of which are worth a try.
  10. Joe-Joe’s cookies: These creme-filled cookies are a fan-favorite and come in a variety of delicious flavors to fit your mood.

So what are you still waiting for? Hop on the 51B and head to Trader Joe’s! Let this list and your own culinary creativity fuel your next shopping trip. Branch out of your comfort zone and try a different yogurt flavor — go for chunky instead of creamy. Buy some snap peas instead of carrots. Or,  just stock up on jars and jars of cookie butter. Whatever snacks you’re feeling, shop with pride, have some fun and don’t forget to take advantage of those free samples!

Contact Christina Fossum at [email protected].