What to Buy (and What to Skip) at Trader Joe’s This Thanksgiving


Photos by Claire Lower.

I am, as most of you probably know, a pretty big fan of the slightly twee grocery store known as Trader Joe’s. I love their reasonably priced and well-stocked cheese department. I love their convenient pre-cooked lentils and cans of turkey chili. I love this damn shaker of magic. As such, I was very excited to check out their Thanksgiving offerings, hopeful that I would find some gems that would make for an easier and more delicious holiday.

Unfortunately, this taste-test undertaking was not as pleasant as I thought it would be. After purchasing every Thanksgiving-adjacent item I could find—save for the pumpkin pies and pumpkin pie derivatives, because I had tasted all of those before—I returned to my apartment and began to methodically eat my way through this mountain of turkey, pumpkin, and sage-scented carbohydrates. Some were good, some were aggressively mediocre, and some were very, very bad. Let’s start with the good.

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