Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trader Joe's flowers - a change of heart

I have dissed Trader Joe's flowers soundly in the past - especially the poor, waterless spring daffodils, the ones that die when you get them home. But it is time to admit I have discovered three things that I really like at the store whose uber-packaging must fill landfills and whose fresh produce is not very happy. The shirts, awful signage and forced bonhomie do not help.

Three Things:

Their French mustard, to which the Frenchie himself is addicted - it is super-strong; their 'flatbread' (in the frozen aisle, blush), which is really thin-crust pizza with many mushrooms, and made, oddly, in France (more guilt, there, all those pizzas flying over the ocean), is delicious; and their organic whole chicken. Well, they say it is organic. So if you see me at Trader Joe's, that is what will be in my basket.

And now I have to say...these stocks (Mathiola incana) are gorgeous. As I stood grumbling to myself in the interminable checkout line, I smelled them.  I bought two bunches. Couldn't help it - they looked fresh and...there was water in their bucket! They remind me of childhood springs and my mother's garden. Once, on a nursery school outing to what we used to call an old age home, I carried two bunches of stocks from my mothers garden. We were all told to bring flowers for the "old people". Proudly I handed one bunch to a grey-haired lady wearing white. I work here! she hissed, shoving them back at me, angry at my mistake.

And the scent has not been bred from these. They fill the room with colour and perfume.


  1. There is someone who doesn't like TJ's? I am shocked!

  2. Trader Joe's is the only place we will purchase chicken. I have a flock of chickens and it is difficult for me to cook a whole chicken, so we generally buy the organic thighs. That way, I can convince myself it is not related to my girls.

  3. Stunning stocks - they remind me of my mother's garden and childhood too :)

  4. i mentioned the no-water-for-daffs at my own TJ. (oddly, daffs were the only flowers with no water.) the employee, backed up by the manager standing near-by, said that they were explicitly told to NOT put daffs in water. so this coming from higher up the food chain than the local store. maybe even from the daff supplier? cant' remember.

    my concern with TJ is their food justice "sense" and their relationship with Coalition of Immokalee Workers. there has been recent news about that but i have not had time to pick thru all the press releases/blogs.

    i really want to shop there; they are one of main two food stores.

  5. donna - yes, a Trader Joe's commenter on that previous post (see link in this post) said the same thing. But I don't think she understood the reason. Daffodil buds open when the stems are placed in water. So stores like them to stay in bud. But the idea is NOT to keep them waterless for days and days. They are not refrigerated, you get them home, they die. Trader Joes prices are attractive, and also a little scary. How does that French-imported pizza with good mushroom and cheese cost only $4.99?

    Thanks for the heads up, more reading to do...


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