5 Trader Joe's Items That Just Made Its "Hall of Fame" List
Among the vast array of beloved Trader Joe's products are several fan-favorite items that have stood the test of time.
With the voting period for TJ's 14th Annual Customer Choice Awards kicking off this week, the cult-favorite grocery chain has retired five popular products from the contest due to their "revered status and consecutive wins." To celebrate their staying power, the grocer has placed the items—which have each won their respective categories at least five times—into the Trader Joe's Product Hall of Fame.
Read on to discover which foods have made a lasting impression on customers throughout the years—with more than half of them also earning a spot on the Customer Choice Awards list last year.
Mandarin Orange Chicken
First introduced in January 2004, this beloved frozen food has been crowned Favorite Overall and Best Entrée multiple years in a row. The product features tender chunks of crispy chicken with a mandarin orange ginger sauce.
For best results, Trader Joe's recommends baking the chicken in a 400-degree oven and heating the sauce in a skillet or wok. Once the sauce is hot, you can add the chicken to the sauce, toss until coated and slightly caramelized, and enjoy with rice and vegetables.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Can you name a more crowd-pleasing combo than chocolate and peanut butter? Launched in August 2010, these bite-sized treats have been a consistent winner in the Best Dessert/Sweets category. Like the milk chocolate version, the cups are filled with peanut butter made with slowly roasted and ground Virginia peanuts.
Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets
An oldie but a goodie, this crunchy, creamy snack was first released in 1992—and has been delighting TJ's fans ever since. Filled with peanut butter and coated in coarse salt, these pretzel nuggets have repeatedly won Best Snack and ranked in the top 10 when Trader Joe's asked its managers to name their favorite products.
It's cheddar—with a twist. Making its debut in August 2011, Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar has been a regular winner of the Best Cheese title. According to the grocer, the semi-hard cheese combines the "best qualities of hard Italian cheeses like Parmesan with the best qualities of finely crafted American Cheddar."
Not sure what to pair it with? TJ's recommends a lighter-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or a pale ale.
Another August 2011 product launch reigns supreme. Taking home the Favorite Vegan/Vegetarian Product award in past years, Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo puts a vegetarian spin on the traditional Spanish sausage. The plant-based meat item features soy protein tossed in a blend of paprika, sea salt, vinegar, red pepper, and garlic powder.
"In an increasingly competitive field of plant-based options, we're glad to see this Chorizo secure its status as MVP—Magnificent Vegan Protein, that is," Trader Joe's writes.