Friday, August 28, 2015

Day 240 - Marinated Olive Duo with Lemon and Herbs

I have some fun news to share!!!

This project (reviewing one Trader Joe’s product per day every single day of 2015) began (obviously) on January 1, 2015.  Since that date, we have shopped in Trader Joe’s stores in 10 states and one district – in a total of 16 cities.  I have sent each and every one of the stores (except Dublin, Ohio, I have not written them yet but I will soon!!) a letter and a few of the business cards for this blog.  I also sent a letter to corporate.  Only the corporate office had written me back.  Of course, I was thrilled about the letter from corporate (I wrote about it and showed the letter on day 121).

Well guess what?  Another store wrote back!  Our closest Trader Joe’s is in Clarendon, VA and Rebekah from that store wrote me!  Look, she loves the blog!  J
WOW!  The Clarendon, VA TJ's wrote me back! 
She wrote on a Trader Joe’s greeting card – how appropriate (reviewed on day 10  ).  She mentions that her store has some beers not available at Bailey’s (which is our usual go-to store, even though Clarendon is closer…  We were customers at Bailey’s before they built the Clarendon store, plus parking is usually easier at Bailey’s.  But we really like the Clarendon store, too!)  We will go in and introduce ourselves and pick up some of the beer soon.

And guess what else?  REBEKAH INCLUDED A TJ’S GIFT CARD!  Wow!  So cool.  I am not sure how much it is worth because I have not taken it into a store yet.  But I shall. 

So that was very exciting for me.  The card came while I was out of town (at a stressful event) and my partner David opened it for me and read it to me over the phone.  What a treat!  Thanks Rebekah.

ALSO very exciting is this big news:  we finally found GREAT OLIVES at Trader Joe’s!  I was beginning to think it could not be done.  Oh but it can (and was) done.  With much success!

New product - Marinated Olive Duo...  Ahhh, music to my ears.
Here are the olives we tried from TJ’s before finding these gems:
Picholine Olives (day 32) 
Jumbo Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives (day 192)
Lucques Olives (day 76) 

The only olives we tried before and were happy with (not thrilled with, but happy enough) were the Jumbo Pitted Greek Kalamatas. 

But THESE NEW OLIVES beat those hands down.  These are on par with the olives we buy at the “olive bar” at another store!  These olives are the bomb!!!

Having been bitten before, I was nervous to invest in more Trader Joe’s olives.  But the $1.79 we spent on these puppies was money WELL SPENT, trust me.  Here is what we thought of them:

Marinated Olive Duo with Lemon and Herbs- Kalamata and Chalkidika (we hadn’t heard of this one) Olives from Greece

Me:  The packaging is a fail for me.  You have to cut open the vacuum sealed plastic bag and have a Tupperware-like container ready to decant the olives into.  I wish they came in some sort of re-sealable packaging.  And the current packaging is not even recyclable – boo. 

David decanting from the odd packing into fake Tupperware
But the taste of the olives is a-frickin’-mazing.  The green ones are for sure the best ones I have ever had from Trader Joe’s.  The purple/black ones are also very, very good.  They have a lemony and herb flavor.  Delicious!  They have pits, so be careful of your teeth when you bite into them, but I personally prefer olives with pits. 

David tries out a green one
The price, $1.79, is also super reasonable.  These olives are a WIN!  I just wish the packaging was better.  If it was, they would get a perfect 5 star rating from me.

David:  the green olives are meaty and delightful. The black ones are soft but flavorful.  In both cases they are so tasty that you want to keep sucking on the pit (Susan adds – that’s what she said…). 

This is the package you are looking for - go get some!
I would not ding them for the packaging as it is perhaps energy efficient and good for mother earth.  Perhaps the point is that you need to not put these in a Tupperware container, but instead put them in a BOWL and eat them all that night with some wine.  (Susan adds here – that would be like the time David ate a whole bag of Cheetos and vomited…  I think eating the whole package of these olives would be tooooo much in one night.)  David counters that he meant having FRIENDS over to share the olives and wine.   These are the perfect olives to set out in a bowl and eat before dinner while sipping wine. 

Price – $1.79

Rating – 4.75


  1. That's so awesome they sent a cute note AND a gift card! You'll have to splurge on something fabulous with it (TJs red lambrusco is a great slightly sweet fizzy wine that is just $6-7 or so:)

    Totally agree on all points with these olives- they are great for snacking yet definitely need better packaging. For adding to salads and such i like the pitted kalamata since I don't want to spit pits between salad bites ...
    I was on vacation last week and actually read your whole blog back to the beginning! I love your helpful input and the fun photos of david with whatever product- your blog is one of the few that includes wine and beer which i really appreciate too. Please keep it up once the year is over!! You can post less frequently and keep the blog name- it can just mean you love trader joe's 365 days a year ;)

    1. I know! Isn't Rebekah from Clarendon TJ's awesome?? She wrote back! :)
      Thanks for the compliments on my blog. They make me smile. And help me to keeeeeep writing.

  2. Rebekah from the Trader Joe's Clarendon here - WOW! Not only did you get my card but you blogged about it too! I feel famous :) See you next time you're in the store!

    1. REBEKAH! You are my hero! Out of all the TJ's locations I wrote you are the only one that took time to write back (besides corporate). I really appreciate it! We stopped in to see you a couple of nights ago but you had already gone home. We will be back!

  3. They were a bit salty for me. I added a squeeze of lemon and some olive oil and them them marinate another day and they were really good. I usually go for pitted olives; pits have always ruined the experience for me. All in all a good deal. This many olives would cost $5 at Fresh Market olive bar and you'd have to re-marinate them from scratch.

  4. Just bought these today. They are unbelievably and inexcusably salty. The price is right and this could be a very good product if it wasn't so heavily salted. Why? If you're watching your blood pressure DO NOT buy these olives. I had to rinse them three times and store them, refrigerated, in a sterilized jar in an water/olive oil solution, trying to save them. Since the olives have been completely penetrated by the salt, it's hard to rehabilitate them. My dear T.J.'s, there really is NO earthly reason for adding such an inordinate amount of salt to these olives. Please back off with the sodium. Till then, I, for one, will certainly not purchase this product again. Too bad, because otherwise, they taste good.

    1. Oh drat! Sorry you don't like them. Take them back!!! Trader Joe's always happily takes stuff back, no questions asked.

      I loooove these, but then again, I am a salty person :). While most people prefer sweet things after dinner (dessert), I would rather have a few of these very olives or some salted cashews. So far my blood pressure is a-ok, so for now I will stick to my preferred snacks. These olives are a staple in our house - there is always a "back-up pack" in the cupboard ready to replace the ones in the fridge.