Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 275 - Snow Peas

I LOVE FRESH VEGETABLES.  Love ‘em so much I am kind of picky about them.  Like, don’t try and sell me asparagus that is starting to go off, know what I mean??

In the past, that pickiness about veggies meant only buying them at stores where they were not pre-packaged.  I like to touch them.  To SMELL them.  To see the actual produce – not see it through packaging.  But when I started this blog it meant shifting the vast majority of our grocery shopping to you-know-where, and most of TJ’s produce is in packages.

That worried me.  But not for long. 

Cuz one of the coolest (in my opinion) things about Trader Joe’s is that they really seem to care about freshness.  You know how in MOST STORES they put the soonest to expire stuff in the front, and stack the fresher stuff behind it?  It makes perfect business sense – sell the stuff that is going to go off first, then sell the newer things.  But to me, a customer, it makes the least sense – I end up buying an item that has less “shelf life” when I get it home than if I dug to the back of the stack at the store and grabbed one from there.  Know what I mean?

This photo is unrelated to Snow Peas.  It was taken in January in the Raleigh, NC Trader Joe's.  This is me talking
to the QUESTION GUY, who walked around with that sign so he was easily found to ask any questions to!
I SHOULD have asked him if he knew about the whole expiration date thing with bagged produce and dairy...  

But Trader Joe’s doesn’t pull that stunt!  Trader Joe’s (at least most of the locations I have been to) puts the FRESHEST stuff in the FRONT for you to grab and the stuff that is set to expire SOONER goes in the back.  Isn’t that the most awesome thing???  I have noticed it at lots of the TJ’s we have gone into.  Tonight I was explaining the concept to David, who had not noticed it before (he doesn’t pay as much attention to expiration dates as I do, hence his ability to drink milk after the expiration date I guess…).  I showed him the Half and Half we were buying, and sure enough, the one I picked up in the FRONT had an expiration date of October 15th, and the one behind it was October 14th!  Isn’t that cool?  In most stores it would be the exact opposite – push the older stuff onto customers.  I don’t know if Trader Joe’s has a policy about this, if they do it on purpose, if they care so much about freshness that they sacrifice a bit of profit, or if the people who stock the shelves just don’t pay attention and shove the new stuff in the front because it is easier, but WHATEVER THE REASON, I love it.  (It’s the little things…)

Which leads me to:  Snow Peas! 

Trader Joe's Snow Peas - all washed for you!
Snow Pea signage from Washington DC
(I will explain about their signage in a later post)

Pre-blog I would have bought these at a grocery store where I could touch them and choose which ones I wanted.  But now that I shop so much at TJ’s and I know I can TRUST them, I have no problem whatsoever grabbing a sealed bag of these puppies! 

Here is what I thought of them:
Color – perfect
Taste – great
Value – good
Cooking instructions – DECEIVING

I cannot single out Trader Joe’s for this, because all brands of bagged “convenience” snow peas seem like they do this now.  Look what the package says, right on the front:

It SHOULD say, "Microwave in this bag if you enjoy pulling pea strings out of your mouth during dinner"
But IF I followed that direction and just nuked and ate these things, LOOK HOW MUCH PEA STRING I WOULD BE EATING!

That pile you see closest to you is the pile of yucky bits.  If we just zapped them in the
microwave IMAGINE eating all the pea string.  Ewwww.

You need to rip those stringy bit OUT OF THERE before you eat these things, man.  They are not meant to be eaten.  Snow peas are delicious but not if you have to reach into your mouth after every bite and pull out thick bits of pea string.  Not tasty and definitely unattractive.

See how delicious snow peas can be when you take time to prepare them properly?
We served them with pasta, mushrooms, shrimp, garlic, and parmesan.  
I recommend taking the strings out, then eating some snow peas raw as you are prepping your other ingredients for dinner.  Then cook these up and ENJOY (sans strings, of course)!

Price – $2.29

Rating – 4 (would be higher if the package didn’t tell you to cook them without removing the pea strings)


  1. The Asheville TJ's is the first place I ever noticed a grocery store putting newer produce in front of older produce. Sadly, though, it turned out not to be consistent. It's hit or miss here. Sometimes I have to push 2 or 3 bags aside to discover the newer stuff hiding behind, just like every other retailer.

    1. On the UPSIDE - I am glad you noticed this, too.
      On the DOWNSIDE - sigh. C'mon TJ's, don't be "just like every other retailer"...