Sunday, May 13, 2018

Matcha Joe-Joe's*

Joe-Joe’s* (for the uninitiated) are Trader Joe’s version of Oreos.  Or, if you grew up in my partner David’s household, Trader Joe’s version of Hydrox.  Either way, if you know Oreos or Hydrox, you have a mental image of the cookie I am referring to – cookie wafers hugging a layer of cream (or, in some instances, kreme).  To be honest here, we are not Joe-Joe’s eaters.  They are super popular with TJ’s shoppers, but for some reason they are one item that we never grab off the shelves.

Regardless of our shopping tendencies, Trader Joe’s must sell a ton of Joe-Joe’s, because they make special Joe-Joe flavors all the time.  Pumpkin Joe-Joe's.  Peppermint Joe-Joe's.  Mango Joe-Joe’s.  Joe-Joe’s aficionados fawn over the flavors.  Unfortunately for us, we jumped on board at Matcha Joe-Joe’s.

The box is a pretty color!
I put these cookies in our cart during a massive shopping trip last summer.  At that time TJ’s was going crazy with weird, exotic flavors.  We were getting ready to escape to Florida for a couple of months, where our nearest Trader Joe’s is a 90 minute drive away.  I wanted to stock up and this box of Joe-Joe’s was something that looked a bit “exotic” that I thought we should try.  David, as you can see in the photo, did not really agree…

He hasn't even tried them and already he is cranky.
Anyway, the Joe-Joe’s came with us to Florida.  And never got opened.  So, they came back home to DC with us.  And never got opened…  They lay in wait in the darkened cupboard, sealed and patient.  Every time I saw the box and thought about opening it, something else caught my eye and that got eaten instead.  But we finally decided to bite the bullet and see what Matcha Joe-Joe’s are all about.  I wasn’t going to review them – it sort of didn’t seem fair since they expired November 10, 2017 and we opened them April 13, 2018.  OK, so they were 5 months expired by the time we (honestly, not “we”, HE) were brave enough to taste them.  Also, I thought I wouldn’t post a review because I didn’t think Trader Joe’s sold them anymore.  But when David reported that they were BACK ON THE SHELVES at the store, I figured I better put this word of caution out onto the interwebs 😊 .

The first thing David did when he busted this box of cookies open was to rip apart a Joe-Joe so that all he had was the wafer bits.  “Woah, woah, hold on,” I told him.  “If we are reviewing Matcha Joe-Joe’s, you have to buckle down and eat some of the matcha!”. 

A dissected Joe Joe.
For my part, I just SMELLED these cookies.  I was not interested in actually tasting them.  And smelling was pleeeenty for me – they smelled gross!  The matcha is a pretty color, it looks like WASABI.  Hey, now that I think about it, let me recommend that to TJ’s – WASABI JOE-JOE’S!  Those would definitely fall into the “Go Big Or Go Home” category!  Anyway, I did not taste these cookies so of course I recused myself from reviewing them.

Here is what David thought when he tried the Matcha Joe-Joe’s:  “These are terrible.  The filling is awful.  I don’t like the flavor.  The cookie itself is not as nice as one might hope when one is scraping the matcha goop out of the middle to try to get a nice sugar or shortbread cookie-ness.  Perhaps that is because it has been contaminated by the matcha goop.  I am going to give these cookies a .5, only because they are COOKIES.  But the rest – NO THANKS.”

Our intrepid taster.
Editor’s note:  I asked our reviewer if he felt these cookies might have been tastier if he had tried them before they expired, and he flatly replied, “No.  Not at all.”

David wanted to take these cookies back to the store, but I felt guilty about doing that since they had been in our cupboard so long and were expired.  So, we just ended up throwing them away.

Price tag from 2017 - price may be different this year 
Another editor’s note:  I know some people are going to disagree vehemently with this review.  They are going to be PRO JOE-JOE no matter what sort of goop is between the cookies.  They are going to be matcha fiends who find our uneducated matcha palates are crude and uncultured.  To you – I say – BUY THE MATCHA JOE-JOE’S!!  Trust me, we won’t be fighting you for them 😊

Price:  $2.99 (in 2017, not sure of 2018 price)
Rating:  .5

*Why is “Joe-Joe’s” possessive?  Like, what exactly does this cream filled cookie POSSESS?  This is a strange grammatical wonder.


  1. Everything matcha is kind of gross. And truth is, while I love Joe-Joe's, of all the special or seasonal flavors only the pumpkin has been a hit for me.

    1. :) Maybe the TRADITIONAL Joe Joe's are the way to go. :)

    2. Pretty much. I don't mind the vanilla cookie ones but I never buy them. Just the chocolate cookie or the pumpkin.

  2. Why on god's green earth did you even bother to post this? This is not a review. Why did you purchase a green tea cookie product if one of the people used as part of the review didn't even want to try it in the first place? And, the fact that you waited until after they were expired shows how unprofessional you are. Sad. So sad.

    1. I mean... but she's not a professional? This is just her personal blog.

  3. I check in with your blog often because I enjoy your thoughts on TJ’s food and the positivity and kindness you bring to the world around you! If you are ever in Chicago, I’d love for you to meet my students and spread the message of kindness. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Thank you SO much - what a sweet comment! I would love to meet your students. We travel often and Chicago is actually on the list of "places to go before too long to visit some friends". :)

  4. I just found your blog and have been going through all of your posts! I love you guys! Your photos are hilarious and I love that you love food. Please keep going!

    Thank you!