Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trader Joe's

I seem to be doing a lot of trekking these days. Not out in the wilderness, but in the wilds of New York city. Often times I have to hit two or more stores to get all the things I need. I try to go to one store a day, or do a continuous trip, getting the heavy things last. I do all of my shopping on foot.

Today was my Treader Joe's trek. I take the train from work and then walk a mile to the store to load up on as much as I can. I love Trader Joe's because they have great prices on unique things. I can pay the same price for organic and free trade foods as I would at the standard grocery store.

The other great thing about Trader Joe's is their gluten free list. They have a list of all the products in the store that are gluten free. You can download the list on your desk top, or, if you're like me, you can grab on from the customer service desk and take it around the store with you as you shop. I wanted to try a few new things for next week and I made about three trips back to check the list.
Today they had Beef Jerky, which reads 'gluten free' right on the label. All you herbivores, look away. This jerky is great! I like things to be spiced, but I wouldn't call this 'spicy'. It's sweet and smoky and not too dry. I had some of it on the walk back to the subway and it really sut my tummy up.

My other find today was Trader Joe's Chocolate Pudding. When something says chocolate and gluten free right on the label I feel that it is my duty to sample, for your benefit. Into my shopping bag in went.

I had to wait to get home to try this one.

After putting away my groceries and washing my lunch dishes I decided I could treat myself to a little chocolate pudding.

As a I only got to have Jello-type puddings at friends houses, so any kind of creamy, chocolaty snack is a real treat and this exceeded my expectations. It's thick and rich without the artificial aftertaste I always associated with pudding cups.

Plus: it's got a cute little cow on the label!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Organic Forever, Forrest HIlls, NY

Tucked away in Forrest Hills near the 71st St stop on the F and E trains, east of the main shopping and Barnes & Noble, located at 69-12 Austin Street, you’ll find Organic Forever. A small cozy store run by kind people they stock organic and specialty products.

In the front of the store there are vitamins, herbal supplements, and personal care products. The counter by the register has a very respectable selection of organic and free trade chocolate and energy bars. The cereal section has Perky’s, Erewhon, Glutino and Nature's Path.

There is a small prepared foods counter and juice bar where they also have a selection of raw goodies from Blessings Alive and Radiant, Lydia’s Organics and Nutritious Creations. In the back of the store there are freezers and bulk foods. Everything from nuts, flours, sugars, dried fruits and other bulk delicacies; most of these seem safe, but not everything has a full list of ingredients. It seems safe to stick to things like roasted nuts and dried fruit and stay away from more prepared things like yogurt covered raisins or peanuts.

The freezer section is well stocked with a wide variety of frozen gluten free breads, including Food For Life, Kinnikinnick, Enjoy Life and Glutino. The selection includes bread, English Muffins, Bagels and even one type of gluten free tortilla.

Across from the freezer are the baking supplies, dried grains, legumes and rice. Gluten free flours and mixes include Bob’s Red Mill, Gluten Free Pantry, Arrowhead Mills and Ener-G products.

This little store is a gem. The prices are a bit more expensive than you would expect to find in the grocery store but it’s worth it to find a store that has all these things in one place, and closer to my home an the subway than others. The staff and owner are very helpful, although I’m not sure how much of a language barrier there is they are always open to questions.