Taste Test: Trader Joe's Mini Croissants
Review by Meredith Brody
I love Trader Joe’s. It’s my first stop on the food train (second is a number of farmer’s markets, third is Safeway, fourth is catch-as-catch-can among Whole Foods, Andronico’s, Raley’s, whatever else is out there – if there was a Raley’s convenient to me, it would slip into third place, bumping 24-hour Safeway). I can judge my personal emotional temperature by the contents of my cart: how many fatty, sweet, luxuriously unnecessary items have found their way there, next to the essentials (fat-free milk, Greek yogurt, plugras butter, French roast coffee, Fresh Cherries jam, Tongol tuna). (If Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups are there, I need serious soothing.)
I love to try something I’ve never had before, easy to do at TJ. The last chance I took, Trader Joe’s 8 Mini Croissants, lay fallow in my freezer for some time before a combination of a weekend houseguest and two guys who were going to finish up a fence in the backyard in the AM reminded me to plop the little crescents on a baking tray at night and let them proof (rise) until the following morning.
Twenty minutes at 350 degrees and they were perfect: steamy-hot (we didn’t let them cool for ten minutes, as suggested!), buttery pulling-apart dough under a crisp exterior. Yum (just as they were, or unnecessarily gilded with TJ’s plugras butter and Fresh Cherries preserves).
I was not surprised they’re made by the same Richmond-based French chef, Jean-Yves Charon, whose mini-croissants cost $39.95 for 24 at Williams-Sonoma. At Trader Joe’s, they’re 8 for $3.99. You do the math. We’re on our way to Trader Joe’s to try the Chocolate Croissants (4 for $4.99).