Trader Joe’s Seasonal Sensations

By Heather Hopkins

As beautifully unique as we are as humans, there are some universal unifiers. One of those is who I like to refer to as the secret sixth Spice Girl, Pumpkin Spice. As the first crisp morning air sweeps in, Utahns and Utah-transplants alike have a similar routine. Summer wardrobes are packed away and replaced with cozy sweaters and scarves. Changing foliage is tracked by color and canyon, but there is one autumnal tradition that deserves a special spotlight. If your mind went to the gourd-guarded-Garden-of-Eden, otherwise known as Trader Joe’s, you’d be correct!

Too Much Hype?

Okay, that is a lot of lyrical love for a grocery store, but once you have tried Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spiced Joe-Joe’s, (specifically their newest iteration dipped in a yogurt-flavored coating and sprinkled in sea salt) you will write a letter to the editor insisting there was not near enough hype placed upon these treats. I’ll even let you in on the trick, throw these lovelies in the freezer prior to enjoying. Sorry Thin Mints — you’re out!

First Course, First

Trader Joe's Fall Leaf Corn Torilla Chips and Salsa
Trader Joe’s Fall Leaf Corn Torilla Chips and Salsa (Photo by Heather Hopkins | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Those Joe Joe’s are so tasty, I almost skipped the appetizer and main course! We’re all adults here — eat your fall feast in whatever order pleases you best.

Even our beloved TJ’s couldn’t top the simplicity of chips and salsa, right? Don’t feel bad dear reader, I too was wrong. The jar boasts an “autumnal melange of fruits and veggies” and it delivers. The roasted pumpkin, apples and butternut squash are bold and well balanced with just the slightest spice. The only item reviewed here that was subpar in comparison to the rest were the Fall Leaf Corn Tortilla Chips. They did their job as salsa vessels, but were sorely lacking in the flavor department. What they lacked in flavor, they certainly made up for in style.

Pro tip: if you want to make sure to snag a bag with nary a broken chip in sight, I highly recommend having your unapologetically bold wife go shopping with you. She may or may not open a new box of chips and grab a bag from the middle while no one is looking. 

This One Goes Out to Faulty Gas Lines

Silver linings come in odd shapes and sizes. Sometimes they take the form of an ill-timed gas leak the week you need to cook for an article for The Chrony. Sometimes they force you to build a very on-brand-for-fall campfire in your backyard. If Trader Joe’s didn’t have the aroma of hickory smoke in mind as a pairing for their Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce, they should now. That my friends is what you call a happy accident.

Assorted Trader Joe's Fall Snacks
Assorted Trader Joe’s Fall Snacks (Photo by Heather Hopkins | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Second Dessert

As butter boards take over TikTok to replace charcuterie boards, allow me to suggest Trader Joe’s Fall Flavored Sweet Treat Boards. The name is a mouthful, but so is the board. On this beauty we have a little something for everyone. Chewy Molasses Cookies, and mini Maple Walnut Biscotti for those who need a pumpkin reprieve.


For those who want to double down, we have the Petite Pumpkin Spice Cookies (which are adjacent to adult frosted animal crackers with cinnamon), and the famed aforementioned Joe-Joe’s sans yogurt coating. Lastly, for good measure, and to have something nonseasonal to get you hooked on, we have their Cinnamon Bun Spread. Which the jar recommends warmed on ice cream.

This is a recommendation my friends, we ought to all take together. Happy Snacking!


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