Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Times They are A Changin'

This place can evoke vivid just out of high school memories for me, where a friend and I inhaled the intoxicating aroma of coffee being ground, bought bags full of stuff, then feasted on nuts and exotic cheeses. A decade later, this is where my beau and I stocked up on Spanish champagne, and lots and lots of pâté. I once unpacked all this stuff in front of my roommate, who looked at me as if I had raided a pantry on Mars.

Prepping for a party recently I stopped by to stock up on our favorite pâtés, but couldn't find them. I asked the clean cut type if I wasn't looking in the right spot, or if they were out.

Clean cut type: "What's pâté?"
Me: Pause. "I'll ask someone else, thanks."
I asked the young woman working at the cheese section who responded as if I had assaulted her.
"It's seasonal," she said.
What season? Really, what season is pâté?
As I turned I heard the clean cut type ask her "What is it?"
Huffy female: "Really gross stuff."

Foolishly, I had thought Americans had become more sophisticated in their tastes, but I think it really means we have simply become more neurotic. I thought to myself that I knew Trader Joe's when people were actually excited by their products. Gasp! With that thought I realized that I had just identified the good ol' days when things were better back then.

I'm old! Help me to my walker please, and put me down gently when the time comes...


  1. What season is pate? I know. I got that line at Trader Joes when I asked about 1. Baking powder. 2. Panko crumbs.

  2. The LA Times certainly would agree with you, Restless Dez!

  3. Is this an inevitable trend, like entropy? You can have localized reversals, as when a business improves, but the general direction always seems to be slow deterioration.

  4. No way! Do you shop at the Rosemead TJ's?

  5. S-yes way, we checked two different ones
    v--thanks for the uplifting words
    CP--Hmm, I worried which part!
    M--Panko crumbs? You, you, you gourmande!

  6. Yes . . . white chocolate chips are also seasonal. I love TJs but you get stuck on some favorite thing and then it disappears in a flash. Forever. The Trader Joe's black hole.

  7. Make me some of that"gross stuff" You make the most sumptuous pate! Maga

  8. Remember: Important Fire meeting tonite! Ck my blog if interested.

  9. Thanks cp--had to be somewhere else-
    B--all I can say is, bah, humbug!

  10. Another food blogger, the food librarian, just wrote that she learned that the TJ puff pastry is "seasonal." This is getting ridiculous.

  11. S-Tell food librarian Super King has plenty of different puff pastries/phyllo dough--

  12. There are a number of items I have purchased only once at Trader Joe's. Not because I did not want to puchased them again, but because the buying/stocking powers that be banished the products.'s Table Talk forum has a thread called "Treasure Hunting at Trader Joe's" in which shoppers compare and contrast their local store. All TJ's are not created equal.

  13. Paula--thanks for the heads up and link!