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Trader Joe’s has a reputation — a well-deserved one, I think — as a more upscale, exotic store. TJ’s stocks some stuff you don’t see in many other places, including some things so different that I am afraid to try them. Sometimes that different stuff knocks it out of the park, and other times it doesn’t.
If you’re not a TJ’s regular, it might be easy to forget that the store also stocks staples. Milk. Eggs. Produce. Not exactly exotic, but when you’re a grocer who is trying to be a one-stop shop, it’s both understandable and appreciated.
But how good are those staples? We’ve done a little testing on that front. For instance, we previously reviewed Trader Joe’s milk and discovered … well, it’s milk. We’ve also tried out some of TJ’s toiletries, some of which are better than others. Recently, we decided it was time to sample that most staple of staple products, bread.
Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock our favorite bread, whole grain white, so we opted for more traditional white.
Trader Joe’s White Bread is a regular on store shelves, stocked in a familiar plastic bag. At the time of purchase, the loaf weighed 22 ounces and cost $1.99. That comes out to 9 cents an ounce. For comparison, Great Value White Bread runs 6.6 cents an ounce, while name brands like Bunny and Wonder price more than 13 cents an ounce. As seems often the case, the TJ’s version costs more than you might pay at Walmart or Aldi but is less than what you’d pay for a national brand.
Nutritionally, the primary ingredient is unbleached flour. For those with allergens, know that the bread contains wheat (obviously) and may contain sesame. Each slice has 70 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 110 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein. The bread also contains a very small amount of calcium and iron.
When I took the bread out of the bag, I found it to be more firm than I expected. It has a more dense consistency compared to other breads I’ve had, especially store private label varieties. This is a bread that seems equipped to handle a heavier sandwich.
But that doesn’t mean I found it to be a coarse or rough bread. Our testers thought it was as soft as other sandwich breads, which honestly was a surprise given its firmness. I thought, personally, that this had the hallmarks of a high quality bread, one more in line with a national brand than a generic copy.
And the taste? It’s bread, and that’s exactly what it tastes like. I didn’t detect any undertones that would make it out to be anything but.
Trader Joe’s White Bread certainly feels like a high quality bread. It’s firm and thick while also having a texture that isn’t too coarse. It seems well equipped for a lot of meat and cheese or egg salad or whatever else might be piled on it. And the price, while not as low as some store brands, is still considerably less than a national brand. Not a bad option at all if you’re a regular TJ’s shopper.