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Comparing the best (and the weirdest) copycats from TJ’s

Art by Joleen Cardoza

In the recent 21st century, Trader Joe’s has turned into one of the most popular grocery stores for fake hipsters. If you look at any product there, you’ll most likely find an “organic”, “no MSG”, or “free-range” label on it. For example, one of the most iconic products in the store is the “Jo-Joes”, a carbon copy of Oreos. They have a lot more copycat foods, supposed to be “healthier”, such as Trader Joe’s Takis and Cheetos to name a few. A few of them are good, but most of them aren’t. The first one was a food I didn’t even know Trader Joe’s had.

Spicy Miso Instant Ramen Soup:

The first food that caught my eye was the Instant Ramen Soup. Nissin brand Cup Noodles are one of the most popular foods for an easy snack, at home meal, work lunch, and ERHS football games. The first thing I noticed was that there are a lot fewer noodles in the Trader Joe’s version than in the original Cup Noodles.

The actual soup tasted good, but it was pretty similar to the standard. It was 99 cents, which is the price of Nissin cup noodles. The taste was about as good as the original, but the amount of noodles was just sad.

Trader Joe’s Pringles:

When I saw a tall, cylindrical can in the snack aisle at Trader Joe’s, my jaw dropped. Pringles are one of my favorite snack foods, and I honestly had no idea there was a copy.

I was expecting a lot before I tried the “Sea Salted Saddle potato chips”, but they weren’t that exciting. They were a lot more stiff than pringles, and only came in one flavor. There’s no point to these, which was sad.

Trader Joe’s Takis:

Obviously, I had to save the best food for last, the “Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips Chili & Lime Flavored”. The Trader Joe’s takis are the holy grail of all snack foods. While original Taki’s are good, these go above and beyond. They have a nice crunch, like normal Taki’s. However, the flavor is the reason these snacks are better than the classic. As it says in the title, these Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips have a spicy Chili & Lime seasoning. While normal takis have spice powder dumped onto them, Trader Joe’s takis have an extra sour flavor working together with the plain spice flavor. These are better than Takis, and the best snack food at Trader Joe’s.

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