Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Cranberry Crack... I Mean Relish


I'll save you some time right now - if you don't love, or even like, cranberry - don't bother reading this.  I'm not going to change your mind.  However, if you do like cranberry, oh, read on, my friend.  Read on.

I LOVE cranberry.  I like dried cranberries in my salad or mixed with a handful of nuts.  I like cranberry juice, mostly with vodka, but plain, too.  I like that cranberry jelly in a can that has the can ridges imprinted on it.  Suffice it to say, I am a fanberry!  (Shut up, it was funny, and you know it.)

One of the things I both love and hate about Trader Joe's is that they swap out their inventory and have seasonal products.  It's great, because I get to try stuff that I otherwise wouldn't ever get to try, but tt sucks because some things I love are only available a couple of months out of the year.  The Pilgrim Joe's Cranberry Orange Relish is one of those things.  I love this stuff SO much that I actually call Trader Joe's to find out if they have it in stock for the year yet.  I can't wait until the first week in November when they usually get it, and when they have it, I typically buy 3 or more tubs of it to get me through a few months.  By February I'm out and counting the months until November again.  Oh, and full disclosure, the containers say they have a short refrigerator shelf-life, like 6ish weeks, but I've eaten it WELL after that date (especially new, unopened containers) and it's fine. 

This relish is very basic, and frankly, I could probably make it myself, but then I would have nothing to bitch about.  It's just cranberries, sugar, and orange, but man, it's the perfect ratio.  I've tried other cranberry orange relishes and they either muck it up by throwing in other stuff like apples, nuts, or celery (WHAT?) or there's too much sugar and it's sickeningly sweet, or you can barely taste the orange.  This relish has such a perfect combination of all of the flavors and it's blended to be pretty smooth, but with some texture.  The orange contributes a nice tang (and occasionally, a little bit of a bitter bite) and a deeper depth (yes, I just described it as a deeper depth - sometimes words are hard!) than just cranberry alone.  The flavors complement each other beautifully.

The Pilgrim Joe's Cranberry Orange Relish isn't just for Thanksgiving, although it IS awesome for Thanksgiving.  I like it with chicken or beef or pork.  It makes a great side dish for whatever you'd normally eat apple sauce with, and it's pretty tasty on a turkey sandwich.  The relish costs about $3.49 for a 16 oz container and each serving (1/4 of a cup) is 100 calories.   I would give this 10 tentacles if that was an option, but since it's not, I'll give the Trader Joe's Pilgrim Joe's Cranberry Orange Relish 8 very enthusiastic tentacles out of 8.

Rating: 8/8 tentacles


  1. Pilgrim Joe's Cranberry Orange Relish is quite delightful! I assumed that I would indeed like it when I tried it because I love cranberries, oranges, and SUGAR, but I had no idea that I would love it so much. I mean, come on...it's just relish. Laney is correct that this product has just the right ratio of ingredients. I mixed it with Trader Joe's Greek Style Non-fat Plain Yogurt and it was a fantastic treat! I also would rate this 8 tentacles out of 8.

  2. iggib, that sounds delish! I bet this would be yummy over cream cheese with crackers.