24 Apr, 2012
Trader Joe’s Ham & Cheese Croissant Sandwiches Review
Posted by: Gregory Ng: The Frozen Food Master
Every once in a while I come across a frozen food item that doesn’t quite fit into my schedule to review on camera. This is one of those cases. This Trader Joe’s Ham & Cheese Croissant Sandwich product is one of those times. For some reason, it sat in my freezer for months always passed up for something more appealing to do a video review of. So this morning I decided to bring it into work and eat it for lunch. I figured I would take a quick pic and post it on the Freezerburns Facebook page. Once I took these sandwiches out of the box, however, I realized I needed to do a more formal written review of this product.
This Trader Joe’s Ham & Cheese Croissant Sandwiches is technically Trader Jacques just like their asian offerings are called Trader Ming’s and their Italian ones, Trader Giotto’s but let’s just call it Trader Joe’s because I want to keep my category names intact here on the website. The box advertises these sandwiches as being the best of both worlds. I’m not sure which 2 worlds they are referring to. Is it Croissant and Ham & Cheese? Is it Ham and Cheese as separate worlds? Doesn’t matter really. When I took these out of the box I was taken aback by how large these sandwiches were. Clearly large enough to feed 2 people like it says on the box. Not like those other frozen manufacturers that try to mask the fat and sodium content by saying a 200g meal is 2 1/2 servings.
This is not to say that these things are good for you. But considering it IS a large croissant (basically the bearclaw of the french bakery world) it’s no surprise. It has more calories, fat, and sodium in each of these things to make you think twice about eating them. The amount of fat in them made me suspect they were tasty. Now for the moment of truth!
Let me just put these things on my plate and check out the microwave directions…oh wait. Yes, that’s right, while it says the word Microwave on the side of the box, the word “Microwave” is followed by the words, “& Conventional Oven Combo”. Yes, that’s right. Don’t expect to pop these things in the microwave for a couple of minutes. This puppy takes 45 seconds in the microwave and then a combo of 40 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.
So by now I am starving from these great pictures on the box and the promise of two ambiguous worlds colliding. But I have now committed in my mind to do a formal review so I followed the directions, took out some foil, made a foil tent (yes, a foil tent) and 40 minutes later was ready to consume. Here’s what it looked like coming out of the oven:
Looks decadent right? It certainly smelled that way. Globs of melted cheese smothered a nicely baked and delicately crisped croissant. It smelled like that starting at 15 minutes in and when i pulled it out of the oven I was hit with a second wave of yumminess hitting my nose. Only problem was the cheese was in such abundance, and the croissant crust was saturated with so much butter (like a good croissant should be) that it was impossible to get the sandwich off the foil without either sacrificing some flakey goodness or running the risk of eating some aluminum foil. (I opted for the sacrifice of the croissant.)
Check out the layers upon layers of flakey croissant crust, cheese, and ham. This may be on e of the most sophisticated frozen products I have ever tasted. The cheese, not a pungent or sharp swiss but a creamy elegant taste that compliments the buttery croissant crust. The ham (from the Black Forest-whatever that means) was a great compliment to the cheese taste. An amazing experience worth the 40 minute wait. My one complaint: I wish there was a tad more ham in it. Great flavors but stingy on the ham. The only thing preventing this from getting the coveted 5 star rating.