When it comes to hot and spicy foods, Trader Joe’s typically leaves much to be desired. Their so-called “spicy” products often feel like they’re phoning in flavor and catering to the heat-hesitant. Maybe, like me, you’ve been burned by the missing spice in the Spicy Cashew Butter Dressing or the disappointingly mild Organic Spicy Taco Sauce. The following Trader Joe’s products, on the other hand, buck the trend. These spicy products actually bring enough heat to have you reaching for a glass of ice-cold milk.
I find a lot of Trader Joe’s hot sauces to be lackluster. They might have a little zing, but they rarely pack a punch. This Habanero Hot Sauce, however, is actually spicy and it has a great flavor. There are fruity notes from the habanero, and it’s not too vinegary. This is exactly what I want on a breakfast burrito.
These crunchy mochi morsels taste like spicy croutons. Many of the Amazon reviews say they’re “too spicy” and, while I don’t agree with that, they do have a nice heat to them. If you want something shareable, snackable, and genuinely spicy, grab a bag of these!
Spicy Buffalo Cheddar
There is nothing “buffalo” about this cheddar, but it does follow through on its promise of spicy! In our Trader Joe’s cheese taste test, this was the spiciest cheese we tried. Even the Scotch Bonnet Cheddar was way milder than this. Obviously it’s not the spiciest thing on Earth, because it’s predominantly cheese, but it definitely packs enough heat to be worth checking out.
Lots of people swear that these knock-off Taki’s are just as good, if not better, than the real thing. If you have just one, the heat is no big deal. But as you continue to eat them, the heat begins to build. After a while, you’ll be sweating. Looking for even more kick? These would be a welcome addition to a cream cheese-filled jalapeno.
These definitely have a heat to write home about. And the best part? This product is basically a two-for-one: You get the crunchy habanero peppers and the spicy oil. Despite being marinated in oil, the peppers remain exceptionally crispy and are a great addition to salads, sandwiches, or grain bowls. The oil could be used to cook eggs or drizzled over mozzarella and tomato to make a spicy caprese appetizer.
Honorable Mention: Smoked Ghost Pepper Grinder (R.I.P.)
When Trader Joe’s stopped selling the Ghost Pepper grinder, I was devastated. This grinder, which contained straight-up ghost pepper chilis, was hot! The fumes that came off it were wild and brought literal tears to my eyes. My face is starting to feel hot just thinking about it. Please, Trader Joe’s, bring it back!!!