Popular items that completely vanished from Trader Joe's

We're always looking for the best items from Trader Joe's, but sadly, some of the grocery chain's most coveted items have left store shelves forever. These were things that we were so good, we were willing to make a special trip to get them. But for reasons unknown (and there are a lot of things you probably don't know about Trader Joe's), they were pulled from shelves. 

Trader Joe's supply chain is something of a mystery, but one of the reasons why products appear and disappear so frequently is that they're rumored to be sourced from other big brands, and they may only receive limited quantities of products packaged under the Trader Joe's label. 

That's why if you love something, you should get your hands on it as soon as possible. The next time you get to the store, it could already be gone — just like these much-loved TJ's items that have been discontinued.

Trader Joe's Tofu Edamame Nuggets

Trader Joe's has a pretty great selection of vegan and vegetarian items, from frozen Thai Iced Tea-Flavored mini mochi to Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels. But once you get hooked on one of their cruelty-free foods, you should stock up, because chances are they'll eventually disappear from store shelves. 

That's what happened with Trader Joe's Tofu Edamame Nuggets. This unique snack featured a pocket of firm tofu that was stuffed with shelled edamame, shredded carrots, and bits of squishy tofu. When baked, the outside would get nice and crispy, while inside the soft bits of tofu and tender veggies created a textural contrast that left us wanting more. 

The only downside was that they didn't come with a sauce, but luckily a splash of TJ's own Soyaki would usually do the trick. 

Unfortunately, Trader Joe's Tofu Edamame Nuggets were discontinued, and despite a petition that called for their return, they haven't been seen in the freezer aisle for a few years now.

Trader Joe's Cioppino Seafood Stew

Now and then you can find a good deal on something really luxurious at Trader Joe's, and frozen Cioppino Seafood Stew, loaded with fish and shellfish, was definitely among those hallowed products.

Cioppino is a soup that was created by Italian-American fisherman in San Francisco at the tail end of the 19th century. Using whatever seafood scraps were left over from the day's catch, they would made a stew containing tomatoes, garlic, onion, olive oil, wine, and herbs. It was pretty delicious served with some of the city's famous sourdough bread, too.

Trader Joe's version was pretty faithful to the original. As far as seafood is concerned, they were very generous — each frozen bag of cioppino included shrimp, scallops, cod, clams, and mussels. At $5.99 for a 1-pound bag, it was a value entree that tasted like a real treat, but now that it's discontinued, you might have to travel to San Francisco to get a taste.

Trader Joe's Instant Miso Soup

One of Trader Joe's signature moves is taking basic convenience foods and serving up the best possible version. Such was the case with their instant miso soup

These packets of powdered miso and dried tofu were as simple to make as adding to a bowl with some boiled water and stirring, but the big flavor produced made it taste like something from a restaurant. The key to the robust taste was that the soup was made with a lot of ingredients high in glutamic acid, which is what make up the "umami" taste.

Dried red and white miso (a fermented soy product), clam extract power, bonito powder, kombu powder, yeast extract, and shiitake mushrooms are all powerful sources of umami, and they made up the bulk of this seemingly humble soup. 

The only complaint some people had was that the soup lacked big pieces of seaweed (the seaweed in the soup, kombu, was powdered), and some didn't like that the shiitake mushrooms were in bigger pieces.

Sadly, the soup was discontinued (you can join the Facebook group calling for its return if you're as heartbroken as some others). These days if you want to get your miso soup fix at Trader Joe's, you'll have to settle for their ramen.

Trader Joe's Salmon & Vegetable Croquetts

On busy days when making a nice dinner seems totally out of the question, Trader Joe's usually comes through in a pinch, but one of their best items for this very purpose has been discontinued. 

We're talking Trader Joe's Salmon & Vegetable Croquettes. These frozen patties were made of salmon, edamame, kale, broccoli, and chia seeds. When pan-fried, they got golden brown and crisp on the outside, while remaining tender on the inside. The seasoning was a mixture of soy sauce, cilantro, garlic, chili sauce, and ginger, with a touch of fish sauce and sesame oil to round things out.

Served with a lightly dressed salad of peppery arugula and a lemon wedge, it tasted like something one could get for lunch at a fancy seaside restaurant. 

Unfortunately, either not enough people were enamored of the patties, or they ran into an issue with their supplier, because the Salmon & Vegetable Croquettes are no longer available. 

Trader Joe's Chicken Chile Verde Burritos

Burritos have been a popular convenience food in the US since at least the 1950s, and you don't have to make them at home to get something good. Premade burritos hold a lot of appeal, especially when done well. They're a portable feast that can be heated up in minutes, and it's hard to dispute the tastiness of a meaty filling surrounded by carbs. 

Trader Joe's really got in on the game with their Chicken Chile Verde Burritos. Located in the freezer aisle, these tasty morsels consisted of big chunks of dark and white meat chicken in a thick tomatillo and green chile-based verde sauce, wrapped in a flour tortilla. They had a bit of a kick, and were a far cry from the pasty burritos full of mystery meat you sometimes get in the frozen section. 

There was a downside. Each serving contained 2,140 mg of sodium, meaning one burrito used up nearly an entire day's salt allowance (2,300 mg maximum, according to the American Heart Association). 

These days, you can get other frozen burritos at Trader Joe's, but the Chicken Chile Verde Burritos exist only in our memories.

Trader Joe's Jumbo Black Seedless Raisins

Raisins are the type of food it seems hard to get excited about. Even bonafide foodie types who like raisins rarely seem to love raisins. But Trader Joe's sought to change our opinions of the oft-grainy, occasionally-leathery dried grapes with their Jumbo Seedless Black Raisins

Somewhere between a normal raisin and a prune, these raisins were big enough that just a few would satisfy. They were moist, sticky, and sweet, and just $3.49 for a 1-pound bag. 

These days, those with a craving for Jumbo Black Raisins at Trader Joe's have to settle for the Jumbo Raisin Medley, as the former variety has been discontinued. 

The medley includes black raisins, but it also has golden raisins (made from the same grape as black raisins, but oven-dried and treated with sulphur to maintain a lighter color) and red flame seedless raisins. But those who had a penchant for the Jumbo Black raisins might be disappointed — golden and red raisins don't have as complex, winy, and caramelized a flavor as sun-dried black raisins. 

Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Cheesecake

Aside from their famous frozen mandarin chicken, almost no single food item at Trader Joe's is as iconic as their cookie butter, made from Belgian-style spiced speculoos cookies that's blended with oil to create a smooth spread. It was even a runner up for the favorite overall product at Trader Joe's in their 9th annual customer choice awards.

So, when they came out with speculoos cheesecake, the internet nearly lost its mind. 

Located in the freezer aisle, this dessert featured a speculoos cookie crust, a silky vanilla cheesecake, and a thick swirl of speculoos cookie butter on top. At $6.99 for a 22.5 oz cake, it was a bargain for even a plain cheesecake, let alone one covered in spiced cookie spread. All one had to do was let it thaw for 4-6 hours or overnight, then dig in.

Now that it's discontinued, you need not despair. The next time you buy a plain vanilla cheesecake, pick up a jar of cookie butter and slather it on top for an approximation of the original treat. 

Trader Joe's Refrigerated Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise, a sauce that's an emulsion of egg yolks and butter that's seasoned with vinegar or lemon juice, is one of the harder "mother sauces" to recreate at home. Getting the sauce to emulsify properly requires a ton of whisking (or patience and an immersion blender). 

That's why people loved Trader Joe's premade hollandaise sauce. Unlike some powdered packets that claim to be hollandaise, this pre-made, refrigerated sauce tasted like the real thing.

It was a pretty authentic recipe, made with clarified butter, yolks, lemon juice, vinegar, and hot pepper, then stabilized with pectin, carrageenan, and locust bean gums. Obviously you wouldn't add those to a homemade batch of hollandaise, but they kept the sauce from breaking or curdling in the refrigerator case and made it reheat to a smooth, silky consistency.

Unfortunately, it's been discontinued, meaning you'll have to master the art of French cooking if you want to taste anything even remotely resembling real hollandaise sauce again any time soon. 

Trader Joe's Uncured Bacon Jam

Everything's better with bacon, and our collective obsession is even backed up by science. Trader Joe's seemed to be aware of this fact when they made a once-beloved, now-discontinued item: Uncured Bacon Jam.

A lightly sweetened, sticky spread, the jam was made from uncured applewood smoked bacon, which was then slow cooked with brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and onions. Its sweet, salty, and savory flavor meant that you could enjoy it in a variety of ways, including on toast in the morning, used instead of ketchup on top of a cheeseburger, or added in dollops to a cheese plate. This bacon jam livened up pretty much any meal, and at $4.49 for an 8.5 oz jar was a bargain compared to similar gourmet spreads.

It was released during a bit of a bacon jam frenzy that was spreading across the globe, popular as far away as New Zealand. But that popularity wasn't enough to keep it on the shelves — Trader Joe's sadly no longer sells its Uncured Bacon Jam. 

Trader Joe's Handmade Chocolate Ganache Torte

Another Trader Joe's favorite that's now lost to us is their Handmade Chocolate Ganache Torte. 

This rich dessert featured a dense, moist chocolate cake filled with silky chocolate mousse, then coated in a shiny semi-sweet chocolate ganache. It was the type of dessert where just one bite would satisfy, which made it's 1.5-pound weight and $7.99 price tag a huge value. Tiny slices of this cake served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to help cut through the richness could serve as dessert for up to 16 people. Sure, the nutrition facts said that the cake should be cut into eighths, but this is one instance where the serving size listed was almost too generous.

If that sounds as delicious to you as it does to us, maybe it's worth signing the petition to bring it back, something created by fans who miss this decadent dessert so much they're willing to fight for it's return.