The Best Jewish Foods at Trader Joe’s That Remind Me of My Bubbe

Trader Joe’s gets it. It’s cool, it’s wacky, it’s loud, and it is delicious—a lot like my Bubbe. And like her, Trader Joe’s does Jewish food well.

Trader Joe's store-front

Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Let me tell you about the probably state of Jewish food in your typical chain grocery store. Most likely, there’s 10 percent of an aisle dedicated to kosher items, and nine times out of 10, it is last year’s box of Passover matzo, chicken soup mix, and concord grape juice lining the shelves. So, you’ll understand if, as a Jew, I often feel underrepresented and underwhelmed at the grocery store. That’s until I moved to the U.S and became fast friends with a little place called Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s gets it. It’s cool, it’s wacky, it’s loud, and it is delicious. In hindsight, it shares a lot in common with my Bubbe. And like her, Trader Joe’s does Jewish food well.

In appreciation for the abundance of nosh that TJ’s has to offer, below is a roundup of my favorite Jewish-ish picks at Trader Joe’s.

With new products coming out monthly, I can’t wait to see what Trader Joe’s releases next. My hope? Frozen Matzo Ball Soup to cure all ailments. In the meantime, feeling represented in the grocery aisles is more special than I ever thought it could be. 

Everything but the bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

I would be amiss to leave TJ’s bagel spice blend out—arguably it was the propeller that made bagel spice cool, and I remember a time when it was always sold out. This blend of sesame, garlic, onion, and salt is the perfect addition to avocado toast, eggs, breading, and even salads. 

Trader Joe's Smooth and Creamy Classic Hummus

Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Smooth and Creamy Classic Hummus

Trader Joe’s is no stranger to wacky-flavored hummus. (I’m looking at you, dessert hummus.) But their tried and true classic version is chef’s kiss, and a close second to my homemade hummus. Smooth and packed with tahini and chickpea flavor, it is almost always in my fridge.

Trader Joe's Zhoug Sauce

Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Zhoug Sauce

TJ’s already had my heart, but really won me over with the release of their spicy zhoug. If you’re not familiar, zhoug is a Middle Eastern condiment, similar to a chimichurri or salsa verde. It’s made with fresh herbs, like cilantro and parsley, hot peppers, coriander, garlic, and olive oil. I put this stuff on everything from eggs to tacos. Pro tip: top your creamy hummus with zhoug. You are welcome!

Sonoma Brinery Fresh Pickles

Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Sonoma Brinery Fresh Pickles

Pickles are my favorite food group. No luncheon, deli meal, or afternoon is complete without them. There’s something to be said about refrigerated, salt-brine pickles—those shelf-stable varieties will never compare! Irresistibly crunchy, perfectly salty and garlicky, there is nothing better than a kosher dill pickle.

Trader Joe's Potato Pancakes

Simply Recipes / Wanda Abraham

Trader Joe’s Potato Pancakes

During Hanukkah, it is customary to dig into a plate of hot and crispy fried potato pancakes called latkes. This frozen version is a mess-free way to celebrate Hanukkah all year round. Crispy on the outside and creamy and flavorful on the inside, this potato pancake rivals your bubbe’s, without making your house smell like fried potatoes for days. Serve it with sour cream, applesauce, or with poached eggs for your new favorite brunch!