Image Map

Trader Joe's Seasoned Salts

Dec 5, 2011

If you step foot in a Trader Joe’s this month, you will be distracted by the Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s, Astounding Multi-Flavor Joe-Joe’s, sea salted caramels, Christmas candy, Candy Cane Coal and winter ales/wines.  It’s understandable that you wouldn’t bother venturing down the Seasonings/Rice/Pasta aisle when you plan to live off of sugar until your New Year’s diet begins in three weeks. But you would be foolish not to take a peek.

You see, TJ’s has these amazing new salts, pepper and spices (so incognito that I couldn’t find them on the website). I was first drawn to them because I needed some cinnamon sticks to steep in apple cider, and then I noticed “SMOKED” on a label. Despite (or perhaps in rebellion of) my father’s lifelong concerns about all things carcinogenic, I am in lurv with anything that is smoked. Ham. Turkey. Salmon. The competition. And now, EVERYTHING, because all I have to do to make something smoked is sprinkle a little SMOKED SALT on it (after it’s ground in the built-in grinder).  
Can you believe how amazing that is?! After buying it, I first tried it on some Mac and Cheese. Smoked Salt revolutionized basic Mac and Cheese. I had no idea making Mac and Cheese better was possible! 

Next, I had some friends over for dinner, and the culinary genius among us took pomegranate seeds and whipped cream and added the smoked salt. Sounds weird I know, but it was awesome. (And healthy!)

When I went back to TJ’s, I made a beeline for the seasonings shelf to see if they’d come up with anything else. I ended up with Flower Pepper, Lemon Pepper, Rainbow Peppercorns and – wait for it – Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean Grinder. 

If you’re looking for a nice, innocuous holiday gift to give someone, my suggestion is to tie a medley of these with a ribbon.  And at TJ’s prices, your ROI will be a breeze.  You’re welcome!


  1. I can say from experience, they are delicious and surprising! I have used the smoked sea salt in dishes (French in particular) and the difference makes them a new dish! So flavorful for just a little bit of effort! Thank you for mine! :)

  2. I have to say from personal experience, these salts and peppers are fantastic! They make the most ordinary dishes special. I am fortunate to have received them as a gift and they have been my favorite thing to use lately! I have used the smoked salt and the flower pepper in my French dishes and they become something new!

  3. I appreciate the warning about TJ's this time of year. My resolve is not strong and I have a maj weakness for sea salt caramels. Like, borderline controlled substance level obsession.

    But delicious all the same.

  4. Sea salt caramels...mmmmmm...