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Attention Trader Joe’s Shoppers: This TJ discovery comes direct from France and it’s worth every sou.

Attention Trader Joe’s Shoppers: This TJ discovery comes direct from France and it’s worth every sou.
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Alouette Brie, here pictured with a sliced apple

Just a quick bonus post to tell you about a great find at TJs.  Yesterday at a lunch celebrating Cheese Week which is coming to New York later this month, I was seated next to Serge Bruno.  Serge is the Director of International Sales and Foodservice Marketing for the cheesemaker, Alouette.  In the early 1970’s French cheese whiz, Jean-Noel Bongrain decided to bring his skills in making French specialty cheeses to the US.  The company says ‘there’s French in their DNA’.  They’ve put their love for

Alouette Cheese comes from Farms like these.

cheese to work creating 6 French-style cheeses using fresh milk from the Amish country in Pennsylvania and from dairy farms in Lena, Illinois. I was surprised to find that Alouette is responsible for Trader Joe’s private-label Cream cheese and its Crème Fraiche.  Serge and I swapped recommendations for Trader Joe’s items.  Since yesterday was Croissant Day, I told Serge about my fondness for Trader Joe’s Almond Croissants and Serge turned me on to two Made-In-France items I’d never tried before.

I don’t know about you, but after a couple of less-than-stellar experiences with Trader Joes’ frozen pizzas, I’d pretty well given up on them.  Serge suggested I take a taste of two French style savory frozen Tartes.  And I am so glad he did.  I cooked both of them last night, served them with a salad and voilà, a delightful light dinner for two!
Maître Pierre’s Tarte d’Alsace is a complete winner.  Ham, caramelized onions, and gruyere cheese top a crust that’s not pizza, not flatbread, but a thin, crisp tart with a flaky texture.  A layer of Crème Fraiche is hidden under the onions, ham, and gruyere.  The directions called for cooking the tart in a 450-degree oven for just 10 minutes.  I found that in my oven it needed 15 minutes to achieve a golden brown sizzling goodness. I’m not sure what happened to Maitre Pierre but Trader Joe replaced him on the Tarte au Brie et aux Tomates.  Made in France, where it is called a
Tarte Flambé, its origins are also in Alsace.  Again, this tart starts with a layer of Crème Frâiche, topped with French Brie and perfect cherry tomato halves.  This tart is also described as needing 10 minutes in a 450-degree oven. This one actually needed a little longer than the Tarte d’Alsace but that may also reflect our love for a really crispy pizza.  While the package says one will serve two with a salad, I really think cooking both and sharing them amongst two people is a better idea. I highly recommend them.


6 thoughts on “Attention Trader Joe’s Shoppers: This TJ discovery comes direct from France and it’s worth every sou.”

  • These are so good Lise! And the price is right. I believe there may be another flavor–Champignon (Mushroom) but it was not in my store and I only saw it when I was doing some research for this post. XOXO Monte

  • Monte, these items have been staples in my freezer ever since I discovered them sometime last year. You are so right–they are luscious, (particularly the Alsatian tart). I keep them for nights when I get home from work and don't feel like cooking, and I cut them in squares for quick appies when friends are over. They love 'em. They don't look like much coming out of the package, but they do deliver in the big fat mouthfeel department!

  • Mary, thank you so much for taking the time to write. You are joining a growing band of fans of Les Tartes Flambé. I've written about favorite TJ items before but the response to these has astonished me. You and Lise and the tip of an iceberg! Yesterday, I stocked up on them and was delighted to find the Mushroom version. The only thing I find is that they really need more time in the oven than the package directions–at least for the crispy brown version I like. All best and again, thanks Mary!

  • I always miss the wonderful tastes of Flammkuchen from when I lived southwest Germany. These wonderful tartes come so close in taste and texture that I always keep my freezer stocked with them.

    • Thanks so much for sharing that with us. It’s nice to have someone ‘authenticate a Trader Joe’s item for those of us who have never experienced ‘the real thing’ It’s very kind of you to take the time to write. All best. Monte

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