Review: Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Spaghetti (Two Types)

Spaghetti is a staple in our house.  When I have time I make my own version of my grandmother’s long-simmered sauce, but usually for a quick weeknight meal I keep a bottle of Trader Joe’s tomato basil marinara around.  My husband and I will cut up and add veggies or meat (usually some of TJ’s chicken Italian sausage, half an onion, some garlic, and a handful of fresh basil).  We eat pasta at least once a week (not really a surprise, since I’m half Italian).

Of course once I went gluten free, I had to change how I ate.  Pasta, bread, and other wheat-based products had to go.  Luckily I love rice noodles too, so we had some around from the very first experimental week of going without gluten.  Since then we’ve tried out tons of brands of rice noodles.  Some were pretty good (Jovial is our favorite, followed by Tinkyada).  Some weren’t as good.  But we’d never really ventured outside of brown rice noodles.

Until we were checking out at Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks ago and the checker suggested that we try the corn noodles.  We hadn’t even seen them (they were on an endcap) but had thrown the brand new (that week!) brown rice noodles into our cart.  She said a friend had tried the corn spaghetti and loved it.  So my husband went and grabbed a package.

Oh my goodness, I can’t even tell you how much I love this corn spaghetti.

First of all, it cooks up perfectly.  Toothsome but not sticky or mushy.  Even after an extra minute in the water.  Secondly, it’s got a great flavor.  It’s kind of like eating a hybrid of polenta and spaghetti.  But not nearly as odd as you’d think.  The texture of the cooked noodle is at least as good as the texture of Jovial’s noodles.  Which is to say that it’s excellent.

But the rice pasta?  Not so much.

It was gooey, clumpy, and made the cooking water cloudy and full of starch.  The flavor was kind of akin to dishwater.  I am a HUGE Trader Joe’s fan (again, this post is totally based on products I *bought* and I’m not compensated in any way to say this!).  99% of every thing I’ve bought there has been fantastic.  But these rice noodles?  Bleh.  Not even worth buying.

I will totally be buying the corn noodles again.  I even hear they come in more shapes!

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