Trader Joe's Shoppers Are Divided On Its New Artichoke Timbales

There are few national grocery store chains as beloved as Trader Joe's. In fact, people stan so hard for this singular store that they have created social media campaigns to try to attract a location to their area — such as this Facebook group centered on Holland, Michigan. From the approachable size, to the interesting layout, to the iconic floral shirts the cheerful employees wear, it's not difficult to see what inspires such fandom.

But nothing comes close to the fervor around Trader Joe's proprietary products. It's been characterized by BYU's Daily Universe as "mania" and product showcasing listicles, such as Delish's recent roundup of best buys, are ubiquitous. Hacks for their various ingredients and items abound, like these noted in Real Simple, and you know there's a subreddit for fans.

People often take to social media to discuss new Trader Joe's items, what they like, what the shortcomings are, and how they might be improved with a few tweaks. One new item that has stirred debate is from their vast frozen food selection: artichoke timbales.

Why artichoke timbales are divisive

Per Trader Joe's Reviews, the artichoke timbales are artichoke hearts baked with mozzarella and grana padano cheeses. A timbale, according to Delighted Cooking, is both a round cooking vessel and a dish — usually cooked in said vessel — that can take many different forms. Giada De Laurentiis offers up a recipe for an eggplant timbale, and, if you'd like something a bit heartier, you can try Food & Wine's rigatoni and Italian sausage timbale.

In a recent Instagram post, Trader Joe's List reviewed the new artichoke timbales. They recommend air frying the timbales at 375-400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and note that some have offered they benefit from a squeeze of lemon on top. While many in the post's comments were gushing about the cheesy qualities of the timables, there were some for whom the dish didn't resonate. The Trader Joe's Yums Instagram account was turned off by the mushy texture, salty flavor, and fishy aspects of the artichoke timbales.

As with any food, it is impossible to please all the people all the time, so if the artichoke timbales pique your interest, it's probably best to try them and decide for yourself if they're, to use the parlance of the Doughboys, "snack or whack."