When recipes are written, it’s pretty common for the cook or baker to direct you to use “good quality” this or “high quality” that. It’s logical that the better your ingredients are, the better your finished product will be and simply recommending the use of a high quality product is much easier (and makes more sense, since personal tastes vary so widely) than always suggesting a particular name-brand item
I have an easy time finding things like high quality chocolate, an ingredient which is (now) widely available in a huge range of prices. Chocolate has a strong flavor that always really stands out in a recipe, so it is clearly worth seeking out, even to occasional bakers. Some other products are either so difficult to find that I don’t bother or just much too expensive to make it worth my while. Puff pastry is one of these. Most stores only carry one brand and, although the pastry is a major component of some tarts and other recipes, it isn’t usually the focal point of flavor so you can get by with using whatever you can find if you don’t want to put the time into making your own.
That said, it’s nice to have a good quality option available at a reasonable price and Trader Joe’s Artisan Puff Pastry is it. The stores have been stocking this all-butter puff pastry for a couple of months now and I’ve had nothing but success with it. The pastry is very flaky and has a good butter flavor. The sheets, while not large, are still easy to work with and I like the fact that the pastry is not folded up in the box (some brands like to fold theirs for tube-like packaging, which often leads to cracked pastry when you go to defrost it). It’s $4.99 for a pound of pastry and definitely not a bad deal considering the high quality of the product – especially considering that some other high end puff pastry products sell for more than twice that price.