Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Trader Joe’s – Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah – Food Review


trader joes, toscano cheese, syrah, review, price, calories, nutrtionFebruary 9, 2018

This is a nice cheese, a blend of parmesan and cheddar implied by the label.  This cheese is mild with a gentle nutty sweet flavor. The texture is medium firm, and definitely not hard. The Syrah wine soak doesn’t add much to the flavor, but puts a pretty purple coating on the outside.  The cheese slices nicely and is not crumbly.  This is suitable for a cheese tray if you don’t mind some odd-shaped pieces as the cheese is sold as a wedge.

trader joes, toscano cheese, syrah, review, price, calories, nutrtionNow the interesting thing about using this on a cheese tray could be watching people try to decide if that purple coating on the outside is edible, or not.  I’m not saying.

price $9.99 per pound   calories, 120 per ounce (28g)


Trader Joe’s – Black Diamond Mature Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Food Review


TJ, trader joe's, black diamond mature reserve, extra sharp cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 12, 2018
For a 4-year-old cheese, this cheese is surprisingly soft, but still firm. There is little crumbling when cut. There are no obvious crystals visible in the cheese. However once in the mouth some very fine crystals can be detected crunching between the teeth.  Crystals form as the cheese ages.

This is a very tasty cheddar with a nice and noticeable amount of natural sharpness. The sharpness lingers on the back of the tongue long after the cheese has left the mouth.  A little cheese goes a long way.  Unlike some other cheddars, the word sharp on the label has real meaning.  Some people may find this too sharp.  Without doing a side by side comparison, this is the best cheddar at TJ I’ve reviewed so far.

Calories 120 per ounce, price $8.99 per pound

Trader Joe’s – Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio Cheese – Food Review


tj, trader joe, review, calories, nutrition, price, cheese, parmigiano reggiano stravecchioJanuary 7, 2018

Recently reviewed here was a Trader Joe’s Parmesan cheese.  That was found to be okay, but nothing very special.  Today, reviewed is a Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio cheese imported from Italy by Trader Joe’s.  The first question is, what is stravecchio?  Stravecchio simply means; old, mature or extra aging.  This cheese is aged for 36 months, or 3 years, depending on how you count time.

In comparison to the previously reviewed TJ Parmesan cheese, this cheese is still hard, but easier to cut because it tends to crumble somewhat.  As for flavor, there’s no comparison.  This cheese is tons more flavorful and complex. There’s some nuttiness to the flavor but also hints of sweetness contained in an earthy base.

This is a very nice cheese to snack on.  It would be difficult to use this for a cheese tray, as it does not cut well into nicely shaped cubes due to its crumbly nature.  For cooking and sprinkling on salads, I still prefer the inexpensive everyday grated cheeses in the plastic containers.  At $14.99 a pound, this is a cheese that really needs to be savored by itself, rather than diluted with other food.  And when it is savored by itself, it’s a savoring experience.

Price $14.99 per pound   Calories, 110 per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s – Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Food Review


TJ, trader joe's, cabot, extra sharp cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 7, 2018

This is a very nice cheese with a very good flavor. The cheese is sharp, but I wouldn’t call it extra sharp as the label does. The cheese is nicely aged to a crumbly consistency.  The cheese should be good for cooking as it melted nicely with a quick microwave test.  Per the label, the cheese is produced by a farmer’s cooperative, which is nice to know in this age of mega-scale industrial food production.  As a domestic cheese from the Northeast, it’s reasonably priced to boot.

Price  $6.99 per pound      Calories  110  per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s – Parmesan Cheese – Food Review


tj, trader joe, parmesan cheese, nutrition, review, calories, priceDecember 20, 2017

Make no mistake about it, this is a hard cheese.  Grating it can be a grating experience.

For me, this is a cheese better eaten by itself than used in recipes.  As noted above, the cheese is hard and will give both your knife and jaw a workout.  The cheese has a nice, but mild, parmesan flavor to it.  A glass of wine is a nice accompaniment.

Surprisingly, as a grated cheese, I actually prefer the pre-grated sprinkle on stuff.  Not only is the pre-grated cheese easier to use, but it has more flavor pop than this cheese.  The cheese was used as a topping to flavor pastas and salads for this review.

Now, if you’re trying to impress your significant other with a home cooked meal as Billy Joel’s Italian Restaurant plays in the background, grating this at the table is the way to go.  And as above, an extra bottle of red is a nice accompaniment.

price $5.99 per pound   calories, 110 per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s – Unexpected Cheddar Cheese- Food Review


Trader Joe, review, calories, price, nutrition, cheese, unexpected cheddarNovember 17, 2017

Unexpected?  You bet it was unexpected. After months of searching for this on the top shelf where all the other Cheddars live, I found this in with the Bries, Camemberts and who knows what else.

TJ says there’s a touch of Parmesan in the taste which makes this Cheddar unexpected. By my taste buds, I didn’t detect any Parmesan. And also by my taste buds, this doesn’t really taste like other Cheddars. But the taste of this cheese is very nice, having a touch of tanginess mixed with a touch of sweetness. The texture is similar to other TJ cheese blends, firm but tends to crumble when cutting. That’s not a negative, just an observation. In the mouth, there are a few bits of what seem like cheese crystals characteristic of an aged cheese. Whatever the blend of cheeses here, or whatever the process that went into making this, this is a nice cheese, perfect for enjoying by itself or even better with a glass of wine.

Trader Joe, review, calories, price, nutrition, cheese, unexpected cheddarPrice $3.99 per 7 ounce package

Calories 120 per ounce

Trader Joe’s – Soy Cheese Alternative – Mozzarella Style – Food Review


trader joe's, food, review, nutrition, price, calories, soy cheese alternativeOctober 29, 2017

For a not-cheese, this is not bad. It has a neutral taste and a thicker texture than a real mozzarella.  While the product name stresses the soy content, it also contains milk protein and milk as parmesan cheese according to the label.  The label does not specify what kind of enzymes were used for the parmesan.  While mozzarella is a mild cheese, it still has a better taste and texture than this alternative.

On heating in the microwave, the aroma of parmesan is liberally released.  It smells good.  However the melted “cheese” does not retain the taste of parmesan.  This cheese also does not melt as nicely as mozzarella in the microwave.  It becomes somewhat puffy and hardens.  There’s none of that stringy mozzarella texture.  The cheese was not tested in stove top or oven recipes.  When diced up for some salad, it added some texture to the salad, but not much in the way of flavor.

With milk as one of the ingredients and an unknown source for the parmesan enzymes (some enzymes are animal based), what’s the purpose of the cheese?  For people who might be allergic to milk, it contains some milk components. For those looking for a vegetarian cheese, it’s not labeled as vegetarian.  The cheese is labeled as 99% lactose free.  So I guess for people who are extremely lactose intolerant, this may be an alternative.  However many milk-based cheeses are naturally relatively low in lactose.  So for those who can tolerate some lactose, a milk-based cheese may work for you also.  Regardless, only you know what kinds of food you need to avoid or what foods work well for you.  And of course, only you know what foods you like!

Calories 70 per ounce, price $1.99 (8 ounce package)

Trader Joe’s – Collier’s Welsh Cheddar Cheese – Food Review


TJ, trader joe, Colliers Welsh Cheddar Cheese, price, review, nutrition, calories
October 16, 2017
A cheddar with hints of an aged Gouda?   This is a fine tasting, slightly crumbly, but still creamy in the mouth, cheese.  While the length of aging of this cheese is not specified on the label, it’s just on the verge of developing those cheese crystals like an aged Gouda.  This is a “mature” tasting cheddar, meaning it’s not a mild cheddar.  But it’s also not a sharp cheddar. It’s an extremely nice and enjoyable cheese.

Collier’s refers to Welsh miners, called Colliers (think “coal ers”). The miners used to take this cheese down in the mines for lunch.  And for an interesting movie, based on real events in 1984, explaining how these same miners found common cause with a seemingly unlikely group, try Pride (2014) while you snack on the cheese.

Price  $7.99 per pound      Calories  120  per ounce (28g)

Trader Joe’s New Zealand Grass Fed Sharp Cheddar – Food Review


Trader Joe's, New Zealand Sharp Cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionSeptember 23, 2017
I didn’t know cheese ate grass?  This is a grass-fed sharp cheddar cheese from New Zealand.

While the package says aged 6-12 months, I suspect my package was aged at the low-end of this range. The cheddar was not very sharp at all. The cheese was dense and semi-soft with no crumbling while being cut. There was a mild cheddar flavor and sharpness to the cheese.

At $6 per pound this is a good cheese, but nothing special.  The price is right for using this as you would any other mild cheddar that fills the refrigerator cases in most supermarkets. But the good news is, once it’s wrapped for sale, it no longer needs to be fed grass!

Price $5.99 per pound      Calories 120 per ounce.

Trader Joe’s – Sriracha English Cheddar – Food Review


Trader Joe's, Sriracha English Cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionSeptember 6, 2017
Looking for love in all the wrong places.  Yep, just like the song says, that’s what I was doing.  But wait, no, no, no,  not that kind of love.  And, . . . not that kind of love either.  I was looking for the love of a sharp cheddar.  Don’t anyone urban dictionary that.  And if you do, don’t tell me what it means.  Please don’t.

This cheese is a mixture of English aged cheddar and sriracha sauce.  And that aging of at least 8 months, according to the label, is one of the factors that helps produce sharpness in a cheddar.  But the sriracha is the thing that puts this over the top.  Here the addition of sriracha is more than a marketing gimmick.  The sriracha is actually noticeable and good.  Mixing in the sriracha sauce gives the cheese a looser, more crumbly, texture.  There’s a nice contrast between the noticeable, but still not extreme, hotness of the sriracha and the smooth creamy feel of the cheese as it warms in the mouth.  As those two factors meld together, the sriracha starts to take over producing a sharp finish as it all exits the mouth and starts down the throat. It’s a different kind of sharpness than a 100% cheddar.  Still, it’s a nice flavor and experience.

This is the third or fourth cheddar mixture I’ve tried at Trader Joe’s.  All of them, including this one, have been winners.

Price $8.99 per pound     Calories 100 per ounce

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