Trader Joe's — the quirky specialty grocer you rely on to make all of your culinary dreams come true — is known for its devotion to certain ingredients. With warmer weather comes a barrage of mango products, and of course pumpkin EVERYTHING accompanies the arrival of autumn. We even have the company to thank for our beloved Cookie Butter. But with a reputation for somewhat outrageous offerings, sometimes Trader Joe's takes on the classics can get overlooked. If you're a dairy queen (or king, or other non-specified royalty) you are not going to want to miss these 12 cheese items from trader joe's every cheese lover needs to try.
How do I begin to speak of the importance of cheese? It is delicious and extremely versatile, providing an extra layer of flavor and pizzaz to culinary mainstays like tea and of course, cake. But perhaps its addictive qualities are what truly sets it apart. Perhaps a big reason people feel so strongly about cheese has to do with its effect on the brain — which, according to studies, may be comparable to that of opioid drugs. If you find yourself needing a fromage fix, allow these products from TJ's to do the honors:
1. Unexpected Cheddar
The Unexpected Cheddar is easily one of Trader Joe's most aptly named items. Though it looks and feels like a regular ol' block of cheddar cheese, upon chewing the cheese takes on a new life and begins to resemble a parmesan. Think of it as Razzles, only cheese.
2. Toscano With Cinnamon
Cinnamon is likely not the first spice you associate with cheese, but that's what makes this one so special. The customer favorite has been around since 2010, and for good reason — the unexpected coupling is the perfect snack for chilly weather (which makes sense as it is only available in the fall).
3. The Big Gouda
What can I say? This large take on a classic is aged six months and tastes very gouda (I'm sorry) with crackers.
4. Espresso Mélange Cheddar Cheese
If you thought cinnamon and toscano was a wild combo, get ready for ... coffee and cheddar? You read that correctly! According to Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer, "Mélange" is derived from the French word for "mix." And that is exactly what this cheese does: mix cheddar and gruyere with hints of espresso to create a multilayered masterpiece.
5. Goat's Milk Medallions with Herbs
Goat cheese has a unique flavor you either love or hate. It's bitter, and kind of sour. But its soft texture makes it the perfect cheese for spreading on bread, and pairing it with marinated herbs only adds more complexity to its flavor.
6. Truffle Brie
Feelin' fancy? Treat yourself to the best cheese for crackers and bread, especially if it has Perigord black truffles scattered throughout.
7. Apricot Cherry Cranberry Goat’s Milk Cheese
If you're feeling a little bored of the traditional cheese and crackers pairing, why not incorporate something sweet? This apricot, cherry, cranberry goat's milk cheese pairs the sourness to chèvre with the sweetness of fruits to create an exceptional snack. Eat with crackers (or with your fingers — there's no wrong way to eat cheese).
8. Baked Lemon Ricotta
This cheese is so decadent it is hard to even label it as just cheese. It tastes more like a cheesecake without the crust, and would be delicious eaten with dessert.
9. Oven-Baked Cheese Bites
These cheese bites are the perfect go-to when you can't decide if you want cheese or something crunchy, because they are just that: crunchy cheese. The bites feel like crackers but taste like high-quality aged cheese. It's a win-win.
10. Pub Cheese
Pub Cheese is perhaps the least pretentious cheese product Trader Joe's offers. It spreads like butter and tastes like something you'd find in a dive bar or a ... pub. It's also perfect for dipping veggies.
11. Three Cheese Wafers
How Joe is able to pack so much flavor into a paper-thin snack is beyond me, but I don't need to understand something to enjoy it. And take my word for it, you will enjoy these, too.
12. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
If it is not universally accepted that the best way to eat cheese is with pasta, it should be. Though it's hard to improve on perfection, Trader Joe's butternut squash mac and cheese manages to do just that by adding a layer of autumnal sweetness to the gooey, savory dish.