Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Trader Joe's Creamy Toscano Cheese Dusted With Cinnamon

Again I went to the cheese case at TJ's and just looked until I found something that looked interesting. I didn't even realize that this is considered a seasonal item until I saw in the Fearless Flyer that it is available only in the fall.

I didn't know what Toscano cheese was. You can learn what I did here. I liked the cheese itself--very rich, more buttery in flavor than any other cheese I can remember.

Two things about it don't work for me. First, the texture is crumbly, making it impossible to cut thin slices. It just breaks up into irregular chunks.

Second, the cinnamon. I would have thought that cinnamon makes everything better. Now I would modify that: cinnamon makes everything better, except for cheese. These two tastes just don't play nicely together. However, I'll admit that when Nina and I tried some atop TJ's Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps, the combination was quite nice, with all sorts of flavors going on all at once, in kind of a gustatory symphony. On a blander cracker, though, or eaten alone, I keep wanting to strip the cinnamon away from what is otherwise a delicious cheese. You can't do that, by the way, just by cutting off the outer layer; the cinnamon is dusted on before aging, and it infuses itself all the way through.

Will I buy it again? 

Not in this form. But poking around the web, I see that TJ's sells (or at least has sold in the past; I'm not sure if they still do) the same cheese in two other forms: dusted in black pepper, and soaked in Syrah (Shiraz). I'd be happy to try both of those, as I imagine either flavor would work better with the cheese than cinnamon does.

Nina's View

I liked this more than Bob did. The sweetness of the cinnamon made for a nice balance with the cheesiness of the cheese. And yeah, with the Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps: fantastic.

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