Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Trader Joe's Quattro Formaggio
As the label tells you, this is a blend of Parmesan, Asiago, fontina, and provolone cheese. Most shredded cheese is mild. This is not. It is boldly flavorful and distinctly Italian. That is both its strength and its weakness. It is superb atop pasta, for example, and would probably be similarly great on a homemade pizza, though I didn't try that.
But I use shredded cheese mainly for Mexican-style foods that I make, and this blend just doesn't work well there. It's more, I think, than my brain rejecting the idea of cross-contamination of international cuisines. It seems to me that it just doesn't play well with the flavors of Mexican staples like refried beans. With every bite, I got a mildly jarring hit of sensory discordance.
The problem for me, then, is not that this stuff is bad. It's that it has a specific niche--one that I need filled rarely enough that a package this size will mostly go moldy in my refrigerator before getting used up.
Will I buy it again?
Probably not, unless I'm planning an Italian food bash of some kind. But if you do more Italian cooking than I do, by all means give it a try.