Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trader Joe's Toscano Cheese With Black Pepper

Trader Joe's has kind of a fetish about adding stuff to Toscano cheese. I tried the version with cinnamon, and didn't care for it. I tried the version with Syrah, and thought it was OK.

And now for the black pepper. I'm generally not a fan of black pepper. I keep some on hand for guests and to add to recipes when called for, but I never put black pepper on food at the table. The traditional salt and pepper shakers are baffling to me, because I would never use the latter.

But I'm surprised to discover that here it makes for a truly excellent addition to the cheese. It's distinct enough to catch my attention, but still sitting in the background, rather than transforming this into a truly peppery cheese. Even more surprising was that the cheese wasn't nearly as crumbly as the other two versions were; I had no difficulty making thin slices to put on my crackers.

Going into this taste test, I really expected that this would either be so-so (try it once for the experience, but never again), or pretty bad (TOO MUCH PEPPER!). Nope. Instead, it shoots to near the top of my favorite Trader Joe's cheese varieties. It's not quite worthy of being on my all-time Top Ten list, but if I kept a separate list of my top ten TJ's cheeses, it would definitely be included.

Will I buy it again? 


Addendum, January 11, 2018: 

I tried this again this week for the first time since writing the above--and I liked it even more. Creamy and flavorful and interesting. It's a great way to break up my usual pattern of cheddar cheddar cheddar. I'm retroactively adding it to my Top Ten list.

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