Monday, July 17, 2017
Trader Joe's Blueberry Vanilla Chevre
I had seen this in the Trader Joe's cheese section many times, but I always passed it by. I thought it looked too weird to enjoy. Even after I bought it, it sat uneaten in my refrigerator for about three weeks, because I was so leery of its strangeness that night after night I saw it sitting there, but picked something else for my nighttime snack, telling myself that I'd get to the weird cheese "tomorrow."
Now, this isn't an entirely rational attitude. After all, I've tried cheese with cinnamon, sriracha sauce, black pepper, paprika, Syrah, pesto, bacon, apricots, apple pie ingredients, smoked chiles, rosemary and olive oil, and apple and cinnamon, and I liked most of them, so I shouldn't perceive this stuff as too far outside my experience. And yet I did.
But I had to try it because of having made a promise. I recently gained two new neighbors in the apartment next to mine. When they learned of my odd TJ's blogging hobby, one of them, Kendra Warren, told me this was her favorite TJ's thing, and said I had to try it, and I promised that I would. That's why I bought it, and that's why backing out on the taste test wasn't an option, despite my trepidations. Besides, how bad could it be? I like cheese, I like vanilla, and I like blueberries.
So I finally got to it. Verdict: It's just as peculiar as I had anticipated. Vanilla and blueberry are not flavors that my tongue expects when I tell it that a piece of cheese is incoming.
The main problem I have with this product is that it's hard to tell it's cheese. The blueberries so dominate the flavor that it's hard for me to tell that anything else is there. Even when I carefully cut around them to try some blueberry-free cheese, I tasted mostly vanilla (which seems to be blended into the cheese, not just added to the surface). If Clara Peller were doing a TV commercial, she'd bark, "Where's the cheese?"
Also, this is the messiest cheese I think I've ever tried. I found no way to attack it that didn't involve getting most of my fingers sticky and stained blue. It's about as soft as cheese can be without actually flowing, so it's hard to slice.
Will I buy it again?
No. I enjoyed eating it--much more than I had thought I would, in fact. But that's because I like blueberries (in this case, with a little vanilla added in), not because I like it as cheese. So if I want blueberries, I'll eat some blueberries. If I want cheese, I'll select something else. Sorry, Kendra! De gustibus non est disputandum.
Speaking of my friend Kendra, a little plugging is in order. She is a fine musician and model, and you should seek out/listen to/hire her as appropriate. Here's a fun music video she did, singing the true story of her dad burning down the mountain on which the family home sat: