As nations go, the Isle of Man is tiny (only 13 miles wide by 33 miles long). For such a small country, it’s home to some pretty great things. There’s the famous Tourist Trophy (TT)—a century-old cross-country motorcycle race that is the most treacherous in the world. There’s also Tynwald, the Isle’s legislature widely recognized as the oldest continuous parliamentary body in history. And then... there’s the cheese, of which Trader Joe’s Isle of Man Vintage Cheddar is a chief example.
Dairy has been produced on the Isle of Man since Viking times, but it wasn’t until after World War I that a dairy-farmer co-op was formed around the economic challenges posed by post-war politics. This co-op of 44 family-owned dairy farms still exists today as the “Isle of Man Creamery.” Our Isle of Man Vintage Cheddar is a product of the generations of skill handed down to these farmers.
It begins with milk that comes from cows not treated with rBST. It ends with 15 to 18 months in a climate- controlled environment. The result is a distinctively rich, full-flavored Cheddar with nutty notes and a subtle sweetness. It’s close-textured and smooth with a crunch from the crystalline salt that naturally forms on the outer surface during ripening. This crunch of calcium lactate is the sign of a well-aged cheese and adds complexity to the flavor profile.
Melt it on a grilled burger for a 'Man Cheeseburger'. Slice it thick and munch with Trader Joe's Pita Bite Crackers. Pair with an oaky white, like TJ's Grand Reserve Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2012.
Our Isle of Man Vintage Cheddar is featured for a limited time only, and is available at $6.99 per pound, while supplies last.